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DOG WALKING SOLUTIONS: Your dog doesn't need meds, it needs a walk

happy walked non drugged dogWhat dogs need anxiety medication?

This post follows an article I recently read in the major Australian press about how many people were putting their dogs on anxiety medication

I personally have only had two dogs that I could say the owners couldn't easily change the dogs behaviour just through walking.

These were dogs where the owners unfortunately were partly involved with the dogs anxiety. They were all rescue dogs and had deeper problems.

An dog owner that 'loved too much'

Its a curious statement and one that non dog people don't fully understand. There is a big difference between loving a dog and giving it what it needs, and loving a dog and giving it what you need.

Dogs thrive on being with their own kind and having discipline and boundaries. NOT unlimited affection as the primary or only thing.

For people who are lonely or sad or depressed, dogs can provide a wonderful distraction, a wonderful companionship. But often as part of that bargain, the humans are trying to make the dog a human replacement. They would not discipline an adult human they loved, so they reason that the dog doesn't deserve to be disciplined.

I am not talking about negative reinforcement or punishment, but boundaries and guidance.

A dog allowed on the couch, in the bed and given too much food, is likely to end up fat and unhappy, rather than the goal of happiness that the owner would like for them. Some dogs can sleep on the bed fine, but many will get overly possessive of their owners and rival them for the alpha roll and step up the aggression towards them.

More often than not, a dog without any boundaries will also develop separation anxiety. I knew a dog that would break down doors and rip its paw pads apart trying to get out of the gate to join its owner. The owner misplaced the type of love that they gave their dog. and dog trainers kept taking their money rather than addressing the direct issue.

Dressing dogs up as babies or humans doesn't end well

There are people in desperate need of human love who also turn their dogs into a surrogate baby. They dress them on clothes and walk around the streets with their dogs in prams. They never allow their dogs off lead or to socialise with dogs and they wonder why their dogs turn snappy and non social to everyone except themselves.

It doesn't have to happen this way, but you will often find that people who put such unnatural demands on their dogs, who talk to their dogs in baby voices, but never properly exercise their dogs, all think they are treating their dogs like kings - giving them the best of lives, but unfortunately it usually ends in a very unstable dog.

HOW TO CURE ANXIOUS DOGS

Without exception, appropriate discipline and guidance and learning to daily have a dog to behave off lead in an off lead dog park, will resolve 99% plus of problem dogs, problems.

Not red zone dogs, but almost every other type of dog can be rehabilitated by first being on lead and maybe muzzled until enough slow exposure brings them around to understanding dog etiquette. If you don't do this for a living, you may consider using s a professional dog walker to do it for you.

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