Archive for May, 2013

Dog Breed Groups (Part 4)

Introduction

All pure breeds of dog can be categorised in 1 of 7 groups. These categorisations are used by bodies that organise dog shows in order to ensure parity in high level competitions and it is possible for one breed to be in several groups. The names of the groups are loosely based on the specific function the dog has, for example there are Toys, Utility and Non Sporting dogs to name but a few.

Group 4 Hounds

The Hound Dog is another group of breeds that have been used by humans in sport and hunting. They were bred to have acute scenting powers to enable them to follow a trail and have tremendous stamina so that they will hunt their quarry relentlessly. Although the Hound group breeds are not highly strung, they have deep routed instincts that need to be harnessed if they are to make good pets. Essentially they are pack animals and are used to working with other dogs to help their humans and will need a certain amount of adjusting to a family situation.

Characteristics & Care

Probably the most significant difference between the Hound Dog Group and that of other Groups is the Hound Dogs ability to bay. They were bred to make this sound so that hunters would know where they were. This was very useful in the forest and fields, but not too good in the back yard, which is something of a consideration if you are thinking of having a Hound Dog as a pet. The plus side is that they make excellent guard dogs without being aggressive.

It is virtually impossible to completely tire out a Hound Dog. They will rest when they think their job is done, so if there is any activity going on they will be in the thick of it. Because of this trait it is essential that they are given enough exercise to use up any excess energy. Care should be taken however when walking in areas where there are small animals, like rabbits, stoats and squirrels. Running free is not advisable and therefore a long dog leash and comfortable, correctly fitted dog harness or collar is used to remain in control. Even the best trained Hound Dog will give in to its natural instincts to hunt if it is presented with a rabbit running in the opposite direction.

In general the grooming regime of this group is quite low maintenance as the majority of breeds are short haired in order to be able to run through dense undergrowth without getting caught on briars and bushes, so regular use of a high quality dog brush will suffice.

Summary

There are over 50 breeds of dog in the Hound Dog Group ranging in size from small like the Podengo to probably the best known hound breed, the Irish Wolfhound. All of which have their own individual quirks and foibles, but most of which make excellent family pets when given the correct training, care and love.

Author Bio

This article was written by Jason Balchand who is a pet lover and writes for the pet blog at Online Pet Accessories. If you would like to read more or have some topic suggestions for us head over to our Blog or Facebook page.

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Basset Hound - Apolo

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Dog Breed Groups (Part 3)

Introduction

All pure breeds of dog can be categorised in 1 of 7 groups. These categorisations are used by bodies that organise dog shows in order to ensure parity in high level competitions and it is possible for one breed to be in several groups. The names of the groups are loosely based on the specific function the dog has, for example there are Hounds, Working Dogs and Non Sporting dogs to name but a few.

Group 3 Gundogs

The Gundog group contains probably some of the most popular canine pets in the world, like Spaniels, Golden Retrievers and Labradors. As the name would suggest, the Gundog was bred to accompany hunters and were trained to flush out prey and retrieve on command. The majority of Gundog breeds make excellent family pets and will be a good companion for families with children of all ages. Their high intelligence makes them easy to train, and if kept mentally stimulated and physically exercised they will be a good all round family companion.

Characteristics & Care

The very nature of a Gundog is to seek out and retrieve, and therefore walks without a dog leash have to be carefully managed as they have a tendency to chase wildlife in woods and parks. Although they have a high intelligence which makes them easy to train, this is not a breed group that can be left to its own devices. Mental and physical stimulation is vital as a bored Gundog will become destructive, belying its nature to be sociable and well behaved. The key to a happy Gundog is ‘keep him busy’. During training sessions use puzzle style dog toys similar to that manufactured by Kong Dog Toys, which are designed to maintain interest and provide challenging activities. This group comes in a wide range of coat lengths and it is vital that the right grooming equipment is used according to the type of dog you have. Golden Retrievers for example have a long coat that will need regular brushing to avoid mats and tangles and the occasional visit to a good dog grooming parlour may be necessary. On walks, they will invariably try to get into undergrowth searching for some perceived prey so it is wise to keep claws short using good quality Pet nail clippers like those manufactured by Gripsoft.

Summary

There are over 40 breeds of dog in the Gundog group and you have undoubtedly at some time or another come into contact with one at the park, beach, or just walking down the road. They are extremely sociable breeds and some, like the Labrador have had their natural instinct to please harnessed, and are helping their human companions who have lost their sight or hearing. With the correct training, love and care, Gundog breeds make excellent family pets.

 

Author Bio

This article was written by Jason Balchand who is a pet lover and writes for the pet blog at Online Pet Accessories. If you would like to read more or have some topic suggestions for us head over to our Blog or Facebook page.

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Labrador Retriever

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Behavior: Jumping On People

DogJumpingUp1Jumping up is a natural behavior for dogs. In fact, many things that we consider to be problem behaviors are quite natural in the canine world. The problem is that they undesirable in the home or when dogs live with humans. In the wild, puppies leap and jump to welcome a returning pack member. But a puppy or adult dog that leaps and jumps up can injure a child or older person, knock things out of your arms, scratch you, or get you muddy. It’s definitely an undesirable behavior in a pet.

The good news is that this common behavior has some easy solutions. As with most behaviors, it’s easier to stop if you don’t let your puppy begin jumping up on people. But even if you have an adult dog that jumps up, you can still teach him to keep his paws on the ground.

Here are some ways to teach your puppy or dog not to jump up on people.

Ignore your dog
. One of the basic reasons puppies and dogs jump up on people is for attention. If you totally ignore your dog when he jumps up on you, he won’t be getting the attention he wants and it discourages the behavior. This means that you have to completely ignore your dog: don’t look at him, speak to him, yell at him, or touch him. Simply turn your body away when he jumps on you.

It’s very important that everyone in your home, plus any visiting friends, also ignore your dog when he jumps up. Otherwise, your dog will be getting mixed signals and he will probably continue to jump up.

Teach your dog an alternate behavior. Another good way to teach your dog not to jump up on people is to teach them a more desirable behavior. For example, if your dog usually tries to jump on people when they come through the door, you can teach your dog to sit when someone arrives. Sitting is one of the easiest commands to teach a puppy or dog. After you teach your dog to sit, you can have a friend knock on the door or ring the doorbell. When this happens, give your dog the Sit command and let your friend in the house. Praise your dog and reward him for sitting while you greet your friend. You’re teaching your dog that this is the behavior that’s desired when someone arrives instead of jumping on them. Be sure to ask your friend to pet your dog to acknowledge him and give him a treat for sitting politely.

You can expand this desired behavior by teaching your dog to go to his sleeping spot or to another place when company arrives.

Hold your dog’s paws
. Another way to discourage your dog from jumping on people is by holding his paws when he jumps up. This method works best with large and extra large dogs because their paws are at chest level when they jump up on people. If you have one of these big dogs and they jump up on you, simply grab hold of their paws and keep them standing as long as possible. This makes the jumping behavior less fun for them. If you do this each time your dog jumps up, your dog should lose interest in jumping up on you.

Leash your dog. You can also use a leash to teach your dog not to jump up on people. Your dog should be wearing a collar and leash for this method. Have a friend knock on your door or ring the bell. When your dog runs to the door, you should step on the end of his leash. When your friend comes in the house and your dog starts to jump on him, the leash will pull him back toward the floor.

In addition to these methods, you should always praise your dog for greeting people calmly instead of jumping on them. Don’t worry if it takes some time for your dog to learn to stop jumping. This can be a hard behavior to stop but eventually you will teach your dog to stop jumping up on people.

Author: Carlotta Cooper
Carlotta Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about dogs. She is a contributing editor for a national dog magazine. She has written two books about dogs: Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy (Back-To-Basics) and How to Listen to Your Dog: The Complete Guide to Communicating with Man’s Best Friend . She has five fun dogs of her own.

Dog Breed Groups (Part 2)

Introduction

All pure breeds of dog can be categorised in 1 of 7 groups. These categorisations are used by bodies that organise dog shows in order to ensure parity in high level competitions and it is possible for one breed to be in several groups. The names of the groups are loosely based on the specific function the dog has, for example there are Hounds, Terriers and Utility dogs to name but a few.

Group 2 Terriers

The ancestor to today’s modern Terrier was bred to hunt vermin, like mice rats, stoats and otters and was trained to go underground to hunt down their prey. Today with more modern pest control, the Terrier is now a much loved pet. The Terrier is one of the breeds that cross many groups in the official categorisation. The Jack Russell Terrier for example is also a Working Dog and can be seen in the Agility group too.

Characteristics & Care

The Terrier group has breeds ranging from small to medium size dogs, all of which require a great deal of exercise and mental stimulation. This is an intelligent group and can be taught tricks and given simple tasks that will be picked up with ease. As a rule they do make excellent pets, even in households that have children as long as the usual precautions are taken. The best type of toy for a dog in the Terrier group is one that will stimulate it mentally, for example a ball that dispenses treats during play like those from Kong Dog Toy range.  All dogs, when bored can have a tendency to become destructive and none more so than the Terrier. These dogs are used to being busy, and whilst they can be loving and docile companions, they need an outlet for both their intelligence and their abundance of energy.

Grooming is considered medium maintenance as many in the Terrier group are of the wirehaired variety, but may need a dog brush specifically designed for the texture of a wiry coat. Some breeds in this group have a waterproof coat and as such should be bathed using a dog shampoo especially for this type. Being a hardy group, the Terrier can be walked using a normal dog lead, such as those manufactured by Rogue Royalty Dog Collars.

Summary

There are over 30 breeds in the Terrier group all of which have their own individual personalities and idiosyncrasies. However, in general these are dogs make excellent pets for both small and large households and will thrive with a family that can give the mental and physical stimulation this type of dog needs. Remembering the deep routed instinct to chase, they do not always do well in households where there are pets that may run and stimulate the need to chase prey, like cats and other small animals. Similarly, when out walking always be away of rabbits, squirrels and other small creatures that may inadvertently take your dog back to its ancestral ways.

 

Author Bio

This article was written by Jason Balchand who is a pet lover and writes for the pet blog at Online Pet Accessories. If you would like to read more or have some topic suggestions for us head over to our Blog or Facebook page

 

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Jack Russell

You and your pet: when disaster strikes

Every area of the United States is prone to natural disasters. The gulf coast and eastern seaboard have hurricanes, California and points north have earthquake issues and the Midwest has tornados. In other parts of the country there are continual treats of forest fires, blizzards and floods. No place on earth is totally safe from a natural disaster so being prepared for one is only logical.
When you have children you prepare for any situation and owning a dog should be no different. Those who live in hurricane and flood prone areas have the slight advantage of advanced warning. Unfortunately, for most of us in the case of earthquakes and tornados, there is little or no warning of an impending disaster. Being ready is the best defense.
Start with your own home. Ask you local police/fire department for a sticker indicating there is a pet inside. If your local departments don’t have these, they can be ordered over the internet. Is your dog on medication? Keep at least a two weeks supply of unexpired medicine on hand. Have an up to date copy of shots and all medical records in case the dog has to go to a kennel. Close to the door have extra leashes, food, paper towels, hand sanitizer and water so a member of the family can grab them as you go out the door.
Always keep some kind of identifying collar on your dog. Name; phone number and medication needs should be prominently displayed. When the weather becomes inclement bring your pet indoors. Many times dogs become disoriented and get lost just before bad weather strikes.
If there is a chance that you and your family may have to spend time in a shelter, make arrangements for someone to take care of your pet. Unfortunately, most emergency shelters will not take pets in times of disasters. Check to see which local hotels are pet friendly.
After hurricane Katrina hundreds of pets had to be rescued because their owners left them behind. If the circumstances are not safe for you they are not safe for your dog. Be prepared and plan ahead so both you and your beloved animal survive.

Dog Breed Groups (Part 1)

Introduction

All pure breeds of dog can be categorised in 1 of 7 groups. These categorisations are used by bodies that organise dog shows in order to ensure parity in high level competitions and it is possible for one breed to be in several groups. The names of the groups are loosely based on the specific function the dog has, for example there are working dogs, gundogs and utility dogs to name but a few.

Group 1 Toys

As the name would suggest, the Toy dog group categorises the smallest of the breeds, Chihuahuas, Chinese Crested, Pug and Papillon are all included in this group. Dogs in the Toy group are often favoured by people living in smaller accommodation and are well known for being the dog of choice for many celebrities.

Characteristics & Care

Some Toy breeds can be highly strung, and as such do not do well in households with young children or other pets. Because of their small stature they tend to be wary around strangers like the Chihuahua for example, but there are some who are blissfully unaware of how small they are and will take on dogs and people ten times their size with no thought of the consequences.

Just because they are small doesn’t mean do not need exercise, although obviously the amount of exercise differs from that of a large breed. The best way to exercise your Toy dog is through play and there are numerous dog toys available that will both stimulate and exercise at the same time. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that a small dog will only need puppy toys, always choose a toy that is both age and breed appropriate from a reputable manufacturer like Air Kong Dog Toys. In general, Toy breeds are quite intelligent and will require mental as well as physical stimulation to keep them fit and healthy.

The maintenance of a Toy breed can vary immensely. There are short haired, long haired and hairless dogs in this group, so it would be fair to say that the amount of dog grooming needed is not dictated by the size of the dog, but the length of coat. However it is wise to choose a dog brush suitable to the breed, a large brush on a small breed can be very uncomfortable if not painful for the dog. Hairless breeds also need grooming, but not in the traditional sense. Their skin needs to be kept clean and oiled, and during sunny weather a dog friendly sun screen should be used to prevent sunburn. When out walking, a dog harness is preferable to a dog lead due to the delicate bone structure.

Summary

The Toy group contains over 25 breeds of dog, all of which have their own individual personalities and foibles. However, in general these are dogs that have very specific needs and should only be considered as a pet by someone who has either researched the breed or who has had some experience of the Toy Dog Group.

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This article was written by Jason Balchand who is a pet lover and writes for the pet blog at Online Pet Accessories. If you would like to read more or have some topic suggestions for us head over to our Blog or Facebook page.

When it is time for your puppy to sleep at night, the crate is a great place to put him and know he will be safe. He might not settle very fast or sleep for a long time at first. But, most puppies can be trained to sleep in their crate until morning, long before they are 16 weeks old.

Here are three things you can do that will help your puppy to sleep through the night, and improve your night’s sleep too…

Where Your Puppy Sleeps is Important

Having your puppy in the same room as you will help to reassure him. He’ll then be more likely to sleep for longer.

However, many owners find having the crate in the same room as them impractical. If this describes you, then have your puppy sleep in the crate just outside your room, or in a room nearby.

Should your dog not settle easily when in a different room, a good tip is to leave a radio on. The noise of talking, or music can help to relax him.

Your Puppy Still Needs to Toilet

Just because it is at night and your puppy is asleep, doesn’t mean you don’t have to take him to the toilet. When his crate is in your  room, you can hear when he starts to wiggle and squirm. This is a shore sign that he needs to go to the toilet. Don’t ignore him when he wakes you up. Your dog must not be allowed to soil his crate, or bad habits might start to form.

When your dog sleeps in another room, knowing when he needs to toilet is much harder. You are not going to hear him when he needs to go. You’ll therefore need to wake up every couple of hours and take him out to toilet. Crate training your dog at night is a lot easier if you share this task with another family member.

Luckily, as your puppy grows his bladder will get larger. He will then be able to control it better. You can then gradually increase the time you leave him between toilet breaks. As a general rule, you should increase the time between toilet breaks by no more than 15 minutes at a time. But, only when your puppy can go three nights without an accident.

Preparation is Everything

A good evening routine is essential if you are to succeed in crate training your dog at night. It will also help you to get a good night sleep yourself.

Left to do what they want, puppies will spend large parts of their time snoozing. That’s fine during the day, but not in the evening. Evenings are fun times.

Get your dog exercising. Encourage him to run around the yard chasing after a tennis ball. Invite some friends to your home that will pay your dog attention. Take your puppy to visit other dogs. Do anything that will distract him and keep him from sleeping.

In addition, make sure your puppy gets his last meal of the day at least 3 hours before bedtime.  He should also get no water for at least 2 hours before bedtime. When it’s time for bed, take your puppy out for one last toilet trip, then settle him down in the crate.

When you have a new puppy, broken nights are inevitable. However, you don’t have to suffer for long. If you adopt the right training practices from the start, you will soon have your puppy sleeping right through the night.

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Adrian Key is the owner of Key Searches, publishers of the Dog Training That Works series of books written by Patricia James. For expert advice on how to crate train your dog at night, visit the official Patricia James website.

Behavior: Problem Chewing

It’s no secret that dogs like to chew on things, whether it’s bones, sticks, or things they find in the yard. But it becomes a problem when your dog starts chewing on your furniture, your woodwork, your books, or your smartphone. (Been there, done that – right?) Dogs chew for lots of different reasons but there are some good solutions that will help you control the problem.
dogchewing
Figure out why your dog is chewing
Before you can control your dog’s chewing it helps to figure out why he’s chewing. Some of the reasons dogs chew include:

• Puppy teething
• Puppy exploring
• Boredom
• Anxiety
• Loneliness
• Natural urge to chew
• It tastes good
• Curiosity
• Playing
• Pica/Coprophagia

Puppies form their own category so we’ll address them separately. Different issues can motivate adult dogs to chew. Pica and coprophagia aren’t chewing in the strictest sense but they are related and often motivated by similar causes. Pica is the consumption of non-food items. Some dogs eat rocks, golf balls, or objects in the home. Coprophagia is when dogs eat feces. It’s a weird habit some dogs have. It can be related to nutrients that are missing in the dog’s diet but it’s usually caused by the same things that motivate chewing.

Puppies
It’s perfectly normal for puppies to chew so if you have a puppy you can expect him or her to chew on things for a few months. Your puppy will be shedding baby teeth and adult teeth will be emerging so your puppy will be teething, just like a human baby. This will be painful at times so your puppy will look for things to chew. You can help him by giving him lots of his own things to chew. Make sure he has toys and chews with all kinds of different textures – soft toys, hard toys, nubby toys, and so on. He will prefer different textures at different times. The more things he has of his own, the less likely he is to chew on things that belong to you. You can save your expensive shoes by giving your puppy a $10 toy.

Puppies are also very curious and one way they learn about the world is by putting things in their mouths. They taste things and bite them to see what they taste like and how they feel. Of course, this leads to chewing on things. And sometimes puppies just have fun chewing on things and destroying things. Again, provide your puppy with lots of his own toys and he will be less likely to chew and destroy your things.

Finally, with puppies, it’s important to keep things away from them! Put anything you value out of reach until your puppy is older and you can start to trust him not to chew on things. This will probably be when your puppy is about two years old.

Dogs and chewing
Dogs have a natural urge to chew so it’s a good idea to keep your adult dog supplied with toys and chews. This will discourage him from chewing on things in the house that belong to you or bothering furniture. Dental chews are also a good way to help your dog maintain healthy gums and teeth.

But dogs can also chew if they are unhappy for some reason. If your dog is left alone for hours each day he may be bored, lonely, or have problems with separation anxiety. Any of these issues can cause a dog to chew on things in the home. If your dog is left alone a lot, you should try to spend as much quality time with him as possible. Play with your dog when you are home. Make sure he is getting plenty of exercise each day. Dogs who have a lot of pent up energy will often start acting out in the home and find ways to be destructive. You should also make sure your dog has plenty of toys and chews to keep him busy when you aren’t home. If he has his own toys and chews he is less likely to destroy your things.

It’s always a good idea to spend time with your dog. Play with him. And make sure he has plenty of safe toys and chews. Exercise is a good way for dogs to use up some energy so they won’t be as likely to chew on things in the home and become destructive. Remember that chewing is natural for dogs and especially for puppies so try to provide things for them to chew so they won’t be tempted to chew on inappropriate things in your home.

Author: Carlotta Cooper
Carlotta Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about dogs. She is a contributing editor for a national dog magazine. She has written two books about dogs: Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy (Back-To-Basics) and How to Listen to Your Dog: The Complete Guide to Communicating with Man’s Best Friend . She has five fun dogs of her own.

When it comes to our dogs, we want to give them only the best. After all, our dogs quickly become members of our family and we want them to be as happy and healthy as they can be for as long as possible. Whether you’re welcoming a new puppy into your home or adopting an older dog, many of their needs are the same. This summer, make sure you plan ahead and have the supplies you need on hand to give your furry companion the best care possible. Let’s be honest; there are a ridiculous amount of doggy items out there for sale. Businesses know that people love their pets and will spoil them rotten if given the chance. Does your dog need a raincoat to go out and do its business during a summer storm? No, not really. Dogs have done fine for centuries with their natural coats, though they do look ridiculously cute in people clothes.

Rather than focus on the fun, superfluous things, let’s take a look at some must have items that you should buy for your dog this summer:

Heartworm Prevention Medication

You definitely want to invest in heartworm prevention medication. Heartworms are a leading cause of illness and even death in dogs because they are the primary carriers of the parasite. Dogs generally develop heartworms after mosquitoes that are carrying heartworm larvae bite them. It then takes the better part of a year before you begin to notice any kinds of symptoms. Because the summer is when mosquitoes are out in full force, you want to make sure you’re giving your dog its heartworm prevention medication in a timely manner.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Another important thing to buy is a good flea and tick prevention product. Since you’ll most likely let your dog have free run of the backyard for the next few months, it’s important that you help your pooch ward off some of the more obnoxious and potentially dangerous pests that will want to get into your dog’s fur for a quick meal (or worse, hang around and infest your home). Fleas are a nuisance that can quickly go from pestering your dog to pestering your other pets and you. Ticks, as everyone knows, can be quite dangerous because of their tendency to carry disease, particularly Lyme disease. With a good prevention product that goes right on your dog’s coat, you can reduce the chances that they’ll get sick due to these obnoxious insects.

New Leash

 

It’s a good idea to invest in a new leash when the summer begins. You’re going to be walking your dog a lot and you want to make sure you’re using a leash that is comfortable and still in good shape. Old leashes can break, easily creating chaos that both you and your dog will want to avoid. Well, okay, maybe the dog won’t care. In fact while its running as free as can be and loving life, you’ll be screaming and giving chase. So let’s put it this way; for your own sanity, buy a new leash so you know you’ll always have a good grip on your dog.

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By Sammy S, an owner of a purebred black lab looking forward to taking him out to the beach!

The jury is still out as to whether dogs can actually get post-traumatic stress disorder. Even dogs that have been serving in the military in Afghanistan and have seen a lot of devastation and violence may or may not have symptoms of PTSD. It’s a new concept and one that is under debate by veterinarians across the world.

It’s all in the labeling
Sometimes we just get a little too caught up in labeling certain types of conditions instead of calling them as they really are. It’s certain that a lot of military dogs that have come back from active duty do show signs of stress and aren’t able to carry on with their regular lifestyle as they did before. Is this post-traumatic stress disorder? Maybe the question should be “is it important whether this is post-traumatic stress disorder or not?” Either way, labels or not, the dog is being affected by the trauma he’s been through and may need a bit of extra understanding and love upon his return.

Dogs in shelters
There are some dogs that can handle a shelter environment while others seem to have a very hard time dealing with the caged experience. When you think about it, it’s the same with people. Some individuals don’t mind going into the hospital and actually enjoy the extra care they get when they’re in there. Others feel like they are in a type of cage and are counting the days, hours and minutes until they can get released.

With dogs that have had a difficult time adjusting to some type of traumatic experience, there can definitely be a lot of stress and hard times to follow. Anyone who has spent any amount of time around dogs in shelters or has witnessed rescues from the streets or puppy mills will know what an overly stressed and depressed dog looks like. It’s a little hard to argue those symptoms.

In humans, PTSD is characterized by flashbacks of incidents and it’s really impossible to say whether a dog even has the capability to have a flashback or not. This is where the labeling part of the disorder comes into play. There may have to be a different name given to the symptoms of stress that can be seen in dogs.

Dogs that are exhibiting severe stress problems need to be handled appropriately. They will be dealing with a lot of trust issues and won’t really know what will happen the next time he turns a corner. It can take some time for the dog to develop a new sense of trust and you may want to look at anti-anxiety medication for a short time to help him over the rough patch.

Whether you want to call it PTSD or not, there are a lot of dogs that show signs and symptoms of anxiety and stress after they have been through a traumatic situation. Fortunately, most dogs can learn to cope with their immediate surroundings with some help from a caring owner and a lot of understanding.

Susan Wright is an experienced veterinarian, dog fence expert, and freelance writer.