Signs of Dog Behavioral Problems. Dog Behavioral Upheavals.

Here we will talk about the manifestations of the behavioral alterations, its origins and how to prevent them. We will also see the way to redirect these. We must know that the right treatment for each case will have to be talked over with the veterinarian.

Behavioral Alterations Linked to Anxiety: Dog Anxiety is one of the elements that originate alterations and is expressed in different ways. The dog's anxiety is not a rare phenomenon. It can be found in puppies. The origin of anxiety is frequently due to bad socialization. How has this happened? This is an important point that we must study, especially if we want to know whether the owner can help once it has happened. The fundamental concepts of this Section are socialization and hierarchical structuring.

Origins of Dog Behavioral Problems: The alteration of the socialization stage can be the cause of several factors. One possibility is that the puppy has lived in a large breeding place, where it has received very little physical contact. Another possibility is that the puppies were sold too late, once the socialization stage was over. In some cases orphan puppies that have been raised by only one person have never been in contact with other animals. Other puppies live isolated inside the breeding place because of a certain disease. It is fundamental to see if the dog has socialized correctly before we buy it. Both the puppy as well as the adult dog can show different types of anxiety. In the puppy the privation syndrome is given, the separation syndrome and the enuresis. In the adult we find anxiety disorders with and without aggressiveness.

The Definition of Anxiety: It is a disproportionate fear, often without foundation to a situation perceived as an aggression. Since the dog cannot react by running from it, it turns into anxiety. The reactions are:

  • The activity of substitution, where the dog tries to decrease the resulting tension from its anxiety and finds activities that calm it: licking itself, eating, self-injuries, etc.
  • The aggressive activity, through which the dog turns aggressive; it forgets about the inhibition reaction of biting and doesn't show it. Therefore, the animal turns into a dangerous animal. These behaviors are the result of a state of anxiety. It is important to know that a behavioral alteration can have different origins. Aggressiveness for example, can originate from a state of anxiousness or bad hierarchical structuring, as we will see later on.

Privation Syndrome: It is one of the most frequent alterations in dogs that have been recently integrated into a family. The percentage of these cases is the highest in puppies raised in a dog pound. The syndrome of privation is also known as the dog pound illness. It is an alteration that primarily affects puppies. Privation means the lack of stimuli and usually affects the puppies that have been raised in a universe which is very poor in vital stimuli (sounds, noise, lights, visual images, etc.), just like when dogs that live in the outskirts of the city are suddenly moved to the city, in an environment which is rich in stimuli.

People who live in the city and buy a puppy in the fields are the ideal victims. The arrival to the knew home is a considerable shock for the dog, since every unknown thing is a motive for anxiety and the puppy is not able to adopt a conduct that can help it confront this situation. The emotions are too intense and the lack of comprehension presides the relationship between the human and the dog. The first sign is that the puppy doesn't want to go out with the owners. The first pathological signs appear four to six months later. The puppy shows permanent fear to the sounds and the images of the new environment, since it can't adjust to it. The importance of the phase in which the puppies need to receive a variety of stimuli is justified in this context.

Symptoms: These come from the lack of normal social behaviors, from anxiety that can lead to depression.

The first signs appear between the fourth and sixth month. The result is a fearful dog that is not receptive to education. The illness begins with a phase of anxiety of privation and can even lead to a phase of depression.

  • The destruction: one of the signs of the puppy's anxiety is the destruction of object at home or in the car when it is alone. Placing the puppy back where it came from can make these symptoms go away.
  • The self-destruction: the dog hurts itself. The return of the puppy to a place that lacks stimuli can regress some of these symptoms, but it won't solve the problem.

With the necessary help, the owner can change these conducts. The stage of anxiety is not catastrophic. The syndrome of privation can evolve to a more critical situation. In this case, the puppy's social behavior is really strange: it seems inhibited, it rejects any contact from its owner, constantly runs away from our glance, and it gives us the sensation that it is afraid of everything that's new, eats little or waits until night falls to eat. This situation generally confuses the owner. If he forces the puppy, the only thing he does is reaffirm the problem and then the animal can become aggressive.

  • Depression:the last stage of anxiety leads to depression. The puppy appears to be completely indifferent to its surroundings and adopts behaviors that it repeats without getting tired, like a lion in a cage. At this point, it is difficult to program a therapy. It is much easier to pay attention to the conditions in which the puppy was bred. The syndrome of privation is the fault of the breeder more than the owner's. Puppy Separation Syndrome

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