Are You Contributing to Your Dog's Psychosis?

    Dog training has soared in the last six months. With the combination of people being at home deciding this was the time to invest time in a pet, and people staying at home realizing their pet could use some behavior modifications, I am seeing a flood of concern by owners.

    Just like humans, Fido needs some stress relief, too.

    There are some common themes. First, dogs are exhibiting nervous energy: jumping for attention, chewing on household treasures, getting into the trash, bolting out of doors, and even developing protective habits and aggressions. For those of you who haven’t made it to me yet, and are seeing some of these signs, I have two questions for you:

    1. What is your dog bred to do?
      Unless you have a toy breed, your dog MUST have a job and purpose. For some, it is as easy as providing enough exercise. For these dogs, unlike toy breeds, a 10 minute walk is not sufficient to fill this innate need and can lead to nervous habits, anxiety, and even aggression.
    2. Does your dog have free rein of the house?
      Dogs are den animals and thrive in their own small, closed in space for a ratio of 2 hours per 20 minutes hard exercise. (So if you are gone for four hours, they need 40 minutes). Often if they have free rein of a large area for an extended amount of time, they will get restless, anxious, and bored.  This can also lead to nervous behaviors such as chewing, guarding, and anxiety.
    With the combination of fulfilling your dog’s purpose (running, hunting, agility, daycare, and/or training exercises) and refining their schedule with a little more discipline, you can tremendously help your dog’s mental health.
    Can’t physically run or wear your dog out? Call me, we have dog runners that can help.

    Post by Kelly Blackston of Beaufort Dog