I have had the privilege of meeting Randy Pierce, who speaks in the below article about the legitimacy of service dogs, and hundreds of other people with disabilities who need their service dog partners to help them navigate through life 😊. Please, if you are an animal-lover like me, and you have respect for those who have disabilities (and want to see them succeed), please do not pretend your dog is a service dog if he is not (or condone others who take advantage of the flaws in the system). We're only going to become a more dog-friendly society if we make the RIGHT choices to show we are responsible pet parents - not by faking a service dog.
Read STOP FAKING SERVICE DOGS - Loving your pet too much is putting people with real disabilities at risk
Moving is rarely easy – whether you’re just moving across town or across the country. I would know; I’ve moved a lot in my adult life, the biggest of which was just this year (939 miles to be exact!). And as of late, I’ve had several clients preparing to be in the same boat.
BEFORE THE MOVE:
Make packing a fun event. When your living space starts turning to shambles with boxes everywhere, your dog is going to know something is going on. Instead of allowing this to cause your dog some turmoil, you can make packing fun by playing packing games! As you roll your glasses in bubble wrap, practice your dog’s “sit” or “down” or “go place”, and then praise and reinforce him for maintaining his position as you wrap the glass and place it in the box. Throw in some tasty treats with that reinforcement and he’ll love this game! Instead of pacing in the corner or wearily watching what you’re doing and wondering if there’s a cause for concern, he’ll think it’s great that you’re packing and asking him to be a part of it! You can even accomplish two things at once by using your dog’s dinner kibble as his treats for playing this game – dinner and packing can happen at the same time!
The vocalization and panting, uncontrollable drooling, destruction of property – all common symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs, and none of them pleasant. Not to mention that nobody likes to see their little furry love getting so worked up over something that is a natural part of life. We humans have places to go and things to do that can’t always involve our fur-kids!
I’ve done some recent presentations and have been working with several people lately whose dogs exhibit pretty severe separation anxiety. Working through separation anxiety is a process – there usually isn’t a “quick fix” – but sometimes there are small tweaks we can make to adjust the lifestyle approach to being left alone that makes all the difference for our dogs. Perhaps you’ve already seen my article NO, Don’t Leave Me! Dealing With Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety. Here are a few more things to consider and try to build your dog’s feelings of independence and decrease his separation anxiety…
Maria Huntoon, CBCC-KA