Separation anxiety is an emotional condition some dogs experience when they are separated for any period of time from their owners and can include barking, howling, trying frantically to escape from where they're enclosed and other frenzied behaviors. Symptoms are the same regardless of the cause, but the method used to cure it will change depending on the reason the dog has lost its confidence in being alone. Pack member by nature, a dog can only be happy when it knows and trusts the pack leader.
Mature onset separation anxiety can occur in a mature adult dog due to past trauma experience, or can be brought on by an obsessive owner who never allows the dog to have time alone, until the over humanized pet forgets how to cope with simply being a dog. Whenever this dog is separated from its owner, it barks, yaps and howls and may even tear up the house. This situation involves complex emotional responses on both sides, and should be managed with the help of a gifted professional trainer.
Puppy separation anxiety is thankfully more common and easier to fix. Symptoms can be the result of a puppy leaving the breeder, its siblings and all things familiar in its young life to go to its new home. The house and yard are strange and different, and the scents and sounds unfamiliar. At first, all is well, with the new family member lavished with love and attention. But no one can live their life in a way that totally revolves around a puppy, and inevitably the baby finds itself suddenly alone for the first time in it's life. This might be for one hour or for five minutes, but for that puppy, it's enough to be gripped with fear of the unknown.
Will someone ever come back? Why have I been locked away and out of sight from the one who's been loving on me and who I thought was my special human? Is this forever? Panic sets in.
Mistake # 1. A likely response from the owner could at first be one of concern and they rush to comfort their new infant. "Ahhh!" puppy thinks. "now I know how to bring them back!" Inappropriate behavior has just been rewarded.
Mistake #2. By now puppy's owner is getting frustrated and worried about neighbor complaints. So in desperation, the puppy is scolded or even punished. Now its worst fears have been realized - it's not loved any more but doesn't understand why. Grovelling or crying could follow so again we revert to mistake #1. We love this puppy. We just wish it would shut up!
These tips are not like part of a cake baking recipe. They don't need to be applied in any particular order but are mixed and matched according to YOUR convenience. You are pack leader, right?
TOOLS YOU'LL NEED
* Big beach towel or blanket
* Light weight chain tether about 1 1/2 metres long (attach to heavy furniture with a 2nd collar so as to not damage the furniture)
* A bed or mat and a couple of toys.
START when puppy is quiet and settled. This is not punishment! Make sure puppy has had ample time to potty outside first
1. In the same room as you (important) put puppy into the crate with a couple of toys. Shut the crate door. Tell him "Quiet. I'll be back" and seat yourself where he can see you. When he protests, walk calmly to the crate and say this - "I'm back, now QUIET" IF he's quiet for a few seconds, encourage in a low quiet pleased voice with just one word - good
He is sure to protest again! So here's what you do next
2. Take your big beach towel or blanket and cover the crate completely - all the way to the floor - no peep holes! Just before you cover the door, tell him " QUIET I'll be back" Stay in the room. He'll know if you leave even though he can't see you.
3. When there's quiet for at least ten full minutes you can lift the covering so he can see you again before you resume your seat. As you lift the blanket, caution with "QUIET, I'll be back"
It's easy to remember because it's always the same set of words! Say nothing else so as not to confuse.
4. You'll be surprised how quickly this will work. Gradually increase the crate time with and without the blanket. When you return to the crate always remind him that you're "back" Once they have confidence that you will definitely be back a dog will wait for you for hours, days or years because you've told them you'll be back and they trust you. You'll also progress to being able to leave the room for increasing lengths of time and finally the house.
5. When he's reliable in the crate without the blanket, progress to the tether and repeat the same steps -without the blanket of course :-) . Never leave a puppy unsupervised. If he gets tangled up Go to him and help him - without speaking one single word.
ONGOING - When you've been away from your dog for a while, resist the impulse to greet him joyfully when you return. Say "I'm back .... using his name" in a matter of fact voice on your way inside and otherwise ignore him for at least 15 minutes.
Good luck! And remember that your puppy is sensitive and intuitive. Nothing is more contagious than excitability and stress. Stay firm but calm and if you feel angry, go kick a rock and regain your own serenity before handling your puppy. You'll be "rewarded" with a mirrored reaction in your puppy or your dog.
Feel welcome to post and share your experiences with this issue.
We've all heard that line breeding in dogs, also called in breeding is a very bad thing! And it can be. But as the old song goes "It Aint Necessarily So" !
Is there any difference between line breeding and inbreeding?
I haven't been able to find a separate definition for each, but my own personal opinion is that line breeding occurs when a specific dog from the ancestry is "brought back in" in order to recapture and preserve its virtues in later generations. It can fairly be said that any negative traits will also be perpetuated. I'll address that later. I've also long considered that INbreeding is when two close relatives are bred together, such as parent to child, or brother to sister. But I can find nowhere that substantiates this.
What's an outcross?
I've seen an outcross referred to as crossing two different breeds together. But it is more popularly referred to by breeders as two dogs of the same breed which have none of their ancestors on a four generation pedigree which are related to one another.
Why does close breeding have such a bad name?
I think that one reason is that we humans can tend to transfer the human incest abhorrence to our animals. But the main reason is that when breeders originally played around with it some of the results were tragic and disastrous. The theory (which proved to be correct) was that doubling up on the genes in both parents would bring hidden faults out into the open. And that the puppies which didn't show those traits would not pass them on. Little notice was taken (by breeders) of the poor affected percentage of puppies which were born with cruel afflictions. But others did notice, and close breeding got a tainted reputation which lingers today.
What has changed these days?
The difference these days, is that breeders have extensive DNA testing available for literally hundreds of genetic conditions and traits. Some conditions and traits require two copies of the gene ( one from each parent) in order to reproduce themselves in offspring and others require only one. The information is within reach of breeders. So what was once a risky and dangerous practice can now be used judiciously by breeders who understand what they are doing and why they are doing it.
What could the benefits of well managed close breeding be these days?
If two related dogs excel in excellent genetic heath and other virtues inherent in the finest examples of their breed, then by doubling up on their genes, their own genetic health and breed virtues will become stronger in successive generations. Obviously, proper research and testing needs to be carried out, and not every breeder has the time nor resources to make informed decisions. But for those who do, close breeding can be a valuable tool for setting desirable outcomes within their breed.
Next step to follow a close breeding
I recommend to anyone who uses this tool in their breeding program, that for any offspring kept for breeding, the mate should be an outcross who has been tested for genetic strength in the same areas as the parents. Perhaps I am more cautious than the prestigious author of the article below, and I may become bolder. But to-date, this process has served me and my breed, well.
QUOTE FROM WILLIAM GIVEN: "There is also a popular belief that, “It is just plain good to bring in fresh blood to a line every now and then.” Nothing could be further from the truth. It is inbreeding and linebreeding that (if correctly utilized) facilitate the elimination of recessive factors that produce faults, and provide for the purification within a line or strain. It is the close-up breeding on the blood of one or more superior dogs that allow breeders to rapidly minimize the influence of the more faulty forebears and contribute to the establishment of distinct type.
Dangers of Continued Outcrossing
When superior results are obtained in the first generation of an outcross, many breeders think the breeding was an unprecedented success and all that needs be done thereafter is to continue such outcrossing to become a great breeder with an established type of their own, producing a high average of very exceptional puppies. They could not be more mistaken, since the exact opposite is surely to occur.As a general rule, the progeny of first-generation, outcross breedings are very often quite uniform in appearance. Many of the puppies being even more correct than the sire and dam. However, if not bred back into the original line, it is the puppies from succeeding generations of such outcrosses that can be particularly disappointing. This is because they carry so many genes for all of the characteristics in which their parents differed, that those puppies show great variation. This includes a sizeable portion of puppies of less than show and breeding quality."
Ref: William Given
I am often asked this question and quite frankly, there is no simple yes or no answer. The positives are endearing things, like watching them playing together and interacting with each other. Plus they'll be great company for one another when we have to leave the house. Right? And especially in the case of litter siblings, there's this warm fuzzy notion about how cute it is for them to remain together from the nest for the rest of their lives - oops, at least for the rest of the life of "one of them" but I'll come back to that later.
If you are thinking of getting 2 puppies at the same time, I encourage you to continue reading. If you can handle the considerations then go ahead and enjoy your puppies!
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