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Stop Your Dog From Being Aggressive – Part 2

albuquerque aggressive dog

albuquerque aggressive dogPart 2: Desensitization

There are many reasons dog’s behave aggressively from frustration to fear or territoriality. No one likes to think that their dog is aggressive but it is a very common problem. One of the most common causes of aggression is a lack of proper socialization when they are a puppy. When a puppy is not properly socialized they will run away and try to hide behind their mother. If an adult dog is fearful, and they cannot run away, they become aggressive. This is the classic fight or flight response.  There are many things you can do to help stop your dogs aggression. Keep in mind that behavioral training takes time and consistency, so be patient.

If you are unsure how to cope with your dog’s aggression, please reach out to your Albuquerque veterinarian at Vetco and we can help discuss options.

The purpose of desensitization is to expose your dog to what he fears but in a way that is that is safe and less intense. This helps your dog to become less anxious as he is exposed to his fears. Your presence in the face of their trigger helps show them that they are safe and will help them to safely confront their trigger.

Steps to Desensitization:

  1. Make sure your environment is safe. Make sure that they cannot run away and get out of the area. Do not make them feel trapped either, so do not crate them or put them in a confined space. Your dog needs to be able to back away but not run away.
  2. Make sure your dog is in the proper equipment. Put on a harness or a good leash that you trust and with which you are able to control your dog. Put on a muzzle if they have a history of biting. The proper equipment will help keep you and your dog safe.
  3. Start by introducing your dog to their trigger (aka. whatever sparks their aggression) from a distance.
  4. Once your dog starts displaying anxiety through backing away, growling, aggressive posturing, stop and stay there. Do not punish them for being aggressive, but use a soothing voice and pet them to help calm them down.
  5. Once they calm down, keep them in a calm state for 30 seconds and then give them a treat.
  6. After the treat, remove them from the trigger and praise them again.
  7. Do the same thing every day but move a little closer each time.

Do not have the trigger approach them. Do not have the trigger make sudden moves or do anything that seems aggressive. When your dog is at the point of being within contact range, allow your dog to sniff the trigger on their own. Once they are comfortable with that you can work on the trigger moving and walking up to them.

Your dog may never be ok with having contact with the trigger and that is ok. The goal is to get them to be within a closer range of the trigger without showing aggression and without experiencing a lot of anxiety. This takes time and consistency. Be patient and your dog will get there in time.

Stop Your Dog From Being Aggressive – HOW TO Part 1

aggressive dog behavior new mexico

aggressive dog behavior new mexicoPart 1: Staying Safe to Stop Aggression

There are many reasons dog’s behave aggressively from frustration to fear or territoriality. No one likes to think that their dog is aggressive but it is a very common problem. One of the most common causes of aggression is a lack of proper socialization when they are a puppy. When a puppy is not properly socialized they will run away and try to hide behind their mother. If an adult dog is fearful, and they cannot run away, they become aggressive. This is the classic fight or flight response.  There are many things you can do to help stop your dogs aggression. Keep in mind that behavioral training takes time and consistency, so be patient.

  1. A Secure Fence: It is crucial to have an escape proof fence for any dog. A fence that can be escaped is dangerous and puts your dog at risk for going missing. Make sure to microchip your Albuquerque dog so if they go missing they can be returned to you easily. But if your dog is aggressive that hole in your fence can give your dog access to people passing by.
  2. Strong Leash: It is not uncommon for an aggressive dog to get away from their owner because of faulty equipment. Make sure you have a strong leash and collar. We recommend using a harness instead of neck collar. The harness will give you better control over your dog and is less like to cause any throat damage if they are lunging and you are trying to hold them back.  There are other dog collar options, like the ones with prong pointing into the dogs neck. These sound dangerous or highly aggressive but are often best for very large dogs that are able to physically over power their owner. They are also good for dogs with very heavy coats, as often they are not able to really feel other collars as well.
  3. Muzzle: If your dog tries to bite, nip, or aggressively growl, then consider using a muzzle. You can get ones with a basket design so they can still drink, pant, eat treats and sniff things. The muzzle will keep your dog from being able to bite or nip anyone, and if he does growl will make the person he is growling at feel safer knowing he cannot bite them. Many dogs that are not aggressive will still wear muzzles just as a precaution when they are out in public so they don’t get to excited and nip any children or people and dogs passing by.

If you have any questions about how to help stop your dog’s aggressive behavior, feel free to ask your Albuquerque Vet at Vetco.

Marijuana toxicity in Pets

medical marijuana albuquerque pets

medical marijuana albuquerque petsNew Mexico is one of the many states that have legal medical marijuana and may become one of the next ones for legal recreational marijuana. With the increase in legal marijuana usage, it is good to be aware of some of the issues your pet could experience. In the past 6 years, the Pet Poison Helpline has experiences and increase of 448% in calls related to marijuana.

Let’s talk terminology, because if you are new to marijuana usage, you may not know what the different terms mean.

Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica- these are often also simply called Sativa or Indica, are the strains of marijuana used for recreational purposes.

THC and CBD- These are the two chemicals that are most recognized and used in the cannabis plants. THC is psychotropic and used for recreation and CBD is non-psychotropic. The amount of cannabinoid in a strain of cannabis plant varies from plant to plant.

There are many medical benefits to using marijuana. We are not recommending or endorsing the usage. But more people are turning to medical marijuana to help treat their medical conditions or symptoms from other medications. When using it for medicinal purposes, it does not have the psychotropic affects of recreational strains.

Though there is research being done about the medicinal use of marijuana with pets, it is still not a practice that is widely accepted. You should never give your pet marijuana, medicinally or recreationally. Their bodies process the cannabinoid differently than yours and it can cause damage.

Pets can be poisoned by marijuana by either ingesting it by eating an edible or the marijuana in any form (bud, oil, glass, etc) or through second-hand smoke. They are more likely to get sick from ingesting it than from second-hand smoke, but this does not mean that the smoke may not affect them negatively.

Symptoms of marijuana toxicity

  • Lethargy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Glassed over eyes
  • Dazed expression
  • Difficulty walking
  • Vomiting.
  • Low or high heart rate
  • Whining or crying
  • Agitation
  • Trouble regulating body temperature
  • Incontinence
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma.

You can see signs of toxicity anywhere from 5 minutes to 12 hours after exposure. The symptoms can last from 30 minutes to many days.

If you think that your dog may have been poisoned from marijuana call the pet poison helpline at 855-764-7661 or call your Albuquerque vet.

 

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.