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Pet Training & Behavior Topics

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insert Welcome to Diana Guerrero's Ark Animals Training & Therapy. This section is dedicated to pets, companion animals, and topics related to their care and training. Pet training, behavior modification, and animal therapy are important steps toward better behavior. This Ark Animals article discusses the different types of animal anxiety.You should get professional help for pet problems.

Pet Behavior Problems: Separation Anxiety

Do you have an animal that chews, whines, barks, destroys the house, or mutilates their body when you are out of sight? If so, you are experiencing the trauma of a phobic pooch with the behavior problem called separation anxiety. This behavior can seen in animals that experience anxiety when you leave them alone. In extreme cases, this can be a extreme as just leaving the room or just being out of the animal's sight.

Animals with this behavior are usually ultra sensitive, many have had multiple homes or experiences that have created a situation that triggers extreme stress--but not always. To relieve this stress or anxiety they will often engage in a variety of activities. In extreme cases, animals will attempt to escape by scratching at windows or doors. Many times the window coverings, or the carpeting or flooring is destroyed in front of the exit they are trying to escape through. Animals may also damage their teeth or paws in frantic efforts to exit confinement.

In other cases, the actual door or window is damaged or broken through escape attempts. Some animals have actually jumped through second story windows in their fits of panic or anxiety. In the more common cases, this behavior is expressed in the symptoms of chewing, barking, or whining. Animals that exhibit this type of behavior should not be comforted. In many cases this reinforces the fear or anxiety and will escalate the behavior.

Harsh punishments are not appropriate in addressing situations that involve these types of cases either. Many times the animals are very sensitive or very insecure and such actions would escalate the problem. Professional help should be sought right away in cases that involve this behavior problem. Taking such action will give both you and your pet peace of mind and save you from additional damages, veterinary medical bills, and other related costs.

One of the best strategies to use with this type of behavior problem is to avoid creating peaks and valleys. Most separation anxiety cases involve extreme periods of excitement followed by voids of attention and company. Then, the void is broken by another extreme peak in attention and interaction which complicates the matter further. Pet schooling for manners and confidence is necessary. This will create mind focus and will mentally occupy and direct the animal into appropriate behavior and activities.

Assessment of the home environment and interactions within it is another important component in treating this problem. Often there is a need to include appropriate activity to direct the animals. Concentrated activity and quality attention often go hand in hand with the other strategies for addressing this situation. In more extreme cases, alternative therapy or drug therapy may be needed to take the edge off so that the behavior modification techniques can take hold.

If you are experiencing this behavior problem help is just a phone call away! Hire Animal Expert

About the columnist: Since 1978 Diana L. Guerrero has worked professionally with both wild and domestic animals. Guerrero has been affiliated with, and certified by, a variety of animal programs in the USA and Europe. Based in California, she writes, consults, and speaks. Information on her animal career programs, training courses, and her books {What Animals Can Teach Us about Spirituality (SkyLight Paths, 2003), Blessing of the Animals (Sterling, 2007), Help! My Pet is Driving Me Crazy (Guerrero Ink, 2007), Animal Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners & Pet Professionals (Guerrero Ink, 2007)} can be found in this web site and in the shop. Questions for Guerrero should be submitted via the blog comments or membership forum.


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