BrainTrainingforDog: What happens to guide dogs who don't make it?

Saturday, March 6, 2021

What happens to guide dogs who don't make it?

 Deconfinement Guide for our dogs: the title is a little pompous, but it sums up the situation well. In fact, containment has changed many things in our daily lives. It is therefore not surprising that this also has an effect on our dogs. It is obvious that the return to normality affects some dogs more than others. We will see three main problems:

  • Mismanagement of loneliness 
  • Mismanagement of frustration
  • poor socialization for puppies

Decofinement for our dogs: mismanagement of loneliness

A dog struggling with loneliness, also called separation anxiety in a dog, is the equivalent of a panic attack in humans because they are left alone. The severity with which each dog expresses its emotions can be different for each dog. But the physiological bases are the same. Fear and anxiety trigger hormonal and neurochemical processes that cannot be under the control of the dog (or humans). We cannot tell our dogs that we will be home soon. This makes it very difficult for the dog to relax, even if being alone happens every day when you go to work.

Factors related to mismanagement of loneliness

In the vast majority of cases of separation anxiety one or more major factors lead to this emotion in dogs: 


  • a unique puppy in the litter
  • the arrival of a new family member (animal or human)
  • The departure of a family member
  • Timetable change
  • back to work
  • never to be left alone and suddenly to be
  • have a new puppy and leave him alone from the first night

Age or other illness

These are the most common factors found in this case. During confinement, most dogs are with their master 24 hours a day. This does not leave him the opportunity to learn how to love being alone. A dog who is panicking about being left alone will have different reactions.

The severity of separation anxiety

As with any problem, every dog will respond more or less moderately. In the case of separation anxiety we could divide dogs into 4 categories: 

How to deal with loneliness 

Here's how you can help your dog cope with loneliness before you deconfinement. You need to teach your dog to be alone every day, and especially not all at once! He will be as well prepared as possible before returning to everyday life. 

Have your place: this is one of the easiest things to set up. Your dog must be able to isolate himself in his basket or park, even if you are present. So you can condition it positively when you are there! Take your favorite toys or even little treats and put them in his room. While your dog is taking care of him, change a few seconds before you come back. When you come back, reward him again. Little by little you can go into all the rooms of your house and stay there longer.

  • Take advantage of the small opportunities: if you smoke or pick up your mail, do so and leave your dog in his room with something to take care of. 
  • Enriching your environment: this is the best way for you to feel comfortable there and take care of yourself. Here is a table that generalizes the enrichment of the environment of the dog.
  • Meet these needs: Obviously, you need to be able to meet the needs of your dog. So we can grant him physical and mental activities to tire him. By the way, we have here a free online training on this topic: Training10 activities to stimulate your dog. 

Organize your days: gradually organize your days as if you have already recovered. Dogs are very susceptible to a change in schedule, so remember to get up as if you want to go to work. Do not forget to leave your dog alone at home. This means: do not look at him constantly, do not stimulate him too much or caress him in his room).

No punishment: I remind you that punishing your dog for emotions he cannot control will make the situation worse. So even if your dog has done damage, you should not punish him.

Once you have resumed your activities, it is possible to call friends, family or even professionals to get your dog out during the day. 

  • Deconfinement for our dogs: mismanagement frustration
  • Mismanagement frustration is far from a pleasant emotion for the dog.

In fact, frustration leads to behaviors like:

Destruction (e.g. at exits or even in the trash can)

The dog can start barking

Your nervousness may pinch or bite the person or animal next to you

It can make marks in so-called strategic places (such as on the wall of your bathroom when you are in the closed door, or even poop on the bed or sofa).

It must be understood that this is not revenge. The dog cannot conceptualize this idea. On the other hand, these behaviors are synonymous with unhappiness in dogs. The dog doesn't get what he wants, so he loses somewhere. To help your dog, you need to help him deal with it. Mismanagement frustration is often on:

to the fact that we have not taught the dog that

that we always "give in" to what our dog wants

that these needs are not met or are no longer met (excursions, games, meetings, etc.).)

To deal with your dog's frustration, I invite you to read our article: Frustration in dogs

It goes without saying that the above tips can also be used to deal with this frustration.

Deconfinement for our dogs: poor socialization of the puppy

The birth will have had a real disadvantage for the puppies. In fact, at the moment when you need to discover the world most positively, you were probably not able to explore it. So it can be heard or heard :

sounds (cars, bicycles, scooters, etc.)

People (man, woman, child, the person in uniform, with helmet, crowd, etc.)

other dogs (male, female, puppy of his age, breed other than his own or other color)

Environment City / country (Your dog can suddenly change from one environment to another)

In short, the result is there, your dog may be afraid of all this or make him even more excited. If your dog is an adult, it can also disturb him and make him reactive on the leash.

Do not rush to show him everything at once! On the contrary, take your time, as you just had it. It is better to make few positive discoveries than to make negative or worse ones that would make it sensitive to the environment.

To learn more about the socialization of dogs and puppies, read this full article: Socialization in dogs

In addition, you can also apply the tips given in the chapter on the mismanagement of loneliness.

Deconfinement: get your dog used to wearing a mask

Don't forget to get your dog used to wear the mask! In fact, some dogs will be disturbed to see people wearing masks. To perform these steps.

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