The Local Woof is a column that’s sponsored and written by the staff of Woofs! Dog Training Center. Woofs! has full-service dog training, boarding, and daycare facilities, near Shirlington and Ballston.
I’ve been having a lot of conversations with people about their dogs getting into trouble. Not little trouble like chewing up a shoe or stealing a sandwich. That’s easy stuff. I’m talking about big trouble. Like biting the neighbor’s dog while on a walk or biting a friend who is over for a visit.
The thing that most of these incidents had in common is a very high level of anxiety and arousal that precipitated the bites. So how does anxiety and arousal affect our dogs and what can we do about it?
We all know what anxiety feels like. It can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. If you have an anxious dog, you probably already know it. Just like in people, there is a spectrum of doggie personalities. Some dog are more anxious than others and some dogs aren’t bothered by anything. Anxious dogs tend to hate thunder storms and fireworks. Perhaps they are wary of strangers or other dogs. But just like in people, anxiety can cause to dogs to react out of proportion to the threat or environmental change they are experiencing.
Arousal is similar. Arousal is simply a state of excitement. The excitement can be good or bad, but in either case it is usually accompanied by a spike in adrenalin. Dogs who are wrestling or running in a dog park are aroused. Dog who are riding in a crowded elevator might be aroused. Dog who are on leash and see each other across the street might become aroused. They might be happy to see each other and want to play or they might want to fight. In either case, the dogs are in a state of arousal.
What owners need to know is that anxiety and arousal both have the effect of shortening a dog’s fuse. A dog who is normally tolerant of being pet is more likely to bite when anxious or aroused. Your normally easy going dog might be on edge if you have guests at the house for a week.
The first thing to do is to recognize that your dog is anxious or aroused. The second thing to do is to provide your dog with the ability to either get away from the things that are causing anxiety, or time to calm down from a state of arousal.
One of the best tools is to teach your dog to take a break. I am a big fan of crate training for this reason. Crate training is most often used to help house train very young pups and to keep them out of trouble. But crating is often a left behind tool as dogs become adults. Properly maintained crate training can be extraordinarily helpful in these situations. . A marrow bone in a crate in an upstairs bedroom is often much appreciated by the over whelmed dog. It provides a space to get away from whatever is stressing them out and time to calm down. Older dogs who were crated as puppies can be introduced to crating again in a positive manner if needed, or perhaps they don’t even need a crate, just a quiet place to settle down.
On leash arousal control exercises are another great tool to add to your toolbox. These take time and commitment but can be well worth the effort in the long run.
The bottom line is keep an eye on your pup. They can’t easily tell us when they need a break so it is up to us to be their advocate and make sure we are not placing them in situations that they can’t handle. Every dog is different and even man’s best friend needs some dogs some personal time.
Update on Delayed Rosslyn Development — “The approved Arlington County site plan setting up the eventual demolition of two obsolete office buildings — one home to the Deep Throat garage…
Good Wednesday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 14291 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
ARLnow has been providing independent, in-depth coverage of Arlington since 2010. We are committed to keeping readers informed about the issues that matter most to the community, including those that…
Residents of The Shelton, an affordable housing development in the Green Valley neighborhood, are raising concerns about property management and poor treatment of residents. They previously raised these same issues…
Please join us on Saturday, June 3, from 2 to 4 pm for the Glencarlyn Home Tour in Arlington’s historic Glencarlyn neighborhood. Among the featured homes will be a sparkling new home by A&N Builders at 5604-4th St. South. The inviting front porch opens to a light-filled space featuring high ceiling, wood floors, gas fireplace, Pella windows, Shrock cabinets, Quartz countertop, and JennAir appliances. Doors from the family room open to a large covered porch with a few steps to the level, landscaped rear yard. Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, laundry room, and linen storage. The big lower level has a rec room, gym space, and a fifth bedroom and bathroom plus even more storage. After leaving the home, stroll to the Ball-Sellers home, the oldest residence in Arlington, the community gardens at the library, Carlin Hall, and the 94 acre Glencarlyn Park. A lovely way to while away a late spring afternoon.
Is home ownership a goal of yours in 2023? Now is the time to make it happen! Grab a (virtual) drink with the area’s top Real Estate experts, learn all about the home buying process and on how you can get $1,500 towards your closing costs immediately!
Did you know the average Arlington renter will spend $150K in 5 years of renting? Stop paying down someone else’s mortgage! Join us for a Rent vs. Buy Happy Hour on Wednesday, June 7th at 6 p.m. via Zoom. If this time doesn’t work, we also are offering times convenient for your schedule!
A lot has happened in the local market since the beginning of the pandemic. Sip on your drink of choice and learn from Northern Virginia, Arlington and Washingtonian Magazines top producing agents! We will discuss the latest market updates, the home buying process and rent vs. buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking here.
Call/text Manavi at 703-869-6698 with any questions!
Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved
Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved.
Join ACFCU’s mortgage loan officers
4th of July Celebration & Fireworks
Treat yourself this Independence Day with a world-class, private 4th of July extravaganza at the Military Women’s Memorial – a premier National Capital Region site.
Great food, fun, and the best views of Washington DC’s spectacular fireworks display. Relax, enjoy,