2 Lead with Love

Helping dogs and educating their owners.

Answers to common behavioral questions

Anxiety. One of the most common issues I see is a form of this pervasive and hugely unhealthy issue. Dogs who are nervous, anxious, fearful, or worrisome tend to live less than fulfilled lives and actually shorten their life spans due to the stress they live under. There are many causes and forms of anxiety but in almost all cases it can be helped, healed, or eventually corrected. Symptoms include excessive licking, barking, inability to be still, constant need for attention, fear, weight loss, inexplicable "bad days", aggression, inability to learn, and many more. Most owners think that time and love or tlc will eventually help and the dog will someday get better. I have rarely to never found this to be true in cases where no rehabilitation or training is applied. I usually get called after months or years of a dog living in a miserable state of constant worry over one issue or another. Dogs are not meant to be anxious or worried. They should be happy calm and balanced. My heart breaks for these wonderful dogs that go prematurely gray, grow thin, or pace and pant themselves silly. They need help, direction, and the comfort of confident leadership to heal. Don't keep waiting but also be careful of the methods you use. Your dog is an individual with his or her own set of issues, personality traits, and levels of sensitivity and rehabilitation should be tailored to your dog as an individual. Some "training" tactics can do more harm than good when misapplied or when used at all. I am always available to help! Kayla Parrish 2/12/2015

Fear. A devastating force. The presence of fear causes all ability of clear thought to flee. When dealing with a dog who has a fearful temperament or is fearful of any number of stimuli such as thunderstorms, men, strange objects etc it is important to remember that the dog does not always have to remain this way. There are many root causes of fear. It can start with a bad experience or it can start with nothing at all. It can stem from a naturally sensitive and insecure temperament or from curiosity gone awry. Whatever the cause may be the outcome can certainly be altered. Dog memory does not operate in the same way human memory does. It is believed that while humans have a fluent memory which is likened to being able to play a movie in your mind, dogs have a more abbreviated or disconnected memory. It is understood that a dog’s memory works like snapshots or pictures. When a dog’s memory of a certain “picture” holds a fearful or negative emotion then any new similar “picture” will automatically cause the same fearful or negative reaction. Dogs cannot understand that they should not be afraid of something they are already fearful of, they need help overcoming it. They cannot reason with you to understand that this new man is a dog lover, trust must be gained in a different manner. Fear must be confronted and healed in order to ensure that your dog can live a life free of worry, panic, and potentially dangerous reactivity. We must get to work to change the dog’s negative “pictures” in a way that they can understand it and move on from it. Kayla Parrish 2/12/2015