A few tips for helping with anxiety

A few tips for helping with anxiety

I have a toy Australian Shepherd who lives and breathes with me.  This breed as well as some others are more prone to be close to just a few individuals while other breeds like everyone.  Yes we have some separation anxiety, but here are a few tips I have used and keep in my “toolbox” to help in certain situations.

Whenever we have company, I make sure Reba is with me to get introduced.  I coach my guests on how to make themselves comfortable with Reba.  

  • Everyone wants to pet her, but because she is a herding breed, she tends to keep going around to the back of new people.  So I let them know that if they want to pet her, it helps her if they get down on her level, such as squatting down or sitting on the floor, then she readily comes up for a pet. 
  • If they want to pick her up, she has had a tendency since she was a puppy to yelp when being picked up, so I have taught her that when I say up, I am going to pick her up.  So I let my company know to say Up Reba, then she will be ready for you to pick her up.
  • I also try to make sure others help care for her, so I am not her only companion.  Reba naturally prefers females (I believe that is because I am her number one, and am female).  So any other female is first on her radar to see.  Reba is very happy to sit with my husband when I am not available.
  • Crate training should never been seen as punishment.  Even though Reba sleeps with us daily, she still loves her crate and takes herself there if I am busy in the kitchen.  Make sure your pet has a safe place like the crate to get away from company if needed or other pets.

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