Thursday, July 21, 2011

One Thing You Must Do Immediately If You Have a Tasmanian Devil Dog

One Thing You Must Do Immediately If You Have a Tasmanian Devil Dog...

By Kathy H Porter

Let's be clear. Tasmanian devil dogs are manageable and pose absolutely no threat to people. What they have are behaviors that can be harmful to themselves or are frowned upon in polite society. Separation anxiety, in extreme forms, can be harmful to the dog that suffers from it. Uncontrollable barking, snapping, and flailing of body parts as a dog enters its first obedience class while on leash is behavior that is definitely frowned upon in polite society.

I know these things to be true. I've described what I would call Tasmanian devil dog behavior in two of the dogs that I've had in a lifetime of living with dogs. Felix, my rescue whippet, suffered from one of the worst cases of separation anxiety my vet had ever come across. At it's worst, I wondered if we were doing Felix a favor by keeping him alive. Not quite ready to step over that line, I did what turned out to be the best kind of fix. I got him a girlfriend.

Once we brought a female whippet into the house, Felix, for the most part, settled down and lived with us quite happily.

I often wonder if I could have spared Felix some of his doggie hell if I'd known about this one thing that I believe every dog owner must do as soon as they find themselves confronting their own Tasmanian devil dog.

If you discover that your dog predicts thunder storms 45 minutes before they roll in because their body starts to shake uncontrollably, you might want to do this one thing.

If your dog exhibits the same kind of out-of-control behavior that my newest dog did walking into its first obedience class, you definitely want to do this one thing. I'll tell you first and then I'll tell you why.

What you want to do immediately after acknowledging that your dog needs a way to be calm is to buy an anxiety wrap.

I had no idea what this "thing" was for. But, the trainer who watched me walk into her obedience class with Tessa, a 20 pound, out-of-control, dog, didn't hesitate to recommend one as she quickly hurried over to us to calmly re-direct my dog's behavior.

"Doesn't get out much, does she?" the trainer commented dryly. "You're going to want to get her an anxiety wrap. You can buy one online."

After an exhausting hour of class during which time Tessa spent most of it between my legs in a sit or a down, we went home. Tessa flopped onto her dog bed and I went online. Much to my astonishment, when I put the phrase 'anxiety wrap' into the search box, quite a few web sites popped up.

I trusted the trainer who had sent me off to buy one. After doing some online research, what I found out was that this product holistically reduces or can completely stop fear, shyness, thunderstorm phobias and other dog behavioral problems.

True confession time? I was dumbfounded. Would this really work? I did some more reading on a web site that really provided an in-depth explanation for why this product was effective. And then all that remained was to decide what size to buy. Rather than guess, I called the company and after speaking with someone, I ordered the smallest size anxiety wrap they had.

What I found out was that I had purchased the perfect "thing" to help me work with Tessa both at home and in dog class. It really did calm her down and she was more focused. There was a noticeable difference in how she walked into class the following week. We were even able to take the wrap off of her midway through the six-week session and she was just fine.

The anxiety wrap by itself isn't going to entirely erase a dog's behavioral problems. However, when it's used alongside of positive training methods, it's amazing to see how much improved a dog's behavior can become.

Kathy H Porter blogs about rescue dogs and how they transform our lives. Visit: to claim your free report on how understanding dog behavior can dramatically improve your personal and professional success.

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