Behaviors and thought patterns associated with fear and anxiety are common in dogs who lived on the streets. Meet Cha-Cha, who was literally frozen stiff with fear scooped off the streets in Costa Rica. I named her Cha Cha, optimistic she would become a dog dancing around in happiness. (2017)
Fear and anxiety can remain untreated if the behavior is not “bothering” the person. For example, Cha Cha really did not do anything wrong, mainly because she did nothing. Literally.
Alternatively, when behaviors bother people, methods to address fear and anxiety can fall short because they are not intended to address behaviors resulting from preconceived thought patterns due to unconventional and undesirable upbringings. This leaves people with little options except to console. There is nothing wrong with consoling – it is human nature and can bring comfort in the moment, but it does not address the reason for the behavior.
To do the best we can for dogs, it is important to address behavioral issues that stem from fear and anxiety even if the behaviors are not bothering us. Feeling fearful bothers them. No one likes to live in fear.
The UPWARD Dogology formula, grounded in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is proven effective in addressing anxiety, and can be easily applied – even while volunteering in Costa Rica and living an unstructured life! Cha Cha loved her off leash runs on the beach. She was still cautious of other people by the time we returned to Canada, but she did well on the trip (many lay-overs in bus airports). Many people believed she would never be able to live in a new home, but she quickly melted into a new family shortly after her arrival. (The UPWARD Dogology integration program is proven effective).
Cha-cha’s family loves her to the moon and back, and she dances everyday 🙂 Know Your Options. Your dog’s happiness depends on it.
To learn more about Canine CBT, check out this easy to read and informative article by Cold Noses News: