My Dog Can’t Express Normal Body Language Due To A Medical Condition – Phoenix Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist
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Sometimes a dog doesn’t behave the same as a normal dog because of a medical condition. Medical conditions that can affect behavior can range from brain injuries due to seizures or illness; blindness; deafness; loss of a limb, tail, ear, or facial structure (such as a dog that has been used for dog fighting); and balance problems.
There are several concerns when you have a dog like this.
1. The People Problem. We need to know how to read and behave around such a dog. A behavioral disturbance such as this can cause us to misread what the dog is “saying” and doing. Strangers can also be a serious problem. They can misread the dog, or provoke the dog to being afraid or aggressive. This situation is especially going to be a problem with children and those that aren’t experienced with behaviorally challenged dogs. My suggestion is to educate and supervise the people so they don’t do something stupid. If you aren’t sure what to do or say, a professional behaviorist can give you suggestions on how to best introduce this dog to other people, to read this dog’s communications, and to show you how to best supervise this dog in a variety of situations.
2. The Dog Problem. Your dog can get frustrated, insecure, anxious or even aggressive because of a handicap. You have to figure that everything is now going to be harder for this dog than any other dog. In addition, other dogs are going to react to your dog in strange ways. Dogs are pre-programmed to recognize certain sets of behavioral cues from other dogs. If your dog is giving off weird signals, that can provoke a dog fight.
3. Ongoing Medical Problems. Medical problems usually change over time. If they get worse, then that will affect your dog’s emotions and moods. For example, a dog with seizures can become progressively more aggressive over time as more and more of their brain dies. This is where you need to observe how your dog is doing, and consult with your veterinarian if you see a worsening trend. For some dogs, the humane thing will be euthanasia. It all comes down to quality of life and safety. If a dog is totally miserable, or if the dog has become dangerous, then it is time to discuss that with your veterinarian and do what has to be done.
Dogs are social creatures, just like us. What they do is also what they say. When a medical condition affects their quality of life, and garbles normal communication, then that is a unique problem that won’t be fixed with a normal dog training class. You should consult with your veterinarian and a qualified dog behaviorist so as to make the best life for your dog, and yourself, as possible. Not all dogs have a bad outcome, and you shouldn’t assume the worst case scenario. On the other hand, you need to be more aware of the challenges ahead so that you don’t encounter those worst case scenarios.