Riley’s View: Stressed Out Pup

Riley's View

Hi everyone,

Riley here. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a little stressed lately. There are a lot of changes in our house. Mom is about to have a human baby, and I think we are moving. I see boxes everywhere. I have no idea where we are going but I hope I am not about to be left behind.

I know I’m not the only urban canine encountering life changes. Some of my friends at the dog park were telling me their humans are not around as much lately which is causing stress. A big yellow bus comes by and scoops them up. As any dog will tell you, with fewer people around to pay attention to us, we can get lonely, bored, or anxious.

When I get nervous, I whine, bark, pace, or chew on things (like these boxes). That’s when my dad knows I need some canine guidance and support. He’ll give me one of my favorite toys, like a filled Kong or a Busy Buddy. Sometimes I’ll get yummy chew toys like NylaBones and Bully Sticks too. Interactive toys like the Busy Buddy give me something to focus on. My parents even give me my meals in puzzle toys, which is a lot of fun for me. Whether it’s mental or physical exercise I will enjoy it and my dad says it’s good for me.

Riley's View

To prevent me from getting nervous in the first place, my family tries to keep me on a regular schedule. They keep my feeding times the same and give me dedicated time to get attention and drain some energy. I don’t know what I would do without my daily morning walk through the park or my play time before bed.

I also know that when I’m feeling the most nervous and whine or show my family I’m upset, I never get any physical praise or attention. Instead they either ignore me or redirect my attention to these games we play. One of them is called GO GET IT. My dad has me come to him using the TOUCH command, then he will toss treats around the house and I get to scavenge for them.

I didn’t realize this, but my human tells me that when I get attention (like petting or belly rubs) for being nervous or anxious, I am more likely to be unstable in the future. I know it’s hard for mommy to play along, I can see she just wants to pet me and make me feel better. I did a quick search online apparently it checks out amongst other leading professionals in the dog training and behavior field. I guess dad knows a thing or two after all.

Here’s a video of me de-stressing with my Busy Buddy! I would love to see pictures or videos of all of my doggy friends too. Post them to our Facebook or Instagram pages with the hashtag #stressrelief.

Crossed paws, your friend for life.
Riley

 

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Marc Elias, ABCDT is the CEO (Canine Executive Officer) of Pooch Pals, the New York-based pet training and care service. After six years of experience working for corporations, Marc sought a less traditional role aligned with his background in client services, operations and marketing, paired with his love of animals and helping people. Today, Marc Elias is the Canine Executive Officer of Pooch Pals LLC with a dog training certification from the Animal Behavior College. Marc and his Goldendoodle Riley are active pet therapy volunteers certified by the Good Dog Foundation. Pooch Pals is committed to positive reinforcement dog training. They believe in creating a positive culture in New York City’s pet community, and they welcome clients who are as passionate as they are about receiving personal service for their dogs including positive reinforcement training.

Dog Letter: Dear Macy

A Letter to My Dog

I had wanted a dog for years and had gone without due to life, work, and all the commitments that come with it. When I met you your sweet nature immediately drew me to you.

After bringing you home as a 12 week old pup I was in love. You were the sweetest cuddler, and loved me like a father. You were my baby, and still are today. As you’ve grown up, you have continued to amaze me with your intelligence and hilarious temperament. I know you get into trouble sometimes, and I’m very easy on you because you really don’t know better. And when you wake me up at 5 am every morning to go on a walk it sets the tone for my entire day. Your cuddles are the best thing to start my day to.

You are going to be the best big sister to our son when he’s born in December, and I look forward to watching you two sleep, play, and grow up together. I know you, and I know you’ll always protect him from whatever comes his way. I hope you know that we aren’t letting you go for a new baby, we are just adding to the family. We know you’ve grown smart and sweet and we are giving you more responsibility now.

Macy you are my best friend. You’re funny and sweet and make me smile constantly. I just want you to know how much better life is with you around, and how much more living we will do together as a family.

love,
Dad
Breed: Lab Mix

Riley’s View: Dog Separation Anxiety

Riley

Hi Friends,

I wanted to share about a recent conversation I overheard between my dad, professional trainer Marc Elias, and his human companion about SA. Humans and their acronyms, it’s hard enough learning the English language let alone decoding an acronym. Anyhow I searched for SA on my humans company website and learned that SA is short for separation anxiety.

After reading the article, it occurred to me that I exhibit some of the behaviors of classic separation anxiety. In fact, my four legged friends Calli the German Shepherd and Phil the Cocker Spaniel down the hall from me also get upset when their owners are not within reach.

For the sake of Calli and Phil and all my furry friends alike, I thought I’d take time out of my nap schedule to help you and your dog regarding the issue of separation anxiety.

Well first, I recall mom and dad changing the location of where I sleep each night. A couple months ago I used to sleep beside the bed every night and sometimes on the bed. Now, I sleep outside the bedroom every other night with zero access to my humans bed.

separation anxiety

Apparently the more time I spend with my family the more my separation anxiety (or pack drive) is reinforced. Creating boundaries, as I understand it, teaches me to cope and have time alone. Mom sometimes pleads with dad to let me into the bedroom (I can hear it from the other-side of the door) but he doesn’t budge. A leader is a leader, rules are rules.

I don’t mind being outside my humans bedroom that much, especially since I get my favorite treats such as bully sticks, frozen packed Kongs and my favorite, this new dog puzzle I got from Nina Ottosson.

One way I know these recent changes have made a difference is during car trips with mom and dad. Usually when mom leaves the car I get panicky and anxious wondering why she is leaving, where she is going and when she’ll be back. Lately, I find I’m a little less concerned when mom leaves me. Be it in the car, or if dad and I walk with her in the morning then leave after seeing her walk up the big blue staircase towards that loud thing overhead on tracks.

I am middle aged Goldendoodle, I suppose it’s about time I learn to cope with being alone or not having my humans attention all the time. Something tells me I am going to have to get used to this. Mom says I’m going to be a big sister soon. Not sure but I think that swollen belly of hers means that there will be a new human in our pack soon.

 

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Marc Elias, ABCDT is the CEO (Canine Executive Officer) of Pooch Pals, the New York-based pet training and care service. After six years of experience working for corporations, Marc sought a less traditional role aligned with his background in client services, operations and marketing, paired with his love of animals and helping people. Today, Marc Elias is the Canine Executive Officer of Pooch Pals LLC with a dog training certification from the Animal Behavior College. Marc and his Goldendoodle Riley are active pet therapy volunteers certified by the Good Dog Foundation. Pooch Pals is committed to positive reinforcement dog training. They believe in creating a positive culture in New York City’s pet community, and they welcome clients who are as passionate as they are about receiving personal service for their dogs including positive reinforcement training.

 photo source