Doggie Blog

Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

separation anxiety

This can be a mild to a serious problem in some dogs. Dogs like to be with their pack members; maybe too

much, and develop a case of separation anxiety. Depending on the age, confidence, and energy, this can be


For young dogs, a good walk, play (to get their energy down, along with something to do while you’re away as

they’re inside their crate) can help them concentrate on the kong or chewie, and less about your leaving. Only

give the special treat when you’re leaving. No other time.

Energetic dogs can develop a much higher sense of separation anxiety, so it’s best to give them a good

workout if they’ll be in a crate for awhile. Again, use a stuffed kong, puzzle, or chewie to give them something

to do when you leave. Make sure the puzzle and/or kong, are safe and can’t be digested.

Older dogs may or may not have to be crated; it depends on your regular routine, but sometimes (when your

family has moved into a new home, or moved to a new area in the house), giving them too much space can

create anxiety, especially when the doorbell rings or looking outside window. It’s too much pressure to guard

and, in that case, perhaps put them in a smaller area of the house.

Some dogs make a big fuss by barking or howling, so the first priority is to get them crate-trained. Throw a

treat in the crate, and to get them to go in, say, “Crate!” or, “Nap Time”, or whatever you want to call putting

him/her in there. Once they go in, say, “Good Boy (Girl)!”

After you’ve successfully trained them to go in the crate using the command and treats, you can now train

them to stay in the crate for an extended time. The crate means relaxation time; a time to chill out in their

space; home.

To start extending the time, say, “Crate Time”, then give them that special super-duper treat, close the crate,

don’t make a big deal about leaving, just leave for about 5 minutes. Come back and just let them out of the

crate. After they’ve calmed down a bit, give them a little affection. Repeat this and extend the time to 10

minutes until you can be away for 30 minutes without an incident. If you’ve successfully worked up to an hour,

take them outside to use the bathroom because this is what you will be doing, anyway, after returning from

your trip.

Some dogs can get so nervous they start drooling, or biting themselves. Don’t feel sorry for them and

acknowledge this behavior! Help get their confidence up and praise them when they’ve done well. A radio or

TV can help keep them company, too. Put the volume on low for them, because remember: their sense of

hearing is much more advanced than ours.


If you crate them atseparation_anxiety bedtime and and they’re making a fuss, keeping you up atpatience can wear thin and you may be willing to do anything to get a good night’s rest. If kongs and chew toys don’t work, you can use a water gun to squirt at them with a command such as, “No Bark!” This method is not ideal, but it works for some. Try other methods first.

Some dogs just absolutely hate being in a crate, no matter what; it could be from always being kenneled in

their previous life or just a bad experience. You could try leaving them in a small room with toys, chews, kongs,

etc., and test it out. Make sure there’s nothing valuable or important to you that he/she can get their paws on,

or it’ll be a bad experience for you! Try it out, and if they do well, then trust that they can be free to roam in one

room; then try them out in another room until they can roam the whole house.

Here are more tips:


Dog Training Foster Dog, Dog Training Rescue Dog, RCACP Dogs Need Help, Train to Adopt Class

Dog Training Methods

Dog Training. What type of method is best for me?

When it comes to dog training it can be challenging trying to find the right trainer for you. A dog trainer should be experienced in dog training as well as dog behavior aka Dog Behaviorist. They don’t necessarily have to be book smart as long as they have enough experience working with different breeds of dogs big or small and have helped correct bad behaviors.

cesar911Dog trainers/behaviorist can always learn continuously from other trainers and people. It bugs me when I hear dog trainers influence people not to listen to one trainers type of training versus another.
For instance Cesar Millan from the show Cesar 911 (On NATGEO Wild, Fridays 8 pm) also known as the Dog Whisperer is a great trainer. He uses a combination of positive and conditional training techniques. Although he is known widely for his conditional (Alpha) techniques, he has grown to change his extreme techniques because not everyone can do those or agree with them.

Cesar has written a book called, Cesar’s Rules: Your Way to Train a Well-Behaved Dog. The inspiration for this book was written because not everyone agrees with his Alpha techniques so he consulted with trainers of all backgrounds to give a range of theories and methods so dog owners can find what techniques works best for them. This is what I mean when a trainer is continuously learning and altering their training to become better at what they do.

itsmeorthedogVictoria Stillwell is another great dog trainer who also had her own TV show called Its Me or The Dog on the Animal Planet channel. Although this show has been cancelled as of March 2012 she still has her Top Ten Training Tips on the Animal Planet website and several books available on her website.

I like Victoria as well because she teaches positive reinforcement where the dog gets rewarded for doing what you want them to. She is very knowledgeable to help the owners to get control of their dog when they do not know what to do with the bad behavior.

What I can say about both of these training methods is that attitude is what is required to get your dog to listen to you. Whether you use positive or conditional your attitude is key. If you let the dog take control and do whatever he/she wants then that’s what they will do. It’s always easier to understand what to do by watching and learning rather than reading but you can get a heads up and start learning the terminology and techniques from the books.

As far as the differences in techniques, Cesar is a more take charge method and a lot about attitude and your energy. It helps you practice getting your energy into a calm state and controlling your anxiety about your dog. It takes practice, and although not everyone can tap their dog on the side when they are misbehaving because they either don’t want to or afraid their dog might redirect on them. It is a preference and there are other ways to get your dog under control with the leash or other tools.
When training with positive reinforcement what I can say is that treats aren’t for every dog. If you have trained with treats sometimes dogs can get stuck on only doing something for you if you have a treat and even then you can be taken advantage of and not really get the respect you need if you’re always pushing treats down their throat. It is about bonding, praising and treating is extra credit.
Usually treats work to get your dogs attention or help train them with commands but it may not be enough for every dog and in that case praise or even a ball may be what the dog will work for. I totally agree with Cesar when he says exercise, discipline then affection because if you have a total spaz dog with energy through the roof exercise can help get them to focus when you’re trying to teach them something, even dogs with issues.

With all training positive or conditional each style uses a piece of the other whether they like to acknowledge it or not and practice is the only way to make changes happen.
In closing, I want to say that you make the choice on the type of training that is best for you and your family. I recommend watching both type of shows/videos or books and make your own decision, besides those trainers must be doing something right if they have their own television show!

Adoptable RCACP Dogs, Adoptable Rescued Foster Dogs, Decompression Shelter Dogs, Foster Roanoke VA

Decompressing Rescue Dog

Decompression Phase

When adopting or fostering a rescued dog from the pound/shelter, it’s a happy time for you and a relief to the
dog. For one, you’ve taken them away from that loud, scary place. As the new owners or foster of the dog,
you’re also excited because you’re bringing in a new member of the family into your home. This new situation
is exciting for everyone with new interactions and adventures to come.

BUT WAIT! Before you go showing off your new pet to your family, friends, and resident pets, please give the
new dog time to relax for awhile. The last thing you should do at this point is rush them into a whole new
dramatic situation and making them interact that could get them into trouble if they’re not ready for it.

Think of it like this way as humans; you’ve been looking desperately for a job to support your family; you’ve
been looking for over three months, your savings is dwindling fast, and you’re worried; VERY worried. You’re
getting up everyday looking at the paper/internet, going to interviews, and finally you get a job.

First day on the job, you’re excited but nervous, and just want to feel your way around. Then, some co-worker’s
trying to make you look bad; trying to push your buttons. You want to do the right thing but if no one gives you
time to know your job and no one’s controlling the  guy harassing you, things could happen and (you’re back at
the pound) you’re fired; or, worse, in jail, depending on the reaction. This is just my interpretation as we don’t
know the feeling of being in doggie jail just because we’re a dog, but I bet I’m close. When volunteering at a
pound you see this stress all the time.

Decompress for at least 3-5 days.
Decompress for at least 3-5 days.

Dogs that have been at the pound for an especially long period of time need to decompress and get
themselves back into a calm state of mind; unlike the worrying and stressing when they were at the pound.
I had a foster dog once that seemed to be normal at the pound but wouldn’t make much eye contact. When I
got her home, her eyes seem to be darting everywhere but at me. It was odd; I thought she was “special”, or
just weird.

I knew she was still kennel-stressed from being at the pound. It took a couple weeks for her to get over that
and get back to herself and finally making eye contact.  Basically, I created a routine taking her for walks in the
morning and playing ball afterwards, then I’d put her in the crate to rest for a couple hours. I’d give her
something to do, such as a filled kong or some type of dog-friendly chew toy to get her mind working. When
she returned to being herself, I introduced basic training such as “Look”, “Sit”, “Down”, and “Come”; all the
while I kept her separate from my own dogs. Whenever I felt ready, I slowly introduced her to my own dogs by
taking them out on walks together outside the home.

It’s always best to introduce the dogs away from the home (such as on a walk or at a park) to get acquainted.
The next step, after they seem to get along on the walk, is to let them socialize in the backyard. When that’s
successful, then you can let both the new/foster dog into the home along with the resident dog(s)
together….but only if YOU feel comfortable with it. If you’re the least bit hesitant about it, DON’T DO IT. Dogs
can sense when you’re uncomfortable, and one or the other may feel they have to protect you or other family
members. If, at any moment, that something does happen, go back to the previous step until there’s no worry
or hesitation.

Decompression time varies with each and every dog. Some need more time than others, but it’s safe to
recommend at least one week is best for the new dog. Always treat the dog with respect and give them
guidance, exercise (dogs walks, playing), and bond with them.  If after the decompression phase, the dog
starts to show behavioral problems, start to address it with training to get him/her to listen to you and gain that
respect. If you need to consult with a dog trainer, that’s what you should do; or ask your family/friends if they’ve
had situations like this, and what they did; or look online for articles/video that may have the answers you
need. One of the top reasons dogs end up at the pound are because their owners didn’t train them, or rarely
interacted with them.

NUMBER ONE RULE: keep your new dog/foster in a crate during decompression time, and always when
you’re not home. After decompression, and everyone’s acquainted and comfortable, it’s up to you, as the
owner, to take responsibility to determine if your pet can stay free in the home, or if they should be crated.
Perish the thought you should come home and find a disastrous situation because you left your animals
unattended to make their own decisions. Not to say it can’t work, but you have to be certain it can; if not, crate

Dog Training Foster Dog, Dog Training Rescue Dog, Housetraining Your Rescue or Foster Dog

House Training Foster Rescue Dog

House Training Your Foster Dog or Puppy

Below are links to youtube videos that describe how to housebreak your foster dog or your own dog. Basically it comes down to keeping an eye on the dog at all times within your presence. Don’t let the dog have full roam of the house, use baby gates or pens to keep the dog with you.

Take dogs out immediately after being in a crate, after eating, after playing and drinking lots of water. For puppies, their bladders are smaller so they will need to go more often. When you take them out say “Let’s Go Potty” or “Let’s Go Outside” so they will recognize this wording to mean go bathroom outside. Once they have gone outside and have done their business make sure you praise them with a Good Boy/Girl or “Good Potty” and then you can give them a treat when they come in.

If you find accidents don’t discipline them because its already been done. Just clean it up with a good enzyme cleaner such as Nature’s Miracle and keep an eye on the dog. If you see them in action going potty in the house rush them outside and clapping “Let’s Go Potty”. Even if they do not go this is still good practice for the dog to know he should be doing this outside.
*Also take up the water bowl at night so there are no accidents during the night.

Its very important to be diligent with house training to make it work! Consistency is the key and it will happen.

YouTube Videos:

Dog Training: Housebreaking in 3 Simple Steps
How To Potty Train a Puppy – How to House Train Your Dog
Dog Training: House training a puppy or rescue

Foster, Foster Roanoke VA

How to Foster

How to Foster. Can You Foster?

Fostering dogs takes a selfless individual or family to give what they can to help out abandoned dogs in need. It can be very rewarding as well as challenging.

There is always something new to learn when fostering a new dog in your home. Depending on your knowledge of dogs either through volunteering, rescue, being an animal lover, or professional dog trainer there is always something new to learn when fostering.

Sometimes it can be a hard way to learn but you eventually learn fast to control the situation. Its also a great way to learn how to rehabilitate any bad behaviors under careful direction and observation.

If you are interested in fostering a dog in need from RCACP you should be an avid dog lover No. 1 and also an experienced dog person. It is suggested that you either know the breed your interested in fostering or know basic dog care  and training. Volunteering at an animal shelter either RCACP or other rescues can give you the experience and confidence to learn if you can handle a particular dog in your home.

Although dogs at RCACP or animal shelters may not exhibit any behavioral problems when you first get them home but after a couple weeks to a month they may get comfortable and start to show some issues. As a foster parent it is your responsibility to tackle these issues to make them the best adoptable dog in town.
Sometimes you have no clue how to fix their problems so you should talk with dog knowledgeable people such as dog trainers, dog behaviorist or you can look up information online for articles and/or videos to find out how.

As a foster parent it is your responsibility (along with the rescue that allowed you to foster through them) to market the dog for a new home of his own…but only when the dog is ready. You should establish a routine immediately with a walk, training, play and affection. Keep him/her on a routine and train them up to become the best pet ever then its time to market them into a new home.

This is a great website about Fostering Dogs that can give a leg up on what most fostering parents find when fostering. Take of it what you will and share the knowledge with new foster parents that may need your help.

Foster Dogs, Foster Care for Dogs

Zeuterin Dogs
Spay & Neuter, Zeuter Neuter Drug, Zeuter Them

Get Your Dog Zeutered


This may be the answer we need to control the pet overpopulation. According to this article

Distribution of Zeuterin is limited to licensed veterinarians who have taken a two-hour certification course, but shipment to qualified vets started this past Monday Feb 17th 2014.  Five dogs can be neutered at the price of one surgical neuter procedure and is five times safer.

Guys no excuses! I know some men want their dogs to keep that manly testicle look and now they can keep them and get neutered at the same time.

This is an amazing opportunity to control the pet overpopulation at last and cut down on the euthanasia considerably.
Go here for more information ACC&D – Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs.

Let’s Get Em Zeutered!

Adopt From RCACP, Adoptable RCACP Dogs, Adoptable Rescued Foster Dogs, dog photography, Donate, RCACP Dogs Need Help, Roanoke Virginia, Roanoke Volunteers, Train to Adopt Class, URGENT!, Volunteer at RCACP

Come meet us Today

We are all so eager to meet you! We’ll wag our tails and prance our feet and if we get really worked up, we will even start barking to say hello. But once one of us starts we all will. We don’t mean to be loud, we are just so excited that one of us may be going to our forever home.  They take really good care of us here but we would much rather be curled up In your lap, in our own bed or…if you let us,maybe in your bed with you 🙂 our adoption fees are low and they cover a lot. I promise you won’t regret taking us home. A faithful companion,guardian and friend.  Sometimes people want to help but can’t adopt us and that’s ok too. There’s lots of ways you can help even if you can’t adopt. You can come take our picture so we have a better chance of being adopted. Take us for walks, or out for training even on Saturdays or you can even just come and play with us. You will love it and so will we. You can even donate to us as well. We love treats…bacon or doggie bone treats and toys, we love toys. Tennis balls or kongs would be good 🙂 we have a play yard here as well and we get to go out and play, so we can take all the toys out there with us 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to read this and remember…Before you shop…Adopt 😀  Give us a call at 540-344-4922

Adopt From RCACP, Adoptable RCACP Dogs, dog photography, Donate, Roanoke Virginia, Roanoke Volunteers, Volunteer at RCACP

Photographer Needed for RCACP

RCACP could use a couple of dog and cat Photographers to help take Pictures. We have a drop box set up so our volunteers can share the pictures.Our current photographer can show you the ropes and help you get set up. 

*Must love taking pictures, be an animal lover, selfless and consistent. We would love to have you as part of our team 🙂

If interested, please contact RCACP to Volunteer at 540-344-4922 or email for details.

Roanoke Volunteers, Volunteer, Volunteer at RCACP

Need RCACP Volunteers

RCACP is looking for a few good Volunteers!

Volunteer With RCACP

It takes a village to help the animals at RCACP. Its not their fault that the animals found themselves in a bad situation. It happens! but it doesn’t have to be the end for them. They can live again in a new family, new loving home, a fresh new start.

Some folks say how can you go to the pound and see all those desperate animals that want to get outta there! Most volunteers reply “How can you NOT!” Its not for everyone and we know that but for those that can get in there and give a little sunshine, a walk, talk or a hug you can’t imagine the greatest feeling knowing that you have helped a pet get through another day. The more they get out the better their moods and hopefully get adopted or rescued.

We have various jobs being a volunteer. Most volunteers thrive on the high of walking dogs and seeing how happy the dogs are after getting some attention and exercise but we also need photographers, cat people who can interact with them, people that are web savvy to network animals to rescues, videographers to show the personalities of the pets.

If any of this info sounds good to you as a huge animal lover visit RCACP I Want to Volunteer! or call the volunteer coordinator at 540-344-4922 Ext 300 or email at

Choosing The Right Dog

Choose The Right Dog

Choosing the Right Dog for your Family

So you have decided that it’s time to find a furry friend to add to your family and/or home of existing pets. A lot of folks choose a pet based on looks, word of mouth, a fad, or may only get dogs they are familiar with. There are many reasons someone goes out to get a dog they want rather than a dog that is compatible for them.

Here are some scenarios to let you understand where I’m coming from:

Some boxers are very high energy dogs.
Some boxers are very high energy dogs.

1st Scenario

Judy and her husband John always admired and loved the boxer breed and after their beloved basset hound Bessie pet passed away they decided to adopt a boxer. They find an available Boxer available at their local rescue and quickly go to visit the dog and apply to adopt him.
The dog is a 2 year old young dog with big energy, Judy and John are seniors in their 70’s. Although they say they are active and had walked their previous dog everyday walking and training a young boxer had its challenges. The couple tried desperately to walk the dog but it became too much with the new pup pulling and wanting to run. Since the dog needed training, when the dog got away from them he did not know his new name very well and would only come when he felt ready to come back into the house which took many hours coaxing him back. This left the couple very exhausted.
The senior couple regretfully decided to bring the dog back to the shelter because the new pup had just too much energy for the elderly couple.

Result = Bad Match. Energy level.

Border Collies and Kids can be a great team but they need to work.
Border Collies and Kids can be a great team but they need to work.

2nd Scenario

The Thomas family is a young family with two kids a 7 yr old boy and 12 yr old girl. The mother always loved the way border collies looked and as a family decided that will be their first dog. They look for border collie rescues to see the types of border collies available and find one they are interested in adopting. The border collie is about 3 yrs old very energetic and smart. When they got the dog home everything seem to be ok and everyone loved playing with the dog. Then summer vacation ended and everyone went back to school and work which left the new dog bored without anything to do. Soon the new dog started to show restlessness, aggression with new people visiting the home and herding family members. They didn’t know why this was happening because they let the dog out every chance she gets and plays with the kids when they get home. Well the behaviors started worsening and after about a month and frustration from the family and dog the new dog was returned to the rescue.

Result = Bad Match due to dog not having a job.

Jealousy can be a problem in compatibility. Although it can work, the owner needs guidance on how to make it work, otherwise it may not be a good match.

3rd Scenario

Tammy and her roommate wanted a companion dog to join their home with their 5 yr old Maltese mix Maddie. They decide to visit their local shelter to adopt a 2 yr old shepherd mix. Tammy fills out the adoption application and a meet/greet was set up, they brought their dog to see if the two got along. Maddie was a little skittish and protective of Tammy and roommate but despite her being a little shy they went ahead and adopted the shepherd mix thinking they will work it out at home.
When they got home with the new dog, Maddie became very protective of everything in the house and despite her size she bullied the new dog constantly and the dog was scared to move. Eventually the new dog snapped at the resident dog and they brought the dog back to the shelter.

Result = Bad match due to non-compatibility between dogs.

In all these scenarios a bad match occurred and the animal has to pay for it. Sometimes the dog doesn’t go back to the shelter but may be stuck outside for the rest of its life because the owner doesn’t know how to deal with the dog. Now some dogs just like to be outside dogs and enjoy it but most like to be with its family, its pack.
Some owners unfortunately may bring the dog to the pound which is not a safe environment and could lose their life because the owner did not educate themselves before adding a new dog to the family.

Other times the family will seek help of a dog trainer or behaviorist to find out how to stop the bad behaviors or just how to control their dog. I commend any family that knows and understands that maybe this wasn’t the best choice of dog for their family but takes responsibility to find out what the dog needs in order for everyone to be happy. We don’t always get the “Auto Dog” that just knows how to live in a home environment and do everything right. It’s nice if you do but most of the time it just doesn’t happen. Most dogs need guidance and training whether you purchase a dog from a breeder as a puppy or rescue a dog from a shelter they all need it.

Before you just go out and get a pit bull do your research! Pit Bulls are social dogs and that means you need to be social as well, they also need consistent adequate exercise, socializing with human and dogs, and training to be happy. Once you get the basic training down you can build on it but you can now communicate with your dog and he/she can communicate with you.

Border collies are very smart, and they were bred to herd animals for the farmers. Well if this breed is in an apartment you may have some issues if you don’t give this dog a job to do. He/she will need to be exercised daily like a run or long walk, training is essential and because they are very smart you can easily teach them many commands and tricks. Agility or competition activities are great for smart breeds.
Hounds, beagles were bred to hunt so if you get one make sure you plan on doing something with him/her, constant training, and exercise is needed for this breed. They also like to talk by howling.

Huskies, Malamutes known for dog sleeding need to have something to do. If you take for a walk make sure you train him/her to walk with you on leash or we might see you being dragged down the street as if you are the dog sled.

German Shepherds are working dogs, they need a firm owner to train them and give them a job to do. Rottweilers and Bullmastiffs are very loyal and protective and also need a firm owner to take charge before they do and no one needs a dog controlling its human.

My Dog is Family

Many breeds have certain personalities and when choosing to bring a new dog into your family please do your research! If you are not very active choose a dog that is low to medium energy or if you’re very active choose a breed that can keep up with you. Also choose a breed that is compatible to your personality weather you’re social, a couch potato or very calm family.
Most rescues try to do their best to match the right family to the dog but sometimes they can even get it wrong but its ultimately the choice and responsibility of the family to choose the pet is right for your family. The point of this article is to choose the right dog that can live happy with you and your family.

Here are several websites that may help you select the dog that is right for your family.

Breed Selectors

Even after looking at the dog selector websites do some research on your own to find out the history of that breed, and find out which dogs are available at your local shelters. A rescued dog deserves a home but we also want a compatible pet to become a part of the family in his or her forever home.

Good luck!