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 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!

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

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

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

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.
Vets can register for the Zeuterin Workshop HERE! from the Ark Sciences website

Let’s Get Em Zeutered!

Rescue Came!!!!!

We are so Excited because yesterday, 17 dogs left our facility and headed up North to find their loving homes!! Within this past week, 23 dogs were saved 🙂 One was adopted, one found their owner who had been looking for him, two were sent to rescue and then the 17 yesterday. Been a great week for our friendly Canines 😀 Many loving dogs still here from small to Large, your sure to find a forever friend when you come to visit. Our hours of operation are 11:30-6:00 Monday thru Saturday and we’re closed on Sunday.  We also house alot of Lost pets and strays. If you’ve lost a pet, be sure to check us out. You can also check out our furry friends online at or call us at 540-344-4922. Thanks for all the hard work the staff and volunteers do on a daily basis for the betterment of these babies.


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

Photographer Needed for RCACP

RCACP could use a couple of dog 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 at 540-344-4922 or email for details.


RCACP Dogs Need Help NOW

These dogs are in need of Rescue, Foster or Adopt NOW!

If you can help any of these guys please call RCACP IMMEDIATELY AT 540-344-4922 EXT 300 Rescue Coordinator.

Caddy (Pet ID: 1042217) Caddy is approximately 4 -6 yr old. He is a calm quiet guy. Very patience and independent. Caddy is a Lab Chow mix, very sweet and would be a great pet. He has also been at RCACP over 90 days and although he has held up well he would want nothing but a nice family and bed of his own. He is available for Adoption or Rescue/Foster. Contact RCACP about him 540-344-4922

Caddy, quiet nice guy. Lab Chow mix.
Caddy, quiet nice guy. Lab Chow mix.

Ember, a good looking pibble/boxer/?mix is looking for a home. She is a young gal 2 yr old, very attentive, friendly and knows some basic commands. Ember has been at RCACP over 90 days. She has held good giving her patience but she is a little stressed if she hasn’t been outside for a while. She is friendly with people, kids and other dogs. Look at her giving me a sit and come. She has come a long way in learning commands and walking skills.

Sweet Ember wants a new home.
Sweet Ember wants a new home.

Macho (Pet ID: 104424) is a 7 yr old full Boxer. Macho was previously adopted out from RCACP and returned because he used the bathroom all over the house. To me this is not a reason to return a dog. It is the owners responsibility to house train the dog. He also may have separation anxiety when being left alone. This is another issue that can be resolved without rejecting the animal back to the pound as if he is no good. Macho is very sweet. Loves people and gives hugs and kisses. He needs a responsible family that is willing to give him what he needs and there for him. Can you be his family?


Francie (Pet ID: 1046334) is a 1 yr old Bull Terrier Pit mix. Her uniquely shaped head looks to be of Bull Terrier. She is very friendly and playful. She listens well to commands and sits pretty. Miss Francie Prancie has been at RCACP for a while as well and needs a place to call her own. An experienced bully adopter or foster should work out well for her along with training and exercise. She is young and impressionable.

Francie, 1 yr old Bull Terrier Pit mix at RCACP.
Francie, 1 yr old Bull Terrier Pit mix at RCACP.

Just like any other dog…