RED – LARGE MUNSTERLANDER
PROBLEM – CANINE SEPARATION ANXIETY AND PACK LEADER ISSUES
Nigel and Caroline rang me with growing concern at the changing temperament of one of their Large Munsterlanders.
Red, a 3 year old entire male had been a balanced, well-trained dog living in a rural environment on Dartmoor. The acquisition of a second Munsterlander male Art, had presented few problems until recently.
Nigel and Caroline had been on holiday, leaving the dogs with a pet-sitter.
On their return, they noticed that Red wouldn’t leave Art alone, following him every where and become
visibly distressed if they were separated.
Art, now approaching 9 months of age had no issues and in fact was showing signs of becoming more highly ranked in the family hierarchy. He would take Red’s bones and toys with no resistance from Red and in fact Red was losing interest in such items.
On assessment, I felt that whilst the holiday may have contributed to the onset of this anxiety in Red in some way, the major factor was Art’s onset of puberty and maturity which had caused Red to question
his own position in the pack. Art was a nonchalant, care-free dog, secure in his own company, whilst Red was the complete opposite.
The solution to this problem seemed obvious. Nigel and Caroline – both busy professionals, needed to take time out to re-establish themselves as pack-leaders in their own home so that Red (and Art) could look
to them for leadership.
Caroline in particular was delighted that my solutions to the problem did NOT involve castration, so often (and so pointlessly on most occasions) seen as the first option in dealing with problem behaviour in male dogs.
Re-bonding techniques were discussed and demonstrated, together with methods to interrupt Red’s separation anxiety which would manifest itself in clinginess, whining and barking whenever
separated from Art.
It should be noted here that Red did not show any symptoms
when separated from his owners.
Separation anxiety in relation to humans accounts for the overwhelming majority of cases, whereas separation anxiety in relation to another canine is thought to represent less than 5% of all cases.
This was not a straight forward case of separation anxiety, but also involved Red’s confusion as to who his pack-leaders were. Poor old Red needed some clear boundaries to be set so that his inner balance could be returned to normal.
“I have to say, I can’t believe the change in Red in just 24 hours. It is little short of incredible. His anxiety levels have dropped dramatically since you came and we have realised that we needed to make
changes in the way we lived with our dogs.
We have had a good look at the way we do things as a result of your visit and so far we are very pleased with the results.” Nigel.