Curse of the working class: Canine separation anxiety (Proceedings) - Veterinary Healthcare
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Curse of the working class: Canine separation anxiety (Proceedings)


CVC IN KANSAS CITY PROCEEDINGS


Fear of People

This problem may be manifested as fear with no aggressive tendencies or with fear-related aggression.

Typical History

Usually the fear is directed toward a class of people such as children (in dogs not raised around children or habituated to children) or a class of people, for example, men. The behavior is often intensified because a dog's aggressive behavior is rewarded when the people go away and the fear or anxiety is reduced. The fear may involve threats or snapping. This problem is often caused by inadequate socialization to people.

Diagnosis

This issue here centers around when aggression is involved and one must distinguish between fear-related aggression and dominance-related aggression based on body posture and history.

Treatment Guidelines

Do not punish the dog - This will only increase its anxiety.

Desensitization – The indicated treatment is gradual desensitization using a gradient of distance to the fear-inducing people or similarity to the fear-inducing stimulus (e.g., progressing from teenagers to small children).

Countercondition – Get the dog to associate gradients of the fear-inducing stimulus with a favored food treat and affection (withhold affection prior to trials).

Medication – Anti-anxiety drugs (fluoxetine or clomipramine) could be used to reduce emotional response to facilitate desensitization.


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Source: CVC IN KANSAS CITY PROCEEDINGS,
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