DogMom86
Hello, I have a question. My dog Sango is still fairly young at six-years-old and she is a Japanese Chin. The problem is she is a very anxious dog. First off, a little background. We adopted Sango from the humane society and I know she was in a puppy mill. She was scared to death of everything when we rescued her (including the TV), they had shaved her (I assume she was matted), had no clue what grass or treats were and would circle non-stop. She's made great strides. However, she was highly attached to my late Chihuahua, Mija. When Mija went blind Sango even served as her guide dog. I know it's got to be hard with Mija gone. Luckily, she's also bonded with my other Chin, Tami. However, her circling has come back because I believe she's anxious. What have you found that works to help anxiety? Thanks everyone.
Mija, Chihuahua: 2004-2019
16 years
London, Golden Retriever: 2005-2020
15 years

Mom to Misty, Sango, Tami, Abby, Kawaii and Pepita the Chihuahua

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nosunshine36
If I am understanding you correctly, Sango stopped circling and calmed down a lot but since the loss of Mija she has become anxious again. Serving as Mija’s guide dog would have increased their bond so it’s easy to see why she is having anxiety now. Bless her!

My advice would be to spend as much time with her as you can right now to help her with the loss of her friend. If you have something of Mija’s: a blanket, toy, collar ..it might help her but you might want to run it by your vet first.
I know that there are natural remedies for anxiety but I’ve only ever used them for short term.
Maybe you could try throwing a ball when you see her start to circle; to distract her and let her know that things are okay. The sad fact is though that things are not okay. This dog has been through a lot in her young life and she bonded to a dog who is now gone. She may feel cut adrift. I would definitely shower her with a lot of attention.
I’ve also read that giving commands for rewards (treats) works wonders for their self confidence. You could just do some easy ones like: “Come” from but gentle voice .. and give her a treat and then after a week or 2 asks her to come, give her a treat and then as her to sit and give her another treat. I would take each command slowly even when it seems she knows them well. “Give paw” is another good one. I stay away from “Roll over” with my dog. I think even these simple ones on a consistent basis and with a reward would be a good way to start but again you might want to check with your vet.
I’m very sorry for your loss also!
Blessings,
Sharon
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nosunshine36
I just had another thought. Have you observed Sango with Tami? It’s a different relationship and I don’t know but is Tami in any way bossy or would she be so different with Sango (than Mina) so that it would make Sango nervous.. I really don’t know but just something to watch.
Good luck to you, please post again to update on how Sango is doing.
Take Care!
Sharon
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DogMom86
NoSunshine36: You are correct that Sango's circling behaviors declined about six months after we adopted her, but have started up again since Mija's death. Tami and Sango are equal levels energy wise. I only separate them at food time because Tami tends to be a food hog and Sango is a slow eater. I think Sango is also feeling the double loss because we lost London our Golden three days after Mija. I will try what you suggested. I recently started taking her for walks for about twenty minutes and play with her in the yard, and that seems to help. Sango sleeps in the crate with the blanket that Mija used to, so I think that helps quite a bit.

Sango has been through a lot, bless her. I don't know the extent of what she endured in the mill, but I know she still is afraid of water (well water that sounds like it's coming from a hose). I appreciate your suggestions.
Mija, Chihuahua: 2004-2019
16 years
London, Golden Retriever: 2005-2020
15 years

Mom to Misty, Sango, Tami, Abby, Kawaii and Pepita the Chihuahua

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Mistysmama
Dear Dogmom86, it has been shown that gentle classical music does help to de-stress dogs (and cats) and can help them with anxiety or panic.

I know Relaxmydog.com do have some music up on YouTube and also have CDs, but of course the YouTube music is free.

Another proven method of relieving anxiety in dogs is exercise. That might mean exercise inside or outside -whichever is more suitable at the time. And any kind of meaningful distraction. That is -distracting them with things they are interested in.

They too grieve. I know. My dog's best canine friend and mate grieved very hard after  my girl passed. I visited him every day (he was a neighbour's farm dog) and the best I could do for him was take him out for a walk, play with sticks and frisbee, and just show him that all was not lost. He still had some semblance of "normality". And my continuing affection, loyalty and friendship.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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DogMom86
Sango is doing better now and not nearly as anxious as she was. The walks seemed to help quite a bit and we made sure to give her lots of love and positive encouragement. The good thing is Sango has other dogs she is familiar with and my husband and I tend to follow a regular routine and there's not a whole lot of deviations which helps keep her anxiety level down. The pacing is not so bad (she will always do the circle thing a bit, but it's not like it was). She is now back to being goofy as she was. It also probably has something to do with my mood improving as she's very sensitive to my moods. (Hugs)
Mija, Chihuahua: 2004-2019
16 years
London, Golden Retriever: 2005-2020
15 years

Mom to Misty, Sango, Tami, Abby, Kawaii and Pepita the Chihuahua

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Mistysmama
Oh that's good. I am glad to hear Sango is doing  much better.
You and your husband are doing  the best thing -keeping her life as steady as you can, and keeping up with routines. She will be okay.
My kind thoughts to you all.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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