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by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Getting Started Week 45 - Classifying Canine Fearfulness

Anxiety can be considered a mild form of fear. In people, fear is described and a concern about an imminent danger. 

Pets show fear in their body postures and expressions. Fear may look like: cowering, hiding, dilated pupils, drooling, withdrawal, and trembling.

Sources of anxiety: social isolation or separation, food, lack of enough exercise, lack of clear leadership, noise, social, neophobic (fear of anything new).

Anxiety influencers 1) genetic predisposition, 2) lack of proper socialization during the pets critical learning period in the first few months of life, and 3) the type and impact of environmental experiences. 

No one knows if pets experience traumatic stress syndrome but we do know they remember traumatic events. The canine brain functions much like the human brain. For example, as one part of a comprehensive behavioral treatment and modification play, dogs may be put on Prozac by the attending veterinarian or veterinary behaviorist.

Behavioral treatment plans are based on an extensive analysis of the pet's behavioral history.

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