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post #26 of (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 12:31 PM
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Location: Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
If you have untreated problems with anxiety, and the dog is becoming a focal point for mental health issues (like anxiety or depression), and you find yourself blaming the dog and its problems for making you miserable, then you cannot solve this dog's issues. I'm not saying this to criticize but to be real with you. This is one of the few obstacles that will block progress.

Dogs sense human anxiety with perfect precision. You can't hide it from them. If they are already anxious themselves, the human's own anxiety merely confirms to them that the world is a scary place. The owner and dog are then in a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

OTOH, if either the dog or the owner is solid, either one can learn to get the other out of panic attacks or moments of extreme anxiety. It's why good, clear-headed dogs are so excellent for veterans with PTSD--they quickly learn to recognize, respond to, and help their humans out of it. Similarly, patient, dedicated humans learn to solve this for anxious dogs they're rehabilitating. It only works if one or the other is working from a solid foundation.

From your second post, it sounds like maybe neither you nor the dog are in a position to help each other though. I really hope the guy this dog loved at the shelter is willing to take him on as a foster. If they already have trust, it is what this dog needs.
@Magwart, The second to last paragraph hit home. big time. I don't want to derail the thread but wanted to second what you said. And I'm pretty sure the give and take of drawing from the strengths of each other once a bond is formed happens more often in less stressful circumstances than many realize. Relevant to the op's issues from what was posted I think he/she deserves a dog that can offer that kind of support. Perhaps this dog does have that ability that can be tapped into sometime down the road but we (general) can't see the future and can only make the best decisions base on our (general) past and what we know of the present.

"If you can't see his soul when you look in his eyes, then you need a seeing-eye dog"

Last edited by Heartandsoul; 02-22-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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