How Sensitive Is Your Dog


Most dogs are eager to please and very receptive to training, provided we teach them properly. Just like us dogs learn through sense of smell, taste, touch, site, and hearing. Dog's senses are a lot more acute than our own. Selective breeding has heightened particular sensitivities of some breeds even further. Consequently dogs will respond differently.

Sight Sensitive Dogs

There are a few specific breeds that were bred to watch over herds of livestock and to chase down the prey that is trying to attack them. For this reason they had to have better than perfect eye site. They need to see even the slightest of movements even from far distances. Here are a few of those breeds: Collies, German Shepherds, Greyhounds, and Salukis. These types of breeds should be trained in areas where there are few distractions. They will be focused on any little movement and not focused on the training. These same dogs pick up on our body language or hand cues for example, if you play frisbee with your dog and you reach down to pick one up, your dog may automatically start to run even if you haven't thrown it yet, they are anticipating that you will throw it.

Touch Sensitive Dogs

You may also have a breed that is more sensitive to touch. Even in the same breed the sensitivity can vary. Fighting breeds such as the Pit Bull/Bull Terrier, Terrier have been bred to a little more less sensitive to pain so they are more tolerable of being handled. Other breeds can have a much lower touch tolerance. Dog training behavior can be effected by physical methods, such as pushing down on your dogs haunches to make it sit, or pushing down on its shoulders to make it lie down, these methods are not advisable with touch sensitive dogs. Such dogs should be trained using positive reinforcement and reward based training. Positive reinforcement is the method of training I prefer.

Sound Sensitive Dogs

You make also encounter sound sensitive dogs. Just as other sensitivities vary from dog to dog so does the sound sensitivity. The more familiar of these dogs would be the Collie, and the Shetland Sheepdog. If you raise your voice at these dogs to correct them for doing something wrong you are confusing them. It is very counter productive and you may be causing fear, confusion, and levels of anxiety. None of these are good for you or your pet. If your dog is sound sensitive you should work with them in a noise controlled environment. Keep even tones and levels in your voice while speaking to them, and always remain calm. If you have too many noise distractions they will be focused on them and not on you.

Separation Sensitive Dogs

There is no specific breed I can give for this one, just some dogs go through separation sensitivity, more commonly known as separation anxiety. Dogs seem to go through this when they are left home alone for long periods of time. When this happens they will also start to develop bad behaviors. These behaviors include excessive barking, destruction of furniture, and even soiling just to name a few.Our dogs seem to have this sensitivity when they are extremely dependent on us. We may have coddled them too much when they were puppies, or you could have been home with your dog on a daily bases and now things have changed and you are now gone. Separation anxiety can be corrected in most cases with a little training. I would seek professional advice to lead you in the right direction.

4th Of July Sensitivity

This is just a little advice I like to let people know. A lot of dogs are frightened during the 4th of July. It is the loud sounds of the fireworks and the feel of the percussion when they are exploding that usually upsets them. Dogs do not experience this on a daily basis so it is something they are not sure how to handle. If you can you should take them away from the area, if not I would suggest putting them in an area where they can not hurt themselves because some dogs will try to leave, and run to escape the noise and confusion. I have known some dogs to jump through windows, I have also heard of dogs that actually jumped over their fence and just took off running and didn't return for days.try keeping them indoors and turning on the television or radio to help drowned out the noise of the fireworks. Try to make them comfortable for example, giving them their favorite blanket, or a certain toy they like, or maybe it is even a specific spot they like to lay in. You can also purchase CD's with firework sounds on them and if you play them for your dog every so often and train your dog to block the sound out hopefully the next 4th of July won't be so scary for them.