LOCAL NEWS

Is Your Dog Anxious Or Depressed? Science Says He Just Might Be

Sep 25, 2018, 1:33 PM | Updated: 9:33 pm

HERRIMAN, Utah – Could your dog be depressed? New research suggests he might be. Some experts say dogs can suffer from mental illness just like people.

“Within the first week, the first few days, we found out that little quirks that he had,” said his owner, Meghan Thompson, who lives in Herriman.

Her dog Jameson, a Pomeranian Dachshund mix, is a rescue.

“A lot of times they do have a more fractured background,” she said.

Thompson believes he suffers from anxiety, and possibly PTSD.

“Whining and kind of barking initially and he’ll kind of pace a lot of times,” she said. “We were driving up State Street and there was some kid on a scooter, and that set him off in the car and he actually almost bit me. It’s adrenaline that they don’t know what to do with.”

Mental illness in animals

Like humans, is important to take care of animal mental health.

Ty Brown, a dog trainer with Ty the Dog Guy, says setting up scenarios for your pet to succeed is the best way to get desired results.

Science shows we share an emotional range with animals.

“I do believe they can suffer from mental illness and actually looking and trying to identify mental illness often helps us be better friends with them,” said Laurel Braitman in her popular Ted Talk.

She spent seven years studying mental illness in animals.

“What we do is go into difficult relationships thinking we can fix the people and other animals we love, and sometimes we don’t have the resources to do that.”

Braitman believes getting your pet diagnosed by a vet or an animal behaviorist is a gateway to healing. She recommended hiring a trainer at the first sign of problems.

“It’s kind of like couples therapy,” she said. “You kind of go when you’re having the problems already when really you should go when you’re in the first blushes of love.”

Trust and good leadership

Ty Brown has been training dogs for 20 years. He said when we give them the tools they need, we’re more likely to get the results we want. And it works for people, too.

“I’ve got four daughters, and I think I’m a way better dad because I train dogs,” said Brown, dog trainer with Ty the Dog Guy. “So much of what we do as dog owners, as parents, is setting up scenarios for our kids or our dogs to have success. We deal with a lot of aggression and I would say if I had to guess, 98-99 percent of it is fear related.”

Brown said trust and good leadership on the owner’s part can help alleviate a dog’s anxiety. It’s all about retraining the dog’s mindset so they no longer see another person or animal as a threat.

“Helping the dog realize, ‘No, no, instead of lunging at that dog, we’re just going to have you heel calmly,” he said.

Try your hardest

Like Brown, Braitman’s message is hopeful.

“I am with you, and it is terrible and it is OK that oftentimes we will disappoint the people and animals we love most. You cannot fix every dog or cat, but try your hardest,” he said.

In the end, professional training worked with Jameson.

“We decided we didn’t want to give up on him,” Thompson said.

Now he, and his owner, have learned how to deal with his issues.

“We’re really glad we did,” Thompson said.

Trainers said an advantage dogs have over humans is they are better at living in the moment. This helps them be more adaptable and trainable.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

FILE PHOTO...

Michael Houck

Shooting near Naples Elementary School forces lockdown, two victims hospitalized

A man and a woman were shot in a home in Naples, forcing the nearby Naples Elementary School to lockdown Wednesday afternoon.

10 seconds ago

A West Jordan nanny is behind bars, accused of seriously injuring a baby....

Garna Mejia

West Jordan woman arrested, accused of seriously injuring the baby she nannied

A West Jordan nanny is behind bars, accused of seriously injuring a baby.

21 minutes ago

The Department of Cultural and Community Engagement's STEM for Milo + Friends....

Debbie Worthen

Utah STEM program aims to help parents prepare children for success with conversation cards

When it comes to preparing your child for kindergarten, there is one score that experts now say can determine all kinds of life success, and it's not reading. It's math.

34 minutes ago

Patey aviation park groundbreaking...

Logan Stefanich, KSL.com

‘Community airport’: Spanish Fork breaks ground on Patey Aviation Business Park

Mike Patey got into aviation 25 years ago, and since then he's felt like he's "in heaven" anytime he's airborne.

1 hour ago

A Frontier Airlines jetliner arrives at Denver International Airport after a winter storm swept thr...

Mark Jones

Frontier Airlines adds new flight from Salt Lake City International Airport

Frontier Airlines announced Wednesday a new nonstop flight from Salt Lake City International Airport to Portland, Oregon.

2 hours ago

Several train cars derailed in Elko, Nevada. (KSL TV)...

Eliza Pace

16 train cars derail in Elko, closing roads and causing power outage

Multiple rail cars derailed in Elko Wednesday morning, closing roads and impacting electricity in the area.

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Is Your Dog Anxious Or Depressed? Science Says He Just Might Be