Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Hyperarousal in Dogs

    Posted 04-16-2024 02:26 PM


    If you work or volunteer for a shelter or rescue, you probably have a dog or several dogs who are excitable.  Many of these dogs just need a little training.  A lot less commonly,  a dog might be experiencing hyperarousal. They get super excited and have difficulty calming down or regulating their emotions.  

    On March 25 at noon PT/3 pm ET,  join Maddie's Monthly Behavior Connection where we'll hear from veterinary behaviorist @Dr Jill Sackman   about Assessment and Treatment of Hyperarousal Behaviors in Dogs. 

    Register for the session and join Maddie's Monthly Behavior Connection public group so that you can receive notifications about upcoming webcasts and participate in discussions after the webcast. 

    Session Description: 

    Hyperarousal behaviors are common in dogs and are often not correctly identified in the non-clinical behavior setting. Dogs with hyperarousal behaviors can be dangerous, resulting in bruising and bites to family from jumping and grabbing. Injury is often serious enough that many dogs are relinquished. Effective assessment and treatment can result in a majority of dogs being able to stay safely in their adopted home.  This talk will review what is currently known about hyperarousal/ hypersensitivity syndrome in dogs and report on a treatment approach used by the author that has led to significant improvement in behaviors and most of the dogs being able to stay safely in their adopted homes. 

    About our Speaker: 

    Dr Sackman is a Diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. She is a graduate of Michigan State University CVM. She completed her internship at the University of Pennsylvania, her surgery residency at the University of Tennessee, and her behavior residency at Blue Pearl in Michigan. She is the owner and founding veterinarian of Animal Behavior Consultants of Michigan, a referral veterinary behavior practice with offices in metro-Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City, Michigan. Dr. Sackman is Fear Free certified and sees dogs, cats and horses with behavior disorders that range from mild fears to extreme aggression, compulsive disorders and panic disorders. Dr. Sackman is also a certified professional trainer through the Karen Pryor Academy, earning her KPA-CTP with her French Bulldog, Rose.


    Sheila Segurson, DVM, DACVB
    Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist
    Director of Community Solutions
    Maddie's Fund
    Pleasanton CA

  • 2.  RE: Hyperarousal in Dogs

    Posted 04-17-2024 07:23 AM

    This is a topic dear to my heart as I've fostered 2 hyperaroused dogs (one was finger painting too) on the beh euth list who, of course, were lovely, adoptable dogs once in a different environment. I would welcome info that addressed what shelter volunteers and staff can do to find the inner best dog, and the skills fosters should add at home. 

    Augusta Farley

  • 3.  RE: Hyperarousal in Dogs

    Posted 30 days ago

    Excellent information in this talk.  I do believe this is something we are seeing more often.  In hearing Dr Sackman mention that it is often seen around 6 months, I wonder if some dogs who have been sheltered for longer periods begin to experience neurological changes that may lead to later diagnosis.  (Thinking of dogs who begin to exhibit stereotypical behaviors) and if similar pharmacological treatments and early intervention might be helpful.

    Thank you for presenting on such an important topic.

    Kym Iffert
    Dog Whys, LLC

  • 4.  RE: Hyperarousal in Dogs

    Posted 26 days ago

    Hi Kym,

    I suspect that sheltering for longer periods of time does indeed lead to neurologic changes- certainly maladaptive behaviors.  I think of the genetics/ genes as the template upon which the environment and experiences work on  - some dogs probably handle the anxiety and emotional trauma and others are more vulnerable to the negative effects of experiences. I am entirely supportive of pharmaceutical intervention in young dogs - if we can help promote early more positive behaviors - it is in the best welfare of the dog.  

    Dr Jill Sackman
    board certified veterinary behaviorist
    Animal Behavior Consultants of Michigan