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Canine Behavior/Nervous Norfolk


Hi,  I have a 10 year old female Norfolk terrier who is so anxious that she becoming very disruptive in the home.  She's always been anxious with a submissive pee problem.  The submissive stuff has improved over the years unless she gets really excited or frightened with a full bladder.  She especially submissive with men.  She also barks at slight noises in the house and goes crazy with the doorbell.  it creates bad behaviot in my other two dogs, and not sure how much more ican take.  i cant take her out every hour.  Our recent move has heightened all these issues.  What do you suggest?

Hi Amy -

I am sorry that you are having trouble with your dog.  In fairness to your senior dog and recent move, please make sure that you give her enough time to adjust to her new surroundings before you do anything extreme.  Have you discussed this behavior with her veterinarian?  Older dogs can have impaired senses, diminished eye sight, hearing, senility, etc. which can cause "out of the blue" behavior problems.  If it is a medical issue (and depending on the nature of the condition)certain medications can be helpful.  If you are interested in exploring a holistic approach, you can look for a veterinarian (or ask your vet for a referral)that is certified in traditional chinese veterinary medicine - (you can search for a practitioner here)acupuncture and certain herbs can be very helpful with anxiety and behavior problems.  There are also products such the Nuturecalm pheromone collar (available from your vet)and the Thundershirt (available at most pet stores or their website which can be very helpful for many dogs.
As for her going crazy with the doorbell - you can have friends and family members do "mock visits" and ring the doorbell several times a day to kind of desensitize her to the sound.  You can mix it up by just ringing it followed by no visitor or have them ring it and come in.  Remember to praise and treat her (as well as the other dogs)for good responses to the sound as well as visitors and for not "going crazy with the doorbell."
I think if you can give her some time to adjust to the new home, rule out any medical issues, and get the anxiety under control you will eliminate or at least minimize the problem.  Best of luck with your dogs...keep me posted.  I have included a link to an article on submissive peeing that you may find interesting.  

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Jennifer Ganser, LMT, ABCDT


For canines I can answer questions related to behavior, obedience training, health and massage therapy (anatomy, health benefits) For equines I can answer questions related to behavior, barn management, health and massage therapy (anatomy, health benefits) I am not a veterinarian and it is not within my scope of practice as a licensed massage therapist or certified dog trainer to diagnose health conditions. Please contact your pet's veterinarian for illness related questions and emergencies.


I am a licensed massage therapist for people, horses, and dogs and a certified dog trainer. I teach group obedience classes as well as private lessons. I also work with horses and help barns establish good management practices.

Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) National Certification Board of Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

2009 - graduate of Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy 2010 - certified in canine/feline first aid + CPR by Red Cross 2012 - graduate of Post University equine program 2012 - graduate of Animal Behavior College Obedience program

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