Blizzard’s case study – Dog and Floor anxiety

Like humans; dogs have good long-term memories in the form of associative memories and similar to humans their behaviours are triggered by these memories (good or bad) We use positive association to encourage certain behaviour from our beloved companions, however as is life dogs have experiences that leave ‘bad memories’ or bad associations.

One of the negative associations that some dogs can have is of an experience on a floor type, that has perhaps caused them to slip, or injure themselves on. This can lead to anxiety over certain types of flooring that will affect dog and owner going forward.

Unlike humans; dogs cannot differentiate between a location or specific floor that caused them upset, and for this reason some dogs will be anxious on flooring that looks similar to that which they had an experience on. This issue is larger than you may expect, and we have come across it on numerous occasions.

Blizzard and Floors For Paws

Last spring 2018 we received an email from Harry Burrell in Harrogate.  Over the last few years his beautiful dog Blizzard had developed a phobia to certain types of flooring which prevented Harry from going into many public areas with Blizzard and also his own Kitchen/Diner.

From a puppy starting to go out walking and visiting places Blizzard has had a phobia to certain types of flooring which made going into many public areas difficult. Blizzard would struggle to walk on most floorings other than carpet, including his own Kitchen/Diner which had a laminate floor that was inherited.

Harry was in the process of a home renovation and hoped to have another hard flooring in his Kitchen/diner for the benefits of ease of maintenance, cleanliness and a hypo-allergenic environment. However due to Blizzards anxiety with hard flooring Harry would quite rightly not consider it unless Blizzard was comfortable with the change of floor type. We invited them both over to Floors For Paws house to see how Blizzard would cope.

We allowed Blizzard to slowly walk over the threshold onto our entrance mat. This is where Blizzard stayed for the first few minutes. In a dog’s mind if a floor looks anything like a floor that had previously been an issue it may as well be the same floor. With patience and gentle encouragement form Harry, Blizzard slowly took her first steps on the flooring. Her claws were clenched to begin with but slowly and once the brain associated the floor with safe footing the paws became relaxed and a slow but normal gait became apparent.

After 20 minutes Blizzard was walking all over the floor with a renewed confidence.

Once Harry had completed his renovation using our Wychwood design wood effect flooring we were very interested to see how Blizzard was reacting to it. Harry sent us this Trustpilot review;

https://uk.trustpilot.com/reviews/5cf4f504b05599053889f82a

Since the review Harry has commented that; ‘We are continuing to see improvements on the floor and I am delighted with the difference it has made.’

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