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Phuket Dog Whisperer: Canine separation anxiety

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Dog Whisperer: Canine separation anxiety | The Thaiger

PHUKET: In part one of our look at Canine Separation Anxiety we identified some of the many reasons and symptoms for its onset, so here in part two, we’ll look at various ways of treating it.

However, it’s important to note that you should always consult a canine behaviorist first so that problem behavior can be correctly identified prior to implementing a modification program. There’s no point trying to modify separation anxiety if that’s not really the issue.

Now separation anxiety, can be tricky and in truth, can be annoying. To add insult to injury, many owners want to yell at or punish their dog for the excessive vocalization, or other behavior associated with the anxiety, but this can make the problem worse by increasing the dog’s need for social contact developing what’s called Learned Helplessness.

Feeling nervous? Okay, here’s the science bit: The nervous system is responsible for behavior and is divided into two sections: the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (nerves and some sensory organs). The nervous system works closely with the endocrine system, which is responsible for chemical coordination in the body.

The nervous system conveys information from one place to another by neurons or nerve cells. Chemical secretions called neurotransmitters travel from one cell to another. They contain and convey information. Some of the more important neurotransmitters are dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Got that?

Dopamine is involved in motor coordination and reaction time. A deficiency can cause inability to learn, irritability, anxiety and a decline in endorphins (a dog’s natural pain killer). Dopamine influences the brain’s pleasure center and a decline in this neurotransmitter can result in a diminished positive feeling.

Norepinephrine is related to adrenaline. It is responsible for your dog’s energy level. A depletion of this can cause your dog to shut down and display signs of lethargy and depression.

Serotonin regulates mood, pain and arousal levels. Low levels of serotonin can result in aggression, impaired learning, anxiety and obsessive behavior.

Now, when a dog becomes overstressed the nervous system releases norepinephrine and dopamine, which causes a suspension of the part of the brain responsible for learning and higher thought process, previous learning, impulse control and social inhibition. Previously learned coping mechanisms may become inaccessible which can provoke species-typical coping mechanisms (chewing, digging, urinating/defecating, vocalizing).

Addressing the problem

There are a number of ways to treat separation or isolation anxiety, and in many cases it’s largely a combination of a number of them – but remember, all dogs are different so consult a canine behaviorist first.

Pharmacology:

A major contribution to the treatment of separation anxiety is a drug called clomicalm, which helps by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain which in turn decreases the level of fear, stress and anxiety experienced by the dog. But lots of people aren’t keen on taking anti-depressants themselves, let alone giving it to their dogs.

Nutritional Intervention:

Stress puts greater nutritional demands on your dog so if your dog is not currently eating a high quality dog food then you could consider a change. Lower quality dog foods frequently contain a large quantity of corn which is also thought to decrease the level of serotonin in the brain (although I’m not a nutritionist, so don’t quote me.)

Mental Stimulation:

Possibly the best way to help your dog, is to encourage active participation and focused enjoyment of something. You can increase mental stimulation in your dog by feeding part of his meal in a fun ball or hide portions of his meal around the house when you leave. One of the best ways to stimulate your dog mentally, is obedience training.

Physical Stimulation:

A tired dog is a well behaved dog. Exercise stimulates the production of serotonin and is a way for your dog to release all of his energy appropriately. When you start exercising your dog start out slow and increase the amount of time and the level of the exercise. You know your dog, so you’ll know what’s too much and what’s not enough, but it is a good idea to have your dog examined by a veterinarian first to make sure there are no issues that may have an impact on your exercise program such as obesity, arthritis, hip dysplasia, etc.

Second Dog Syndrome:

Dogs are social animals and are generally happiest when in the presence of other dogs. Many people believe that getting another dog will treat the current dog’s anxiety, but that often backfires and can actually increase the stress on your current dog. In many separation anxiety cases, the dog has developed a hyper-attachment to humans, so another dog makes no difference.

Scent Item:

Providing your dog with a soft item that smells like the attachment object or person can sometimes help in minor cases. The best way to accomplish this is by wearing a t-shirt to bed and leaving it with your dog in the morning when you leave.

Here one minute, gone the next:

For the first 15-20 minutes after you arrive home or before you leave completely ignore your dog. This means no eye contact, no speaking, and no fast, noisy activity. The goal is to reduce the contrast between your presence and absence. If there is damage or mess in the house, ignore the dog and simply go about cleaning up. Do not punish your dog!

Remember, this is not your dog’s fault and he is not acting this way to get back at you for leaving him. Treatment for Separation or Isolation Anxiety takes time, patience and lots of work but you can make a difference.

For more information on Canine Separation Anxiety, or to inquire about training classes contact the Thailand Canine Academy on T: 089 588 4050, E: mailto:[email protected]or check out W: tk9a.com.

— Russell D Russell

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Now you can study the success of K-pop band BTS – University of California, Berkeley

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Now you can study the success of K-pop band BTS – University of California, Berkeley | The Thaiger

PHOTO: BTS members posing with South Korean President Moon Jae In

400 million views, 500 million, 600 million. Just scroll through the group’s songbook on YouTube from the past five years and you will be watching music history in the making – a success built on a new pop genre, new ‘music business’ model and seven young South Koreans hell-bent on succeeding in the music world, beyond South Korea.

Now you can study the success of K-pop band BTS - University of California, Berkeley | News by The Thaiger

Now, the global success of K-pop act BTS lies at the core of an academic course launched at the University of California, Berkeley. The student-run course has been announced on the university’s website as part of UC Berkeley’s Democratic Education at Cal program.

The group – consisting RM, J-Hope, Suga, V, Jungkook, Jimin and Jin – have amassed a social media following (called ARMY), ignited live audiences with their happier sharp choreography and won international awards. It hasn’t all been easy and their story, from seven teenagers living in one dorm in Seoul, to international music stars has lessons for all interested in modern pop music.

On the course “Next Generation Leaders: BTS” students will learn about the K-pop boy band’s growing global impact, which led to their immense success.

Now you can study the success of K-pop band BTS - University of California, Berkeley | News by The Thaiger

The DeCal program allows students to create and facilitate their own classes on a variety of subjects, as reported by Yonhap. The BTS class is an option for media students at UC Berkeley and will be offered for the first time in spring.

The course outline for “Next Generation Leaders: BTS” on the school’s website reads: “This course will focus on Korean boy group BTS and their global impact. We will attempt to explore the group’s history, artistry, philanthropy, and many other aspects in order to analyze their growing impact in society as well as their international success.”

It would also dive into the intricate world known as ‘Bangtan Universe’ that the group has created through its album concepts and videos. Media articles and interviews would be utilized as well, and students would come up with theories about the group’s success.

The orientation session for the course was held on Feb. 5, and a Twitter account has been dedicated to the course. A photo on Twitter showed the enrolled students watching a video of BTS’ acclaimed speech during a United Nations General Assembly session in September. BTS fans expressed their support for the program on Twitter.

BTS attended this year’s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles and made history as the first K-pop presenters at the event. The group’s album Love yourself: Tearwas nominated in the Best Recording Package category. They made history in 2018 with two Number One albums on the Billboard Top 200 charts.

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Thai Life

Top 10 news sources in Thailand (2019)

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Top 10 news sources in Thailand (2019) | The Thaiger

…in English, in no particular order.

This post is mainly for newbies, tourists and people-interested-in-Thailand. Locals already have their home favorite news sources. But all these Top 10 do it well, in their own way. All are trying to navigate their way through the labyrinth of modern media, some better than others, whilst punching out daily news. We think they’re all stars because doing media in Thailand, in English, is a tough gig.

These are all news and information sources and the list doesn’t include the myriad of excellent blogs around – a topic for another Top 10.

1. Bangkok Post

Traditional news, still delivered as a daily newspaper, but with an expansive and thorough website. It’s been going since 1946 and reported on a coup or two, or three. As far as making the move into digital media is concerned, Bangkok Post is doing it better than most. Editorially it has has taken a, mostly, neutral political stance with a few exceptions. But, as newspapers go, it walks down the middle fairly reliably.

2. The Nation

The other major daily coming out of Bangkok is a lot newer than Bangkok Post, starting up in 1971. As the two broadsheets battle it out, The Nation has occasionally taken a more partisan line, famously turning its editorial voice against PM Thaksin Shinawatra. Recently the paper has been struggling with circulation and was taken over by Sontiyan Chuenruetainaidhama, founder of conservative outlets T News and INN News. At this stage there appears to be no impact on The Nation’s editorial stance but it’s falling circulation and advertising revenues are impacting its bottomline.

3. The Thaiger

Please indulge us as we put our own website and news in the Top 10. The Thaiger, only running as a national website since April 2018, is the fastest growing English-speaking online-only news and information site in the Kingdom (according to the ‘stats’).

The Thaiger are the new kids in town with everything to prove. The Thaiger curates the news and chooses topics it believes will be interesting, important or newsworthy, in English and Thai. The Thaiger bought out the Phuket Gazette’s digital assets in August 2017 but now has a national and regional focus, whilst continuing to pay homage to its home turf in Phuket. Currently has the third highest readership of any English-speaking news website in Thailand.

4. ThaiVisa

The biggest and most popular news website in Thailand (in English). If ‘The Thaiger’ curates, ThaiVisa splashes EVERYTHING onto its front page. If it moves or breathes, you’ll find the story on ThaiVisa. It’s big, bold and an eyeful of news. It’s also famous, or infamous, for its hugely popular forums where keyboard warriors dispense their opinions and wisdom on everything, usually tearing things to shreds. It’s the biggest English-speaking news website in Thailand and has been for a decade. Recently had a makeover and now has a purple cut durian as its logo – go figure.

5. Khaosod English

Fresh, selective, well-written and a rising star in real Thai english-language journalism. An offshoot of it’s much bigger Thai-language sister. To the point, original stories with a modern journalistic spark. They tend to choose their stories and provide excellent insight when they do. Original and deserving of your daily read.

6. Coconuts

Most would agree that when Coconuts started it was the best and cheekiest news blog for its time. Actually covering all of South East Asia, it’s Bangkok blog was a daily log-on for most hip expats. In recent times they’ve taken the brave ‘paywall’ option (because people want to pay for good journalism) which hasn’t affected their web hits, yet. In our opinion it’s lost a bit of its verve but it’s still a healthy and reliable daily read, for Thailand and the region. Singapore it its most popular location, Thailand is third.

7. Thailand News

A shameless aggregator, they copy and paste headlines and a few paragraphs with a link to the original story. Designed to rank in Google, the site is still in its early days. To avoid any copyright issues, the stories usually include a photo library ‘look-a-like’, instead of the real photo from the story. For all we know the entire site could be run by cleverly-coded robots. There is no sign of a human touch anywhere. Rather than a contributor to the world of Thai journalism, the site is just a parasite using everyone else’s news. But, hey, it’s a viable business model I suppose. Bottomline, it’s nicely set up and has, well, most of the stories around Thailand, all in one neat package.

8. The Phuket News

Phuket-based and Phuket-focussed, the weekly newspaper took on the well-established Phuket Gazette (which had been running since 1993) and eventually became the island’s one and only weekly ‘newspaper’ (somewhat of an oxymoron these days). The paper has always employed some of the best editorial staff in Thailand, runs a lifestyle and travel section and, well, is about as good a local paper as a tropical island could hope for. Also has a Russian and Thai version.

9. All Pattaya media

Whilst the rest of Thailand does things one way, Pattaya does things differently, in every aspect, including its media. It’s quite saturated with farang media – websites, Facebook pages, radio and cable TV – but there’s no single, ‘outstanding’ Pattaya news source. For the local expats there’s plenty of choice. Problem is there’s TOO much choice and the many are eating out of the same small advertising revenue pie.

10. Thai PBS World

A government news agency but has demonstrated its independence over the years. As a website it’s had more face-lists than Joan Rivers but remains solid, reliable and surprisingly (especially with the military government) unbiased. Also tends to cover stories the other don’t.

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Thai Life

Amnesty for possession of cannabis in Thailand?

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Amnesty for possession of cannabis in Thailand? | The Thaiger

The Government is looking at a plan to grant amnesty to those who have been using, or have, cannabis in their possession, But only if they report to authorities within a given time frame.

The Drug Committee approved three draft legislations for amnesty yesterday.

If the drafts become law even possessors of cannabis, who are not patients or research units, will be automatically pardoned, no questions asked.

The Food and Drug Administration secretary-general Tares Krassanairawiwong says… “We have already passed the draft regulations, but there are still many steps left. The FDA will have to put these drafts through public hearings and gather opinions for further review.”

He was speaking after chairing a meeting with the Drug Committee, during which the green light was given to several draft laws yesterday.

The approved drafts included three announcements designed to grant amnesty to government agencies, private firms, community enterprises, practitioners of traditional Thai medicine, research organisations, patients and everybody else who use or possess cannabis.

“They must report within 90 days once the announcement goes into effect,” Tares explained.

Under Thai law, cannabis is an illicit drug and possession or use of it is punishable by a fine and/or a jail term.

However, the Kingdom is currently in the process of allowing the use of medical marijuana, and several draft laws are being prepared to facilitate the enforcement.

According to the plan, patients who use marijuana for health reasons will be allowed to continue using the drug after they register themselves for amnesty and till the medical-marijuana system is introduced.

Marijuana is believed to be useful for patients battling Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, some stress conditions, chronic pain, and nausea related to chemotherapy.

SOURCE: The Nation

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