A Closer Look at Dogs and Anxiety

9:21:00 AM

love sitter, originally uploaded by oceanoaloha.

When dogs are not responding to us in their best form, they may be suffering from anxiety or fear on their own. Remember that there is always an underlying cause for a dog’s behavioral problem and it is up to us humans to find out what it is. Whether it is from a traumatic episode in the dog’s life or a genetic issue, there are ways to deal about it correctly.

The most important things to bear in mind are:
  • Never re-assure your dog if he is afraid. Re-assurance only reinforces fear.
  • Do not force your dog to get over his fear instantly. It takes time and practice.
  • Do not punish your dog if he is not behaving well because of his fear. 
  • Do not add to the tension that your dog already feels. Instead, introduce relaxation, calmness, ease.

When desensitizing your dog, never forget to
  • Give your dog the reward he deserves if he’s done well. Dogs respond best when their deeds are appreciated.
  • Give lots and lots of pats and praises after every practice.
  • Work at your dog’s phase.
  • Practice with your dog every day. 
  • Conduct short training sessions with your dog each day instead of long sessions that are done sporadically.
In some cases, it maybe necessary to give medication exclusively for dogs. These are called canine anxiety reducers. It is absolutely important to seek an expert’s advice on these matters. If trying to desensitize your dog on your own does not give out any progressive result, it is best to see a veterinary or an animal trainer for further advice and assistance.

Ultimately, we do love our pets and we want to care for them as best as we can. The one thing every dog owner must always remember is that dogs with anxiety problems can get well. Through consistent practice, accurate information and support, your dog will surely learn to get over these fears. Don’t give up on your dog just because he’s not one hundred percent worry-free. After all, dogs are family too.

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