Do you have a dog?
Do you find them to be too anxious for your liking? Do they jump at every noise, shake in the dark, or seem to always want attention no matter what time of day it is? You are not alone. Dogs can suffer from anxiety just like humans do. Luckily, there are ways that you can help your pup feel less anxious. Teach them basic commands and tricks, take them on walks, and give them plenty of exercise!
It’s important to remember that all dogs need space and time away from their humans, so try to leave them be for a while every day. These methods should help your canine friend feel less anxious in no time!
Related read: Anxiety in Dogs: Symptoms, Signs and Treatment
Socialize Your Dog
Decrease their anxiousness by taking them out and about! Get them used to being around other people, especially strangers. This way, they’ll be less likely to panic when someone walks up or tries to grab hold of them. If you have a fearful pup, take things slow! Socializing should be a positive experience for both you and your pup.
Practice Basic Commands
Do you ever wonder why the dog trainers on television have their dogs “sit” before giving them treats? That’s because this command is one of the best ways to show our pups that we are leaders, not enemies. It also teaches them to look to us for guidance. This is an important skill to have when your pup becomes startled by something in the dark!
The goal isn’t to make them listen because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t, but rather to show that you are the one in charge and that their behaviour affects how you treat them. Plus, having a dog that will respond to simple commands makes it easy to give them space if they’re overwhelmed.
Practice Basic Tricks
Not only is trick training fun and rewarding for you and your pup, but it’s also a great way to burn off some of that extra energy! Teaching your visual dog tricks can help their confidence by showing them that they can do things to impress you. Use treats as a reward for good behaviour, but only give them after they’ve finished the command! This way, they will start to associate being calm with being rewarded.
Take Them on Walks
Dogs are just like humans; regular exercise helps them feel better about themselves! Get outside and take your pup for a walk each day. You can start slow by practising loose-leash walking, where you hold the leash loosely instead of having it taut like usual. This helps reduce pulling on their end, which makes walks easier for both of you. Once they have mastered this skill, you can increase the length of the walks and even try to jog now and then! Just make sure that you’re always watching for signs of fatigue.
Leave Them Be Sometimes
Dogs are pack animals, so they crave attention from their kind. Make sure to give your pup some time each day where they can be alone without feeling abandoned. This is important for both you and them! It’s good to get your pup used to being alone while you’re at work or running errands. Sometimes, they need a little “me time” before they can get back to playing with their favourite toys or hanging out with the family again.
Does your dog shake like crazy when they’re stressed out? These relaxation protocols can help them feel more comfortable. This is especially helpful for those moments when your pup gets worked up over something and won’t calm down. When you give them to command such as “shake,” it helps ground them and gives them something to focus on other than whatever had their anxiety going in the first place.
Another trick you can use is to ask your pup for a command, such as “sit,” and then give them a treat like dog biscuits. This works well for small spaces where your dog may feel trapped.
You may also read: Low Maintenance Dogs
Speak in a Calming Voice
Dogs not only listen to the words we say, but they also read our body language. This is why it’s essential to speak in a calming voice when they are anxious! If you need to intervene during an anxiety attack, like when your pup has to make an appearance at the vet, stay calm and talk them through what you’re doing. It works best if you act like everything is normal; this may sound strange, but it works!
Master the Look
One of the best tricks for helping your dog feel less anxious is to master “the look.” When you give them a calm, assertive stare, it works like magic and helps take their mind off whatever’s scaring them. The goal isn’t to scare or intimidate them; just to let them know everything’s okay and they don’t need to worry. It’s a good idea to practice this with your pup before you two run into stressful situations together since it can be hard to calm down once everything starts going wrong.
If you put these tips into practice, your dog will start feeling less anxious in no time! Just remember that every dog is different and may need some more help than others. Use this article as a reference point, but don’t hesitate to contact your vet or a canine behaviourist if you have any questions. Everyone wants their dog to feel happy and healthy, so these methods should work well!