For dogs, anxiety comes in many forms. It can mean excessive drooling for one while another will jump every time somebody turns on the water faucet, or runs the dishwasher, or a thousand other daily activities that make anxiety-ridden dogs lose their calm. Some dogs simply do not react properly to strangers and visitors to your house. That’s yet another sign of anxiety. Whatever the case my be for your dog, it’s embarrassing and unpleasant.
That’s why dog owners everywhere are thrilled to learn that there are several things you can do to help your dog work through his anxiety and get rid of it once and for all.
In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn about the best way to help your dog get over his anxiety without resorting to pet meds, expensive obedience training, or tons of time. Of course this method won’t work for every dog and every type of anxiety but for the most part, it’s perfectly viable for a lot of situations.
My advice to you is to read this carefully, turning over in your mind the concepts behind the strategy. That way, you’ll be able to adapt the techniques for your dog, if need be. Good luck!
What to Do: Associate the Anxiety-Inducing Stuff with Stuff He Likes
Assuming you know what’s causing your dog to wig out and become a bundle of nerves, you can easily use conditioning to help him get over his problem. You’ll simply be tricking his mind into associating the scary thing with a pleasant thing.
Ever suddenly smelled something that took you back to a pleasant memory? That’s the same principle at work: something good happened to you while you smelled a particular odor, and now you associate that odor with feeling good.
Same for dogs: let’s say your dog has an unreasonable fear of the washing machine when it’s running. He flattens his ears when you turn it on, puts his tail between his legs, and hides. Sometimes all you have to do is reach for the Tide!
If you can get out his favorite treat and feed him bits of that treat every time you do your laundry, you’ll be conditioning him to forget his fears and focus on those delicious treats that seem to come around every time you run your washer. Don’t feed him any treats once the washer has finished its cycle, however. You’ll confuse the issue and the conditioning won’t work.
Another way to really drive this lesson home is to lead by example. Your dog considers you the leader of his pack, and if you show him that the washing machine is no big deal when it’s running, then he’ll soon follow suit.
How to act like it’s no big deal? First of all, don’t try and comfort him (that won’t work anyway). Don’t react to his shenanigans but instead ignore them and talk to him like you would at any other moment. He’ll wonder why you’re not freaking out about the washing machine and eventually decide not to be afraid of it.
Soon, the combination of your nonchalance about the thing causing your dog anxiety combined with the association of nice tasty treats will have your dog forgetting all about that scary thing. The anxiety will be gone, and you can both have your lives back!
Thundershirt – is an excellent treatment for most types of dog anxiety and fear issues. The Thundershirt creates a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect.
Calming Chews are recommended for the following:
- Changes to environment
- Company or parties
- Veterinary or grooming visits
- Boarding or holidays
- Boredom or separation anxiety
- Moving or traveling
- Fireworks and thunderstorms