Stress is no fun for anyone, especially dogs. Like humans, stress and anxiety can cause animals to lash out. A dog behaviourist in London might tell you this is because of the animal’s poor reaction. Stress is a difficult, painful emotion for any animal but dogs shouldn’t be treated as “bad” simply for having an honest reaction to their surroundings, such as anxiety. So while you seek dog training in London, take a moment to understand your dog’s stress and learn how to deal with it. 

How to Identify Stress in Dogs

One of the skills a quality dog behaviourist in London teaches owners is how to identify stress in their pets. This is tricky, as dogs are often more subtle than humans in how they express anxiety. Still, with careful observation, you can spot the signs and learn how to improve your pet’s life.

Nervous Pacing or Shaking

One of the most common signs of stress in a dog is pacing or shaking. As this behaviour is sometimes linked to playfulness, it’s easy to overlook. But whole-body shakes are a common reaction to unpleasant stimulation. Similarly, dogs are prone to pacing the room when they face a stressful situation. These telltale signs can’t be overlooked.

Barking

Barking is another sign that is easy to misunderstand. Unfortunately, it’s often treated as a cause to seek puppy training in London. However, barking often accompanies a stressed or anxious feeling that deserves attention. Study what your dog is barking at before deciding it’s a behaviour issue. Furthermore, pay attention to whines and whimpers which almost always express pain and worry.

Bodily Signs of Stress

A dog’s body gives multiple signs of their anxiety. Their pupils dilate under duress and they may blink rapidly. Dogs whose ears are traditionally raised may pin them against their head. Dogs will tuck their tails as well in stressful moments and sit on their hind legs. By looking at your dog, you can identify multiple symptoms of stress.

A dog’s mouth also reveals a lot about its state of mind. Dogs who are not overheated but panting are warning their owners of stress. Anxious dogs are prone to drooling, licking, and yawning more too. 

Behaviour Changes

Perhaps the most concerning symptom of anxiety are changes in behaviour. Dogs practise intense avoidance behaviour. This includes minor forms like sniffing the ground and looking away. But it can escalate to steps like hiding behind their owners and running away behind obstacles like cars or other large objects. While it’s important to never force a dog to comply and come out, contacting a dog behaviourist in London may offer a solution to help your dog.

All of these behaviours are worrying, but will generally pass. Still, it’s vital to pay attention to stress behaviour in dogs to help them deal with their stress. A perpetually upset animal will practise unhealthy behaviour such as violence and using the bathroom in inappropriate places. To avoid seeking puppy training in London, pay attention to your pet.

Ways to Help Your Pet

Fortunately, caring for your dog is a relatively simple task that doesn’t require much special knowledge. After all, you know your pet better than anyone, and with the knowledge acquired in dog training in London or elsewhere, you can learn to manage your pup’s stress. 

Stimulation

One of the most effective ways to relieve your dog’s stress is with constant stimulation. Taking your dog to the park for walks and playtime with other dogs. This experience allows your dog to burn off their nervous energy and refresh with a positive situation they’ll enjoy. A trip to the park is also a positive time for the owner, ensuring they’ll avoid projecting stress as a bonus. 

Another positive stimulus is toys. Not only are toys a fun, playful reward, but they’ll also entertain your pet when you can’t be there. Your animal must develop self-soothing skills and quality toys to perform the task well.

Crate Training

Crate training is one of the best ways to ensure a dog avoids stress. With crate training, your pet develops its own space to trust in a stressful moment. Your dog can escape to their crate to hide and relax with familiar scents and sensations they know. This helps prevent havoc in your home.

Sound

Certain noises are always a positive way to soothe dogs. Their hearing is famously more intense than humans. For that reason, it’s beneficial to provide them with constant sound while you’re away to help drown out more sudden ambient noises. Quiet sounds like classical music and soothing channels on television will assist your dog to feel comfortable.

Quality Time and Physical Contact

Constant quality time with your pet goes a long way toward ensuring relaxation. Spending time massaging your dog, petting it, talking to it and just generally being there will help your dog build trust in you. This will carry it through times of isolation and loneliness. 

Manage Your Own Stress

Ultimately, one of the best ways to avoid stress with your dog lies in you. If you approach your dog with a low-stress, low-anxiety reaction, your dog will feel better. Animals feed on our reactions. If you’re calm and relaxed, your dog will be too. Try to focus on your stress to improve your pet’s stress.

Ultimately, pet owners need to understand their dog’s stress. With proper dog training in London and elsewhere, you will develop the skills to understand and assist your pet through the harshest of stressors. Our pets are often there for us on a bad day so it’s only fair we do the same to them. 

Dog Behaviourist and Owner Training

If you’re trying to learn how best to treat your pet’s stress, look to Dog Behaviourist and Owner Training. Offering quality dog training in London, this professional service offers training in a wide range of areas from dog socialising to behaviour management. Boasting six years of experience, we work with owners and pets to maximise their interaction and produce a healthy bond for man and animal alike. Contact us to see how we can serve your pet’s behavioural needs today.