3 Crucial Lessons To Learn About Your Dog’s Potential For Stress
Stress is absolutely prevalent in the world of the human – particularly post Covid lockdown and all the things that came with it. As people, we really have to learn about stress to recognise that we may be suffering with it. We need to learn the symptoms, what those symptoms mean and how to relate them to how we are feeling and that’s before we even start working out what to about our health if we are stressed.
When our dogs suffer with stress though, they can only tell us how they feel if we know their language. And language is only the beginning of our learning, if we are to help dogs with stress. We also need to be aware of how they feel and how the stressed dog might react based on that. Finally, we need to know that stress is caused usually by the presence of something in the dog’s environment that makes them feel less than safe.
With this in mind and we want to be empowered and aware about stress within our dogs we must:
- Know how they communicate stress to us and generally how their body language changes if they feel stressed.
- Know what biological changes they are going through when they are experiencing stress – which enables us to be fully aware that dogs do not usually decide to act up if they are stressed, they are simply responding to biological and physiological changes.
- Be mindful that stress and safety are intertwined, if we can show our dogs they are safe at times they might be feeling stressed, we can help them.
Wellness, health, mental health and behaviour are all affected by stress. Unfortunately, it’s not recognised by many dog guardians. When canine stress isn’t recognised, dogs can be blamed for their behaviour – like they are choosing to lunge and bark at something or deciding to jump up and grab their person. They can even be punished or called “naughty” which is unfair and inaccurate.
None of these three crucial lessons are overly complicated. You can learn them in an hour or so. They will make a huge difference to your relationship with your dog though, and improve your dog’s experiences of the world more than you might imagine.