People are spoiling their dogs more than ever. Yet anxiety in dogs is becoming more and more common.
How could this be?
We often have the best intentions when giving our dog freedoms around the house such as freedom to go anywhere on the property whenever they like. But dogs like to be able to predict what is going to happen next. If a dog has no structure, no rules and no training, and too much freedom, this creates anxiety.
Many dog owners pity their anxious dogs and therefore don’t want to put any sort of pressure on them at all, so they don’t tell them what to do. But giving your dog a job can actually decrease anxiety and make your dog happier.
When they know what the rules are and how the household works, they feel more at ease because they can more easily predict what’s going to happen next.
Remember, anxiety comes from not knowing what the outcome is going to be. Think about, when was the last time you were anxious? Did it relate to something where you didn’t know what was going to happen and felt that all or part of it was out of your control?
Let’s consider place training. Putting the dog on their place and teaching them that they have to stay there until their told removes the options of anxiety building behaviours like pacing, barking at the windows at anyone who goes by, reacting, bolting and more. Once the dog accepts that they must stay there, they calm down. Then we can reward the calm.
I really can’t express just how valuable this skill is. I had a client a while back and he had a cattle dog that was so highly strung and was practicing some behaviours that could quickly turn into OCD and escalate.
I ran into this client at dinner recently and he was so happy, raving about how useful the place training had become in their life. If his dog starts to get to wound up, she goes to place, lays down and just calms.
If you want to learn more about managing your dog’s anxiety and decreasing it through place training and other handy training, you know what to do – join Frantic To Focused.
You can also register to my FREE Frantic to Focused Video Series: Click here to sign up.