5 SECRETS TO RELAXING A NERVOUS DOG

Published: 22nd January 2010
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Your beloved dog is a part of your family and should have his own place in your pack. As the pack leader, you should give him due care and attention as you do any other member of your pack / family. Owning a pet is your choice and as a responsible owner, you owe your dog, your family and your neighbours a well adjusted, happy and healthy dog. If your dog is a nervous dog it is your responsibility to help him and keep him as calm as possible, this will make things much easier for you all to live together and will be much healthier for your dog. It is important that your dog has a place to retreat to, preferably his bed so that when life gets tough and noisy around the house your dog can find his own peaceful place. In this respect your dog is no different from anyone else in your pack, every one needs their own quiet time and your dog is no different from people in this respect.

The Nervous Dog
Unfortunately some dogs are nervous and highly strung, and no matter how much you try and to calm them down they will still display their nervous nature. This is in part because some breeds are more excitable on the whole or just because it is the dogs nature, every dog no matter what the breed is an individual. Some breeds however will nearly always be calm and reliable. There are also some dogs that will only ever get nervous in certain situations. As with people some are always calm and others can be constant nervous wrecks. As with some dogs some people can be frightened of the dark or thunder but it is usually only these things that make them nervous. The local environment and the dog's upbringing can have a drastic affect and make for a dogs nervous disposition. If you dog has a previous history where it has been mistreated or had a stressful time as a puppy the damage may have already been done. You should never forget that dogs, much like children can pick up on a person's mood and outlook and will tend to follow the leader.

The following tips will help you ease your dogs nervousness and will improve the quality of life for not just your nervous dog but all those who have contact with him.

Exercise
Exercise plays a pivitol role in the health & well being of your dog. Indeed most nervous dogs would derive great benefit from more exercise, this helps in two ways initially this will help to tire the dog and release the dog's pent up energy stores, and secondly this exercise will release endorphins in the brain which are good hormones that can help ease your dog's nerves. Exercise is known to have a similar effect on humans. 

Massaging
It is difficult to underplay the importance massage can play in helping your dog feel relaxed and helping him to to calm down. Massaging the neck shoulders back and rump can with most dogs send them blissfully to sleep, the calming effects of physical contact from the touch of your hands is well documented in humans hence the amount of spas and physio massage centres. Massaging your dog should not mean stroking your dog but giving him a proper massage from head to paw.

Socilization
To have a well ballanced healthy dog they need to socialize and be around other animals and people from an early age, this will help them to cope with life and the different situations they will comes across throughout their lives. Remember the first time your dog saw a vacuum cleaner in operation, he was probably terrified, but once he had been exposed to it and seen for himself that it posed no threat or danger he just ignores it.

This is why it is so important to get your dog socialized. It is important to make sure that your dog is exposed to as many normal everyday household objects as possible from a very young age.Socialization is a very significant part of your dogs development and will help him with his life skills, the same goes for meeting and greeting people outside of your family unit. The more your dog socializes the less nervous it will be of the big wide world.

Create Calm
For those owners who have a nervous dog in their family, the need to have a calm and confident personality for the dog to follow is vital, this extends to the home and the dog's surroundings. You will need to have a settled and calm atmosphere in your home. Alternatively your dog should have an area space or bed / crate in a calm place within your home. All dogs look to their owners for guidance and as is the way with dogs they will soon pick up on your moods. When you become highly strung and nervous then you can bet your dog will also. To deal with all of lifes stesses why not try yoga or meditation and breathing exercises to calm you down, this calm mood will be directly transmitted to your beloved dog.

Sedation
Although this should be a final resort Sedation can work very effectively for dogs that suffer from nerves during heavy thunder storms or firework displays such as those on New Year's Eve at parties or "Guy Fawkes" night in the UK. However it is very important you get any medication for your dog from a qualified and prefessional vetenarian, and in the case of tranquilisers you should use them sparingly and only for those occasions when it is too stressful for him to endure. Your veterinarian will be able to suggested a mild tranquiliser for the sake of your dog's general wellbeing.

Conclusion


When treating a nervous dog it is important to consider the atmosphere you have in your home. You should take a step back and see if the way your family conducts itself is affecting the nerves of both you and your beloved dog. You can do this by asking yourself some vital questions.


Do you and your family continuously scream and shout at each other?

Do your children tear around the house like it's a race track?

Do you or your family play loud music or have the TV constantly blaring out?

These would be a typical example of modern day living in most families, however these types of behaviour although typical will add to a dog's stress levels and make for a nervous dog.

It is vital to think about your dog and his needs,does he really need loud music booming through the home, does he need the TV on loud blasting out in all the rooms of your house? Do your children drive him into a frenzy by constantly running around the home screaming and shouting?

Try turning the volume down on all the activities in your home or if not get the children to listen to their music or TV through headphones, try talking to each other instead of shouting and screaming, this alone will reduce the stress on your dog, which in turn will make him less nervous.

Your dog is your best and most dependable friend, he only ever wants to serve and protect you and your family, all he asks in return is love, lots of cuddles and to be cherished. You can do this by reducing the stress in his life and he will become a less nervous dog that you can and will be proud of.

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