The relaxed dog – training or does it depend on the breed?
The ideal image of every dog owner is probably a well-behaved, relaxed dog. But the reality is often a little different: whether it's fear of loud noises, hectic movements, strangers or passing cars - many a four-legged friend reacts by shaking, barking loudly or even tries to escape.
Some dog breeds are considered more relaxed than others. The main cause of a fearful or nervous dog usually lies in early training. If the dog was not exposed to any unusual or loud noises as a puppy, for example because he grew up isolated, there is a high chance that they will scare him.
What to do if the dog is anxious?
Dog owners should get their four-legged friends used to different noises and situations as early as possible. In most cases, a competent dog school can help. The cause of anxiety-related situations varies from dog to dog. One person reacts with stress symptoms when visiting the vet, the other has problems staying alone.
In some cases, a sedative can be used. For example, if a dog shows symptoms of stress during New Year's Eve fireworks or is afraid of going to the vet, pheromones or herbal sedatives can often provide relief.
The pheromone atomizers are simply plugged into the socket at home and distribute natural odors evenly throughout the rooms, which have a calming effect on the dog. These smells cannot be perceived by humans.
Herbal sedatives include valerian and St. John's wort. These can be mixed into the food. Homeopathic remedies, such as Bach flowers or so-called rescue drops, are also popular helpers that are available at the pharmacy or vet.
Stress in dogs
Changes in living conditions, a new family member or a move can change the behavior of an otherwise very relaxed dog. When stressed, your four-legged friend's perception is changed; he focuses purely on his sensory perception and completely ignores the rest. The consequences are loss of obedience, lowering of the stimulus threshold and increased reactivity. Such stressful situations can promote anxiety. If you are currently in such a changed life situation, then you should give your dog plenty of time to relax so that he can calm down again. Massages as well as nose work and brain games, which require the dog to move calmly and evenly, can also balance out stress.
Encourage dog relaxation
In order to relax at home, your dog needs a rest area. The basis for this can be a blanket, a basket or a soft dog pillow. It is important that your dog can lie undisturbed and relax in his area. This space should not be in a passageway area, but in a quieter corner.
There is no raging, screaming or listening to loud music here. Your dog's rest area is only intended for relaxed activities. Whether it's a treat, a chew or cuddling together - the dog should associate relaxation with his rest area. So he quickly learns that he can retreat here.
You should closely monitor changes in behavior: When is your dog relaxed, and when is it stressed or anxious? Assess whether it is a known fear or whether it arose from a new life situation. If you recognize early on what caused the stress, you can counteract it through targeted training.