How to Calm an Anxious Dog
Did you know most dogs exhibit some kind of anxious behavior? If you have an anxious dog, you’re not alone. In fact, many of our team dogs here at Earth Rated also live with anxiety in different forms.
Luckily, there are steps you and the people around you can take to help your dog stay as cool, calm and collected as they can be.
A great way to keep an anxious dog calmer is to know how to interact with them. We asked Sébastien, a certified positive reinforcement dog trainer at Bravo Fido, for his best advice.
Share these tips with your friends, family, or coworkers to help them know what to.
3 Tips to Help Smooth Over Interactions with Anxious Dogs
1. Learn about dog body language. Getting a basic understanding of stress signs and postures will help you see when a dog is uncomfortable and reduce the risk you put pressure on a pup who’s not ready for close contact.
2. Keep your distance from anxious dogs and pretend they’re not there. This might feel counterintuitive since our first reflex would be to soothe and comfort them. For an anxious dog, however, looks, speech, or touches from a stranger can be highly distressing. If you’re around an anxious dog, always give him lots of room when moving around and avoid looking, speaking, or touching him. Let the dog observe you from afar and wait for them to make the first move toward you.
3. Treats galore! If you want to befriend an anxious dog, it might help to toss a treat to them without looking. Check with the dog’s owner for appropriate foods and whenever you walk by, ignore the pup but toss them a tasty snack. Over time, the dog will learn that you’re a cool person who also happens to be a treat dispenser.
Through all this, be patient. The dog gets to decide when and how they wish to befriend you (or not!). Some shy dogs, once feeling safe, will become your best buds. Others will be comfortable around you but aloof and that’s ok too! With these tips, you’ll be set up for success either way.
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