Anxiety in dogs…what does it look like? And what can I do about it?

I think most of us associate anxiety in people with some pretty outward signs. Indecision, pacing around, can’t sleep, can’t relax, sudden outburst of emotion…

Let’s look at that through a dog lens. Does your dog pace around the house?  Want to go outside, then want to come back inside, then back outside? Won’t relax even when you are? Bark or whine at you for no apparent reason?

These are all results of anxiety in your dog. They pace because they don’t know what to do.  They can’t decide whether to go in or out because they are trying to solve their anxiety without success.  They bark or whine because they are locked in a constant state of turmoil and don’t know how to help themselves.  They are in pain.  They are asking you to help!

So, what can you do to help them?

  1. Teach them how to relax – There is a wonderful thing called the “place” command. You teach your dog to go to an object (a rug, mat, cot or dog bed), get on it (all four paws), lay down, and stay put until they are released. This may not sound like much, but there is magic in this command. After many repetitions, and you following through to make it stick, your dog will give up his anxiety and just relax. (Many times they fall asleep, this is a good thing!)
  2. Tell them what to do – Once this command is mastered, you will be able to ask your dog to do this when you see signs of anxiety. He no longer has to worry that he doesn’t know what to do because you have told him what he should be doing! Essentially, you are commanding them to relax!

Help them change their state of mind – They, and you will feel so much better!


See FREE INFO for, “How to Teach the Place Command”Free Information

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