How to Calm a Dog

By Joyce VFM

 

A dog’s stress levels can be gauged by their behavior. For example, if your dog yawns or releases air from their lungs, they’re likely feeling stressed. But don’t just look at the behavior alone. It’s also important to consider the dog’s whole stance, feel, and smell.

Exercise

A dog that has trouble settling down may benefit from regular exercise and mental stimulation. There are several training games for dogs that can teach them to sit quietly and stay calm. In addition to these exercises, owners can implement several management and training methods. Exercise is one of the most important tools for calming an overly active dog. However, it should be noted that high arousal and high energy levels are not the same thing. Dogs with boundless energy levels are not necessarily rude or pushy.

Playing games with your dog is another excellent way to relieve your dog’s excess energy. Games such as fetch and tug are great energy burners, and they can be transformed into mini training exercises. Regardless of the game, your dog will be happier when he gets some exercise. It is important to remember that too much excitement can lead to trouble, so exercise in moderation is key.

After exercise, your dog needs a cool down period. Dogs need time to recover from physical activity, but when exercise is interrupted, they crash. As such, it is important to have a routine that helps your dog switch from its “high” to more relaxed behavior. The Chill Out program is designed to help your dog achieve this transition smoothly.

The best exercise for your dog is one that engages both his physical and mental muscles. If you cannot dedicate an entire day to walking or running around the neighborhood, consider playing a mental game instead. Mental exercises such as shaping games or teaching tricks require your dog to think creatively.

Music

When you’re driving in your car, you can calm your dog by playing soothing music. Some dogs prefer soft rock, others prefer reggae. The best research comes from user feedback. A OnePoll survey of 2,000 dog owners revealed that 68 percent of them are very sensitive to their dog’s moods. And 81 percent of them said they would change their habits if they knew their dogs were listening to music that upset them.

Music therapy is proven to be effective for both humans and pets. For example, dogs that are scared of thunderstorms or fireworks will react positively to music that makes them relax. Playing music can also help dogs with separation anxiety because music can ease stress. Recent studies have shown that dogs in animal shelters respond to music in a relaxing way. It can decrease barking, decrease respiratory rates, and decrease the stress hormone cortisol.

Songs about love and longing are great for soothing your dog. A classic song about a man longing for his beloved can help him relax. A mellow jazz fusion hit like “I Want My Dog to Love Me” can help your dog calm down if it’s anxious about separation.

Music is soothing for puppies and dogs, especially if you listen to it quietly. It can help calm a wriggly puppy or arthritic dog. Some dogs respond well to classical music. Other soothing types include soft rock or reggae. You can download calming music from your favorite streaming service.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy for dogs is an effective way to help your pet cope with stress. Whether your dog is anxious or has a strong personality, aromatherapy can help him or her relax and reduce his stress levels. Many essential oils have different effects and can be used in combination. Some of them are even effective for dogs that have separation anxiety.

While most essential oils are safe for dogs, some are toxic. Peppermint and cinnamon are two of the most dangerous for dogs. Also, be sure to avoid wintergreen and sweet birch oils. Some dogs may also be sensitive to rosemary. Always consult a veterinarian before using any type of essential oil on your pet.

Essential oils for dogs should be diluted with a carrier oil so they won’t be too strong or too subtle. The recommended ratio is 10 drops of essential oil to half an ounce of carrier oil. Dogs may not like some essential oils, so it’s best to start with small amounts and then work your way up.

Lavender oil is one of the best essential oils for calming dogs. Its relaxing properties also make it useful for humans suffering from insomnia. Lavender oil can also be used to condition your dog to a safe space. A study from 2006 showed that lavender oil reduced the anxiety in dogs on a car ride. The results were also similar when diffusing lavender in dog shelters.

Physical contact

Physical contact can be a wonderful way to soothe a dog. It helps relieve stress and improves awareness. When massaging your dog, be sure to use the tips of your fingers. Use a gentle, clockwise motion to massage the dog’s body. You can also call the dog’s name to focus the dog’s attention on you.

A dog will also pick up on your emotions. For example, it might become restless or stressed when certain family members come over. It may pick up on your anxiety without understanding what is causing it. When this anxiety is prolonged, it affects routines and levels of tension in your dog.

When a dog is happy with its surroundings, it will feel connected with its owner. When you touch a dog, you will find that he will lean against you, raise his eyebrows, and even smile, which reassures him that you care. This will calm your dog.

Besides physical contact, you can also communicate your feelings through words. Dogs can interpret the tone of your voice, and hearing a soothing voice from its owner is highly effective in calming a dog. Your dog may also feel more secure and calm if you sing to it or shushing him like a baby.

When a dog is anxious, it may start pawing at you or trying to initiate play. While this may seem like an innocent gesture, it can also be a sign that it is anxious or is seeking comfort. Using your hand to scratch your dog’s belly is an effective way to comfort your dog and help it feel better.

Distraction

Distractions to calm a dog are great training tools. When selecting a distraction, you need to consider the task you want to teach and the level of excitement of your dog. It is also important to consider what rewards are valuable to your dog. It is important to choose an activity that is easy for your dog to learn.

Start with distractions in small areas of your home. Try to distract your dog with a new toy, especially if it squeaks. Another idea is to prepare a safe area for your dog to go during training sessions. It can be an area of your house or a nearby park. The goal is to train your dog to respond to your cues.

Distractions can be in the form of anything. Living things, other dogs, people, critters, and scents all can distract your dog. Food is another distraction that is appealing to dogs. The farther away the distraction is, the less compelling it will be. Changing distractions often requires frequent training sessions.

Changing the distraction is a key step in training your dog. Make sure to use rewards that are high in value. Some dogs love the taste of frozen liver, while others love the tennis ball. Learn what rewards are most valuable to your dog and match them to the difficulty level of the distraction. The highest value rewards should always be reserved for the toughest distractions.

Desensitization

Desensitization is a simple, yet effective method for calming your dog. The first step is to find out what triggers your dog’s stress. You can then work to desensitize him by using counter-conditioning techniques. These techniques involve rewarding your dog with a high-value treat whenever he experiences the trigger sound.

Whether your dog is afraid of the doorbell, the car’s horn, or the sounds of a veterinarian, desensitization is an effective way to reduce his fear. If your dog is afraid of the sound of a stethoscope or a doorbell, for example, you can teach him to walk away from the door. By combining this method with a simple obedience training program, your dog will learn to accept the stethoscope and the loud sound it makes.

Desensitization works by gradually exposing your dog to the trigger, one criterion at a time. Your dog will then respond in a positive manner instead of displaying a fearful response. It may take a few days or several weeks for your dog to become calmer, but it will be worth it in the end.

Desensitization is a process in which your dog gradually becomes less reactive to a specific stimulus. For example, a dog may be extremely scared of adults while mildly terrified of small children. However, if you spend enough time with your dog around children, it can learn to tolerate the trigger. You can spend as little as five minutes a day with your pet. Over time, this can be increased to as much as fifteen minutes.

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