Tips to help your nervous dog and I should had nervous owner. This article is helpful for those of us that have nervous dogs. These tips will help you hopefully control your dog and yourself better. It is always hard when we get nervous and then our dog can sense our emotions and thy react from our emotions. Dogs are so much like children in the sense of rules and safe places and routines. They need it just like children do. We all like a routine and safe place for that matter. I found this article at iheartdogs.com.
1 – Play Classical Music
Studies have shown that playing classical music can calm dogs down. Check out my article on Through A Dog’s Ear, canine sound therapy programs, for more information.
2 – Teach A Safe Place
Many canine behaviorists and dog trainers use mat training as a way to teach dogs to relax while things are going on around them that may scare them. It gives them a “safe” place to lie down and a job (staying on the mat) to focus on, rather than the environment.
3 – Canine Massage
Just like with humans, massage is a great way to get a dog to relax. It may take some time before your shy pup will even let you touch him like this, but once he realizes the affect, he will love it. Look for classes or clinics near you on how to properly give your dog massage.
4 – Be Calm Yourself
Dogs pick up on our own energy. If you are nervous about a situation, don’t take your dog there, it will just make their anxiety worse. Work on being quiet and calm when you are handling your nervous dog, to help him feel relaxed. Take deep breaths and don’t move fast or in big gestures. Getting low and sitting with your dog can help too.
5 – Be Consistent
Dogs like routine. Nervous dogs will be even more nervous if you keep changing the rules on them. Am I allowed on the couch or not? Can I jump up on people or not? Keeping your rules unchanged will help a nervous dog relax and be comfortable in your home.
6 – Add Distance
If your dog is nervous about certain things, such as people, dogs or cars, adding distance between the object and your dog can help them relax. Move far enough away that your dog gets comfortable enough that she will still work (i.e. respond to cues, take treats, etc.). This is your dog’s threshold point. Once you know that, you can work on slowly closing the distance using counter-conditioning (pairing scary object with treats), while your dog remains calm.