As pet parents, we will do almost anything to make sure our dogs are relaxed, comfortable and have no anxiety. We go out of our way to make sure they have a cozy bed, plenty of toys and get belly rubs and head scratches whenever they please. However, there are some things that we may be doing that are actually causing our dogs stress.
Your dog is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, right? Maybe you’re on the couch and can’t help but catch a glimpse of those big brown eyes. However, starting into a dog’s eyes can actually cause them stress.
When dogs stare into each other’s eyes it is a sign of aggression. This can also occur when a person stares too long into a dog’s eyes. It makes them uncomfortable, whether or not they outwardly show it. Following the rules of dog body language, you should shift your body to the side a little and not make direct eye contact. In the dog world, this is more of a peace offering.
"Leave it, Give it, Drop it":
Training a dog is tough work, but one very important thing to do is make sure you and your family members are all using the same commands. While we know that “drop it” and “give it” mean the same thing, your dog does not.
Pick the words you are going to use for their training and stick to them. Your dog will get stressed out if you keep throwing similar words out that he does not actually understand.
Dinner at 5pm means dinner at 5pm!
Dogs like being on a schedule. They like to know when they are fed, going to go out for a walk, as well as their sleep schedule. This isn’t to say that you can’t have variations and that you need to keep your schedule by the minute.
However, if your dog is accustomed to going out to relieve themselves first thing in the morning, make sure you take them out each day. If you are unable to one morning, you cannot blame your dog for having an accident in the house.
Let Your Dog Be a Dog
We’ve all been there. You’re cooking dinner and you happen to leave the bowl of shredded cheese a little too close to the edge of the counter. The next thing you know, your dog has taken it and spilled it all over the floor, lapping up as much as he can.
Reminder yourself, it is your dog’s instinct to find food. Yes, you may have corrected him in the past but yelling and scolding at him can cause a great deal of confusion.
While the best thing to do is keep all food out of your dog’s reach, that is not always possible. If your dog gets to a piece of food, finds something from the trash, or picks up garbage during a walk, you should discourage the behavior in a calm fashion and then offer them something that they are allowed to have like one of their toys or a ball. Your dog must drop the other thing in order to receive their toy. This prevents them from thinking that they are being rewarded instead of corrected.
They Know You Love Them!
At the end of the day, your dog knows how much you love them. Always pay attention to any signs of stress and discomfort that your dog may be trying to relay to you. You are their protector, and trust us, they love you right back!