How to Soothe a Nervous Dog

dog13Is your canine friend prone to nervousness and anxiety? Just like people, dogs all have their own personalities. Some are very calm, while others are more anxious. If you’re trying to help a nervous pup overcome his fears, you’ll need to figure out what he is frightened of, so you can determine the best course of action. That said, there are some things that can be helpful to many timid dogs.

Here are a few examples:

Comfort

Man’s Best Friend can certainly form a very close bond with his master. If your dog tends to be very cuddly, and enjoys being petted, simply stroking his fur gently may help calm him down. Talking to your dog in a quiet, soothing tone can also help relax him. One thing to keep in mind is that our canine friends don’t always see hugs the same way we do. Some dogs recognize a hug as a sign of affection, but others may interpret it as a sign of dominance, which can make them even more uneasy. If your dog doesn’t like being petted, ask your vet or a behaviorist for advice.

Exercise

Making sure that Fido gets enough exercise is very important to his overall health and well-being. Take time to walk your dog each day, and indulge him with a few vigorous play sessions. This will help burn off excess energy, leaving you with a calmer dog.

Toys

By giving Fido plenty of toys, you’re providing a healthy outlet for him to channel pent-up or extra energy. Make sure your canine pal always has plenty of playthings to keep him occupied and vent his stress on.

Safe Zone

Dogs often feel safe in small, enclosed spaces. If Fido is crate-trained, try leaving the door open, so he has a cozy spot that he can enter and leave at will. Be sure not to present this as punishment, as this could make your canine buddy even more anxious. Putting treats and toys in the crate may help Fido see his crate as a nice, secure little place of his own.

Positive Reinforcement

Always use treats and rewards, rather than punishment, when working with Fido. Punishment can backfire, and make a pup feel scared, anxious, or angry. Focus on the positive!

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