Everyone who knows Nora, our Morkie, says she is the happiest, most energetic, enthusiastic dog they have ever met. And, while it's true Nora never stops exploring and greeting everyone/everything that crosses her path, even she experiences anxiety from time to time. Anxiety, in dogs, brought on by specific personal triggers is not uncommon, and does not mean your dog is a 'bad dog.' Much like children, our pets are conditioned to respond to different situations and stimuli from a very young age. One traumatic bad experience can trigger an uncontrollable response, even years later. Unfortunately, unlike children, we can't sit them down and explain there is nothing to fear, or that they are going to be 'okay' when their anxiety kicks in.
As pet parents I know it can be frustrating to see your lovable best friend acting contrary to themselves. It's natural to worry if your dog is ill or requires professional training, when they exhibit these signs. It's important to pay attention to what occurred immediately before the behavior was witnessed, often there are signs and patterns of triggers resulting in the behavior. (NOTE: If your dog experiences anxiety towards a specific person, and only that person the behavior may be as a result of negative experiences with that individual. Examine the entire situation before assuming it's a case of unjustified anxiety.)
Every year I stay home with the house buttoned up, playing some sort of loud music to try and drown out the sound of fireworks. Unfortunately, despite being illegal in our country, this year the fireworks began over a week before the 4th, and to this very date we still hear one or two shot off a day. It is entirely unexpected and truly puts both Nora and I on edge. A year ago, after a car had misfired in the alley and Nora had begun showing signs of immediate anxiety I discovered that singing (No, I am not a good vocalist) 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' in a very calm lullaby tone, and noticed that Nora responded dramatically and immediately to this. Ever since it has been my best tool to help her cope.
Stay with me, because I laughed a bit at how the Calmz system worked, at first- but I was honestly willing to try anything to ease Nora's sudden anxiety to loud, unexpected, noises. The Calmz device sits in a specially designed pouch atop the Calmz harness, right between your dog's shoulder-blades and along the spine. With several options for intensity and length of programs, the Calmz device delivers targeted pulse vibrations in time with an ever so faint 'zen like' audio track, played just behind your dog's ears. A massage and meditation, I thought- right.
What tends to stress your dog out? What signs of anxiety do you notice when they are stressed?
What Daughter Says: Man's best friend experiences many of the same emotions- help your dog deal with anxiety by first recognizing the signs and cause.