All dogs can become stressed but what we may not realize is the extent to which we, as pet owners, create stress in our dog. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Karen Becker, Healthy Pets, of some stress triggers than may surprise you. You can view the entire article at http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/10/12/stress-triggers-for-dogs.aspx.
Punishing for behaving like a dog. Your canine companion is a creature of opportunity, and when you give him opportunities to “misbehave” by leaving tantalizing items within his reach, he’ll take advantage.
Telling him “no” over and over. If your dog is doing something he shouldn’t be doing, telling him “no” will probably cause him to temporarily stop the behavior. Unless you show your dog what you want him to do instead of what he is doing, chances are he’ll be right back doing it sooner or later.
Multiple verbal commands for a single behavior. Many pet owners assume their dog knows English and therefore knows that “drop it” and “leave it” mean the same thing, or that “get it” and “bring it to me” are the same. Train your dog to respond to simple, preferably single-word commands (sit, stay, come, down, pee, poop, etc.) and then use those words, and only those words, to communicate.
Saying “It’s okay.” In an effort to comfort their dog, many dog owners say, “It’s okay” when they know a situation is about to happen that their dog does not like. The second you utter those words he knows without a doubt what is about to happen and his stress level shoots through the roof. “It’s okay” becomes a verbal cue to panic.
Pulling his leash. A dog that has been properly trained to walk on a leash doesn’t typically do a lot of pulling, so if you feel the need to constantly yank the leash to redirect him, it’s probably time to refresh your pet’s leash manners.
Tell him to “get down” when he jumps up. If like most people you use the verbal cue “down” to ask your dog to go from a sit to a lie-down, it’s not going to work in situations where he’s jumping up on you or someone else (or a piece of furniture). Train him to stop jumping with the verbal command “off” or “paws on floor” instead. You’ll save your dog the confusion and stress that comes from trying to understand your command and you’ll potentially save yourself or a guest from a friendly mauling.
Rover’s Rest Stop & Ranch is very close to being up and running – the construction is of course taking longer than we planned or want! Stop by and visit us at our next adoption event on May 14 in the Cottonwood Dance Room A-6 from 9:00 a.m.-noon.
If you need more information call 480-600-2828. We would love to see you!