Stress effects

                                                      Even fun can be stressful if there is too much. 

Stress is a huge part of day to day life.  Humans deal with stress in their own individual way as do our dogs.  All dogs are different so what one dog considers to be a stressful event, another will not.  Even when they are put into a stressful situation; they will all deal and suffer different levels stress itself.  Stress is not a good thing.  A dog's body can deal with small amounts of stress and move on past it but if there is too much stress for too long, it can be detrimental. 

Psychology today - The effect of training methods on stress levels in dogs.

There are many causes of stress in life.  Training can offer a stress response; I have witnessed dogs repeatedly squat in attempts of appeasing a human.  The dog who is trying to continual submit is in a highly stressed state.  This triggers a huge stress response in the body.  Going to the dog park can be a very stressful event; too many dogs or too much interaction.  Many dogs do not like dog park situation even though their owners drag them to the dog park every day.  They may seem okay with the whole thing until someone in the know observes them. 

Too much highly intense activity can trigger stress.  A dog that is continually "on" will suffer stress.  Some dogs are stressed by simple day to day activities; many rescues fall into this category.  They may have lead a sheltered life; received very little early socialization so dealing with the day to day is stressful without any huge stress triggers. 

A Veterinarian visit can cause a huge amount of stress.  So what can we do to help our dogs?  Get into your zen zone and stay with your dog for as long as you can.  Stay calm, the calmer you are the more your dog can stay calm themselves.  All Veterinarian facilities are different, find one that will offer what you feels comfortable with; one that focuses on your dogs needs. 

Whole Dog Journal - Easing your dog's stress

Stress can be created by a new environment, too much anticipation, over exercise, over stimulus, fear and many other different things.  It all depends on the dog; that is what we need to clearly understand, no two are alike.  

Down time is huge for dogs.  I remember when we moved to the house in CT for several months a couple of years ago.  The house was filled with floor to ceiling windows where Elsa could see squirrels all day long.  I literally had to put her away for naps throughout the day due to the ability to watch them.  She needed downtime and was unable to get any with the squirrels running about within her vision.  Without the physical removal of her from the prey trigger, she would become wired and out of control.  She was unable to rest which caused her body to stress.  So I had to take her away from it.  Being "on" all the time is very stressful. 

Moderation is important; the "more is better" is not always true.  Often more is too much.  Watch your dog, know your dog, so that you can see the small signs of stress.  Remember downtime is essential; your dog may need a little or a lot of downtime.  We often push our dogs thinking "this will be fun," but is your dog having fun?