Dog Anxiety

Dog Anxiety

Similar to humans, dogs often lash out when they feel threatened. This can become common when dogs are very anxious. Anxious dogs are more quickly to diagnose something as a threat and lash out. These tendencies are shaped by early-life experiences. 

Life for a dog begins with their mom at the center. A mother provides warmth and nourishment along with the encouragement to develop all the basic skills. During this crucial period, the more care a puppy receives, the more confident and less anxious they are. Even a few weeks of attention makes a big long term difference. A study has shown that puppies separated from their mothers when they’re about 40 days old are noticeably more scared on walks, frightened by loud noises, and prone to excessive barking than puppies separated at 60+ days. 

Anxious dogs struggle to relax. They become scared of strangers and unfamiliar situations. There is much evidence that punishing an anxious dog only makes it worse. Long-term health effects such as a weakened immune system, chronic stress, and more issues can be magnified from punishing an already anxious dog. 

As you can imagine, the conditions inside of a shelter can exacerbate a dog's anxiety. Especially with how overcrowded the shelters are today. It becomes a vicious cycle with the shelters being overcrowded, dogs becoming more anxious, and leading to a more difficult time for those specific dogs being adopted. We can all help by providing the shelters the resources to improve these dogs' lives and get them adopted.

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