Stress in Dogs

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Mankind tends to think that the type of life they are providing for their dog is as good, if not better than that which the dog would pick out for himself. Yet the reality is not so.

* We are making an animal that is used to living in packs, to live with humans in captive surroundings.

* We are, in reality, coercing him into doing what he is not accustomed to do, and he has to discover human methods and follow human rules.

* We are inhibiting his natural instincts by training him to obey orders.

We feel stress in situations that are uncomfortable for us, these same situations can cause stress in dogs. Although you might want to alleviate stress in your dog, dogs obviously cannot communicate with us using human language. Body language is the only way they can express their displeasure and stress. We have to decipher his body language by translating it in the right way.

Some signs of stress in dogs are given below. These signs need to be demonstrated repeatedly for them to be regarded as stress signals.

* Shaking, yawning and scratching

* Refusing food and treats or refusal to open mouth

* Hiding and disobeying orders

* Licking lips, drooling and sneezing

* Improper bowel movements and vomiting

* Avoiding eye contact, keeping tail between legs or acting shy

* Exhibiting over activeness or under activity

* Biting, growling or snarling

Abnormal behaviors may not always be associated with stress in dogs. There will be times when your dog needs to convey excitement and happiness by his body language. If your dog wants to share his excitement with you, certain manifestations may seem to be stress signals. If you watch carefully you will be able to determine which actions are caused by stress. 

Separation anxiety in dogs can also cause abnormal behavior. The feeling is similar to that which we feel when we are removed from a family member or close friend.

Relieving stress in dogs commands a proper insight into the normal and abnormal behaviors. It is also essential to be capable of distinguishing the differences between excitation and stress-related behavior.

Domesticated dogs have acquired the ability to combat stress on their own. Dogs have soothing methods to alleviate their own stress. Sometimes yawning, slow movement, avoiding eye contact, sitting, lying down and lip licking can be signs of the stress relief rather than those of stress itself.

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