If you have just adopted a German Shepherd, and he is showing all kinds of obsessive compulsive disorder behaviors, including anxiety, chances are his previous experience may have caused him to behave in this manner. It is now your responsibility to learn how to reassure your dog and treat his anxiety.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to a situation, or a dog’s perception of that situation. Anxiety is felt when your dog cannot control the frightening situation and must find an outlet for his fear and panic.
If a dog is suffering from separation anxiety, he is emotionally devastated. Dog anxiety is usually expressed through physical manifestations like barking, pacing, drooling, urinating, snapping, destroying, and self-mutilation. It is known that dogs not only feel anxious, but they may also act out in destructive ways.
There are many things that can cause anxiety in dogs. The size of a dog, the breed, the age, and the surroundings they live in all play a part in it. Though German Shepherds are some of the most intelligent dogs around, but can they handle anxiety?
In order to help your German Shepherd with his anxiety, you must first understand what makes him anxious in the first place. The most common scenario is when you sit down or stand still, your dog becomes anxious and starts to move around, whine or bark. Once you are in his space, he relaxes and looks at you as if to say “oh, thank you for showing me attention”.
To begin addressing your dog’s anxiety, you need to ‘proof’ him in the environment that he is comfortable with. For example, when you approach his favorite ‘lying-around’ spot, pat him and give him a treat when he moves towards you.
A German Shepherd is very sensitive to his owner’s emotions. If you are angry at your dog or if he has had any negative experiences in the past, these can trigger his anxious behavior. Because of this, you need to understand your dog’s behavior before you attempt to alter it.
You should remember that you need to spend some time playing with your dog. It has been found that dogs that are playing tend to be happier, healthier and more relaxed. This can help your dog to get through the day without any additional stress and possibly learn to cope better with anxiety.
Another approach will be to provide your German Shepherd a companion. This will give him a positive association with the companion dog. Companion dog had the same feelings that your dog feels towards him. They are a member of the pack and will get along well and ease his anxiety.
If your dog is experiencing extreme levels of anxiety, it is important to change his surroundings. Start doing exercise with him and make sure that his basic needs such as feeding and bathing are well taken care of. Stress and anxiety will cause your dog to loss his appetite. Do take note of this sign if your dog starts to refuse food.
If your dog’s anxiety is due to health issue, medication would be unavoidable. Medication for anxiety can come in many forms. It can be in the form of pills, syrups, or even just ear drops. While some people claim that medications don’t work well, it seems that German Shepherd owners are among the ones that have had great results with these meds.
If your dog has been diagnosed with anxiety or any other type of medical condition, it’s always a good idea to discuss the possibility of using medications with your vet.
Of course, an obvious way to alleviate your pet’s anxiety is to spend more quality time with him. Medication for canine separation anxiety may help your dog to live a more structured life and help him to conquer his fears but that may not be a long term solution. While you cannot change the fact that your dog will get stress and anxiety, you can certainly help him to cope with this condition.
Did you also allow your dog to socialize with your family members and visitors? Lack of socialization can cause anxiety in dogs. Older dogs may become anxious if they are lonely. Allow your dog to interact with many people and pets in different environments. A dog park will be a good choice.
Dealing with anxiety in German Shepherd dogs can be a very daunting task. Your dog is obviously going to be anxious at times but as long as you can show him love and spend time with him, you will be able to keep his mood in good control. It is very important not to punish your dog for these behaviors but to instead focus on changing the behaviors. Punishment will not ease your dogs anxiety and in fact will make it even worse.
Your dog is your special friend and companion. He offers you unconditional love and ask for little or nothing in return. You should take the time to find out what might be causing his anxiety. If you can identify the source of your dog’s anxiety, you can help him adjust and be happy. This would be a very beneficial experience for both of you!