How To Spot The Signs Of Canine Stress
It's easy for your dog to lose his self-confidence during a training session, and quickly become confused about what he's ment to be doing, this can quickly escalate to your poor olde pooch getting stressed out and making his obedience training carry on for what seems like forever. This is one reason I recommend keeping training sessions short and sweet of around 15 minute mark. Be mindful of your dog during your training sessions together and keep an eye out for obvious signs of stress physically manifesting.
Displacement behavior will be easy to spot, and if you notice any of these 6 signs early enough in your lesson it will be simple enough to remedy, and still get plenty accomplished. Other wise if you keep pushing him he is likely to end up stressing you out, and neither of you get what you want, no one and nothing gets everything right the first time every time remember.
What Are The Signs To Look Out For
1. Yawning: If your dog starts to yawn during an obedience training session, this comes from a state of confusion of what's expected of him. take this as a sign of stress physically manifesting.Of course a yawn can also just mean your dog is tired so you must learn the difference.
2. Scratching the neck: If your pup sit's himself down and slowly starts to scratch his neck, just after you have given him a command then you can take this is a sign that your dog is again confused and trying to buy time or even get out of what ever it is you want him to do.
3. Sniffing: If your dog starts to intensely sniff a clump of grass of anything for that matter, like it's the most important thing in the world to him during a training session, you can be sure is another classic sign of confusion and stress.
4. Panting: If you see your dog is starting to pant for no apparent reason during a training lesson it is very possible your dog is getting uncomfortable with what you're trying to make him do and so his anxiety levels are on the up.
5. Squinting of the eyes: This is often a sign of mild stress.
6. Blinking of the eyes: deliberately blinking his eyes is also another sign of mild stress.
De-stress Your Dog
Keep an eye out for your dog displaying any of the above actions, and for any other unusual types of behavior, during an obedience lesson or in the case of a young pup potty training as these could very likely be signs of stress and confusion. If you see any signs of stress being displayed during an obedience lesson it means your dog is not picking things up as quickly as you might like.
So if you see any signs of stress in your dog simply counteract his behavior by "Taking 5." Yep thats the big de-stress secret give your pooch a break show him some love, 5 or so minutes of rough housing, throwing ball, what ever he enjoys it will be enough to take his mind of the training and charge his mental batteries. After your break you begin again, just start on a simpler command something he know's well this will help build up his self-confidence again and get him back on the right foot.
Their is no reason for either you or your dog to stress out during your obedience training sessions together, just remember the 3P's and you wont ever go far wrong. What are the 3P's.Patients,Persistance, and Practise. Never shout or use any type of threatening behavior or violence and you will see your pup come along in leaps and bound. If you have any questions just ask.