My name is carl and I have a dog of almost 5 years. It is a cross between a labrador and a rottweiler. She is very calm and asked by nature, but it happens to her at night, at bedtime (she sleeps in my room on a carpet), sometime she would starts hyper ventilation. At that moment, she does not stop walking up and down, as if she were in total panic. The first few times, I thought she was afraid of the wind, but she also did it for no apparent reason. It was only after taking her to the vet that I discovered she is having anxiety.
Anxiety is a state of alertness or tension related to a feeling of anxiety or fear in the face of a stimulus that is sometimes impossible to identify. Anxiety is the anticipation of a danger or threat that can be real or fictional. Although it is necessary for survival, anxiety can become pathological when the state of alert becomes chronic or exaggerated for the context.
The causes of anxiety in your dog can be multifactorial.
- The genetics of the animal
- The environment in which he lives
- Experiences from birth
At some levels, anxiety is normal. For example, your dog may be anxious when he associates a moment, a place with a bad past experience, a discomfort, a feeling of insecurity or something else. He can be anxious:
- By car
- In the presence of new people
- When he arrives in a new environment
- To the vet
- When he hears some noises
In these situations, your dog’s fear should disappear as soon as he gets away from the situation that worries him. But sometimes, the anxiety state can persist and greatly affect the quality of life of your dog.
Anxiety can become problematic when it persists even in the absence of “danger” or for no apparent reason for you. In this situation, your dog becomes unable to judge the dangerousness of a situation and anticipates a threat. This constant fear causes severe dog distress to your dog and keeps him constantly on the look-out.
Often, because of this feeling of constant insecurity, their learning ability is impaired and the usual education or training techniques often do not have the desired effects. In addition, even if he is very obedient, your fearful dog may be unable to respond to basic demands in a situation that worries him. Why? Because obedience does not help to distinguish between presence and absence of threat.
Depending on his personality, your dog may develop different problem behaviors secondary to his anxiety. Which? He may, for example, start barking excessively or expressing aggression. Need to know more about these behaviors? Check out our pages on these topics:
THE AGGRESIVENESS OF THE DOG
THE BARKING OF THE DOG
REDUCE THE ANXIETY OF YOUR DOG:
LEARN TO DETECT SIGNS