STRESS IN DOGS AND PROPOSED SOLUTIONS. Introduction. Stress and our dogs

STRESS  IN  DOGS  AND  PROPOSED  SOLUTIONS     Introduction     It   is   not   always   easy   to   explain   the   relationship   we   have,   or   ...
Author: Norma Terry
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STRESS  IN  DOGS  AND  PROPOSED  SOLUTIONS     Introduction     It   is   not   always   easy   to   explain   the   relationship   we   have,   or   we   would   like   to   have,   with   our   dog.   Living   with   a   dog   is   living   with   a   different   species   to   our   own.       It   is   therefore   necessary   and   so   very   IMPORTANT   to   get   to   know   and   understand   each   other.     Dogs  have  this  AMAZING  capacity  to  ADAPT  and  have  therefore  been  able  to  adapt   to  these  extraordinary  lives  that  we  have  chosen  for  them.    The  dog  has  become  part   of   our   society   and   plays   an   important   social   role.     Because   of   this   adaptability   we   expect   our   dogs   "to   understand”   and   fit   PERFECTLY   into   our   environment.     This   environment  does  not  meet  their  basic  needs  and  is  so  far  removed  from  their  natural   way   of   living   that   problems   occur.     And   when   they   are   provoked   into   unusual   reactions  or  "aggressive"  responses  they  are  reprimanded,  punished,  or  killed.     For   many   of   us   it   is   an   attachment   that   we   feel   is   irreplaceable,   always   there   for   us   and  never  judging.    Put  another  way,  the  dog  is  "man's  best  friend”,  but  are  we  his   best  friend?  

  Stress  and  our  dogs     Just   as   people   can   experience   stress   from   having   to   cope   with   all   sorts   of   situations   and  pressures  in  their  daily  lives,  so  can  dogs.    Some  stress  is  not  a  bad  thing,  in  fact  it   motivates   us   to   get   things   done   i.e.   knowing   that   we   have   to   answer   to   someone   at   work  motivates  us  to  get  things  done  on  time.  However,  as  we  all  know,  when  there  is   too  much  pressure,  we  start  to  suffer  emotionally  and  physically.    The  same  is  true  for   dogs.  

    Stress  is  neither  good  nor  bad.    It  is  ALL  stress.    The  body  cannot  tell  the  difference.       Stress  can  be  physical,  emotional,  psychological,  environmental  and/or  infectious  or   any   combination   of   these.     It   is   also   important   to   remember   that   all   stresses   are   cumulative  whether  we  recognise  them  as  such  or  not.    In  nature  it  is  vital  for  survival   that  the  organism  responds  optimally,  this  will  ensure  a  successful  hunt  or  escaping  a   predator.    Remaining  in  that  state,  however,  is  not  good  and  negative  consequences   will   occur.     The   effects   of   chronic   stress   penetrate   to   the   core   of   our   being.       It   changes  us  in  the  process;  it  alters  our  body  and  our  brain  and  will  take  some  9   months  to  repair  from  the  time  the  stress  is  taken  away.  

When   stressed,   the   body   reacts   by   immediately   releasing   various   stress   hormones   and  these  will  peak  some  10  to  15  minutes  later.    It  will  take  the  body  and  brain  3  to  5   days  to  return  to  the  level  they  were  before  the  stress  occurred.     So  what  happens?    The  first  response  is  the  release  of  adrenalin:  we  have  all  felt  this   sudden  tingling/rush  of  blood/heart  pumping  when  we  have  a  sudden  scare.    If  the   stress   remains   then   cortisol   (the   adrenal   stress   hormone   which   can   lead   to   adrenal   fatigue)  is  released  into  the  system.      At  the  same  time,  various  other  changes  occur   including   amongst   others,   the   release   of   sexual   hormones,   making   us   irritable   and   angry   and   what   people   call   in   dogs   ‘aggression”.     The   gastric   juices   can   be   affected   inducing   diarrhoea   and/or   vomiting;   the   body’s   water   balance   maintained   by   the   Antiduretic   Hormone   (ADH)   goes   out   of   kilter:   we   sweat/get   hot/need   to   pee.     The   blood  sugar  levels,  normally  stored  in  the  liver  to  “feed”  the  brain  a  little  at  all  times,   are  disrupted  as  all  redirected  to  the  muscles  and  none  is  left  in  storage,  so  the  brain   is  starved.      Australian  Research  has,  now  discovered  that  Neuropeptide  Y,  a  neuro-­‐ hormone,  which  is  a  major  regulator  of  stress,  damages  the  immune  system.       When   it   comes   to   our   dogs   the   impact   of   stress   has   long   been   unknown   and,   therefore,  ignored  with  little  research  done  on  the  matter.    But  we  do  now  know,  that   stress  has  the  same  effect  on  dogs  as  it  does  on  humans.    And  chronic  stress  creates   too  high  a  level  of  adrenalin.    This  not  only  makes  our  dogs’  senses  much  more  acute   and  sensitive  than  usual,  it  also  affects  their  ability  to  concentrate.    This  in  turn  will   cause  them  to  be  far  more  reactive  to  what  is  going  on  around  them  and  make  them   more  judgmental  than  they  need  to  be.         If  there  is  occasional  stress  the  body  will  recover.    However,  if  this  happens  everyday,   overtime   it   will   not.     If   stressful   things   happen   too   often   the   body   will   become   chronically  stressed  and  the  immune  system  will  be  impacted.    The  dog  will  get  sick.     Research   is   now   showing   that   almost   every   kind   of   illness   can   be   traced   back   to   stress,   so   if   our   dog   is   stressed   we   need   to   find   the   underlying   cause   and   resolve   it   ASAP.    

Sources  of  stress   When  our  dog  is  overreacting  to  things,  there  is  a  fair  chance  that  it  is  due  to  too  high   a   level   of   stress/chronic   stress.     If   this   is   the   case,   no   matter   how   much   we   “work”   with  him  we  will  not  relieve  his  stress.    If  anything  we  will  probably  make  it  worse.     We  need  to  find  out  what  is  stressing  him  and  do  something  about  that.    Chronic   stress  can  arise  inadvertently  (the  list  below  is  not  exhaustive):       From  owners  who   • Throw  balls,  Frisbees,  sticks  etc.     • Take  their  puppy  to  “play  groups”;  all  too  often  the  pup  is  overwhelmed  by  the   length   of   the   class   and   of   the   “play   sessions”,   the   size   of   the   group/pups,   the   tasks  expected  of  him,  the  constant  stimuli,  not  given  any  break/rest  periods,  is   asked  or  worse,  forced,  to  do  things  he  does  not  understand,  etc.   • Cycle,  jog  or  any  other  kind  of  repetitive  activity  with  their  dog     • Allow  their  dog  to  play  every  day  with  other  dogs  or  owners   • Do  agility,  obedience  classes  when  the  dog  cannot  cope  with  those  activities    


• “Tease”  or  over-­‐excite  “Where’s  the  cat?  Get  the  cat?  “  “walkies”  “get  bally”  etc..   • Control  their  dog  –  give  him  no  possibility  of  making  choices   • Touch  and  let  others  touch  their  dog  constantly,  for  too  long  and  “impolitely”  or   owners  who  do  not  have  sufficient  physical  contact  with  their  dog   • Only  offer  the  dog  a  repetitive  walk     • Have   the   dog   on   a   collar,   too   short   a   lead   or   one   that   is   always   tense   or   being   yanked/tugged…     • Over  or  under  stimulate  their  dog   • Force  things  on  their  dog   • Confuse  their  dog,  have  too  high  expectations   • Treat  their  dog  as  their  “baby”  not  understanding  his  canine  needs     • Do  not  give  their  dog  clear  messages  so  the  dog  has  no  idea  what  is  expected  of   him     • Unbeknown  to  them  are  threatening  to  their  dog.    Most  of  the  time,  we  humans   have   no   idea   that,   at   best   we   are   being   impolite   and   at   worst,   threatening   to   our  dogs.    For  example,  it  is  threatening  to  a  dog  to  walk  straight  at  him,  reach   for   him,   bend   over   him,   stare   into   his   eyes,   move   quickly   or   have   fast   movements,  etc.    These  will  always  cause  the  dog  to  use  a  calming  signal,  which   in  turn  may  not  be  seen,  be  ignored  or  worse  still,  punished.  A  recent  study  has   shown  that  a  person  approaching  a  dog  without  curving  substantially  increases   the  dog’s  pulse  rate  whereas  there  is  no  change  in  the  pulse  rate  if  the  person   curves.   The   environment   is   of   particular   importance   as   no   canine   living   in   the   wild   is   ever   exposed  to  so  many  repeated  stressful  situations  as  our  dogs  are  today.     From  the  environment  or  the  way  the  dog  is  raised  including:   • A  “bad”  breeder/a  puppy  farm  etc.   • Too  little  rest  and  “proper”  sleep   • Too  little  water  (specially  for  puppies)   • Too  little  /too  much  or  inappropriate  food   • Illness  or  a  trauma   • The  lack  of/too  much  close  contact  with  owners  and/or  other  dogs     • Too  much  time  spent  alone   • Not  being  given  the  opportunity  to  relieve  himself  when  he  needs  to     • Sudden  changes  (moving  home,  birth,  death  etc..)   • Too  much  noise  and  people  running  around  the  house     • Too  little/too  much  freedom  of  movement   • No   space   he   can   call   his   own,   and/or   not   enough   choices   of   where   he   can   relax/sleep/rest     • Too   many   dogs   kept   close   together   with   no   opportunity   to   withdraw   and   maintain  personal  space     • Too   many   threatening   things   such   as   children,   strangers,   frequent   storms,   violence   or   anger   around   the   dog.     Dogs   react   to   the   state   of   mind,   emotions   and  moods  of  those  around  them!    

Symptoms     Stress   symptoms   create   further   stress   and   so   begins   a   vicious   circle;   the   body   and   brain   need   sufficient   time   in   between   each   stressful   situation   to   repair   themselves.      


This   will   be   anywhere   from   3   to   5   days.     Of   course   some   of   these   behaviours   can   happen  when  the  dog  is  not  stressed  so  we  need  to  OBSERVE  our  dog,  and  look  at   the  context  and  how  often  the  particular  behaviour  is  occurring.     • Nervous,  jumpy,  generally  over-­‐reactive     • Unsettled,  restless  and  fidgeting  such  as  chewing  on  the  lead,  air  snapping  etc.   • Lack  of  concentration,  forgetting  things  and/or  displacement  activity     • Destructiveness  of  the  home  and  /or  objects   • Excessive  barking,  whining  or  howling   • “Shut   down”:   the   dog   becomes   very   quiet   and   non-­‐responsive.     Unfortunately   most  owners  do  not  realise  how  much  the  dog  is  suffering.   • “Aggressive”  behaviour   • “Too  few”/“too  many”/or  NO  calming  signals  (such  as  lip  licking,  avoiding  eye-­‐ contact,  yawning,  turning  head  away)  etc   • Mounting     • Self-­‐mutilation:  the  dog  licks  or  chews  himself  until  sores  appear   • Change   in   bitches’   seasons   and   dogs   may   not   have   any/or   have   too   much   interest  in  mating   • Increase  or  loss  of  appetite   • Diarrhoea   • Allergies   and   skin   problems,   lacklustre   coat,   excessive   dandruff,   sudden   moulting  and/or  body  odour  as  well  as  bad  breath,   • Panting,  other  than  after  exercise  or  a  very  hot  day  and/or  sweaty  paws   • Tight  muscles,  shaking/trembling   • Compulsive  behaviours:  tail-­‐chasing,  staring  at  shadows  etc   • Excessive   peeing   and   pooing;   in   the   house;   on   the   walk   when   not   needing   to,   when  arriving  somewhere   • Resting  Pulse.    It  should  be  somewhere  between  40  and  65,  if  it  is  over  70  then   action  must  be  taken.    To  take  our  dog's  resting  pulse,  we  place  a  flat  hand  on   the  inside  of  our  dog’s  thigh  for  one  minute  (stopwatch  in  hand)  and  count  (it   is  worth  noting  that,  unlike  us  humans,  our  dog’s  pulse  is  not  regular).        

Solutions   THERE   IS   NO   MAGIC   REMEDY   FOR   STRESSED   DOGS   but   by   thinking   about   how   we   might   feel   before   imposing   something   on   our   dog   may   be   the   way   forward.     As   this   will   help   us   develop   a   more   harmonious   and   less   stressful   relationship   with   our   4   legged  friend.     Stress   cannot   be   removed   by   training,   doing   obedience   or   exercising;   any   of   these   will   just   make   matters   worse.     The   stressful   stimuli   must   be   recognised   and   taken   away.     We   need   to   identify   as   many   stress   factors   as   possible   and   systematically   reduce   the   amount   of   stress   the   dog   is   regularly   exposed   to.     It   will   take  as  long  as  it  takes  to  repair  the  brain  and  the  body.    It  will  take  some  9  months  to   recover  from  chronic  stress  from  the  moment  there  is  no  stress.  .     It   is   important   to   find   out   more   about   what   our   dog   needs   in   terms   of   mental   stimulation,  exercise,  sleep,  companionship,  diet  and  lifestyle  to  ensure  that  he   is  happy  and  healthy  both  mentally  and  physically  throughout  the  many  stages   of  his  life.    And  we  need  to  arm  ourselves  with  PATIENCE  and  breathe  deeply.    


  The   first   thing   to   do   is   to   take   away   the   possibility   for   our   dog   to   react.     As   an   example,  if  our  dog  lunges  at  dogs/people  who  are  too  close,  we  need  to  make  sure   we  do  not  put  ourselves  in  a  situation  where  we  cannot  offer  the  dog  an  alternative.     So   we   go   to   wide   open   spaces   where   we   can   be   far   enough   away   and   curve   (see   Calming   signals   by   Turid   Rugaas)   in   ample   time   to   allow   the   dog   to   learn.     We   continue   doing   this,   gradually   reducing   the   distance,   until   the   dog   is   able   to   cope.     Another   example   will   be   at   home,   every   time   we   get   up   to   go   somewhere   (out   or   just   to  get  a  cup  of  tea)  we  should  use  the  hand  signal  (a  relaxed  hand  palm  facing  the   dog  low  down    -­‐  not  a  “stop  or  sit  signal”).    This  tells  the  dog  that  there  is  nothing  to   worry  about  so  he  does  not  need  to  move.     To   stimulate   his   self-­‐confidence,   we   need   to   give   our   dog   choices   and   simple   pleasures   within   set   boundaries.     By   boundaries   I   mean   making   sure   we   do   not   have  a  free  for  all,  with  no  manners.  We  need  to  make  sure  we  teach  our  dogs  to  be   polite,   show   them   what   is   acceptable   and   not,   whilst   making   sure   that   we   are   consistent  so  that  our  dog  knows  where  he  stands.    A  curious  dog  is  a  healthy  dog.         We   should   not   control   him   all   the   time;   before   not   allowing   the   dog   to   do   something   we   should   ask   ourselves   why   he   should   not   do   it?       For   instance   before   asking  him  to  “sit”  we  should  ask  ourselves  “what  for?”    We  control  so  much  of  their   lives   already.     We   decide   when,   where   and   for   how   long   to   exercise.     We   even   usually   control   the   speed   at   which   they   are   allowed   to   walk;   when,   where   and   what   they   eat;   where   and   with   whom   they   live;   when   and   where   they   pee   and   poo,     Dogs   are   the   ONLY  animal  on  earth  who  is  not  allowed  to  choose  when  and  where  he  can  toilet!         We  need  to  spend  much  more  time  observing  our  dogs  to  become  aware  of  how   they   feel   in   different   situations   without   expecting   them   to   “always   fit   into   our   world”.       We   should   be   a   good   parent   and   protect   our   dog   at   all   times.   In   all   circumstances   we   need   to   observe   him   and   watch  his  calming  signals.  For  example,  how  does  he  react   when  we  cuddle  him,  when  we  have  visitors  or  when  we   get   ready   to   take   him   out   for   a   walk?    Does  he  rush  to  the  door   barging  all  in  the  way  or  does  he   bark,  or  pant  or  lick  his  lips  and   stop   to   scratch   himself?     Observing   him   will   allow   us   to   identify   if   things   are   getting   too   much   for   him   and   react   accordingly.     Equally,   we   should   not   be   “over   protective”   towards  him,  while  NEVER  forcing  him  to  do  anything.    He   will   need   to   be   exposed   to   different   places   and   situations   to   learn   to   cope   with   life.     We  need  to  look  at  our  dog  and  only  do  as  much  as  he  can  cope  with,  but  we  need  to   do  it  in  order  to  “vaccinate”  him  to  our  human  life,  in  other  words,  enable  him  to  cope.     Slowly   but   surely   day-­‐by-­‐day   he   will   be   able   to   cope   more   and   more,   this   may,   for   example,   start   with   as   little   as   sitting   with   him   by   the   front   door   and   watching   “the   world  go  by”.      



Many  dogs  do  not  get  enough   good  quality  sleep.     They  need  more  sleep  than  we  do.    Puppies  need  16   to  20  hours  sleep  and  adult  dogs  14  to  18  hours  in   every   24.     Safety   is   essential,   so,   we   need   to   make   sure   that   wherever   they   sleep   they   feel   safe   and   that   nothing   can   interfere   with   them.     Unless   absolutely   necessary   we   should   not   disturb   our   sleeping   dog.   Dogs   are,   what   is   known   as,   ‘polyphasic’  sleepers;  dogs  will  choose  somewhere  to  sleep  for  a  while  before  getting   up   and   moving   somewhere   else.     This   is   normal   and   instinctive   behaviour   so   we   need   to   give   our   dogs   enough   choices:   sofas;   beanbags,  fluffy  rugs,  sheepskins,  blankets  and  different  types  and   sizes   of   dog   beds,   baskets,   cushions,   etc   spread   around   the   house.     For   proper   REM  sleep  they  need  to  be  able  to  lie  flat   out   so   enough   space   is   very   important.     Dogs   are   social   animals.     They   normally   like  to  sleep  with  company,  day  and  night.     Occasionally   however,   especially   in   multi-­‐dog   households,   they   need   to   have   the   opportunity   to   sleep   alone   and   in   peace,   away  from  others,  should  they  want  to.     Mental  stimulation  is  NOT  the  same  thing  as  physical  stimulation.     Many  preach  "a   tired  dog  is  a  good  dog”  but  we  know  that  to  be  a  fallacy.    Yes,  dogs  get  fitter  but  if  not   given  enough  mental  stimulation;  they  will  suffer  from  an  imbalance.        Balance  is  the   key  and  we  therefore  need  to  look  at  our  daily  walk/play  routine:  how  much  and  how   often,  what  type  of  exercise?    And  we  will  probably  need  to  replace  some  of  it  by  more   appropriate  mental  stimulation.     We   should   allow   our   dog   to   see   and   be   with   other   dogs.     The   best   way   to   do   this   is   to   have  social  walks  if  at  all  possible  twice  a  week.    These  can  be  on  and  off  lead  and  not   include   any   rough   playing.     Whether   our   walks   are   with  others  or  on  our  own  they  should  be  gentle,  long   lead  sniffing  walks.    These  should  be  in  different  and   new  places  at  a  SLOW  pace.    We  walk  much  too  fast   and   therefore   do   not   allow   the   dogs   to   check   their   pee-­‐mails   often   enough!     Assuming   it   is   safe,   we   should  have  off  lead  saunters.    We  can  sit  down  enjoy   the  view  and  allow  our  dog  to  do  what  dogs  do:  use   his   natural   curiosity.   All   and   any   of   these   are   much   more   beneficial   to   our   dog   than   a   brisk   walk   or   some   mad   running   around,   chasing   sticks,  each  other  etc.   We  also  have  a  tendency  to  walk  our  dogs  for  too  long;  30  to  40  minutes  a  day  for  a   grown   dog   is   really   more   than   enough   (and   probably   not   every   day   either).       It   is   worth   noting   that   the   breathing   pattern   for   sniffing   is   different   from   normal   breathing.     Normal   breathing   is   suspended   while   a   dog   is   sniffing.   So   a   panting   dog   is   unable   to   smell;   a   dog   that   is   racing   around   or   stressed   is   not   going   to   be   able   to   engage   with   his   environment   or   other   sniffing   activities.   Another   reason   why   calm   walks,  and  gentle  activities  are  what  our  dogs  need  most.    


We   should   introduce   our   dog   to   “enriched   environments”  (EE)  both  through  different  objects  in  our   house   and   different   areas   when   out   walking.   We   should   NOT  just  have  walks  in  the  woods  or  park,  but  should  visit   a  car  park,  a  field,  a  farm,  a  petrol  station,  or  a  beach.    Our   imagination  is  the  limit.    If  we  are  introducing  our  dog  to   an  EE  in  the  house  or  an  enclosed  area,  the  dog  does  this   on  his  own.    If  it  is  outside,  then  he  will  be  on  a  long  lead.      


We   should   encourage   our   dog   to   search   for   objects.    Again  this  can  be  done  in  the  house,   the  garden  or  when  out  on  a  walk  but  we  need   to   monitor   and   make   sure   the   stress   levels   remain   low.   If   our   dog   is   searching   in   the   house   or   an   enclosed   area,   he   will   do   so   on   his   own.    If  it  is  outside,  then  he  will  be  on  a  long   lead  or  off  lead  if  recall  is  good.    

We   should   endeavour   to   have   something   for   our   dog   to   chew  for  an  hour  or  two  every  day.  Licking  and  chewing   is   a   normal   and   instinctive   behaviour,   which   makes   the   dog  feel  good,  it  is  good  for  his  teeth  and  is  very  calming.     Chewing   on   food   related   type   things   such   as   raw   bones,   antlers,   pizzles,   cow   hooves,   filled   Kongs,   carrots,   rawhides,   beef   ears,   dried   sweet   potato   etc   are   all   great   depending  on  what  suits  our  individual  dog.         We   should   do   “treat   searches”,   “brain   games”   and   organise   gentle   obstacles   courses   for   him.     We   can   use   the   natural   environment   to   climb   over/under,   to   balance,   to   weave   etc   and   when   in   the   house  we  can  use  kitchen  chairs,   tables   anything   we   can   think   of,   that   is   in   the   spare   room.     If   the   dog   the   house   or   an   this   on   his   own.     If   it   is   on  a  long  lead.            

garage,   the   attic   or   the   is   treat   searching   etc   in   enclosed   area,   he   does   outside,   then   he   will   be  


We   can   introduce   our   dog   to   “tracking”.     To   start   we   lay   a   track  with  something  for  the  dog  to  eat  at  the  end.    We  start   with  a  straightforward  exercise;  the  dog  sees  the  track  being   laid.     We   use   an   easy   terrain   and   short   distance.     We   allow   the   dog   to   smell   something   belonging   to   the   person,   and   allow   him   to   track   until   he   finds   his   food   reward   as   well   as   either   the   person   or   something   (large   to   start   with)   belonging   to   the   person.     As   our   dog   gets   better   at   this,   we   can   increase   the   difficulty   slowly   but   surely.     A   food   reward   should   not   be   used   more   than   2   or   3   times.     Tracking   is   done   with   the   dog   on   a   harness   and   long   lead.     We   simply  follow   the   dog   at   a  relaxed  pace  allowing  the  dog  to  use  his  nose,  we  do  not   need  to  say  anything.     We  need  to  look  at  our  dog’s  diet:  is  it  appropriate?    This  may  change  with  age  or  due   to  illness,  whelping  etc.     We   could   take   our   dog   to   visit   a   fully   qualified  osteopath   to   check   for   stiffness   in   the   body,  even  if  there  is  no  obvious  outward  sign  of  pain  or  discomfort  (I  recommend  a   yearly   check   up).     Dog   Appeasing   Pheromones   (DAP),   massage,   Tellington   Touch   (TT),   Dr.   Bach   flower   and   herbal   remedies   as   well   as   homeopathic   treatments   have  also  been  seen  to  help.    Although  there  are  no  scientific  studies  to  support  their   use,  some  owners  have  observed  positive  changes  in  their  dogs.     If  you  believe  that  there  is  no  fundamental  reason  for  your  dog  to  be  stressed,  it  may   be  a  good  idea  to  have  the  vet  check  the  thyroid  and  test  for  hypothyroidism.      Dr   Dodds  stipulates  that  “  …  Hypothyroid  patients  have  reduced  cortisol  clearance,  and   the   constantly   elevated   levels   or   circulating   cortisol   mimic   the   condition   of   an   animal   in   a   constant   state   of   stress,   as   well   as   suppressed   TSH   output   and   production   of   thyroid  hormones.    In  humans  and  seemingly  in  dogs,  mental  function  is  impaired…  “  

  Conclusion     We  should  be  CALM  and  aware  of  our  own  breathing.    We  should  take  regular  deep   breaths,  as  this  too,  will  help  our  dog  remain  calm  and  relaxed.      Whatever  we  do  to   help  our  4-­‐legged  friend  remain  stress-­‐free  will  hopefully  carry  over  into  our  own  life,   leading  to  greater  health,  relaxation  and  more  enjoyment  for  both.       We  should  always  remember  that  the  key  to  a  happy,  healthy  dog  is  BALANCE.   We   should   OBSERVE   and   LEARN   to   READ   our   dog,   and   RESPOND   accordingly.       Too  much  or  too  little  of  anything  is  not  good  so  we  should  not  overwhelm  our  dog,   not   expect   too   much   whilst   creating   “win   win”   situations   for   both,   most   of   the   time   just   “let   him   be”   and   allow   him   to   make   CHOICES.     This   will   strengthen   our   relationship   based   on   mutual   respect,   love   and   trust   with   no   place   for   gadgets,   punishment  or  violence.         MGF/April  2013.      



Sources  and  recommended  reading     International  Dog  Trainer  Education,  2012/13.  Turid  Rugaas   On  talking  terms  with  dogs:  Calming  Signals,  2006.    Turid  Rugaas   Barking,  the  sound  of  a  language,  2008.    Turid  Rugaas   My  dog  pulls-­  What  do  I  do?  2005.    Turid  Rugaas   How  to  handle  living  with  your  dog,  2009      Winkie  spears   Understanding  the  silent  communication  of  Dogs,  2011.    Rosie  Lowry   The  Canine  Kingdom  of  Scent,  2012.      Anne  Lill  Kvam   Playtime  for  your  dog,  2006.      Christina  Sondermann   Stress  in  Dogs,  2007.      Martina  Scholz  &  Clarissa  von  Reinhardt   Dog-­    Sally  Hopkins  (­‐   Bones  would  rain  from  the  sky,  2002      Suzanne  Clothier   Bonding  with  your  dog,  2009.      Victoria  Schade   Inside  of  a  dog,  2009.    Alexandra  Horowitz   In  defence  of  dogs,  2011.      John  Bradshaw   The  emotional  lives  of  animals,  2007,  Dr  Mark  Bekoff,  PhD   Why  zebras  don’t  get  ulcers,  2004.    Robert  M.  Sapolsky   Adrenal  fatigue,  the  21st  century  Stress  Syndrome.,  2001.  J.  L  Wilson  ND,  DC,  PhD.   The  Canine  Thyroid  Epidemic,  2011.    W.  Jean  Dodds,  DVM                                        

MARINA GATES FLEMING Canine Consultant - Country Representative PDTE 00 32 (0)479 50 32 21 or [email protected]