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Help Your Blue Merle Australian Shepherd Overcome Stress

The blue merle Australian Shepherd stands 20 to 23 inches tall and weighs 40 to 65 lbs. The blue merle Australian Shepherd is the first choice of cowboys for their work. Despite their name, they originated in the Western US during the period of the gold rush, not Australia. This herding dog will even attempt to work within family life and try to herd your kids! They are very energetic and are not the pet for sedentary dog owners as they need to get a lot of exercise for both physical and mental wellbeing. They are agile, sturdy, and muscular. They can adapt to a wide variety of living conditions. 

If you don't give leadership, the blue merle Australian Shepherd will dominate the home. They are loyal to their family but standoffish with strangers like other herding dogs. To not become shy and suspicious, they need to be socialized. They are most happy with a job and enjoy dog sports and activities as they are high energy. They are intelligent, hard-working, and versatile. They need a yard to run in as a walk around the block won't be enough. Without a job to do, this breed can become destructive and loud. They might chase cars and destroy your stuff. You need to provide an environment where they are stimulated.

Routine Care, Diet, and Exercise

You'll need to supervise your blue merle Australian Shepherd just as you would a baby. Pick up after yourself, block off rooms if required, and keep her away from objects your blue merle Australian Shepherd shouldn't put in their mouth. Your dog could become sick or get injured if it ingested something it shouldn't. Consider crating them or using a baby gate to separate them. 

They are effortless to groom; you can brush them occasionally. You need to bathe them once in a while as their coat needs their natural oils. You might consider taking them to the groomer, but you don't have to. 

While blue merle Australian Shepherds generally have good teeth, you can help them by brushing them twice a week. Clean their ears weekly, even when they are young. Ear-cleaning is beneficial to them. You'll also save on future veterinarian bills if you brush their teeth. 

Keep your blue merle Australian Shepherd's diet consistent and feed them high-quality dog food. Keep their mind and body active, or you may experience destructive behavior. You wouldn't want to witness your dog destroying your stuff or your house. You need to make sure they are stimulated as they are a working dog breed. If you don't, your dog could become stressed. 

Can Blue Merle Australian Shepherds Suffer From Stress? 

Stress and separation anxiety is often seen in blue merle Australian Shepherd dogs. Blue merle Australian Shepherds can suffer from anxiety just like people do. It is most often see in shelter pets. It is believed that the separation from someone your dog once cared about can trigger separation anxiety. However, blue merle Australian Shepherds from any background can suffer from stress. 

What is the difference between Fear and Anxiety in a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd?

Fear is a response to a real threat. Anxiety is a response to an anticipated threat. Some things, like avoidance, trembling and shaking, can occur in both. A phobia is an exaggerated fear response. You certainly wouldn't want your blue merle Australian Shepherd to experience fear or anxiety or developed a phobia. Thankfully if you watch for the signs of anxiety early, there are things you can do to help. You wouldn't want your dog to become stressed. 

Separation Anxiety in a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

Separation anxiety is caused when the owner leaves the dog alone for a long time due to work or other commitments. The dog then panics. This causes intense anxiety and stress in the blue merle Australian Shepherd and may lead them to bark, eliminate inside the home, or pace. A confined blue merle Australian Shepherd may destroy kennels, doors, or walls, among other things, to try and reunite with its owner. The first 30 minutes are often the most destructive. This is a miserable situation for the dog and should be avoided if possible. There are signs to watch for and things you can do if your blue merle Australian Shepherd suffers from stress. 

Causes of Stress in a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

There are some causes of stress in blue merle Australian Shepherds. Here are a few. 

Inconsistency

Staying consistent is essential for your blue merle Australian Shepherd. They need to know when they are going to eat, sleep, and wake up. It also might be confusing to them if they are allowed to jump sometimes and not other times or pull on the leash sometimes and not other times. It would help if you stayed consistent to avoid stressing out your blue merle Australian Shepherd. You wouldn't want them to become stressed out because you couldn't keep a schedule. 

Confusing Commands

Sometimes commands can be confusing for a dog. If you say "down," to get the dog to lie down, and "get down" for them to get off the couch, this can confuse them. It would help if you stayed consistent with your commands because a blue merle Australian Shepherd does not have the same English language as humans. Otherwise, your blue merle Australian Shepherd could become stressed out. 

Staring

Your blue merle Australian Shepherd is your best friend, and you'd want to look at them. However, avoid doing it straight on as this can intimidate a dog and stress them out. You'll want to look at your blue merle Australian Shepherd from the side as this will reduce stress. You wouldn't want to make your dog stressed out simply because of how you are looking at it. 

Unnecessary Punishment

It happened again; your dog stole your food off the counter. You might be tempted to punish them but don't. They were acting like a dog. Your blue merle Australian Shepherd should have never had the opportunity to grab that food, to begin with. This would be an example of situation avoidance. Don't leave food in reach of your dog. You wouldn't want to stress them out with unnecessary punishment. 

Telling Your Dog, "It's Alright."

At the vet or during thunderstorms, you might try to comfort your dog and tell them everything is ok. Don't do this. Your dog might then associate those phrases with extreme fear. Give them treats instead as a distraction.  

Signs Your Blue Merle Australian Shepherd is Suffering From Stress

There are some signs that your blue merle Australian Shepherd is stressed. Here are a few. 

Growling

Growling is a sign your dog is stressed. This might occur when someone is too close to them while eating or if a stranger gets too near. Give your blue merle Australian Shepherd space if this happens. If you punish them, they might bite in the future, which you don't want. You also wouldn't want to make your blue merle Australian Shepherd more stressed out. 

Barking or Whining

Barking or whining may not indicate stress, but it can, so you should watch for it. Sometimes barking or whining just can't be helped. You'll want to pay attention to when your dog makes noise to see if stress is a factor.

Body Language

There are many body language signs that a dog is experiencing stress, such as the white of their eyes showing or having a tucked tail or ears. Learn what your blue merle Australian Shepherd is trying to tell you. You can avoid stressing them out if you pay attention.

Freezing

Freezing up means your dog is shutting down from stress. It would be best to make sure this doesn't happen to your dog as it can indicate it's ready to bite. You wouldn't want to cause even further stress.

Pacing

Pacing back and forth can be seen as a sign of stress. It may not be a big deal if they do it at mealtime but keep a watchful eye. Your dog could be telling you that he is stressed out. 

Howling

Howling can be seen as a sign of stress, but it may not be. Either way, it might upset your neighbors. Take note when your dog is howling to see if this is a stress response. 

Chewing

Chewing is a destructive habit and can be expensive. It can also be a sign of stress. Keep things away from your dog that you don't want them to chew. If your dog is chewing things a lot, they might be stressed out, which you want to avoid. 

Digging

Digging can be another expensive problem if it's going on inside. You could also hurt yourself in holes in the yard. It can be a sign of stress. You should note if your dog is constantly digging, as this can be a sign of stress. 

Trying to Escape

Your dog might try to run out the door or out of the fenced-in yard. This could be seen as a sign of stress. You'll need to take note if your dog is stressed out. 

Attempt to Prevent You From Leaving

You blue merle Australian Shepherd may try to get in your way and walk around you so you can't leave. This can be due to stress. You'll want to pay attention to see if it is a sign your blue merle Australian Shepherd is stressed. 

What We Know About Managing Stress in Humans

While everyone has some stressors, relationships, health, money, and jobs are the most common. This can lead to stress, resulting in fatigue, headaches, upset stomach, nervousness, and anger. One thing that can be taken for anxiety is L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves. Wouldn't it be great if this was something you could give your blue merle Australian Shepherd? Thankfully, there is something that contains it you can give them, they are called Calming Zen Chews, and they include Chamomile, L-Theanine, and L-Tryptophan. 

Some other things to keep in mind is that not all stress is wrong, and it can be nature's way of helping you face danger. This can also be true for your blue merle Australian Shepherd. Sometimes stress is keeping your dog safe. 

Other Treatments for Stress in a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

There are things you can do if your blue merle Australian Shepherd is stressed out. Here are a few. 

Take Things Slowly

A stressed dog can. have several reactions, whether that be fight, flight, avoidance, or surrender. The goal is to surrender as the other behaviors can be dangerous. Show the response you want as the pack leader by not being fearful yourself. What your blue merle Australian Shepherd needs most is understanding and a good example. You'll want to go slow to avoid stressing out your dog further. 

Training

This can include obedience, desensitization, and counterconditioning. You may want to hire a trainer, but do your research before hiring anyone and make sure they have the skills you need to train your blue merle Australian Shepherd. This could be expensive but do your research. This could be key in having your dog be less stressed out. 

Learning Body Language

Learn to know what your dog is trying to tell you if they are showing signs of being stressed out. This can include tucking their tail and ears. Your dog is letting you know that they are uncomfortable with the situation at hand. Once you learn these behaviors, you'll spot what is going on with your blue merle Australian Shepherd. You'll know if your blue merle Australian Shepherd is stressed out. 

Socialization

Showing your dog new people, places, and things will help them be better, more well-adjusted dogs and reduce their stress level in the future. This can help your dog from being stressed out when introduced to new things. 

Nutrition and Exercise

Nutrition and exercise are vital to keeping your dog healthy. A blue merle Australian Shepherd in good health is less likely to become stressed. Feed them high-quality dog food. You'll want to be sure your dog is healthy, so they aren't stressed out. 

Situation Avoidance

There are some situations you should avoid if your dog becomes stressed. If they are afraid of other dogs, then perhaps you should skip the dog park. If they are fearful of loud noises, don't walk them during a fireworks show. You don't need to change your whole life, but there are probably things you could skip for the benefit of your dog. 

Crate Training

Crate training separates dogs from things they can get into and can be seen as their safe space. Be careful, though, as crates can sometimes stress dogs out. You'll need to watch for this and the room's gate with a baby gate if that is an issue.  This way, you can keep your dog from doing behaviors caused by stress. 

Giving Your Dog Jobs

Take your dog out on new trails and give them food puzzle toys. Make sure they are mentally stimulated. This will help them remain stress-free. You wouldn't want your dog to be stressed out simply because they were bored. 

Conclusion

Blue merle Australian Shepherds are great dogs. They are loyal family dogs that will become your best friend. They can also be seen as excellent working dogs on the farm. Whatever your need for a blue merle Australian Shepherd they are sure to fit the bill. However, there is a chance your blue merle Australian Shepherd can suffer from stress. There are signs to look out for, such as whining or barking, growling, digging, and chewing, to name a few. You can also do things to minimize your dog's stress, such as training and learning your dog's body language. Don't let your dog suffer from anxiety simply because you didn't know what to do. With these tools, you can now recognize your dog's stress and do something about it to help them. Your blue merle Australian Shepherd will be grateful you took matters into your own hands. Hopefully, you found this article helpful if you have a dog that is stressed out.