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How To Help Your French Poodle Manage Stress and Anxiety

French poodle puppy

The Poodles’ ancestors originated in Germany. Their name comes from the German word “pudel”, which means “to splash in the water. Caniche, French for duck dog, is a breed of dog in France. When talking about a French poodle or French poodles, we are referencing the standard poodle.

The French poodle is a great dog for anyone who loves smaller dogs or dogs who carry a little status associated with their breeds. This is a breed that is very much like a miniature schnauzer in terms of appearance, yet not identical. The French poodle is still a more peculiar type of dog than the miniature schnauzer.

Understanding the French Poodle

The French poodle is an excellent breed for people who love the outdoors and need their dog to be very active. They become easier to understand once you learn how much energy the dog has. They are comfortable when they are running and doing their tasks. It’s important for a French poodle owner to have the time and energy to take their dog for long walks, play games, and entertain their dog.

If a French poodle is at the top on your list for the family dog, make sure that you have the time to devote to them. French poodles once imprinted on their family, will not want to be far away from them. If your lifestyle is one where you’re gone most of the day, stress and anxiety may build up on your dog. If not managed quickly, separation anxiety may be a result.

General Causes of Stress and Anxiety in French Poodles

Your dog’s body language can tell you if they are anxious. When a French poodle does not want to do something, their body language will show this in several ways. The French poodle will have a tense or tight body posture. They will keep their head down and look up only when they are about to move. When your French poodle is calm, they will walk with their tail up and down or wag it as they walk. Monitoring your French poodles day-to-day activity will give you a good sense of their mental and emotional state. If you see changes in their normal behavior, take note and see if you can diagnose the problem.

Changes in their environment will be the first sign of stress and anxiety in your french poodle. When your French poodle first arrives at your home, they will start exploring and will quickly locate their spot in your ecosystem. When this point is established, you will want to put their bed in that location for maximum stress relief.

The bed you choose for your French poodle is also important. A calming bed from Calming Dog is a brilliant choice for any dog owner. The beds are large enough to fit any size dog and have deep pockets, soft materials and a skid free padding on the bottom to avoid skidding. They also come in a wide range of colors to fit the look and feel of your home.

If the bed you get for your French poodle isn’t comfortable, they will toss and turn and won't be able to get a good night’s sleep. If this occurs, over time their aggression, stress, and anxiety will increase.

Loud Noises and Other Stimuli

During the day, the house will experience a varied number of distinct tones, noises, and sounds. Typically, humans won’t hear them or pay attention to them. For the french poodle, however, these noises can be a constant annoyance and irritation to them.

Some noises you may want to avoid is vacuuming the rug while your french poodle is in the room. The sudden shock or onset of this noise can be frightening to your dog. Popping balloons, cutting the grass or other machines that make noise can cause stressful feelings to appear in your french poodle. French poodles have a heightened sense of hearing, and if these loud noises hurt your ears, think of what they are doing to them.

As things change in your home and your environment, take note as you watch your french poodles behavior. Slight changes over time may not be noticeable, since you’re too close to the problem. However, if you document it and look back from time to time, a pattern of behaviors may emerge. Once this occurs, you can take action to make changes.

Separation Anxiety

French poodles make wonderful companion dogs. They love to be close to you, and they appreciate a lot of attention from you and your family. They also appreciate company, so it’s important to consider what your dog prefers before deciding whether a dog is a good match for your family. A healthy dog that lives in a home with enough stimulation for him to exercise and interact with you and your family is essential for maintaining his health and preventing excessive levels of stress.

Puppies have the strongest separation anxieties of any kind of dog. Puppies have more natural curiosity than adult dogs, and they’re constantly trying to figure out how the world works, which is why they’re easily distracted. The result is that puppies need plenty of stimulation to feel comfortable in a new environment. Even so, a puppy’s separation anxieties resolve fairly quickly.

Like any dog, a French poodle will have their own way of looking at the world. If they’re given more independence from birth, the odds of having separation anxieties are lessened. If your french poodles constantly coddled, carried everywhere, and unable to decide for itself, the odds of separation anxieties will explode.

Know When It Is a Good Time To Leave Your French Poodle Home Alone

You want to start with independence training. This style of training will put your French poodle where they have to deal with a situation on their own. The way you approach this type of training will be up to the dog owner and what works for one French poodle may not work for other French poodles.

Start off slow by leaving them alone in the house for an hour. You can be outside in the backyard, go over to a neighbor’s house, or simply go to a different room where they can’t get in contact with you. Then, after that hour, return to your standard activities and see what your French poodle was up to.

If they were asleep in their bed or even up on the couch where they know they shouldn’t be, then you can consider it a success and they are not suffering from this condition. However, if they destroyed the kitchen, scattered their food everywhere or acted inappropriately, you will need to take extra steps and time to prepare them for your departure.

Do some pre-departure routine actions or pre-departure rituals, slowly and calmly at first. As you repeat this routine for each of your departures from home, your dog will gradually learn to expect and tolerate your routine. After about a month of this training, your french poodle should know the routine and have decreased stress and anxieties.

Work on Your Return Procedure

Calming your French poodle before your departure is only the first step. The next part of the equation is what you do and how they react when you return home. Separation anxiety is not the only causes of stress in your French poodles life. Triggers and events that occur outside the home, such as loud trucks, people talking and day-to-day life, can also cause increased stress and anxiety.

When training your french poodle to deal with stress, you will want to work on increasing the duration you are gone. When planning your day, try not to maintain the same consistency in your movements. Common behaviors such as grabbing your keys, filling their food dish and sitting in your chair to put on your shoes, will quickly become expected alerting your dog of your imminent departure, and your departure schedule will quickly become identifiable by your dog. If you increase and randomize your time gone, the likelihood of them knowing when you arrive or when you be more unpredictable and will have little interest to them. As you enter the house on each return, try to monitor where your French poodle is. French poodles like to wait by the door or look out windows to see the action of the world. If they see you leave or come back, they may greet you at the door.

As you enter the house, don’t acknowledge them directly. Walk into the kitchen or go on with your business as if your French poodles isn’t there. After a minute or two, go to a designated spot in your home, a couch or chair. Once you sit and are settled, acknowledge your french poodles presence. Doing this will establish a love zone for you and your French poodle's interactions. Constantly greeting them at the door, giving them treats and affection will be where they expect it. However, if they know their spot is their bed or chair to receive affection, they will favor that location when you return.

French poodle sitting

These Are Signs To Look For in Your French Poodles Behavior To Indicate Increased Stress and Anxiety

As a dog owner, no one knows their French poodles behavior better than you. Throughout the day they will run, play, bark, cry and do what all French poodles do. This behavior is normal and should be encouraged. The last thing you want to do is prevent your french poodle from being a dog. If you do, they will have increased levels of stress and may being showing avoidance behaviors.

Barking

All dogs bark. It is their way of communicating with you and the rest of the world. It is important to realize dogs, French poodles specifically, don’t have mental powers where they can communicate with you on a subconscious level. The same goes when communicating with other dogs. Barking is their way of making their presence known, showing excitement and stating dominance and authority in specific situations.

The problem arises when they bark excessively or at specific situations or events. Barking should be a limited action in your dog’s life. If they bark in the middle of the night, it may be a warning someone is approaching the house or there is a danger you need to be aware of. Don’t ignore your dog when they bark. Engage with them and see what they do. When acknowledging their barking, do they run to a door or do they simply sit there and continue to bark? Learning the reason and following patterns can lead you to understanding why they do it.

Pacing

Your French poodle will typically sit in one space, lay down, and relax for most of the day. Depending on how the sun hits your home and the time of year, they may follow the sun to stay warm or locate cooler sections of your home. When pacing becomes an issue is when they get up one minute and then move two or three minutes later. This constant up and down is a sign of stress, discomfort, or something else bothering them.

As they pace, take notice of the locations they travel to. Observe if they cry or whine while they walk. If they do, it may be a sign they are in pain. If they haven’t eaten in a while or if they have not been let out for an extended period, it may be a signal they need to take care of some business. Don’t yell at your French poodle if they are constantly pacing; observe, act and repeat.

Whining

Similar to barking, whining is another way to get attention. If your French poodle is sad, not feeling well or something is bothering them, they will whine. When whining, the tones will be low and quiet. Over time, they may increase in volume and intensity. The louder they whine, the more they are trying to get your attention.

If whining while you have a treat or some human food they are interested in, this is begging and needs to be discouraged. If whining to get what they want is tried, you need to discourage it by giving them a command to go to their bed or space.

Giving and Teaching Commands

French poodle, like all other dogs, need structure, training, and clear directions. Expecting your French poodle’s behavior to change or for their actions to conform to your wishes is wishful thinking. Like children, you need to train your French poodle's behavior.

Commands such as sit, stay, no, and lay down are all basic commands all dogs need to know. Giving your French poodle some structure and guidance will make their relationship with you much stronger. During the training process, use standard commands anyone will know. If your French poodle were suddenly to go crazy and snip or bite at someone due to stress, giving them a command to stop and go lay down will be vital to deescalating the situation.

Keep Them Active and Mentally Stimulated

Mental stimulation refers to the act of exercising your mind by being involved in many activities. The best cure or treatment for stress, anxiety, and separation issues with your French poodle is to keep them mentally stimulated and their day as active as possible. We can accomplish mental stimulation in a lot of different ways. If your home is active and you have people coming and going, then your French poodle will want to be involved. If you travel or go to pet friendly places, consider taking your French poodle with you in the car.

Physical stimulation and exercise are also great ways to relieve stress. Consider general activities such as throwing a ball and playing fetch, go outside to a local park where ducks and kids are playing and allow them to engage with the stimulation.

If you are at home, then a walk around the yard can be good mental stimulation for your dog. The best way to stimulate your French poodle is to involve them in lots of different activities that are mentally stimulating. This will help them to develop their mind and will keep them occupied. The more involved in these activities, the better it will be for them.

Conclusion

Relieving stress and anxiety in your French poodle is important for their health and well-being. As your French poodle’s primary caregiver, make sure they’re safe and comfortable at all times. To do this, you’ll need to create a safe environment for them and yourself.

In addition to providing a warm, comfortable place for your poodle, there are a few other things you can do to help relieve stress and anxiety. Use a calming blanket or a Zen Chew when they are feeling anxious. These items can be the perfect way to distract them and relieve some of the stress they are feeling. The more you and your family can do to help with them having the best life possible will go a long way in enjoying your dog for years and years to come in your home.