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Why Your Black Great Dane Experiences Anxiety

Black Great Danes may suffer from anxiety, but there are things you can do to help.

Black Great Dane males weigh 120 to 200 lbs and stand 30 to 24 inches tall. Black Great Dane females weigh 100 to 130 lbs and stand 28 to 32 inches tall. Black Great Danes are known for being sociable and gentle. A black Great Dane is a loving companion. They can make friends with anyone and also make a great watchdog. However, you should know that black Great Danes can get anxiety. Don't worry though, because there are things you can do to help. 

Can Black Great Danes Suffer From Anxiety? 

Just like humans, black Great Danes can suffer from anxiety and stress. If you are considering adopting a black Great Dane, you should know that if they were subjected to neglect, abuse, or cruel acts they could be more likely diagnosed with anxiety. However, any black Great Dane with any background can suffer from anxiety. It is seen most often in black Great Danes from shelters, so it's thought that perhaps losing someone the dog loved in their life can cause separation anxiety in black Great Danes. Other things can cause your black Great Dane to suffer from anxiety as well, such as moving, a change in the owner's schedule, or family members leaving the home. These are all unfortunate circumstances, but there are things you can do to help. 

What Is the Difference Between Fear and Anxiety in Black Great Danes? 

Dogs can experience fear. Fear is a response to a real threat, whereas anxiety is a response to a threat that is simply anticipated. Of course, we hope that our dogs never experience fear, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Some signs between anxiety and fear are the same, so this can be confusing. Signs can include trembling, shaking, and avoiding things. A phobia is an exaggerated and extreme fear response that happens suddenly, with panic. 

The Stages of Fear for Black Great Dane Puppies

Maturity happens later with black Great Dane puppies than with some other canines. They are more vulnerable to anxiety and stress for this reason. They go through three stages of anxiety instead of just two like other dogs. They can always have a risk for separation anxiety at any age as they are very close to their owners. This is something you'll always have to be on the lookout for in your black Great Dane. 

The First Stage of Black Great Dane Puppy Anxiety

You bring home your black Great Dane puppy when they are around two months old. This is the first stage and they can be viewed as vulnerable to anxiety. Between the ages of two and four months, you should give your black Great Dane a lot of positive reinforcement. Your black Great Dane still might find regular things and objects it finds terrifying, such as the television or some of their toys. They may find loud or sudden movements stressful, too. You'll want to be sure to train your black Great Dane but also go easy on them at this early stage in life. 

The Second Stage of Black Great Dane Puppy Anxiety

Between six months and a year of age, the black Great Dane is in the second stage. They have an understanding of their environment now and have been able to get comfortable in their new home. They are still going through physical and emotional changes as they are growing, which can be stressful for them and cause anxiety. 

While going through the second stage of anxiety, you can be more firm with your training and have them go through socialization with other people and dogs. They might experience some of their original fears from stage 1, but this is common. They might go back a few steps before progressing forward. 

Black Great Danes can experience more stress from growth during stage 2. Their body is changing and they still have to get used to it. However, this is not the time to coddle your Great Dane, as this can reinforce bad behavior. You should ignore your dog's stress to convince them there is nothing to be afraid of. You can show them in your actions that everything is fine. 

The Third Stage of Black Great Dane Puppy Anxiety

Unlike other dogs, black Great Danes may experience the third stage of anxiety. This occurs between fourteen and eighteen months. Not all black Great Danes will experience the third stage, however, some of them might. You'll have to keep an eye out to see if this is the case. 

During stage three, positive reinforcement is still important, as is socialization and training. These things are all crucial for your black Great Dane's development into a healthy dog. You can consider your dog a teenager at this time. They will need firm boundaries to be set, and they may test your patience. Be ready for it because it is bound to happen. 

Don't allow your black Great Dane to get away with murder in the third stage; they will be large and may use their weight to their advantage. Be firm, and don't let them bully you.

How Can You Tell if Your Dog Is Suffering From Anxiety? 

There are things you can observe to see if your black Great Dane suffers from anxiety and stress. Dogs rely heavily on body language to let dog owners know when they aren't happy and something is wrong. Your dog is telling you what is going on, you just have to observe and realize what they are trying to tell you. Sometimes this can be difficult to do, but don't give up. 

Growling

You can recognize anxiety in your black Great Dane if they are growling. Don't punish your black Great Dane for growling as this can lead to bites in the future. They might growl if someone is far too near to them while they are eating, or if something is threatening to them. Pay attention if your black Great Dane is growling and back off. 

Whining or Barking

You can tell your black Great Dane has anxiety if they whine or bark often. They can't necessarily control this response and they are advising you that they are uncomfortable with something. Sometimes, though, whining and barking aren't related to anxiety, so you'll have to pay attention to be sure. 

Body Language 

You might notice tucked ears, tucked tail, panting, yawning, raised hackles, avoiding eye contact, or whale eye (revealing the whites of their eyes.) These are all body language gestures that point to anxiety. Your dog is trying to tell you what they are experiencing, you just have to pay attention. 

Freezing

If your black Great Dane freezes up or becomes stiff, they are shutting down due to anxiety. They can't handle the situation and they might bite soon. You'll want to take notice if your dog is freezing up because it would be terrible if your dog were to bite someone. 

Pacing

If you see your black Great Dane pacing around the house, then something is upsetting them and this is a sign of stress.  This repetitive motion is very telling. If you see your black Great Dane pacing you should take notice of what is causing the behavior. 

Sources of Black Great Dane Anxiety

There are different causes of anxiety in black Great Danes. You'll want to be aware of them so you can, hopefully, prevent them from happening the best you can. Here are some things to look out for. 

Separation Anxiety

Black Great Danes are extremely loyal to their families. This means they can easily get separation anxiety. It can cause destructive habits that are troublesome due to their large stature. They can chew furniture and rip up floors. Not only is this irksome, but it's expensive to fix. Hurting themselves can also occur. Other things they might do include barking or having an accident in the house. No one likes cleaning that up but there can be a reason behind it. 

Environment

If your black Great Dane is suddenly left alone for long hours in the day or at different times, they might get stressed out. Be sure to think about new time commitments and how they might affect your black Great Dane. You don't want to stop your life but you'll have to consider how your actions can affect your dog. You are everything to them. 

Moving

Moving can be very stressful for black Great Danes, just like it is for their owners. Sights and sounds are no longer familiar. This can cause anxiety in dogs. You'll want to give them extra love and attention during this trying time. 

Inconsistency

Dogs need to know when things are going to occur, such as when to go to bed or when they'll be taken on a walk. They need to know what to expect and appreciate rules.  Inconsistency can cause anxiety in Black Great Danes. You'll want to do your best to stay consistent with your dog's health in mind. 

Confusing Commands 

You should know that a black Great Dane doesn't understand English or any other language the same way that people do. When you say a command like "down" for them to lay down and "get down" to get off the couch, this can be very confusing for them. They can't differentiate between the two phrases as people can. This can give your black Great Dane anxiety and should be avoided. 

Staring at Your Dog

If you look your black Great Dane directly in the eye, this can stress them out as this is a sign of aggression in canines. You should look at them from the side instead of directly straight on and this can help relieve tension. Of course, you look at your dog often, but you don't want to give them anxiety while doing so. 

Punishment

Don't use punishment if your dog rolls in something nasty or steals food off the counter. These are instances of regular black Great Dane behaviors. Try removing these opportunities entirely instead. Do something positive after discouraging them, like positive reinforcement or some kind of playing fetch. It's frustrating to lose your meal, but your dog is just being a dog. 

Telling Your Dog Everything Is Okay

If you tell your dog, "Everything is alright," during storms or at the veterinarian, they can learn to associate these words with anxiety. Distract your dog with treats instead. You don't want to confuse them and cause them more stress. 

Loud Noises

Sirens, construction, and fireworks are all examples of noisy things that can cause anxiety for your black Great Dane. These things can stress them out easily. They can't always be avoided but try your best to be aware. 

Family Members Moving Out

Black Great Danes have no idea what growing up and heading off to college means. They just know that their friend has left the house for good. This can cause anxiety in your black Great Dane. Be sure to love them a lot during this difficult time. 

Study on Anxiety in Great Danes 

There have been studies regarding black Great Danes that show that anxiety may be inherited. More studies like this might shed light on human anxiety disorders, as well. More than 100 Great Dane owners participated in the study. There was a link found to chromosome 11 with anxiety in black Great Danes. They investigated whether socialization as a puppy had any effect as well.  Still, in early development, no risk variant has been specifically determined, however, there was a link between the genes that correspond with anxiety in dogs and humans.  In humans, these genes are linked to a rare syndrome that causes neurological symptoms and fast growth in childhood. Further research is necessary. 

What We Know About Stress Management in Humans

We know that in people, things like regular exercise, getting enough rest, and eating well can help reduce anxiety. Some supplements and vitamins can help humans, such as Kava, B complex vitamins, L-theanine, Ashwagandha, Glycine, Melatonin, and Rhodiola Rosea. Wouldn't it be great if you could give something like that to your black Great Dane? Well, there is something you can purchase. Consider purchasing Calming Dog Zen Chews. They contain dog-safe vitamins and supplements such as Chamomile, L-Theanine, and L-Tryptophan. 

Anxiety in people can cause digestive problems, pain, and sleep issues. It can also cause people to over or under-eat. The same can be true in canines. You might like the Calming Dog Calming Cuddle Bed and moving it somewhere that your black Great Dane likes to sleep.  

Sometimes though, stress isn't always bad. If your black Great Dane were in danger, anxiety could get them to safety in time to save them. 

Other Treatment For Black Great Dane Anxiety

There are ways to treat anxiety in your black Great Dane. Here are some tips to get started. 

Counter Conditioning and Training

Stimuli can affect your black Great Dane, so you might want to change how they react to it. You can do this by having the dog sit or focus on you instead. You can also slowly expose them to things to desensitize them. This can be done with positive reinforcement. You may wish to hire a professional trainer, but make sure they can help you with these tasks before hiring them. 

Crate Training

You can teach your black Great Dane that their crate is their safe space. They might feel protected there. You'll want to monitor their behavior, though, to make sure the crate isn't stressing them out. If it does, you can block off a room with a baby gate instead. Either way, sectioning off your dog is a good example of situation avoidance and stopping problems before they happen. 

Socialization

You should introduce your black Great Dane to new things and new people often to help reduce anxiety in the future. This will help your dog quite a bit. 

Giving Your Dog Jobs

Lots of mental and physical stimulation is essential for your black Great Dane. This can help beyond what medication can alone.

Obedience

You should lay a good foundation with your black Great Dane with obedience training. It will be easier to socialize your dog if you do. 

Exercise and Nutrition 

Exercise and nutrition are essential to a black Great Dane's wellbeing. A healthy, busy dog is less likely to experience severe anxiety symptoms.  

Situation Avoidance

When you learn your black Great Dane has anxiety, you should consider situations that you can just avoid for their wellbeing. You shouldn't stop activities you enjoy but think about what's best for your pet. 

Conclusion

Black Great Danes make excellent pets. As a dog owner or potential dog owner, you want to make sure you are making the right choice for yourself in selecting a family dog. You can be sure you are doing that with a black Great Dane. However, they can suffer from anxiety. There can be a lot of factors for this. Unfortunately, anxiety can cause some unwanted behaviors. However, hope is not lost. There are things you can do if your black Great Dane has anxiety. The most important things are to do your research and talk to your dog's veterinarian.