As pet owners, we love our dogs. That means we’re willing to do anything, and everything required to make sure that they’re happy, healthy, and enjoying life. However, one challenge that us pet parents often run into is when our canine buddies feel stress and anxiety. It’s a debilitating obstacle that can even stress us out! One breed that often falls victim to stress and anxiety is the Newfypoo. This cross between the Newfoundland and the Poodle may be a relatively large dog, but it can be as vulnerable to stress as a Shih Tzu. In this article, we’re going to explore a few signs that your Newfypoo is suffering from negative emotions. Then, we’ll dive into 13 outdoor activities to help your Newfypoo overcome stress. Let’s get started!
Stress Sign #1: Destructive Behavior
The first and most obvious sign that your Newfypoo is dealing with anxiety and stress is that they display destructive behavior when you’re out of the house. Dr. Richter told Bustle in 2018 that “chewing on objects, door frames, or window sills; digging at doors or doorways; destroying household objects when left alone," are all signs of stressed out dogs. Dr. Richter is a trained veterinarian for Rover, an online marketplace where pet owners can buy and sell pet care services. Stick around to learn some effective outdoor activities that can help mitigate this behavior!
Alongside such destructive behavior, another symptom of a stressed out dog is urinating and defecating around your home. According to the , this “is a common symptom of separation anxiety.” Separation anxiety is a subset of the general anxiety disorder that kicks in once you, the dog’s owner, have left their presence. Your canine pal is so dependent on you being with them that they develop an unhealthy reliance on your presence. They simply can’t bear life without you, as it leaves them feeling lost and alone. When you leave, they feel as though a part of themselves has left, inciting a spur of negative emotions such as stress and anxiety. People.com has estimated that 50% of dogs suffer from this version of anxiety, meaning that there’s a high chance that your Newfypoo does too. Even if your furry friend is house trained and potty trained, they still might end up leaving pee and poop scattered around your house. There is actually a biological reason for this, according to Dr. Turnera Croom. When dog’s feel anxiety coming on, this triggers their fight-or-flight response. That produces adrenaline, but also “relaxes the bladder and anal sphincter muscles,” allowing for waste to be released. It’s vital that you do not punish your dog for doing this — that will only reinforce their belief that there is something to be worried about.
Stress Sign #2: Body Language
The next key indicator that your Newfypoo is experiencing stress is their body language. Broadly speaking, refers to a “range of nonverbal signals that you can use to communicate your feelings and intentions.” These include posture, facial expressions, and physical stance. Let’s consider what components of your Newfypoo’s body language can indicate that they are feeling stress.
According to the Pampered Pup, a dog can use his ears to “communicate everything from their feelings to their intentions,” making them a critical aspect of reading body language. Let’s go through the various positions of dog’s ears to understand what each one means. When your dog’s ears are neutral, meaning they are not pricked forward or pinned back, it means your dog is relaxed. He is neither keenly interested in something nor is he displaying some kind of negative emotions. When your canine’s ears are pricked forward, it means they are paying close attention to something and are very engaged. Finally, the ear position that is most relevant to this article is pinned back ears. When your dog’s ears are pinned back to the sides of their head, it is usually a clear sign that they’re feeling distressed or anxious. Notice what may have caused this sudden shift in their body language and try to eliminate that stimulus from the environment.
The next body language area that can signify a stressed out Newfypoo is their tail. As the Farmer’s Dog writes, a “dog’s tail is a crucial indicator of mood.” Let’s go through the various tail positions and what they could imply about your dog’s mental state. A full body wag is generally indicative of a playful and happy canine. On the other hand, a slow wag can signify that your dog is unsure, nervous, or hesitant about the present situation. A stiff tail usually means your furry friend is tense and on high alert. Finally, the tail position that is most relevant to anxiety: a tucked tail. When your canine is exhibiting a tucked tail, down and almost between their legs, it is a clear signal that your furry friend is feeling anxiety and stress. They may even be totally frightened. Take notice of your Newfypoo’s tail positions and what kind of implications they could have on their mental health.
Finally, the last body language signal to pay attention to is your dog’s eyes. Canine eyes take on certain characteristics that indicate that the dog is feeling stressed or anxious. The first such indicator is , which is when you can see the whites of your dog’s eyes. Canine Coaching states that this is a telltale sign that your dog is “worried or stressed.” Another component of canine eyes and body language is eye contact; is your Newfypoo avoiding direct eye contact with you? If so, this may signify that your dog thinks something is wrong, according to the American Kennel Club.
Now that we’ve equipped ourselves with some knowledge to help us identify when our dog is feeling stressed, let’s move onto how we can alleviate that stress.
Go For a Walk
The first outdoor activity that can help relieve your Newfypoo’s stress and boost their mood is a classic: going for a walk! It’s safe to say that nearly every canine on this planet enjoys going for walks, as you can see the pure excitement in their eyes when you take out their leash! Walking your dog helps alleviate their negative state of mind because it offers them some fresh air, exercise, and unique environments to explore and take their mind off the stress. In fact, 93% of dog owners claim that "walking their dog made the dog feel less stressed."
There are two primary methods of walking your dog: the leash walk and the free walk. The former is beneficial as it offers you complete control over your canine; there’s no risk of them running into the street or climbing up on strangers on the walk. On the other hand, the free walk gives your canine much more agency. It allows them to explore their surroundings without any limitations, which could go a long way in alleviating their stress. Just make sure you’re in a safe environment with minimal external stimuli, such as a trail.
Go For a Swim
, Newfypoo breeds are fantastic swimmers; because of their heritage, most of them really enjoy the water too! That’s why going for a swim with your furry friend might be just the thing they need to cheer them up! Before you just let them loose, make sure you test out their swimming ability in a controlled environment. Ensure that they are not scared of the water, as this can further contribute to their feelings of anxiety. Once you’ve verified their safety in the water, it’s time to let them free! Watch as your furry friend’s stress and anxiety melt away. The calming sensation of water alongside the freedom of swimming unrestricted will both contribute to boosting your Newfypoo’s mental health.
Once your dog has grown comfortable in the water, consider joining in on the action! Take out their favorite ball, toy, or stick and let them see it in your hand. Then, throw it in the water and watch them retrieve it with joy! This activity will help build a closer bond between you and your canine, ultimately strengthening their mind and preventing stress in the future!
This outdoor activity is something that all dogs enjoy taking part in. The next time you notice your Newfypoo displaying signs of stress and anxiety, consider taking them on a hike! Many pets experience their negative emotions as a result of a lack of engagement; maybe they’ve been stuck indoors all day long. Not only is a hike a good way to get your canine some great exercise, but it also offers you some quality time with them to help build your bond. Further, hikes help keep your dog “mentally balanced.”
Before you go, check park and mountain regulations to ensure they allow pets. Bring along some water and good for your furry friend in case they get hungry or thirsty along the way.
Take a Trip To The Dog Park
The next strategy that you can use to help your Newfypoo overcome stress is taking them to the dog park! Socialization is a critical component of a healthy dog’s development; it really contributes to shaping their temperament in a positive way. By taking your furry friend to the dog park and letting them interact with their friends, you offer them an outlet to get their mind off their negative emotions and onto something positive and constructive. Bring along your dog’s favorite ball or toy so they can play with you at the park, too. Also, make sure you’re keeping an eye on your Newfypoo so that they don’t get into any trouble.
Build an Obstacle Course
Another perfect way to engage your Newfypoo outdoors to help them battle stress and anxiety is to build an obstacle course. Agility training and obstacle courses build essential personality traits in your dog, such as confidence; these help them “overcome [their] anxiety” when it strikes. There are two ways you can go about making an obstacle course: DIY or pre-made. The former option involves building obstacles at home using PVC pipes, wood, alongside other materials. The latter option entails purchasing a pre-built obstacle course set online and simply setting it up in your backyard. If you go the DIY route, make sure the obstacles are low to the ground so that your dog doesn’t trip and fall.
This outdoor activity is a powerful way to alleviate symptoms of depression and stress in your Newfypoo. All you need to do is find a spot in the grass facing direct sunlight, and lay a sheet down there. Sit down with your pup and begin relaxing! Sunlight incites a chemical reaction that , which will serve to fight their stress. The heat of the sun, the cool grass, and the gentle breeze will combine to create a soothing experience for your canine. Try not to stay out in direct sunlight for longer than an hour, as this puts your dog’s skin at risk.
For even more relaxation, have your furry friend lay on our Calming Cuddle Bed! It offers premium joint support, and is made with 100% pet-safe material. It's breathable, features cooling technology that regulates body heat, absorbs weight and transfers pressure away from key areas, and provides extra support for your dog's hips and ligaments. The Calming Cuddle Bed is the perfect way to lounge in the sun.
Organize a Treasure Hunt
Our next outdoor activity to overcome stress is a treasure hunt! This is also known as scent work, and most dogs are able to relax more after doing some of it. Here’s how you can set it up: hide treats and toys around an outdoor location with obstacles, and then release your dog to go and find them! It’s that easy. Another reason this is an effective strategy is because it tests your dog’s sense of smell and direction simultaneously, completely offsetting their mind from any negative emotions.
Play Fetch With Your Dog
This outdoor activity is an all-time staple of canine culture: fetch. It’s a fun and easy way to spend time with your Newfypoo while also getting them some much-needed exercise. Your dog might be feeling stressed because they’ve been cooped up indoors all day. Fetch allows them to get some fresh air, spend time with their favorite person, and play with their favorite toy! Be patient with your Newfypoo if they can’t quite retrieve their toy yet; use treats to lure them back and shape the behavior.
Practice Your Training
The next outdoor activity that can aid your Newfypoo in their battle against stress is training! Sometimes, dogs feel stress and depression because they lack structured engagement. Offering them some mental stimulation via training might be just what they need to change their mood! Grab a bag of their favorite treats, and maybe a clicker to use as an audio cue. Then, start training! You can use our Calming Zen Chews: they are the perfect therapeutic snack for your dog to enjoy. The Zen Chews feature natural, pet-safe calming agents such as Chamomile, L-Theanine, and L-Tryptophan. These work to lower the stress and anxiety levels in your dog.
Get Your Dog Ice Cream
As we mentioned earlier, oftentimes dogs feel stress because they’ve been stuck indoors and haven’t been out in awhile. A great solution to this problem is to take your dog out for some ice cream! Many human ice cream stores offer pet-friendly options, so just ask! Once your Newfypoo tastes the cold, sweet ice cream, they won’t be able to think about anything else. They’ll be so lost in the creamy richness that the last thing on their mind will be stress or anxiety!
Play in the Sprinklers
As we learned earlier, Newfypoos love water. When you see your canine seeming stressed or down, remember that a little aquatic fun can elevate their mood! Turn on your sprinklers and bring your furry friend near them — make sure they actually enjoy this variation of water and aren’t scared of it. Chances are they’re thrilled! Get in there with your dog and enjoy the fun with them! Soon, their feelings of stress will completely disappear.
Another outdoor solution to stress in your Newfypoo is tug-of-war! This is because, sometimes, canines feel stressed and agitated because they have too much energy. Playing tug-of-war with your furry friend gives them an outlet to release that energy. Get a sturdy rope that your Newfypoo loves and entice them to grab on. Once they do, start pulling on the toy to see if they pull back. They most likely will, and thus begins the fun!
Go Jogging With Your Dog
The final outdoor activity that can greatly help your Newfypoo with stress is jogging. Like we mentioned, canines feel stress when they have too much energy and nowhere to put it. Researchers at Brigham Young University found that running mitigates the negative effects that chronic anxiety has on the hippocampus - the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Plus, it’s a great way to release that energy and spend quality time with your furry friend.
Now you’re all set to help your Newfypoo overcome their stress! Remember to keep an eye out for key signs that your dog is feeling anxious or stressed: destructive behavior and their body language. Once you do notice these, put some of these outdoor activities to use! They’ll surely have your Newfypoo feeling better in no time.