close up image of Wirehaired Pointing Griffon sitting in a wheat field

13 Outdoor Activities To Help Your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Manage Anxiety

It may seem as though your puppy and you are dealing with a constant parade of behavioral issues. Anxiety can be a reason. When you recognize and understand anxiety, you are better prepared to prevent and deal with it. In addition, most cases of separation anxiety are seen in young dogs of any breed, even though older dogs can also suffer from anxiety. Therefore, don't dismiss anxiety as something to worry about later. Instead, pet owners should be always on the lookout for important signs like destructive behavior and consult your vet. 

Griffons breed requires significant attention, consistent training, time, and patience. Therefore, Griffons are not suitable for full-time kennel work. In addition to being highly intelligent, social, and physically robust as adults, puppies are especially active. 

Daily activities are required to keep them mentally and physically stimulated; otherwise, they can become bored, unhappy, and destructive. Griffons prefer households where the dog is involved in the family's daily routines, and the owners are active. A Wirehaired Pointing Griffon can make an excellent companion with the proper mental, emotional, and physical care

Dog Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can be present in puppies as well as in adult dogs. It occurs when a dog exhibits extreme stress after you leave him alone until you return. There can be a variety of symptoms. For instance, your dog may act as if he is afraid to be alone in the house. In your role as a responsible puppy owner, you should be laying the foundation for your new dog to be well-adjusted and well-behaved. 

Training, socialization, crate training, and teaching your puppy how to enjoy time alone all play a part in preparing your puppy for independence. Most of the recommendations for minimizing separation anxiety are most likely things you are doing or have already done. However, separation anxiety does present some challenges that cannot be avoided. They can include heart diseases, digestive trouble, and a suppressed immune response.. It is crucial for the dog owners to keep a close eye on their pet.

Separation Anxiety is a condition that goes beyond the occasional sorrowful whimper when you leave the house or the shredded socks you find when you return home. In addition, separation anxiety isn't the same as boredom, and unlike some mischief that occurs when your dog is left alone, it is a legitimate reaction to stress.

However, you should ensure that it's not an issue of inadequate training before considering destroyed pillows or accidents with the potty as separation anxiety. Does your dog understand polite behavior even if you don't watch him? Has he been potty trained? A video or audio recording of your dog's behavior while you're away is one of the best ways to see what's really happening.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon sitting in autumn leaves

Reason For Separation Anxiety in Puppies and Dogs

Separation anxiety affects some puppies more than others for no apparent reason. Triggers for separation anxiety include when the dog becomes extremely upset because of separation from people they are most attached to. Attempts of escape, or self-destructive behavior can be extremely dangerous and can cause household destruction or self-injury. Household destruction can be in the form of broken windows and scratches on doors. 

Furthermore, clingy dogs may be at a greater risk than independent and care-free ones since their personality may play a role.

There are other triggers that you should watch out for, such as a sudden schedule change, moving to a new house, or a sudden absence from the family, whether it is a divorce, a death, or a child heading off to college. Since there are so many potential triggers for separation anxiety, you should look out for signs like pacing, excessive barking and panting. 

13 Best Outdoor Activities For Your Griffon To Overcome Anxiety

It is exhausting to come home to such devastation and see your dog in distress. Separation anxiety can be dealt with by never leaving your dog alone. For most pet owners, that is not an option, so using exercise to tire out your pet and bond with them is often an easy fix! Thankfully, there are several outdoor activities you can do to deal with anxiety in your pup.  Here are 13 outdoor activities to help your wirehaired pointing griffon manage anxiety.

1. Let Them Play in the Yard Alone

You can develop independence in your dog by teaching your puppy to be on his own in the yard, even when you're at home. An excellent method for combating excessive attachment is teaching independence. You can start with keeping your dog busy in the yard and staying there for short lengths of time, and you can begin to leave the yard once your puppy gets engaged for several minutes. After a few minutes, you can leave his sight while he remains there doing the activity you've engaged them in. 

In addition, it is essential to keep your cool when you're leaving or returning to your home. Your dog deserves your love, but don't get overly sentimental when greeting him. Try to keep it calm. Otherwise, your dog might think that your comings and goings are something to be worried about. In addition, if you come home to find damaged furniture, or accidents, do not punish you dog. It is only going to add to his anxiety and make matters worse.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppies walking through the grass

2. Desensitization and Exposure to Outdoor Environment

Health care for dogs is as important as health care for humans. It is important to raise a mentally and physically healthy puppy by teaching him to be confident in his surroundings and to form positive associations with new experiences. Your puppy should learn to be confident when away from you as well.

Separation can both be rewarding and challenging for the puppies. Initially, you should leave him for very brief periods of time and then gradually extend your absence. Try giving your puppy a high-value treat that he loves and that you only use for important lessons and rewards if he is already conditioned to go into stress mode when you leave him. You just have to keep a closer eye on the behavioral changes of your wirehaired pointing griffons health.

You might even make him look forward to your departure if you treat him right before leaving. It is possible to make your puppy less distressed about your departure routine by desensitizing him to the signs you're leaving. For example, if you don't want to leave the house, pick up your keys and put on your coat before going to the kitchen. It's even better to give your puppy a treat before you touch your keys or coat. Eventually, he will stop panicking about the signs that you're about to leave and begin looking forward to them. It is also beneficial for his mental stimulation.

3. Take Them to a Dog Park

You can lessen the anxiety of your dog by taking them to a dog park. Counterconditioning is a process that will help change your dog's reaction to certain stimuli. For instance, your dog might feel stressed while visiting a dog park or when he meets strangers. Dogs can be taught to associate outdoor activities with wonderful experiences through desensitization and counter-conditioning. Introducing your dog to new people and socializing them outdoors is a step-by-step process. The goal of counter-conditioning is to change your dog's emotional reaction from negative to positive by having great things happen around them. 

4. Teach Your Dog to Enjoy Car Rides

When you have a lovely pet, you want to take them anywhere and everywhere you go. However, your dog might get anxious during car rides. The severity of your pet's reaction may depend on how well you teach him to ride in the car. Some strategies might help your dog relax in the car such as offering them their favorite toy, tasty treat, or a delicious meal. Perhaps even play a game with your dog or have a trick training session can help them stay calm and composed during the car ride. When your dog feels comfortable in the car, food can also help and make the ride an enjoyable one.

close up image of Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

5. Outdoor Musical Therapy 

The use of music therapy has been proven to be beneficial for humans as well as for your furry pals. Music can be soothing and relaxing, whether in the car, at a park, or in your yard. In addition, by blocking out street noises or scary noises that bothers some dogs and causes anxiety, music can help alleviate noise sensitivity.

Numerous studies have shown that dogs prefer classical music. In addition, music played on the harp, often used in hospice situations, can have a sedative effect. Your dog could lay in a bed while listening to music. 

6. Exercise 

Using exercise to bond with your pet and expend their energy can be a great solution for anxiety. Playing ball or taking your dog for a long walk before leaving can help relieve your dog's excessive energy. Also, it is important to play with them during this time and provide plenty of physical contact. Exercising can also reduce stress by producing beneficial endorphins, as it does for humans. Dog sports is one of the most effective ways for any dog breed to fight anxiety.

7. Dog Outdoor Sports and Agility Training

Agility training and outdoor sports may help your dog deal with anxiety. If you have a stressed dog, you may think that your dog might be overwhelmed by competitive sports. However, when discussing agility, the training process might be just what your anxious dog requires to overcome his anxiety. Agility training involves an obstacle course to be completed by the dog and the handler. The dog will have to deal with different obstacles, such as a seesaw, and jumps, in the order dictated by the handler. This outdoor sports requires teamwork and racing against the clock. The benefits of this training for a fearful dog are unlimited. It will help them stay focused, and overcome their anxiety. Agility training will lead to building your dog's focus, trust and self-control, and this is how your dog will be able to get out of the stressful situation. 

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon sitting on a rock in the woods

8. Outdoor Massage Therapy

Although you probably know that a massage calms and relaxes even the most anxious of humans, did you know that it is equally effective for dogs? Often, anxiety causes muscle tension, which can be alleviated by massage therapy. 

Long strokes should be used, beginning at the neck and moving downward. Make sure you keep one hand on the dog as you massage it. After a while, you may even find out where your working dog holds stress and focus exclusively on that one area.

9. Physical Contact

An anxious dog probably finds nothing more soothing than the touch from its owner. So be aware of your dog's anxiety signs and reduce them as soon as possible by picking them up, playing with them on the couch, or cuddling them for a long time.

Brushing his hair and patting him on the back or giving a generous massage around the ears could be a great therapy for you pointing griffon. Dogs have proven to love the touch of their masters, as it calms their anxiety. Although being loyal to the masters is an inherited condition found in every dog breed, a lack of physical contact can trigger anxiety. 

close up image of Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppy

10. New Tricks To Play

Multiple levels of stress relief are involved in this technique. The act of teaching your dog a new trick diverts his attention from whatever the original cause of the stress was.

Furthermore, you are interacting with him one-on-one, something many stressed dogs make a point of doing after long days of being alone at home. Boredom is one of the leading causes of anxiety in dogs. Having fun together, however, will prevent that from happening.

Though you may think exhaustion comes only from physical exertion, mental exertion can also be calming. Your dog will benefit from any new trick you teach him. Anything that challenges him can relieve stress.

You can provide additional mental stimulation to your pet by feeding him from a puzzle ball or toy during the day.

11. Take Them For a Swim

Taking your dog swimming is an excellent form of exercise for both of you! Swimming improves overall health, and it provides both an aerobic workout as well as strengthening and toning. Your Pointing Griffon will benefit from it, especially during times of anxiety. You can use a calming carrier when taking your dog for a swim. In addition to improving your dog's physical well-being, swimming is also very good for their mental well-being. Swimming enables dogs who are typically restricted to exercising on a leash the freedom to release all their pent-up energy without feeling restricted. Furthermore, the restorative effects of a solid night's sleep are more likely to be enjoyed by a happy, worn-out dog.

12. Play Fetch

Having your dog engaged in an activity like playing fetch will help reduce their anxiety. It's an easy game to play with your Pointing Griffon and comes with many benefits for the dog, as well as for the owner. It leads to mental stimulation, behavioral improvements, and it will lift your dog's mood. Playing fetch will enable your dog to focus on the activity and be distracted from what's causing the stress. 

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon standing in a grassy field

13. Running With Them

It is proven that running with your dog improves the mental and physical health of you as well as your pet. Along with weight loss, there are a number of other benefits, such as mental clarity, reduced anxiety and depression, and an increase in heart strength. Furthermore, it can promote brain cell regeneration in your dog. Runs have been shown to be effective as they work as an activity that will distract your Pointing Griffon. 

You may even notice that your pup is less anxious after running. Running helps your dog release some of this energy and helps him sleep better.

Final Thoughts

Although most dog breeds suffer from anxiety and stress, recognizing the symptoms can be difficult at times. Anxiety can be due to various reasons, such as fear-related anxiety, age-related anxiety or separation anxiety. Although anxiety is something dog suffer from time-to-time, if left unnoticed, it may lead to an anxiety disorder. Some of the anxiety signs to look out for in your pet include pushing his ears back, tucking his tail, salivating, yawning, licking his muzzle, or lifting his front paw. Some signs might also go unnoticed, or might be considered a behavioral problem. In addition, destructive behavior as a result of separation anxiety can lead to self-injury which might be dangerous for your dog. 

Seeing your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon deal with anxiety can be troublesome for you. Outdoor activities can turn out to be a great distraction, and might help your puppy feel relaxed and calm. You can try out some of the activities mentioned in this guide and see what works best for your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. 

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