The variety of activities that can help your Thai Ridgeback overcome anxiety ensures that your Thai Ridgeback has a coping strategy in every situation.
Three words describe your favorite : Independent, loyal, and loving. But as independent as your Thai Ridgeback might be, they may still need some help with their anxiety. Some dogs may be more prone to anxiety, but no is exempt.
From physical to cuddles and kisses, relief for anxiety can come in many different forms. Show your Thai Ridgeback some love with our !
What is Anxiety?
If your struggles with worrying, , and nervousness, they may suffer from anxiety. anxiety, like anxiety in people, can be quite common, and there are many ways of countering anxiety in your as it arises.
Anxiety can be a normal reaction to unknown circumstances when our ‘fight or flight’ mode is activated. Adrenaline levels in the body increase, and physical reactions such as higher blood pressure, faster heartbeat, and increased alertness can occur. If it occurs more persistently, it may become an issue.
Anxiety is caused by stimuli called triggers due to their “triggering” of anxiety. Sometimes we’re aware of what is triggering our anxiety, but may not be aware of what is triggering our dogs’ anxiety. Identifying triggers can help your overcome anxiety.
Causes of Anxiety in
For , there can be countless individual anxiety triggers. Those triggers can result in four main forms of anxiety.
The first common form of anxiety is separation anxiety. This form of anxiety is a very frequent form of anxiety. Separation anxiety is anxiety that many dogs, including , may face when they are separated from their owners or primary caretakers. Separation anxiety can occur when separation occurs for extended amounts of time or from when the owner or caretaker appears to be leaving.
Another common form of anxiety is social anxiety. Social anxiety can cause your to be anxious around other dogs or people they don’t know. are more susceptible to social anxiety outside of the house, as there are more potential interactions with can also face social anxiety when enter their homes.
Environmental anxiety is a very common form of anxiety for . Thai Ridegback dogs may have anxiety about the environment or space itself. Environmental anxiety is often due to traumatic memories or experiences in a specific place or a place that seems similar to where traumatic memories have occurred. may also have anxiety from sounds, lights, or other intense sensory stimuli. Thunder is an environmental stimulus that gives many a sense of anxiety.
The last main form of anxiety that , or any other of , may suffer from is generalized anxiety. Generalized anxiety may not have a noticeable trigger and is very persistent. When suffering from generalized anxiety your may be almost constantly struggling with anxiety. Your may exhibit more symptoms when exposed to triggering stimuli, but often not fully leave their anxious state.
Your may suffer from one, or all, of these major forms of anxiety. What is important is being able to recognize anxiety in and help relieve some of the worry, , and nervousness from your .
Signs of Anxiety in
There are many different signs of anxiety your Thai Ridgeback can display. Many signs of anxiety mimic typical behaviors, so it is important to be aware of your ’s behaviors when not exposed to a trigger to discern what behavior is typical for your Thai Ridgeback and what behavior is a symptom of anxiety.
We’ve put together a series of behaviors that your Thai Ridgeback may be exhibiting as a sign of anxiety.
Excessive barking or whining can signal anxiety in your Thai Ridgeback, particularly if it seems to be caused by nothing. Repetitive movement like pacing can be a sign of anxiety, as can vigorous movement such as shaking. Your Thai Ridgeback may yawn for longer amounts of time and more often when they are anxious or stressed. Drooling excessively and panting, not after , is also a common result of anxiety.
Keep an eye out for changes in your Thai Ridgeback’s overall stance, as postures, and other body language cues can be excellent indicators of anxiety. If your Thai Ridgeback is more rigid than usual or adjusts more weight to be leaning on their rear legs your may be suffering from anxiety. The tail between the legs and pinned to the back of your ’s head are also signs of anxiety or stress.
When your Thai Ridgeback feels strong emotions, especially excitement or anxiety, they may not have as much control over their bodily functions. Urination is a common result of anxiety in your , but it is also a common result of excitement in younger dogs, so be aware of other body language signals. Use a combination of signs to tell if your Thai Ridgeback is anxious, or just very excited.
Anxiety symptoms can range from a minor inconvenience to extremely uncomfortable for your Thai Ridgeback. Luckily, there are ways you can help!
Here are . Different activities may work better for your than others, and some activities may work better under different circumstances. Try various activities until you find a few that will work for you and your Thai Ridgeback!
As with human anxiety, is key in reducing your Thai Ridgeback’s anxiety. is known to have anxiolytic, or anxiety reducing, effects due to how it impacts endorphin releases and neural growth. It also provides a great distraction from current stressors.
A great way to introduce to an anxious Thai Ridgeback is for you to play fetch with your Thai Ridgeback. Fetch involves throwing an object and your running and “fetching” the object for you.
You may already play fetch with your Thai Ridgeback during playtime, so playing fetch during high anxiety may bring a sense of consistency and normalcy to strange or unknown times, such as traveling. Fetch is also a great way to promote positive interactions between you and your Thai Ridgeback .
Another great way for you to use as a way for your Thai Ridgeback to overcome their anxiety is to take them on . are a way to burn energy and are less intensive than playing fetch. All of the benefits of exercise on anxiety can be obtained through a walk, just like fetch, but may be better suited for your . can be great for older dogs or dogs with a or a .
A consistent path you walk with your Thai Ridgeback can bring a sense of consistency and calmness. If the knows what to expect in the environment, they may feel more safe and secure.
Walking your is also a great form of for your Thai Ridgeback . With all the different smells and sensory stimuli, your will likely be more engaged in the walk rather than the anxiety they may be feeling.
with Routine Commands
can be an excellent tool to get your ’s focus off of the anxiety-producing trigger and onto different tasks. A simple way to do this is to switch to your Thai Ridgeback with routine commands when you notice they are becoming anxious.
Of course, routine commands are commands that you have already taught your so these will vary from to . will have different commands prioritized for their Thai Ridgeback , here are a few , as recommended by the , that are used in many forms of basic for .
Teaching your to come when their name is called is a very common command for your . Teaching the puppy with the phrase “come / INSERT NAME HERE” is a traditional way of alerting your puppy to come when it hears its name. If you are in a time crunch or are busy with another task and notice your Thai Ridgeback is a little anxious, it can be helpful to say “come / INSERT NAME HERE” as you are going about the house.
The Sit command is a second basic command for your Thai Ridgeback that can be helpful when they are anxious. This command is very often taught to and is frequently taught in two different ways: capturing and luring. Once your is taught this command, you can reinforce this when your is anxious. It will provide some for your anxious .
Our last command, Down, is often taught similarly to the command Sit. You can use the capturing and luring techniques to teach your Thai Ridgeback this command. By reinforcing this command when your is anxious, it provides the the opportunity for their body in a more relaxing position, and can stretch out tense muscles.
Introduce New Commands
Introducing new commands to your can be another way to integrate into activities for your anxious . New commands promote neuroplasticity, or the brain's adaptation and creation of new neural pathways. It is important when your is anxious because the brain functions differently when it is anxious.
your with new commands works to create new pathways in the brain and can provide some anxiety relief for your Thai Ridgeback . Again, as with the routine commands, this all depends on what commands your already knows. Different dogs and pet owners will have different prior knowledge. You can try a new command every time your is anxious or continue building on one command each time your appears anxious.
If your already has prior knowledge of the three routine commands mentioned above, here are a few potentially new commands for your Thai Ridgeback . Leave It and Drop It are two commands that can be very helpful in reducing your ’s anxiety, but also in reducing your anxiety as well! These commands can prevent your from eating something poisonous, or it can prevent your from chewing up your favorite book.
Another set of commands that can be helpful to introduce when your is anxious is the commands Watch Me and With Me. These are ways to adjust your ’s attention focus. Rather than focusing on the anxiety-producing trigger, your is now focused on you. It can reduce anxiety and teach your new ways of behaving.
Counterconditioning is similar to teaching your new commands, but instead of trying to change your ’s behavior you are trying to change the ’s emotion. Counterconditioning associates a new emotion with the trigger. It is often combined with systematic desensitization techniques, which change the ’s reaction to the trigger.
Systematic desensitization works very well with counterconditioning to help reduce your Thai Ridgeback ’s anxiety. This form of desensitization gradually exposes your to the trigger to change their reaction. Your should always be happy and comfortable when exposed to the triggering stimuli. If they are scared, it is important to go back to a level of exposure where they are not scared. Over time your Thai Ridgeback will learn to tolerate the trigger.
Counterconditioning works, as mentioned above, to change your ’s emotional response to a trigger rather than a behavioral response. It is a type of classical conditioning (think Pavlov’s dogs salivating at the sound of a bell). It works for teaching the to like something that actively produces anxiety for them.
The open bar/closed bar technique is often applied to counterconditioning. In this technique, the bar is open when the trigger appears. It means that you give to your . When the trigger stops, the bar is closed and you don’t give any more to your . It creates a positive conditioned emotional response to the trigger. Your should be happy and expecting food when the trigger appears.
Combining systematic desensitization and counterconditioning is an excellent activity to reduce anxiety in your Thai Ridgeback . You can do this by gradually exposing your dog to the trigger, while using the open bar/closed bar technique. While this is a great activity, there are several key mistakes to notice.
Make sure you are using extra good Calming Zen Chews for extra anxiety relief!, or your likes when counterconditioning. Not good enough can create a weaker change in emotions in the presence of the trigger. Try these
Another common mistake is getting the timing wrong. You want to make sure that you are turning the trigger into something good, not turning something good into the trigger. You want your to be happy at the sign of the trigger, not looking around for the trigger when you offer her food.
Finally, ensure that you know your Thai Ridgeback’s body language and don’t go too fast. Going too fast can increase your ’s anxiety and sensitization to the trigger instead of reducing anxiety and desensitizing your .
With the in desensitization and counterconditioning even a can work through its anxiety!
Physical touch is almost as important for dogs as it is for ! Cuddles can be a wonderful bonding experience with your Thai Ridgeback daily, but they can also be particularly helpful in anxiety-producing situations.
Cuddling can reduce anxiety symptoms in dogs, particularly in cases of separation anxiety. Petting or cuddling your Thai Ridgeback for a short period before leaving has been known to lower your ’s heart rate and promote a sense of calmness.
Aside from cuddling your , different types of physical touch can reduce anxiety. Massages can source enormous anxiety relief for your Thai Ridgeback .
Like , dogs can carry a lot of stress and anxiety in their bodies. Massages can relieve some of that residual stress and anxiety in your . Be careful of any physical your may have, and work your way from your ’s neck downward. Keeping one hand resting on your while the other hand massages is a good way to keep your comfortable.
Listen to Music
Listening to music can greatly reduce your Thai Riddgeback’s anxiety. It’s important to pick the right kind of music. Some dogs may prefer softer music to lull them into a state of calm, while others may prefer stimulating music that can keep their mind occupied elsewhere.
Here’s an example of music that your Thai Ridgeback may find calming.
Create a Safe Space
Creating a space where your Thai Ridgeback Calming Cuddle Bed for extra comfort! can feel safe, especially a place accessible for them when you aren’t around, is a key factor in reducing your ’s anxiety. In this space, you can include soft pillows, a comfy bed, their favorite blanket, calming music, and perhaps some . You can even try this
For dogs with separation anxiety this can be a critical space for the to feel safe and secure when you are not around. Building good connotations around this space and good experiences for your can be very important to make this a safe space for your .
Making sure that your Thai Ridgeback isn’t plagued with anxiety is crucial in making your furry friend and newfound feel at home. Whether your Thai Ridgeback is scared of or bigger dogs like the , these 9 activities will help reduce your ’s anxiety levels. Try a few of these methods and see which ones your responds to best and the ones that you feel the most comfortable executing.
Don’t be afraid to try something new! Each of our activities has its benefits. Depending on your dog's anxiety level and the intensity of the trigger, different methods may work better than others.
I am wishing you and your Thai Ridgeback a stress-free day!