Key Points Owning a dog can be stressful and a dog owner’s stress can be detected by their dog. A dog owner’s stress can be reduced by a calm d...
Anxious Goberian? Try These 15 Fun Activities
Quick: Think of the two most lovable, sweet dog breeds you can. Now imagine if those two breeds mated and had puppies. Would YOU want one for your home?
Goberians are a 50/50 mix between a golden retriever and a Siberian husky. Aww.
It’s safe to say you love medium or large-breed dogs if you own --or are thinking about getting -- a goberian. These smart, sociable dogs are well-suited for single families, households with children, and homes with other pets.
Goberians are friendly, eager-to-please, active dogs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t struggle with emotional or mental health issues. It can be easy to overlook certain symptoms of stress or anxiety in your canine -- especially when you aren’t sure what certain behaviors mean.
Learning more about your goberian's roots can help you develop a deeper understanding of their personalities. Knowing more about this amazing breed will help you recognize when they are anxious or stressed.
Quick Take: All About The Goberian
Animal lovers and pet-loving households agree that puppies are the most adorable little furbabies. After all, not many people can resist the happy yapping of a golden retriever puppy or the loving cuddles of a fluffy Siberian husky pup.
As mentioned above, the goberian is the result of combining these two popular dog breeds; they are also referred to as a golden retriever-Siberian husky mix. The name takes the "go" from golden and the "berian" from Siberian.
Even the breed name is adorable.
Goberians' average lifespan is between 10 to 15 years. They can weigh anywhere from 45 to 80 lbs and are typically 20" to 24" high at the shoulder when fully grown.
Most goberians are an even 50/50 mix of purebred parents, so you can expect a super-fluffy and deeply personable doggo. The mixed breed stands out because of its uniquely soft, thick fur coat that is a mix of medium and short hair. Their vibrant eye color and the fur around their eyes, paws, and ears are typically a stark contrast from the rest of their fur.
The goberian is just as protective as the sweet-natured golden retriever and frisky Siberian husky. That’s one of the many reasons why parents choose them as household pets. Unfortunately, these beautiful dogs can experience some emotional and mental stress. Read on for more about identifying and handling your goberian's anxiety.
Does Your Goberian Have Anxiety?
If you aren’t sure whether your goberian has anxiety, consult a veterinarian who can diagnose mental, emotional, or physical health issues that could be causing distress for your barking buddy.
According to Shawn Thompson, an orthopedic surgical technician at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University, “The first thing to do is to recognize when a pet is anxious or has fear-associated stress. Learn how to read their body language so you have a better understanding of where [they are].”
The possible symptoms of canine anxiety include unusual aggression, restlessness, pacing, extreme drooling and/or panting, excessively barking, frequent "accidents" in the house, acting sad or depressed, demonstrating repetitive or compulsive behaviors, and being destructive.
There are three main types of anxiety: fear-related, separation, and age-related. Each one is detailed below.
Regardless of whether they are puppies or "senior citizens," the most common type of anxiety in dogs is separation anxiety.
Does your pet run to the door when they see you heading out, try to stop you from leaving, or bust through the curtains just to watch you go? Are they whining or acting sad when they see you getting ready to leave the house? Is the house torn up when you get home?
Ripped-up shoes, clothes, or cushions could all be indicative of separation anxiety.
Research indicates that dogs have the intelligence level of toddlers. When it comes to disciplining them, ask yourself, "If this was a child, how would I respond?"
Responding to your pup with love is always better than chastising them, which will only scare them more. If your goberian acts out in this destructive way, they are not trying "to teach you a lesson," nor are they expressing anger. This is their way of showing you how much they miss you and worry when you are gone.
Fear and Age-Related Anxiety
Adopting a goberian from an animal shelter without knowing its history leaves you without the knowledge about any worrisome or negative behaviors they exhibit. It's not uncommon for adopted or rescued dogs to struggle with adapting to a new home. You might not understand why they are slow to trust you or won’t warm up to the family right away. You don't know why they are aggressive, anxious/nervous, frightened, sad, or cowering and hiding from everyone.
It’s important to learn whether the pup you’re adopting has a history of being abused, abandoned, or lacks the social interaction skills that domesticated dogs typically develop from puppyhood. If they are slow to warm and seem to want to hide, it could be a case of fear-related anxiety.
Age-related anxiety is often due to underlying medical issues. Sometimes those medical problems can be treated and sometimes they are a result of aging. Either way, behavioral changes in aging dogs are not uncommon.
Negative behavioral changes due to diminished faculties such as sight or hearing, or a decline in cognitive function due to age can often be the culprit. It's recommended you seek help from the vet when dealing with and treating this type of age-related anxiety.
Other factors to consider if your goberian is experiencing stress include the following:
Is their food disagreeing with them?
Do they have allergies?
Are there people or events at home that could be causing them stress?
Exploring all avenues of your pup's environment, what they eat, and what they do can help to discover the cause of their stress and anxiety.
Stress and Anxiety Due To Medical Issues
Mental or emotional health issues caused by physical health problems should not be overlooked. When your goberian is in untreated physical distress, that pain can cause stress.
For example, hip dysplasia can cause a constant ache for your doggo. If your goberian has a fun-filled day at the dog park, but whines later because their hip is aching, this could cause them some serious stress.
Another possible cause could be food allergies. You might not be aware of it, but their favorite treat could be causing digestive issues. When there's an imbalance of the canine gut microbiome, everything from the dog’s immune system to its brain function could be affected.
Paying close attention to how your goberian is behaving is important. You should also learn about the differences between normal mobility and when your furry friend has discomfort while moving. Limping, moving slowly, or partial lameness may indicate a physical health issue and should be checked out by a veterinarian.
What Can You Do To Decrease Your Goberian’s Anxiety and Stress?
There is a clear and well-documented correlation between physical activity and mental health. Studies show that dogs need high levels of physical activity. If they are lacking in that department, it can lead to adverse health effects.
The good news is when it comes to tackling your goberian’s anxiety and stress, physical activities and critical thinking games can make a big impact.
15 Outdoor Activities to Help Your Goberian Overcome Anxiety
You should be cautious when beginning any new activity with your goberian. It’s not uncommon for families to keep their pets indoors more often than not, so introducing your pup to an outdoor setting may require a period of adjustment. Be patient with your goberian.
Don’t be concerned if your goberian acts overly rambunctious when playing in the great outdoors for the first time. A new place, smells, sensations, people, and other animals can cause that type of response. After all, you would be introducing them to LOTS of new stimuli, so any hyperactive behavior shouldn’t catch you off guard.
Here are 15 outdoor activities you can try to help your goberian overcome their stress and anxiety:
1. Dog Walking
The simplest and most popular outdoor activity on the list of “things to do with your dog” is going on walks. Daily walks have dual benefits for you and your pet. Walks are not only recommended for people, they are also suggested for all types of dogs, from miniature poodles and Chihuahuas to giant Saint Bernards and Great Danes.
Taking your goberian on a walk several times a day will keep its temperament in check. If your dog is new to multiple walks, make sure they stay hydrated. Invest in a new water bowl for them, like a calming fountain. The running water from this type of bowl encourages them to drink more water, which helps with their muscle recovery after the daily walks.
2. Dog Jogging/Running
Are you a regular runner? Love getting that roadwork in before or after work? If your goberian suffers from separation anxiety, particularly while you are at work, it might be a good idea to bring them with you on your morning or evening run.
Getting them regular exercise keeps their cortisol (stress hormone) levels low. Add an after-work walk or leisurely jog to make your goberian a happy camper.
3. Dog Parks
Some people might be a little leery about bringing their dog to a park where other dogs will be running and playing without leashes. There are legitimate reasons to avoid dog parks, but failing to get your family pet sufficiently socialized could have even more disastrous results.
Imagine bringing your pooch to the dog park for the first time only to have them get into an altercation with another animal or person. Avoid situations like that by incorporating dog park time as soon as your goberian is old enough.
It's important to note that first-time dog park visits can be a bit overwhelming -- both for you and your pup. Unless your goberian lives in a multi-dog household, they probably are not exposed to other dogs too often. Consider starting with 10-15 minute dog park sessions, and don't be surprised if your pup acts a bit "weird" during the first few visits. Excessive drooling, not minding voice calls as well as normal, and overexcitement are all natural reactions for pups in dog parks.
4. Dog-Friendly Hiking
A dog that’s full of energy and wants to explore the outdoors is an excellent companion for heading for the hills and hitting up the trails. Getting fresh air and going on exciting short hikes or all-day hiking adventures can be a dream getaway for a dog. If your dog enjoys a little hunting, river and mountain trails are the perfect choices for them.
Throwing a Frisbee with your dog is a classic outdoor activity your dog may love. Have you ever heard of Disc Dog? Train your goberian well enough and you can find yourself exploring this intriguing dog sport.
Who wouldn’t love to see the happiness on their pets' faces as they catch their first Frisbee in a canine sport that has reached global recognition?
Having your spirited dog play fetch is another outdoor activity that never gets old.
The golden retriever was named for its color and its ability to “retrieve” wild game shot by its owner. It’s only natural that their offspring, the goberian, would be just as good at fetch as their relatives.
If your goberian loves their toys, why not play fetch using them? For instance, do they have a favorite stick, ball, or rope toy? Incentivizing outdoor fetch by using those toys will enhance their outdoor play experience.
7. Dog Exercises
Ever heard of animal exercises? Contrary to popular belief, exercises aren’t that uncommon for pets. Any veterinarian who has nursed many animals with various injuries will tell you that physical therapy for your pet is important for them to recover from injury and regain full strength as soon as possible.
8. Dog Exercise Equipment
In conjunction with basic dog exercising, actual exercise toys for dogs do exist. There are extremely bouncy balls that make it challenging for dogs to catch and hold. Spring-action toys are also fun and keep them busy. If you’re attempting to train your goberian for endurance walks, hikes, or runs, consider getting them some treadmill action.
After new or vigorous exercise, they may be tapped out and need a comfortable place to rest. Calming therapy beds have been found to keep pets feeling safe. The safer they feel, the calmer and more relaxed they can be.
9. Dog Parkour
Agility work is perfect for the goberian. As a medium-to-large-sized dog breed, staying agile for as long as possible will keep their mental faculties in check and their bodies healthy as they age. Doggy parkour promotes agility, which means your pup will be running, leaping, jumping, and generally bouncing off of dog-friendly surfaces with glee.
10. Dog-Human Interactive Play
Have you ever seen videos of dog owners wrestling with their furry friends? It looks like a lot of fun for both the doggo and the person, right? Well, the goberian is a medium-to-large dog breed and has the energy and playful nature that fits perfectly with wrestling.
Next time you play in the backyard, get down on all fours and engage your dog in some wrestling fun. Don’t be surprised if that tires them out sooner than expected. Getting that energy out will help them calm down and stay relaxed for longer periods.
Who would have thought that just having a little fun would be such an effective exercise for your canine companion?
11. Cognitive Training and Counterconditioning Training
Playing stimulating cognitive games is a great way to get your goberian's brain firing on all cylinders. It also makes it easier for them to learn and understand other forms of training. Prepping their minds for receptivity to learning can help them have an easier time when it comes to any obedience, socialization, or counterconditioning training.
If you aren’t sure where to look for obedience, socialization, or counterconditioning training, contact a professional dog trainer. They can help you figure out the best route to take for improving your goberian’s attitude and behavior.
12. Mental Stimulation Games
The golden retriever is highly sought after as a service dog because of their intelligence and trainability. The Siberian husky is popular for being a trusted tracking and sledding dog because they are so full of energy. It's only natural that the goberian would have a healthy mix of these traits.
Giving your dog some brain games is another way of stimulating their activity. It also keeps their capacity to learn on point, making it easier for them to learn something new as they age. Some examples of dog brain games to keep their minds alert and more receptive to learning are pattern recognition games, voice command reward systems, visual and audio games, squeaky toys, interactive toys, and puzzle games.
13. Obedience Training
Studies show that negative reinforcement (punishment) is not as effective in obedience training as positive reinforcement. Hit the internet and find thousands of videos of dogs doing tricks and listening very well to their owners before being rewarded with a treat. Those are the types of responses you should aim for when training your goberian to be a good listener.
Foods, like calming Zen treats, can often be an incentive for your goberian to listen and it will help them relax. These snacks are also great for any reward-based obedience training.
Has your goberian ever ignored your commands? When they are obedient, that means healthy boundaries have been established and they understand your expectations of them. Boundaries and understanding are both necessary if you want the dog to respond well to the kids, the parents, or a family member.
14. Socialization Training
In situations where your goberian acts wild or distrusts people, it might be time to start socialization training. It’s recommended that you get your goberian puppy to begin interacting with other pets, dogs, children, relatives, friends, and neighbors so they become familiar with these people and remain friendly.
You might not want your family pet interacting much with strangers, but you would rather they be friendly instead of aggressive with other people. An aggressive dog will intimidate people and could lead to legal trouble -- or worse.
Socialization training is also a great way to treat fear-based anxiety, particularly in cases where the canine is afraid of other people or animals.
15. Counterconditioning Training
Has your goberian ever eaten off of a dinner plate without permission? Have they stolen food right out of your hands? Do they bark at the delivery guy? Do they constantly jump on laps and ignore calls to stop? Classic counterconditioning techniques can deter negative behaviors.
For example, the counterconditioning techniques below focus on changing negative behaviors by positively influencing the dogs' moods. A dog trainer uses positive pairings and associations to help in that process. Training like this has great results and might be suggested by your vet.
Keep Your Goberian Calm
What if these activities aren’t ideal for your goberian? Sometimes alternative methods to help with their anxiety are considered, such as looking at the whole picture or studying their holistic health. Promising research has shown the calming benefits of CBD for canines’ stress and anxiety.
If you have a comfy bed for your goberian, consider scent therapy inserts to help them stay relaxed and get deep, restful sleep. Therapy beds should be a safe zone for them and adding calming inserts or scented cards will help promote an all-natural calming response in your furry family member.
To help your lovable animal companion get some relief from anxiety, be sure to peruse the variety of calming dog products available.