anatolian shepherd laying in a grassy field

How the Beach Can Help Your Anatolian Shepherd Overcome Anxiety

Overview of an Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd dog is a flock guardian with excellent eyesight and hearing. It is not a herding dog, such as the Australian Cattle dog, Belgian Malinois, Shetland Sheepdog, or Border Collie, but did join the American Kennel Club in 1999. It is incredibly loyal, vigilant, and fit for long-distance running and endurance racing. It is slightly larger than the German Shepherd. It's bright, alert, and easy to train, but it's not for novices. They need someone who naturally exudes leadership and is willing to take the time to train and handle this popular dog breed correctly.

Because the Anatolian Shepherd is a natural flock guard dog, it will be vigilant and jealous if it is not kept in its proper position below humans. If it perceives itself as superior to the family, it may act loving towards them but suspicious of anybody new to a point where they become an issue. As your dog gets older, this becomes more worrisome, and his anxiety level will also increase.

Owners who do not have natural, strong, and even-tempered authority (aka pack leader) over the dog will find it to have its own ideas and only follow known commands if it wishes to do so. This breed is patient and protective with kids in the family but may accidentally knock them down. Children should always be watched and properly introduced by their parents.

The Anatolian Shepherd does not need additional protection training. It already has a strong defense instinct that will develop with age. These instincts will be at their greatest at around one and a half years old.

If they have been introduced to other animals while still young, they will generally get along with them. However, they can be somewhat domineering toward other dogs, and it is critical to educate them while they are still young. The Anatolian Shepherd develops slowly and reaches full adulthood at around four years old.

What if Your Anatolian Shepherd Shows Signs of Anxiety?

Your Anatolian Shepherd is one brave, calm dog: dogs developed to protect cattle from bears, wolves, and human rustlers are the pinnacle of courage.

That is until firework displays start or a storm rolls in, or anything else traumatic sets off their anxiety. Then, they become terrified pups trembling and drooling all over the place. Here are some signs of anxiety.

Growling

Growling is a simple method of detecting if your dog is experiencing some anxiety. For example, it might indicate that someone has entered their space, threatened, or something hurts them. It's not usually meant to be aggressive, but it does tend to serve as a warning signal indicating anxiety in your pet.

anatolian shepherd standing in front of a mountain and a lake

Barking or Whining

When dogs have anxiety, they may not be able to control their whining. It is more of an automated response for certain dogs when stressed. However, it is a hint for humans that something in the environment produces their anxiety.

This is similar to how pups cannot always control barking, but they are attempting to inform you that they are concerned. It may, nonetheless, be dependent on the situation; dogs may whimper and bark for various reasons.

Body Language

There are several books on dog body language and "calming signals," a Turid Rugaas-inspired term for signs that dogs send to themselves when they have anxiety or agitation. Turid Rugaas realized that dogs have more than 30 methods of avoiding stressful situations and attempting to calm down. When pups display these actions, they're usually successful in averting conflict.

Some of the behavioral indicators to watch for are excessive panting, drooling, yawning, and avoiding eye contact. Your Anatolian Shepherd may also avert their eyes or look away when you make direct eye contact with them. This is generally seen in a dog that appears to be "guilty." On the other hand, the puppy is genuinely reacting to your voice and body language, believing there must be something wrong.

Don't solely rely on body language. Some dogs, not necessarily when they are stressed or have anxiety, raise their hackles due to overstimulation or excitement.

Freezing

When your Anatolian Shepherd freezes or stiffens up, they're often concerned about something they've seen. In a training situation, this might be interpreted as "submission," but modern dog training methods tell us that the dog is shutting down.

This can be quite hazardous for both you and your Anatolian Shepherd. It's an indication that their anxiety level is so high that they can't think of anything else to do, and they may resort to biting.

Pacing

When your Anatolian Shepherd is pacing back and forth, it's an indication that they're unable to relax because something is bothering them. If this happens only during meals or for intervals of time, it may not be a significant issue. However, detecting when your Anatolian Shepherd becomes engaged in this behavior might help you figure out what is causing their anxiety.

Read on to learn you can help your Anatolian Shepherd reduce their anxiety by taking them to the beach!

That's right, taking your Anatolian Shepherd to the beach can help relieve their anxiety! Taking a dog to the beach may be enjoyable! Whether your dog likes splashing in the water or running through the sand, there are lots for canines to get out and enjoy during the summer. They adore being by the seaside!

There are, however, a few things pet owners should think about before loading up the car with buckets and shovels and heading to the coast. Whether it's ensuring your dog's safety on the beach or selecting the right site for your sea-soaked games of fetch, make sure you're fully prepared for a day of fun with these helpful suggestions. It will reduce everyone's anxiety.

anatolian shepherd sitting in the street

Make Sure the Beach is Dog Friendly

It's critical to double-check that dogs are allowed on the beach before taking your dog there. Some beaches have a no-dog policy, so check ahead of time to ensure you go to the right place. If you take your Anatolian Shepherd to the beach only to be told to leave because of a no-dog policy, that might raise their anxiety level if it's yanked away from them.

Fortunately, there are numerous dog-friendly beaches to select from throughout the United States! These places are well advertised, and they'll tell you where your pet may swim, relax, and run about.

Some beaches have dog-free zones, but dogs are permitted to run free in other areas. Keep an eye out for signs to ensure you aren't trespassing on the wrong area. Also, while some beaches may allow dogs throughout the winter months, regulations might change when the beach gets busier during the summer.

The Best Beach Games for Your Anatolian Shepherd

Taking a dog to the beach offers both people and their pets the ideal opportunity for exercise and fresh air. Spending time outdoors has significant mental and physical advantages, and you can watch your dog's anxiety level fade to nothing. There's no end to the benefits!

Fetch

When your Anatolian Shepherd is at the beach, make the most of the extra space to exercise them. Frisbees are a great dog-friendly beach game that everyone in the family can enjoy: try out "piggy in the middle" with your Anatolian Shepherd in the center and watch them go crazy over and over again! Many larger dogs, such as the Anatolian Shepherd, really love competing in "fetch races," where they can see how far they can run in the sand to fetch a ball or frisbee.

Tug of War

A game of tug of war is another excellent way to have fun with your pet and give them a good workout. Just be sure not to overdo it, especially if it's a hot day. You don't want your Anatolian Shepherd to become overheated.

anatolian shepherd laying in the grass

Dock Jumping

This is comparable to water retrieval, but many dogs enjoy this sport's extremes. Before tossing his favorite toy into the lake, stand at the rear of the dock.

It's the perfect opportunity to teach your Anatolian Shepherd some new tricks. Then, when they jump off the end of the dock and make a splash, they'll have a long-term head start. In addition, dogs who like getting exercise will enjoy flying through the air.

Rescue

Swimming has to be all about exercise, right? Not really! You may teach your Anatolian Shepherd a fun game that might save your life sometime. Attach a ski rope or some other form of a leash to his life jacket. Then let him practice dragging you through the water as you float behind. This big dog is quite robust, and with a little bit of practice, they'll be towing you along in no time!

This game may come in handy should you ever find yourself in a real-life situation where you need rescuing. Your Anatolian Shepherd will have the strength to tow you to shore, and you'll both know exactly what to do!

Always Have Fresh Water Available for Your Dog

Bring a water container such as the Calming Fountain Plus+, which will always provide clean, fresh water. Many dogs enjoy drinking salt water at the beach, but it's not good for them.

Try to have them avoid drinking saltwater and instead hydrate them with fresh water. Otherwise, your Anatolian Shepherd could suffer from loose stools or an upset stomach later on due to dehydration, which will also cause them some anxiety issues.

anatolian shepherd puppies laying in the grass

Can My Anatolian Shepherd Swim in the Ocean?

Although many dogs are natural swimmers and will plunge into the water like a duck (or dog!), don't assume that your Anatolian Shepherd will be comfortable in the waves at first. While certain types, such as Labradors, aren't afraid of going deep, others are naturally more hesitant.

An Anatolian Shepherd is mid-way between dogs who adore swimming and those that prefer to relax on the beach. While many will enjoy the water, there will always be a few holdouts. However, their bodies were designed in such a manner that they could swim effectively.

If you know your Anatolian Shepherd is scared of the ocean, praise and encourage them as they explore it. Allow them to paddle in the shallows to boost their confidence rather than forcing them any farther ahead. That would only cause some anxiety. Consider buying a dog life vest for safekeeping if you have concerns about poor swimmers wanting to go further out.

Encourage your pet to swim in calmer patches of seawater. However, when waves are particularly rough, don't urge them to go into the water, and avoid areas with many motorboats and surfers which could cause anxiety.

Protect Your Anatolian Shepherd From the Sun!

Dogs can also get a sunburn, especially those with light skin and fur or short hair. As a result, they're just as susceptible to skin cancer as people are.

The ears and nose are the most vulnerable to sun damage. So you may even get sunscreen for your dog, made especially for them. Or, if you're wearing a sun shirt, cover your dog's skin with it.

Take your Anatolian Shepherd to the beach during hours of decreased sun exposure. During the peak hours of sunshine (10 a.m.-4 p.m.), limit sun exposure as much as possible.

Also, take a dog carrier with you, such as the Calming Carrier Plus+, so that your dog can lay down and rest free from sun exposure.

anatolian shepherd standing in the grass

Beach Dangers for Your Anatolian Shepherd

Salt Water

They'll drink anything when they're thirsty, which includes saltwater. However, excess salt water can lead to salt poisoning, otherwise known as hypernatremia.

When there is an excessive amount of salt in the blood, this happens. For example, just from going to the beach, your Anatolian Shepherd may absorb a lot of salt through swallowing too much while swimming or picking up and chewing on toys that have been immersed in water.

Excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, seizures, and coma are all signs of salt poisoning. Always provide fresh water so that your pet does not desire to drink from the sea since they will be tempted to do so.

It's also a good idea to rinse your dogs off before leaving the beach rather than allowing saltwater to dry on their coat. This will prevent your Anatolian Shepherd from licking the salt water off their coat and eating more salt.

Sand

Sand is unavoidable at the beach; it gets everywhere, and you may even bring some home with you! Also, playing on the beach might result in your dog eating sand - primarily by accident, but some dogs may do it on purpose.

Sand will be consumed while playing with toys that have been coated in sand, digging in the sand, and eating something delicious that has fallen onto the sand. However, sand impaction can occur if too much sand is consumed. This happens when sand clogs the intestines.

It's difficult to avoid a sand impaction when sand ingestion is frequently unintentional. To prevent your Anatolian Shepherd from eating undesirable things like a dropped sausage on the beach, keep an eye on them, limit access to sand pits, and teach them the leave command.

Heat

While the sea air might feel lovely, the heat can quickly rise at the beach. Combine high temperatures with scorching sand and minimal shelter, and your pet's risk of heat stroke increases dramatically.

Dogs can't sweat as humans do, and they may overheat rapidly. They can't inform us when they are hot, either. So make sure to give your Anatolian Shepherd enough shade and fresh water to avoid heatstroke by providing it with adequate shade and drinking water. It's also a good idea to limit excessive activity.

Our dogs, too, can get sunburned. Their nose, ear, and stomach are the most common sunburn sites. Dogs with thin coats or white fur are more vulnerable to the sun's rays than others.

To avoid a bad sunburn, provide your dog with an umbrella, beach tent, or a dog carrier to cool off under, and if your Anatolian Shepherd enjoys spending time in the sun, pet sunscreen may be a good investment.

close up photo of anatolian shepherd standing in front of a house

Fish Hooks

Whether you're a pet owner who walks your dog near a popular fishing location or an angler with a canine companion, it's crucial to understand how to prevent a fishing mishap and what to do if your pet becomes entangled.

It only takes a second! Your dog sniffs out and eats bait or a fish hanging from a hook, and the hook gets stuck in their mouth, throat, stomach, or inserted into their skin. Their anxiety will skyrocket, so be careful!

If your dog eats a fish hook, do all you can to keep them quiet and see a veterinarian right away. Cover the area if the fish hook is implanted in the paw, injected through their lip, or inserted somewhere else on their body to prevent your pet from gnawing, licking, or tugging at the hook to avoid further harm. It is better not to try to remove the fishing line that has been ingested if it is hanging from their mouth, as doing so might result in additional injuries.

Conclusion

How the beach can help your Anatolian Shepherd overcome anxiety has been researched a few times. Although the studies have shown that a visit to the beach could help relieve dogs' anxiety, it's essential that you, the dog owner, take some precautions first. Here is a summary of tips for making your trip to the beach with your furry friend as anxiety-free as possible. This applies to all dogs, including Golden Retriever, Yorkshire Terrier, Labrador Retriever, Great Dane, Boston Terrier, Chow Chow, Shih Tzu, Irish Setter, Siberian Husky, and all the rest of the dog breeds!

Make sure your Anatolian Shepherd is comfortable in and around water before taking them to the beach. Bring plenty of fresh drinking water and snacks for both you and your Anatolian Shepherd. Also, never leave your dog unattended, even if they seem calm and relaxed. Keep an eye on your Anatolian Shepherd at all times and be prepared to exit the water immediately if needed.

With these tips in mind, enjoy a fun day at the beach with your best friend!

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