When it comes to caring for our pets, there's nothing that we as pet parents won't do to improve our canine's quality of life. That's why it can be so difficult when we see that our furry friend is going through feelings of stress and anxiety, yet we don't know how to help. Onethat is particularly prone to such negative feelings is the , sometimes known as the . Despite their large frame, this is just as vulnerable to developing anxious and stressed feelings which can ultimately be debilitating for them. We're here to help. In this article, we're going to go through the primary causes of anxiety and fear in the Then, we'll dive into actionable ideas that you can use to help your remain calm in the face of mental adversity.
The is a that is a cross between a standard Poodle and a There's a stark difference in the average size of each here. While a measures in at around 15 inches tall, the is about double that at shoulder height - 30 inches. Similarly, while the Poodle averages around 55 pounds, a can weigh up to 180 pounds! The clear differences in size makes it difficult to pinpoint the expected size of any . As such, its height can range anywhere between 15 to 30 inches, while its weight can be as low as 40 pounds and as high as 180. It's important to note that a 's size is highly dependent on the type of used (miniature or standard). It's quite possible to produce a , instead of the .
The two most common colors for the are white-and-brown as well as white-and-black. On occasion, you may also see a that is red with white accents or even vice versa. The coat of the can take after either of its parents - "wiry and curly" like the Poodle, or "longer and smooth" like the . According to The Pets, "good brushing is recommended" at least once a week, and perhaps even more frequently for more curly-haired canines.
Now let's consider the personality and temperament of the According to DogTime, the a : a with a laid-back and easy going demeanor. This makes the an ideal . combines the best traits of each . As such, the Saint Berdoodle is generally friendly and affectionate. This canine is quite social and doesn't like to be left alone for long periods of time. The Poodle's intelligence combined with the 's curiosity makes the a highly trainable canine. Saint Bernards are known for their gentle, protective, and loving natures - this translates to the as well. They're considered to be a
Why Your Gets Anxious
Knowing techniques to help yourremain calm is vital and useful, however techniques are not much help if you don't know when to put them into action. That's why it's equally important to educate ourselves on what causes anxiety and stress in our St Berdoodle, as well as how to identify the moments that they are experiencing these feelings. This way you can immediately spring into action and put your strategies to use.
In canines, there are two primary causes of anxiety and stress: stimulus-driven anxiety and separation anxiety. We're going to go through both cases individually, highlighting what they are and their signs and symptoms.
As the name suggests, stimulus based anxiety is when an external stimulus incites fear in your canine. The also refers to this form of anxiety as fear-based anxiety, adding that any environmental factor such as "loud noises, strange people, or [even other] animals" can function as a stressor. It may seem logical to assume that only unfamiliar stimuli can incite fear in canines - after all, why would your be scared of something of which they're familiar? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even consistent activities like trips to the "vet's office or car rides" can instill fear and anxiety in your .
Let's explore why this occurs. The Wildest writes that the "function of fear [in canines] is to signal the body that there is danger present." Essentially, your is reacting to a stimulus in his environment because, in his mind, it presents a threat to his safety. It then makes sense why trips to the vet or car rides cause anxiety in dogs - those are fundamentally traumatizing experiences that they do not want to repeat. It also follows why unknown and unfamiliar stimuli incite stress in canines - they simply don't know what the stimulus is and thus feel threatened. This biological instinct of fear has been hard-wired in dogs for a very important reason: it kept them safe in the wild! However, in the modern-day, domesticated lifestyle that most dogs enjoy, that same bias for fear hinders your 's quality of life. Stick around for some effective ways to help your Saint Berdoodle keep calm even in the face of environmental stressors!
Signs of Stimulus-Driven Anxiety
Finally, let's discuss the common signs and symptoms that your is experiencing stimulus-driven anxiety. Canna-Pet states that a canine suffering from this form of anxiety will:
- Stand frozen in place
- Whine and bark
- Pace back and forth
- Pant or salivate excessively
- Tremble and shake
If you notice your exhibiting any of these symptoms, or even worse a combination of them, pay close attention to what may have caused it. There was likely some change in the environment that provoked their anxious response. Once you identify the cause, look to eliminate it.
The next form of anxiety that may plague your 's mental health is separation anxiety. As VCA Hospitals put it, separation anxiety occurs when a is "overly attached or dependent on [their] family members;" when they are separated from them, their body's anxiety response is engaged. According to Perfect Breeds, because of the "strong bonds that these gentle giants form with their families," the is more prone to developing separation anxiety than other dogs.
Let's try and understand what's happening in our 's mind when they experience this kind of anxiety. Assisi Animal Health states that when a with separation anxiety is left alone, their amygdala - the area of the brain responsible for processing emotions and detecting fear - "goes into overdrive." This causes an imbalance of chemicals and hormones that ultimately leads to physical symptoms. An insightful analogy put forth by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. was that we can "think of separation anxiety as the [canine] equivalent of a panic attack."
Signs of Separation Anxiety
Now, let's familiarize ourselves with the most common symptoms and signs that areis a victim of separation anxiety.
- Anxious Behavior As You're Leaving
The first way to identify that your is dealing with separation anxiety is by observing their behavior as you're about to leave the house. Canines are associative creatures. When they smell their food, they know it's time to eat. When they see their leash, they know it's time for a walk. Similarly, when your hears your keys or sees you put on your shoes, they know that you're about to leave. If they have separation anxiety, symptoms will begin right then.
Pay attention to your 's body language as you leave. Are they pawing at your legs, as if to encourage you not to go? Are they pacing around the house, whining, or trembling? The says that any of these behaviors can be indicative of separation anxiety.
- Destructive Behavior
The next and most prevalent sign of separation anxiety in canines is destructive behavior when you're gone from the house. If you return home to see chewed up couch cushions, trash everywhere, and other similar destructive acts, then it's possible that your is experiencing separation anxiety in your absence.
Many canines form a hyper-attachment to their owner that gives them security and comfort. So when you leave, they feel uncomfortable and insecure. That's when their mind and body start to build up with anxiety and stress, leaving them with a mountain of negative energy that they don't know what to do with. They end up resorting to destructive behaviors in order to get that energy out and hopefully calm themselves down.
- Barking and Howling in Your Absence
The final common symptom of a that is suffering from separation anxiety is barking and howling when you're not home. If your neighbors come by to let you know that your has been yelling for the past three hours, then seriously consider whether they have separation anxiety.
Your 's primary means of communicating with the world are barking and howling. That means they're trying to say something. If they were content and satisfied with their present situation, they simply wouldn't be vocalizing for so long. What this means is your is likely feeling stressed and anxious, and they want to get someone's attention - yours. While howling alone does not certainly imply a diagnosis of separation anxiety, the states that when it is accompanied by another one of these symptoms, it is far more likely.
Strategies To Help YourRemain Calm
Now that we've educated ourselves with the basics of canine anxiety as well as its signs and symptoms, it's time to find out how we can respond to ease their mental state and calm them down. Although there are a variety of strategies that exist that can help your stay calm, we're going to focus on the ones that chemically balance their mind. Nearly all psychological issues, including those of anxiety and fear, are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Essentially, there's either too much or not enough of a certain chemical in their bodies, which results in feelings of anxiety, stress, and so on. By targeting an increase or decrease in certain neurotransmitters through different activities, we can effectively keep our canines calm.
The first strategy to help your keep calm is to expose them to some music therapy! The primary neurotransmitters responsible for fighting stress and anxiety are serotonin and dopamine. A study by Michele M Moraes found that music therapy actually increases the release of both of those chemicals! As such, by exposing your to certain frequencies of sound, you can effectively rebalance their mental state and regulate their mood.
The chemical impact of music therapy does not stop there. While increasing production of dopamine and serotonin, music therapy also serves to reduce the bodily production of cortisol in your canine, as per Murdoch University. is widely known as nature's stress hormone, so it makes sense why lowering its presence would help calm your down.
Let's examine what kind of music to play. Researchers at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine found that classical music helped dogs relax more and even put them to sleep; they also found that heavy metal music had an adverse effect, causing more agitation and increased stress levels. A 2002 study by animal behaviorist Dr. Deborah Wells supports this conclusion, as she found that dogs displayed calmer behavior when exposed to classical music rather than heavy metal, pop, or other music genres. So it's settled! If you want to calm your down, whether you're with them or out of the house, throw on some all-time classical music.
The next chemical strategy that can aid in keeping your calm is sunbathing! As we mentioned before, one of the key chemicals that regulates mood in your canine is serotonin. states that low levels of serotonin can cause depression and anxiety, while normal levels help your feel "emotionally stable... and calmer." If you notice your feeling stressed, anxious, or down, then it's highly likely their serotonin levels are not in the right place. That's where sunbathing comes in. My Animals states that exposure to sunlight "enhances serotonin production" in your canine. How convenient!
Here's what you need to do to successfully sunbathe with your . First, get a comfy blanket or your 's bed and place it facing direct sunlight. We recommend using the Calming Cuddle Bed! With memory foam technology embedded throughout its build, this bed offers your furry friend the most relaxing experience. It features premium joint support, pressure relieving technology, and even cooling mechanisms to regulate their body temperature. It's the perfect solution for canine comfort. Once you've got that set up, simply have your lie down on it and begin the relaxation!
The final chemical solution to help your SniffSpot asserts that enrichment toys "increase serotonin levels" in your 's brain! Moreover, they add that owners who use such puzzles with their dogs see a decrease in anxiety and an increase in calm behavior.
remain calm is giving them a puzzle! These canine enrichment toys are essentially mechanical food dispensers. The trick is that they only dispense food when a certain mechanism is interacted with. They are made up of many different moving parts, such as buttons and sliding panels. But how does a puzzle work to keep your canine calm?
We recommend putting our Calming Zen Chews in your puzzle to maximize the calming effect. Each bag is rich with pet-safe ingredients, and more importantly, with powerful calming agents such as Chamomile, L-Theanine, and L-Tryptophan for optimal therapeutic effect. Read here why L-Tryptophan is such an effective compound to instill calmness in canines.
Theis one of the most gentle, friendly, and affectionate canines. They truly encompass the best of both their parents, resulting in an intelligent and loyal . However, their greatest strength can also be their greatest weakness. Their loving attachment to their family can be turned on its head once the family leaves the house, resulting in debilitating cases of separation anxiety. In other situations, they might be prone to environmental stressors that induce stimulus-driven anxiety. In either case, it's our job as pet parents to learn how to help them.
Make sure to watch for the possible warning signs that your is suffering from either form of anxiety. Once you identify the symptoms and are sure of the diagnosis, it's time to take action. Utilize one of the three strategies that we've discussed here - music therapy, sunbathing, and puzzles - to effectively mitigate feelings of stress and anxiety in your and help them remain calm.