Doberman puppy laying down with concerned look on his face

Why Doberman Puppies Experience Stress And How To Help

Any pet owner is going to want to help decrease their pet's stress. If you own a Doberman Pinscher puppy, you might've noticed it can get stressed out somewhat easily. This article can help you learn different methods to help your pet. These methods can help calm most symptoms of stress and anxiety, and even intense stress can be fixed with multiple methods.

Doberman Puppies

The Doberman Pinscher dog breed is a lovely pet that many people have come to favor. This dog breed has become increasingly popular. It used to be a great guard dog and still is, but these pets are also great companion animals. Doberman Pinscher puppies can grow to be very large dogs. They can grow to be 24 to 28 inches tall and can weigh 60 to 80 pounds. This dog breed also has an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years.

The Doberman dog breed is a fierce and protective dog. It isn't common for well-socialized Doberman dogs to deal with stress often, but many things can affect a dog's stress levels. If your Doberman doesn't receive enough activity, mental stimulation or attention, they might respond with symptoms of stress and anxiety.

The Doberman Pinscher breed is a great fit for many families. They have the potential to be very well-trained pets, have few health risks and are overall great family pets. However, these dogs are very loyal and might struggle with things like stress and anxiety.

Causes of Stress

It can be sad for any pet parent to realize their Doberman puppy is struggling with stress. These dogs are wonderful animals and they love their families, which is why they might experience stress. Doberman dogs have successfully worked as watchdogs or guard dogs in their breed history, which means that they're very protective and loyal to their family. When a dog that's used to protecting its family is left alone for many hours with no one to protect, it can develop some serious stress and anxiety. Also, some Dobermans struggle with stress more often than others, typically because of past life traumas. Pet owners might adopt a shelter dog, and dogs from shelters are more likely to experience traumas like these. Any animal that has a history of abuse, neglect, homelessness or abandonment is likely to struggle with stress anytime something remotely reminds them of horrific events from their past.

There are plenty of ways a dog can show signs of their stress, but dogs are physical communicators. If owners take notice of their pet's body language, they'll come to understand what signs their pet will show. Over time owners naturally come to understand their pet's body language just by training with them and seeing how they react to other things. After a few months of bonding with a Doberman puppy, this should come naturally to owners.

cute Doberman puppy with shy face

Symptoms of Stress in Dogs

When examining a Doberman puppy's behavior for signs of stress, there are a few things owners should do to ensure they're carefully watching after their pet. According to the American Kennel Club, "dogs primarily communicate using body language, so it's important for humans to understand what they are trying to tell us." The first thing owners should know is that dogs often show more than one symptom of stress. Anxious dogs may react by wagging their tail but will usually also be cowering or pulling their ears back. A nervous dog could bark and pace around, but dogs also bark when they're excited and no anxiety is present. This duality is important to understand to help properly relieve a pet's stress. Secondly, pet owners must acknowledge the intensity of their dog's symptoms. Some Doberman puppies will experience stress at a more intense level than others. Your dog could also have different levels of stress reactions to different situations. Your pup might feel more stressed out when they see other animals than when they get stressed out because of a thunderstorm. Lastly, owners need to know that if their dog experiences more severe forms of stress as it may significantly impact their lives. Often, very stressed animals have poor behavior and show signs of disobedience, but this isn't because they're being difficult on purpose. Rather, animals do this because they do not feel comfortable enough to give their attention to anything else other than the thing causing them stress.

Doberman puppies might show symptoms through vocalizations when they struggle with stress. Some dogs will whine, bark or howl, although Doberman puppies aren't known to howl. A stressed dog might also show signs by putting its ears back, tucking its tail between its legs, or nervously wagging its tail. Some animals will shake, hide behind their owners, hide under furniture or become restless. Animals with stress often refuse to eat or relax when they're nervous and might refuse to lie down or sit, which may accidentally come off as disobedience. Animals will also put themselves between the door and their owners, try to escape their homes or try to hide under tables and furniture. More severe signs of stress include dogs vomiting, urinating or defecating accidentally. The most intense symptoms of stress will require stronger de-stressing methods and might benefit from multiple stress-reducing tactics.

Doberman puppy with concerned look on his face

How to Help your Dog with Stress

There are many ways owners can help their dogs relieve their stress symptoms. Some common ways to treat a dog's stress include natural and temporary actions that provide much-needed calm for a limited amount of time. In fact, most methods of treating a dog's stress are not permanent options but temporary fixes. The temporary fixes work best for dogs with mild to little stress, whereas dogs with more intense stress might need to work on permanent fixes while utilizing temporary methods as well. 

If you try one of these methods on your dog and see no response, do not fret. Many dogs need more than one thing to help them calm down. If your dog doesn't already receive training, exercise or mental stimulation, then providing them with these things might completely rid them of their stress. These things can also lead to your pet experiencing less stress but not being relieved of it completely. In these circumstances, owners want to provide many physical remedies for their pets but should utilize other simpler calming methods to help their pets gain a stress-free lifestyle.

Doberman puppies sitting next to each other

CBD

One of the most popular methods in aiding dogs with separation anxiety is giving the dog CBD. There hasn't been an extensive amount of research done on dog CBD, but many pet owners notice their pets are much calmer when they have CBD. This method can also help dogs with other issues, like inflammation problems or joint issues. CBD has both anti-inflammatory and calming properties. So, if your Doberman puppy is experiencing stress due to thunderstorms and is pacing and drooling excessively, giving them CBD might help them achieve a stress-free attitude. At the same time, some dogs will need a little more help to reach this calmer status.

Calming Treats

While dog CBD is incredibly beneficial, not much research has been performed on it to see if it has many other side effects on dogs. Some pet parents aren't comfortable using CBD. Other pet parents would rather save CBD for more severe moments of anxiety and might want to use calming treats for less stressful situations. No matter what the reasoning is, calming treats are also available to treat your pet's anxiety in a number of ways. Many dog owners give their pets things like calming zen treats because they provide your dog with a much milder calming supplement that can be super beneficial.

Safe Space

Another method that has become much more popular in recent times is creating a safe space for your dog. A safe space is an area dedicated to caring for your dog's stress. This small area or room has to be in a location in your house that's away from foot traffic and in a quiet location. The idea of a safe space means that your dog can go there alone to de-stress, so this room should be used less often. For example, it would be better put in a bedroom corner rather than the dining room floor. But owners can create these spaces for their pets and use a lot of different tools to make the environment as calm as possible. The most common items that owners put in these spaces are soft dog beds, a dog crate and some toys. Sometimes a pet's safe space will also have a water bowl, some food and maybe some zen treats. The idea is to fill this area with things you know your dog is comfortable around. Some owners get creative and add aromatherapy and music therapy to pump up the comfort level. It's up to you to decide how simple or complex you want this space to be. Even though it helps dogs calm down, it won't be great for dogs with severe anxiety. When dogs have mildly unnerving anxiety or stress, a safe space can be enough, but severe anxiety will require something in addition to a safe space.

Calming Dog Zen Chews

Training Session

It might sound like a weird idea, but many dogs will benefit from a training session if they're experiencing stress. Sometimes animals have a hard time focusing when they're experiencing extreme stress, so you can't always get your dog to do training sessions if they're too stressed. However, practicing training sessions more regularly can help prevent or decrease the intensity of their stress. Over time, they may even start to listen to you when they experience high amounts of stress. These sessions provide a great bonding time between owners and dogs, and they can help pets associate good things with their owners, as long as owners always make training sessions short, sweet, and positive. After dogs begin associating their owners with the same positive feelings that treats give them, getting your pet to listen to you when they're in more distracting or stressful situations can be easier.

Exercise

While exercise alone probably won't erase your dog's stress, it can be a great tool in decreasing their stress and distracting them from whatever is causing them stress. If your pet gets stressed out around new people or places, exercising them might get them even more excited, but it can also help them get used to new experiences and allow their stress to decrease. Also, some dogs are stressed because they don't get enough exercise, so if owners work on giving their pets exercise, they'll be able to see their pets become more relaxed. If dogs aren't given opportunities to use up all of their excess energy, it's going to burst out of them in negative ways, like bouts of overexcitement or stress. Exercise might not be able to help your dog decrease stress immediately, but this method can provide a longer-lasting aid.

Doberman running through obstacle course

Enrichment Activities

While mental activity and physical activity are equally important, physical activities are often given precedent. Some owners give their dogs exercises but will take their pet on a walk, and that's all. What they don't realize is that for some breeds, a walk isn't stimulating enough to them. Some dogs will want to search for something, dig holes in the yard, tear up some furniture, or do some other strange activity. Owners can help their pups get physical and mental activity by providing enrichment activities. These specific exercises are done so owners can give their pets mental and physical challenges at once. A lot of them can be fun games. For example, owners can teach their dogs how to play hide-and-seek for enrichment training, but some of them can be more challenging. These activities can give your dogs a healthier way of using their energy and mental activity instead of exhibiting negative behaviors or experiencing stress and anxiety.

Puzzle Toys

If your pet gets plenty of physical activity through walks and you aren't looking to do enrichment activities, you can give your dog puzzle toys. Puzzle toys require a bit of training, but once you teach your dog how to do them, they can practice different difficulties. Owners can use these toys as a method to decrease the amount of stress their pets experience. Doberman puppies are very loyal, but if pet owners want to decrease their dog's separation anxiety, they can use puzzle toys to help. Potentially, they can give their dog puzzle toys at home, and the dog will see that after they spend energy solving this thing, they get delicious high-status snacks that they never get anywhere else. Then owners can take short leaves while their dog is always given a puzzle toy. As your dog gets better, you give them harder puzzles. This can be used as a way for your dog to be distracted during a time when they would otherwise have separation anxiety. It's wonderful because your dog gets mental activity while having a good time.

With a lot of training, owners can use puzzle toys to help dogs with more intense anxiety. They can even double up calming methods and put calming supplements or dog CBD chews in the puzzle toys, so it's extra-effective.

Dog Puzzle Toys

Counterconditioning

One of the best methods for helping dogs calm down is the counterconditioning method. This practice is a training program of sorts, but only professionals can complete this training. You often need to hire a dog trainer or a dog behaviorist to help your dog with this method. While it is costly and time-consuming, counterconditioning has proven to be a very successful method for the more severe cases of dog anxiety or stress. Sometimes a dog gets unreasonably stressed out because of their past, and these professionals can condition a dog to change their stressed-out reaction into a calm one. Depending on what originally caused your dog's stress, these professionals could even change your dog's reaction to a positive one. Typically, because of how expensive and time-consuming it could be, this method is only recommended for animals with more severe cases of stress and anxiety.

Conclusion

When caring for your Doberman puppy, you might get worried when they show signs of anxiety. This loyal breed often struggles with separation anxiety, so knowing how to calm them down can help you feel less guilty when your pet is suffering from anxiety. Doberman puppies can be calmed in a variety of ways, as long as owners understand what causes their pet's individual stress and how to treat it with one or more of the above methods.

Don't worry about combining all the methods. You may have a safe space, dog CBD, puzzle toys, enrichment activities, or counterconditioning training, and that's okay. Whatever works best for your dog is what you have to do to help them calm down. It may take a while to figure out the perfect mix, but there's no doubt you'll be able to help them. 

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