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4 Ways to Help your Reactive Dog Recover from Stress

reactive dog training london ontario

Having a dog who struggles with reactivity is stressful! But did you know that your dog is as stressed out, if not more, than you? Fortunately, there are ways to help your dog recover from a stressful walk or day more easily.

You can help your dog recover by licking.

Licking is inherently calming for dogs, and gives them an outlet for the stress that their body is trying to alleviate. Providing your dog with Kongs, lick mats or other licking activities can help them better regulate their emotions.

You can help your dog recover by sniffing.

Sniffing is a critical need for dogs and the primary way they explore and investigate their environment. You can encourage this by allowing plenty of sniffing on walks, as well as manufacturing sniffing outlets at home, such as nose work games, snuffle mats or even tossing kibble or treats in your backyard grass for them to sniff out.

You can help your dog recover with walks in nature.

Not only does this meet your dog's need to sniff, but being in nature simulates a dog's natural environment, often is quiet and tends to bring out the best in many dogs. For best results, use a long line to allow them to move freely, and select a spot where triggers are unlikely.

You can help your dog recover by sleeping

Sleep is very, very important for all dogs, but especially dogs struggling with reactivity or fear. Sleep allows dogs to process and recover from stress, recharge and be their best self. Remember that not all sleep is created equal! In order to have the restorative effect we're looking for, we want uninterrupted rest, and at least about 12 or more hours in a 24 hour period. Puppies and senior dogs need much more.

Need help with your reactive dog? Book a Discovery Call using the link above!

Tess Morgan is a multicertified dog trainer and behaviour consultant, specializing in the treatment of reactivity and helping families with young children and dogs. Tess offers in-home dog training in London, Ontario and virtually worldwide.

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