Sounds a bit crazy doesn’t it?
Whilst its not necessarily ’cause’, it is most definitely an influence, and to understand how all this can make sense, we need to take a step back into understanding anxiety…
Definition of Anxiety: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
Dogs can become anxious for various reasons, and most of the time it is genetic or has occurred during the VERY early puppy stages, which is where a dog’s temperament is formed determining how they will show up in the world. Now with right puppy classes, socialisation and training, then a puppy can curve that anxiety patch by building resilience to the things it finds scary…
Otherwise, they adapt and respond to the emotions they are feeling, and unfortunately, the behaviours that are attached to those feelings can be difficult to watch and live with. For Example,a dog who feels anxious around big dogs may behave by continuous barking, growling or chasing them off, other dogs may cower and submit to the ground.
Anxiety both in humans and dogs is SHIT. It requires undertanding of where it started,its triggers and actually some therapy around changing the FEELING of the emotion, and without that it can heart breaking to watch, more so if you don’t know what to do to help fix it..
When i am helping my clients, or anyone in fact who has anxious dog, i ALWAYS talk about where the dog sleeps and what they eat.
For this post, we are focusing on WHERE they sleep..
I don’t know about you, but in my house we have 4 dog beds, 2 sofas and 2 sofa chairs.. guess where Rosco sleeps?
On the Sofa.
Where does he predominately sleep for long restful periods? The sofa.
The sofa is his SAFE place that is also COMFORTABLE, which in turns increase his quality of sleep.
So what makes the sofa safe and not the beds?
But it is more its field of vision, he can see everything from the sofa: the front door, people walking up/down stairs,the corners of the living the room, the drive way,he can HEAR way more too!- Because there are literally no restrictions..
This is SO important when we are thinking about safety we want our dogs to be FEEL safe to AVOID feeling anxious.
So starting by placing the bed in a ‘safe’ place, it helps our dogs to feel more safe and secure in their homes and out, AND allows them to have a better quality of rest (WIN_WIN)..
Here’s what i mean by ‘safe place’
- Free from traffic (i.e.people constantly walking past, door ways, near coat closets, bottom of stairs etc)
- Not in a blind spot ( where the dog’s view is restricted)
- In corner with vision to the open space
- With a bed that the dog LOVES.. this is very breed specific so remember to know your breed! For example, Dachshund and Terrier loves to borrow so it might be worth getting a Cave Bed.
- Easy to get to – the last thing your dog wants do do is climb over 4 different pairs of shoes and under a desk ( unless it likes to hide away)
The safety element really comes from their ancestor the wolf in the den making part to find out more about this then head to my FREE webinar about Understanding your Dog, CLICK HERE.
An easy way to remember where to put your dog’s bed is always have teeth and eyes pointing forward from a corner! #corners-are-the-best
So lets quickly over view how the WRONG bed position can cause anxiety:
Anxiety= Increase Cortisol = Stress
- No Place of Safety= Anxiety =Cortisol = Stress= Behaviours
- Lack of rest due to traffic= anxiety inside and outside= Cortisol = Stress=behaviour
- Anxiety increases arousal = more fearful behaviours + lack of energy + no rest= Cortisol = Stress
It can actually be horrific cycle especially when arousal sets in, and to find out more about that head HERE
Do i still sound crazy? …probably, that’s me though!
It might sound crazy, but put yourself in your dogs paw’s… what would make you feel safe, comfortable and happy? WHERE in your house would that be? and importantly why would you chose that place?
If you need a support with this one then I’d LOVE to help! Just send me a quick message or picture if you like and we can get everything on the right tracks!
Have fun! <3