Dogs are wonderful creatures that bring both joy and companionship, but just like humans, they too can get moody and become withdrawn. Discover what Affects Your Dog’s Mood and how to address the issues.
Different dog breeds have very different needs and behavioural patterns, and so when you are choosing a dog, you may want to find out the difference between a Labrador dog and a long haired pomsky or a difference between a Dalmatian and a chihuahua. Their behaviours will vary greatly, as well as their needs. But there are some things that will annoy and stress out most dogs and these are factors that you should be aware of.
Despite our great love for our dogs, sometimes we do things (unintentionally of course) that may adversely affect their mood. The dog, for its part, may react to certain things in panic, baring teeth and even biting.
In such cases our initial thought may be that the dog has gone crazy, but if we think deeply about the reason that caused the reaction, we will often find that this is not the case.
What Affects Your Dog’s Mood
Children in particular can be guilty of harassing dogs, yelling at them over the fence, pulling on their tails or ears or even chasing or fighting them, and this can really upset them causing them insecurity or vice versa – anger and aggression. Harassment is one item that affects your dog’s mood
The way to avoid this is to politely ask a child or their parents not to engage with the dog. If the dog is much younger, it may be just as playful and excited, but some dogs just do not like the interaction. This tends to happen mostly in parks, so if your dog doesn’t like the interaction, perhaps take them to a less public place.
Other examples are: moving the food bowl while eating, playing with a laser flashlight on the floor to make the dog run after the light, can cause frustration and restlessness.
Be tolerant of their behavior, and when they do something good, show them and offer a treat for example; which will encourage discipline.
Too much time alone
Dogs are sociable pets, and you and they enjoy your company as much as you enjoy theirs. A dog that is indoors or in the yard for more than 10 hours alone each day, can develop severe behavioral problems manifested in anxiety, mental and physiological stress, incessant barking, digging in the ground, and even destructive habits.
The dog is an integral part of your family so he needs time to be a part of it. If you work during the day and there is no one to be with, be sure that someone, even if it is just a neighbor can go to the house and take the dog for a walk or check up on the dog.
If this is not possible, make sure that when you return home enjoy quality time with the dog, because they can feel a sense of abandonment which may manifest in poor behaviour and moods.
Post Covid is going to be crazy for our ups. Think of how we feel and you can then understand how loneliness can that affects your dog’s mood. Having us home all day and then all of a sudden we are gone will cause them angst. Make sure you prepare them and work towards a new routine.
Poor interaction with other dogs
Your dog will probably be wary of new dogs entering your home, it is a natural and instinctive habit. Some dog owners think that every dog instinctively loves other dogs, but this can be a very poor assumption to make.
Even the sweetest dog in the world can react very sharply, endless barking, baring teeth, etc if they feel threatened in their own territory by another dog. If you still decide to introduce two dogs, do it in a public place, on foot, with both dogs with a collar and leash, then bring the new dog to your home while still on a leash, let the dogs smell each other, check and get to know each other, and allow the situation to be under control.
Use toys and chewers to reduce the tension between them, and this way they will be better introduced to each other in an informal manner.
Change of routine
Try not to change a routine, although sometimes it is difficult, you will be surprised but dogs do not like changes. They are built for routine, feeding in their bowl, morning walk at noon and evening, play time – everything is etched in their minds.
If you suddenly change something such as dinner time, or walk time, the dog may become stressed. The dog feels that something is wrong and may not understand why the routine has changed. Are they going to live with someone else? Are they going to the vets? Is something wrong with their owner?
Try to stay calm, even if there is a change, chaperone the dog in another way, try to distract him and keep things as stress free as possible for all.
The goal of any dog trainer is to walk the dog with a loose leash, it shows that the dog is calm, obedient to his owner and in focus, but this isn’t always the case. You should practice this often with a trainer or alone, to ensure that they don’t tug on the leash and can be trusted to walk without.
Most people do not really know how to approach unfamiliar dogs. People stare at the dog, or talk down to it and this can be an incorrect way to approach and greet them. The dog may feel that it is a threat of some kind and may feel a need to defend itself.
The best way to greet a dog is not to greet them at all, but to greet the owner instead.Talk to them and the dog will sniff you, take an interest and be much less suspicious of you. If you allow the dog to come to you, then it will not feel threatened and most likely will not bark at you or show its stress.
There are situations where the dog is anxious or apprehensive. And then even one unwanted movement on your part can cause discomfort, especially if this is a dog that has been abused in the past. It’s important to ensure that you establish healthy relationships with dogs so that they can always feel happy and healthy!