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When your dog suddenly starts barking or panicking, it can be hard to remain calm yourself. Read on for the different reasons your pup freaks out–you’ll realize it’s not so random and learn how to prevent them.
Recognize Stress Signs
When a dog feels threatened, it licks its lips, yawns, lowers its head, or rapidly shifts its eyes. Try to shift your dog’s attention to you instead of the source of anxiety.
If the situation is really stressful, you’ll find it almost impossible to distract your dog, so start a desensitization program.
Ace a Vet Trip
Make a habit of swinging by the vet to score some treats. That way Boozer won’t always associate the doc with a scary experience.
During the visit, place a towel or bath mat on the exam table (bring your own, or ask the vet). Good footing keeps a canine calmer.
Thunder Conditioning (Part 1)
Train Boozer to associate thunder with a nonthreatening activity. First, find a thunderstorm video on YouTube, or download an ambient-noise app that includes thunderstorms, like White Noise by TMSOFT ($2, Android, iOS).
Thunder Conditioning (Part 2)
Once or twice a week, play the storm sounds through your stereo while you’re playing with the dog. Gradually increase the volume, but take a break if your dog shows signs of stress or can’t stay focused. Start again with a lower volume, and repeat.
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