Stressed dog: possible causes

The possible causes of stress in dogs are varied, but not always obvious. If your animal friend is neither sick nor injured, a little detective work is usually required to find the trigger. Watch your dog closely to find out what is stressing him - Shutterstock / Elisa 69

Illness is a very obvious trigger for dog stress. But there are other causes that you can identify fairly quickly. For example, visits to the vet, large crowds, thunderstorms and similarly stressful situations can temporarily put a heavy strain on the nerves of a four-legged friend. When they are over, the dog suddenly feels better again.

But there are also stress factors that develop over a longer period of time and almost imperceptibly affect the dog more and more. If you identify such a stress trigger in your four-legged friend, it is imperative that you eliminate it as soon as possible. Below are some examples of such creeping stress triggers.

Stress in education

Uncertainties, violence, misleading communication and excessive demands in dog training are common triggers for stress in dogs. A young puppy fully relies on its owner. If he gives him unclear signals, gives him too much or too little freedom or punishes him too hard, this can cause great uncertainty - and thus also stress. Too fast or wrong socialization is also a potential source of stress - that's why it's important to be slow, patient and responsible and never overwhelm a puppy.

Posture conditions as a cause of stress

If a dog shows symptoms of stress, it is essential to check the housing conditions when researching the cause. Too much or too little exercise, too little space and too little demand can stress a four-legged friend, just like a noisy, hectic environment or major changes such as moving house, new family members and pets. Quarrels and aggressive handling in family life or at work are often so difficult for a dog to cope with. This also applies to constant change of residence, the loss of a fellow man or person, a change of ownership or loneliness.

Pressure to perform and excessive demands

Pressure to perform and excessive demands are also common causes of dog stress. They can arise, for example, in dog sports. Even popular dog sports such as agility can become a stress trigger if a four-legged friend does not have the physical prerequisites for it, does not understand the commands of its owner, or is overwhelmed by the high speed that prevails there. Perhaps the owner is putting too much pressure on because a competition is approaching, or he is simply training too often with his four-legged friend.

If your dog shows symptoms of stress, a little detective work is required: Watch your pet closely to find out which situations cause him discomfort - this is the only way to help him as quickly as possible.

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