How to Relax a Nervous Dog

Is your dog high strung and nervous? Here are some ways to calm him so you both can feel less stressed.

Just like humans, dogs have their own unique personalities. Some are calm and placid while others are nervous and high strung. If you happen to be the owner of a high strung dog, you probably know how hard it can be to get your dog to relax. Your dog jumps at the least little sound and begins a chorus of nervous barks. Are there ways to help a nervous dog relax? Here are some suggestions:

Be Calm Yourself

Dogs tend to respond to the emotions of their owner. If they detect nervousness or anxiety in their owner’s voice or actions, they’re more likely to be uptight themselves. When you’re around your dog, speak in a soothing tone and avoid abrupt movements, sounds, or gestures.

Socialize Your Dog

High strung dogs tend to be most nervous when they’re in the company of dogs or humans they find threatening. Adequate socialization can sometimes modify your dog’s high strung tendencies. Take your dog to the dog park on a regular basis or let him socialize with other dogs and humans at a doggy day care facility once a week. This can help your dog be more well adjusted and secure.

Give Your Dog Adequate Exercise

If your dog has a tendency to be nervous or high strung, exercise is critical. Not only will this dispel some of his pent up energy, it can help to soothe his nerves biochemically by releasing natural stress relieving hormones known as endorphins. Make it a practice to take your dog on a thirty minute brisk walk at least once a day. If your dog enjoys ball or frisbee this can be an excellent way to dissipate nervous energy.

Give Your Dog A Relaxing Massage

A daily twenty minute massage may help to relax a nervous dog. Find a calm, quiet place to perform your dog’s soothing massage. If you don’t know how to do a calming dog massage, see this article for complete instructions. This can be a nice way to bond with your dog and promote good health at the same time.

Play Soft Music

Soft music can have a calming effect on high strung, nervous dogs. Of course you’ll want to make your music selection carefully. Select classical or new age music over hard rock. Keep the volume low as dogs have more sensitive ears than do humans.

If you try these techniques to calm your dog and he still seems high strung and anxious, have your dog seen by his veterinarian to rule out medical causes for his hyperactivity. Your veterinarian may also recommend some behavioral training techniques to help lessen your dog’s high strung behavior.

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