If you are the owner of a dog, you should be no stranger to the fact that it needs to be calmed down sometimes. Dogs have the tendency to become wild, overly excited or hyper. It is in their nature. There are various causes for their aggressive behavior and there are also various methods through which they can be calmed down.
Causes of a Dog’s Aggressive Behavior
The first step in finding out how to calm down a dog is to identify the root causes of this problem. Some potential reasons for a dog’s aggressive behavior are outlined below:
Dogs are very active animals and want to channel this energy by playing and engaging with others. If they are not played with enough, they are likely to get bored and act out.
Your dog might be facing anxiety. Yes, dogs can also be anxious like humans. Anxiety can be caused by any unfavorable stimulant in the environment such as loud thunder or enclosed spaces. The memory of past abuse can also trigger anxiety in dogs.
Steps to Calm Down Your Dog
After you have identified the potential trigger for your dog’s aggressiveness, the next step is to actually calm it down. This can be achieved in a variety of ways which are highlighted below:
Take Your Dog on a Walk
A walk is a perfect way to relieve any stress or tension. Moreover, it is the ideal way to release aggressive energy that has built up over time. Once the walk is done, the extra energy in the dog is bound to have been destroyed and it will enable the dog to successfully calm down and relax.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is an effective way to calm down a dog. By not paying attention to its wild behavior, you are sending a clear message that this behavior is unfavorable. On the other hand, if you give extra attention to your dog during its outbursts, it will get an incentive to do it again. There are many ways to ignore your dog such as not talking, not touching and not making eye contact with it.
Dogs are very sensitive to smells, so aromatherapy can play a pivotal role in calming them down. Normally, a soothing smell can work wonders here. To decide the suitable stimulant to use, you will have to consult your vet.
The prescribed stimulant will usually consist of essential oils. Some commonly used oils include lavender, chamomile, cedar and bergamot.
It is necessary to apply the oils correctly or else their full effect won’t be achieved. Try to apply the oils all over the dog’s back and avoid applying it in places where it could easily be licked off.
Create a Soothing and Calm Environment
Try giving your dog a massage or rub. That is bound to calm it down. You can also try putting your dog in a dark and spacious room.
You should also keep a check on your mental health and stress levels. You may not realize it, but you are an important part of your dog’s overall environment. Dogs tend to mirror the moods and emotions of their owners, so make sure you are giving off a clam vibe and not setting off any alarming behavior in your furry friend.
Buy Some Dog Toys
Buying your dog some toys will give it the opportunity to play with them. This means a chance to channel the extra energy into playing. One particular type of toy that can prove to be effective to control your hyper dog is a chew toy.
Music has the power to change thought patterns and reduce stress and anxiety in the process. You may have already experienced this effect in yourself, but listening to music can have an effect on a dog’s emotions as well. Soft music can create a calming effect and help calm down your loyal pet. The ideal genres of music you can use for this purpose are reggae and soft rock.
Get Your Dog Some Exercise
Exercise has numerous health benefits for dogs, and it should be no surprise that it is also suitable for calming them down. Exercise is a way to release some surplus energy into something productive. It will also help them be healthier as endorphins will be released, which will boost happiness.
The first step to getting your dog some exercise is to take it outside. The tight confines of a closed space such as a home does not offer enough space for movement. When you get outdoors, play with your dog. Games such as hide and seek and fetch involve a lot of movement and force. Make sure to play these games in a relatively open space such as a park. Moreover, be sure to take an adequate number of breaks.
Get Your Dog to Meet Other Dogs
A dog without the company of another dog can become lonely, which can lead to frustration. Hence, if you have a friend, family member, or colleague who owns a dog, contact them as soon as possible and set up a play date. It will give your dog the opportunity to socialize and meet an actual member of its tribe. If you know no one who owns a dog, take yours to the local dog shelter or dog park. There are bound to be some fellow puppies there!
Take Your Dog to the Daycare
If you have tried all the options above and your dog still isn’t calm, it might be time to try something different. Maybe you aren’t the best person to be handling it, so it’s time to temporarily give this responsibility to an expert such as a dog daycare center. It has professionals who will be well-equipped to handle the situation better.