Some dogs we train look stressed. It’s part of the process. Instead of cuddling them and doing exactly what most people would do to make their issues worse, we work them through their stress so eventually they are able to deal with it.
Our goal is always lifestyle and state of mind first. Sometimes it takes dogs weeks of being stressed to become calm and confident. Just remember it gets easier for the dog everyday because we are guiding them in the right direction.
Stress is not always bad
Stress is not always a bad thing. Stress is a part of life in dogs and humans. Studying and writing exams is stressful, but did you hear anyone complain when they got a good grade ? Sport camps are stressful, but did you hear anyone complain when they learned a new skill or improved on something they weren’t great at ?
Imaging being able to do something or react a certain way for months if not years and then finally being told that it’s wrong and learning to a brand new way. It’s going to be stressful because your body and mind are conditioned to do it the way you have been. That’s what it’s like for the dogs who go through rehab or modification.
Imagine how stressed a dog has to be and how crazy it’s state of mind has to be to lunge, growl, bark, fight, run away, shake and back into a corner. It doesn’t know how to cope..
Dogs need to learn to cope with stressful situations and that’s why most of them are here. If they knew how to cope they wouldn’t be nervous, fearful, reactive, aggressive. Those are all signs of extreme stress and emotional responses that have been learned because of not having coping mechanisms due to bad genetics, in-proper training, lack of leadership, poor socialization, bad experiences and the list goes on.
Remember the End Goal
So when you see dogs that are stressed during training, remember what the end goal is and also remember how much MORE stressed a lifetime of insecurity, nervousness, fear etc must be then the stress of the pressure we put on the dogs to learn new ways and to be calm.