Raising an Emotionally Stable Dog
When training with your dog or planning any environmental enrichment at home, consider the effect your dog’s emotions have on their behaviour, as well as what they need from you to feel confident and to learn successfully. Environmental association will have an impact on the success of your training and careful habituation is important to reach your goals.
Although you shouldn't wrap your dog up in cotton wool, you should take care to avoid emotional upset. Much like us, your dog's fear memories are not erased by the brain and can be hard to modify and combat in the future.
Your dog's emotional health is also greatly impacted by their activity levels. Providing your dog with the proper opportunity to exercise as much as they want and need appropriate to their breed and age is not only one of their basic needs, but also promotes good emotional health and can help to combat a variety of frustration induced behaviours such as inappropriate destruction, vocalizing, hyper reactivity and aggressive response.
As both emotionally driven animals, your dog's emotional experience and needs are no less valid than your own. Their emotional wellbeing is formulated and highly influenced by their early experiences. Unstimulating or abusive environments, rough handling or punitive discipline can damage a pup's emotional growth as a result of stress related brain pathways being unable to properly develop, resulting in a dog that struggles to create new relationships or cope with domestic life.
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