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Dog Tricks for Anxious Dogs

Dog Tricks for Anxious Dogs

Anxiety in dogs is a common issue that many pet owners face. It can manifest in various ways, including excessive barking, destructive behavior, and even aggression. Fortunately, there are several effective dog tricks that can help alleviate anxiety in your furry friend. By engaging their minds and providing a sense of security, these tricks can make a significant difference in reducing their anxiety levels. In this article, we will explore some of the most helpful .

1. Calming Exercises

One effective way to reduce anxiety in dogs is through calming exercises. These exercises help them relax and focus their attention, diverting their minds from stressors. Here are a few calming exercises you can try:

  • Deep Breathing: Just as deep breathing helps humans calm down, it can have a similar effect on dogs. Encourage your dog to take deep breaths by using treats as motivation. Reward them when they inhale deeply and exhale slowly.
  • Massage: Gentle massages can soothe anxious dogs by releasing tension and promoting relaxation. Use long, slow strokes and apply gentle pressure to their muscles. Observe their response and adjust your technique accordingly.
  • T-touch: The Tellington T-touch is a technique that involves circular touches on specific areas of a dog’s body. These touches are believed to activate calming neural pathways. You can learn more about this technique from certified T-touch practitioners or online resources.

2. Interactive Toys

Interactive toys are excellent tools to keep anxious dogs occupied and mentally stimulated. These toys engage their minds and provide a sense of purpose, diverting their attention away from anxiety-triggering stimuli. Consider the following interactive toys:

  • Puzzle Toys: Puzzle toys challenge dogs to problem-solve and use their intelligence. These toys often involve hiding treats or toys inside compartments that the dog must figure out how to open.
  • Treat-Dispensing Toys: Treat-dispensing toys keep dogs engaged as they work to retrieve treats from inside the toy. This not only provides mental stimulation but also rewards them for their efforts, boosting their confidence.
  • Chew Toys: Chewing helps dogs relieve stress and anxiety. Provide your anxious dog with durable chew toys, such as Kong toys, which can be stuffed with treats to keep them occupied for longer periods.

3. Training Games

Training games not only teach dogs new skills but also help build their confidence and create a stronger bond with their owners. When it comes to anxiety, training games can redirect a dog’s focus from fearful situations to positive experiences. Consider the following training games:

  • Target Training: Teach your dog to touch their nose to a target, such as your hand or a small object. This game not only provides mental stimulation but also helps redirect their attention away from anxiety triggers.
  • Hide and Seek: Hide and seek is a fun game that can help boost your dog’s confidence. Start by having your dog sit and stay, then hide somewhere in the house or yard. Once hidden, call your dog’s name and encourage them to find you. Reward them with praise and treats when they successfully locate you.
  • Obstacle Course: Set up a simple obstacle course in your backyard or living room using household objects. Guide your dog through the course, rewarding them for successfully completing each obstacle. This game helps build their confidence and distracts them from anxious thoughts.

4. Relaxation Techniques

Teaching your anxious dog relaxation techniques can be highly beneficial. These techniques can help them calm down and cope with stressful situations. Here are a few relaxation techniques to try with your dog:

  • Settling Mat: Designate a specific mat or bed as your dog’s “settling spot.” Train them to go to this spot and lie down when they feel anxious. Reward them for calm behavior on the mat, gradually increasing the time they spend there.
  • Music Therapy: Calming music specifically designed for dogs can have a soothing effect on their anxiety. Play gentle instrumental music or nature sounds when your dog is feeling anxious or during stressful events, such as thunderstorms or fireworks.
  • Massage and Aromatherapy: Combining gentle massages with calming essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile, can amplify relaxation. Dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil, and gently massage your dog using slow, soothing strokes.

Dog Tricks for Anxious Dogs

Remember, each dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s essential to be patient and observe your dog’s reactions to these tricks. If their anxiety persists or worsens, consult a professional dog trainer or veterinarian who can provide further guidance tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

By implementing these , you can help your furry companion feel more secure, relaxed, and ultimately lead a happier life.
dogs new skills but also serve as a distraction from their anxiety. These games provide mental stimulation and promote a positive bond between you and your dog. Here are some training games you can try:

  • Hide and Seek: Hide and seek is a fun game that can help build your dog’s confidence and focus. Start by hiding in an easy-to-find spot and calling your dog’s name. When they find you, reward them with treats and praise.
  • Fetch: Playing fetch not only provides physical exercise but also helps redirect your dog’s anxious energy. Start by teaching your dog to retrieve a toy and gradually increase the distance they have to fetch it.
  • Obstacle Course: Set up a simple obstacle course in your backyard or living room using objects like cones, tunnels, and jumps. Guide your dog through the course using treats and positive reinforcement.

4. Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques can help calm an anxious dog’s mind and body. These techniques promote a state of relaxation and can be particularly helpful during stressful situations. Here are a few relaxation techniques you can try:

  • Music Therapy: Playing calming music or white noise can help create a soothing environment for your dog. There are even specially designed playlists available that are specifically tailored to reduce anxiety in dogs.
  • Aromatherapy: Certain scents, such as lavender or chamomile, are known to have a calming effect on dogs. You can use essential oils or scented sprays to create a relaxing atmosphere for your anxious dog.
  • Thundershirt: A Thundershirt is a snug-fitting garment that provides gentle pressure to help calm dogs during stressful situations. The pressure simulates the feeling of being hugged and can help reduce anxiety.
  • Massage: Just like humans, dogs can benefit from a soothing massage. Use gentle strokes and apply light pressure to help relax their muscles and release tension.


If you have an anxious dog, it’s important to remember that patience and consistency are key. By incorporating these dog tricks into your routine, you can help alleviate their anxiety and create a more relaxed and happy environment for both of you. Remember to consult with a veterinarian or professional dog trainer for personalized advice and guidance.

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Lawrence Pryor
Lawrence Pryor
Hi everyone, I am a dog lover/owner and a blogger for many years and I created this website to share fun and interesting stories about our wonderful dogs. They truly are our best friends.


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