Goldendoodles In Distress
A car ride or trip. A sudden loud clap of thunder. Vaccumn cleaner day. Construction noises. Any of these triggers might turn your Goldendoodle or golden doodle mini into an anxious ball of stress, a total wreck. It's not easy to see your best bud in such distress. When a doodle panics, "every single muscle in their body contracts simultaneously, as though they are having a seizure but while standing up," according to veterinarian Marty Becker, founder of Fear Free, a program that trains veterinary professionals to create a more calming experience for their canine patients.
Noise phobias can be especially challenging, says Becker, because the anxiety may snowball out of control. Maybe it starts with fireworks on the Fourth of July, for example; then your Doodle becomes afraid of loud noise on TV, the sound of honking horns, or even the bells and whistles on the microwave.
But there is hope for your high strung Doods: "There are simple, safe, and effective solutions that prevent suffering," Becker assures. Below are strategies to help calm stressed and nervous Goldendoodles or golden doodle minis and help them relax. As the anxiety response can be complicated and complex, time may be needed to determine which therapy, or therapies, offers your golden boy/girl the most relief.
Consult a trainer
In some instances, you can "train the doodle out of having the reaction in the first place," says San Diego-based veterinarian Jessica Vogelsang. The traditional approach for this type of goldendoodle training, she says, is desensitization, which entails slowly introducing your doodle to scary noises while offering him rewards. Rewiring your pooch’s associations is a long-term answer and requires lots and lots of time but will no doubt be goldendoodle training at its finest!
Vogelsang recommends a series of albums titled Through a Dog's Ear. "[The music] is specifically composed to decrease a dog's stress response," she explains. If your pup is freaked out, put he/she in a dark room (ideally with no windows), and play any of these albums. Do this in advance of a known trigger as well: Say you're planning a road trip, or a party. Try this music therapy the day or two leading up to the event. (Regular classical music often helps as well.)
Getting rid of static and static cling
You may notice that your dog gets anxious prior to a storm. That’s because he's triggered by the buildup of static electricity in the air, explains Becker; and in response, he may hide in the closet, bathroom, or basement. One possible remedy: “Take an unscented dryer sheet and wipe down the trunk of your Goldendoodle's body," suggests Becker. "About half [of dogs] won’t have a problem with storms."
Give your doodle a chill pill
Becker often recommends a supplement called Zylkene, that packs a calming milk protein. Another option: chews that contain the green tea extract L-Theanine. These are found at many pet stores.
Ask your vet about medication
If the strategies above don't relieve your precious doodle’s anxiety, it may be worth trying a prescription med like Xanax or the new non-sedating drug Sileo. According to the manufacturer, Sileo works by blocking the fear chemical norephinephrine to dampen a doodle’s anxiety response.
A normal and happy Goldendoodle or golden doodle min means care free and happy days for the owner/s as well. Follow these tips when the days aren’t so great and you will find some “calm before the storm”.
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- Donna Z