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Anxiety is good and an appropriate response to a threat that could be life threatening. A dog needs to have a healthy sense of self-preservation. Problems arise when a dog becomes overly anxious. This can lead to being somewhat reactive and consistently apprehensive to even the mildest possibility of a threat. At this level of anxiety dogs often act out in unhealthy, quirky, and possibly repetitive behaviors.
Stress & Anxiety
When a dog’s level of stress and anxiety reaches the next level, he tends to be reactive to everything from a new person coming in the house to the garbage truck in the back alley. The situation is much more severe and actually dangerous both for people and the dog himself. This kind of reactivity can lead to aggression where we have no idea what has triggered it. Excessive anxiety can result in the dog causing himself harm such as repetitively licking his foreleg until it is raw or chewing his own paw until it’s bloody. This type of excessive anxiety no longer has anything to do with self-preservation.
Loss of Survival Instinct
The opposite is true, too. An equally inappropriate situation is when a dog is not at all anxious and lacks the basic survival instinct. A real threat could occur and the dog would be at the mercy of whatever it is. For instance a dog with a mean owner and the dog losses any sense of self preservation, that owner could kill his dog. A dog that is beaten into submission may not survive.
Acupressure Session to Balance Anxiety