How to Deal With Rescue Dog Anxiety

How to Deal With Rescue Dog Anxiety

Help With Rescue Dog Anxiety In And Around Guildford


How Canine Whispers Can Help With Rescue Dog Anxiety In The Guildford Area And Other Behaviours


Get support for rescue dog anxiety all across Guildford and the surrounding areas with Canine Whispers. Are you seeking help with your rescue dog’s anxiety, or other behaviour problems? Rescue dogs tend to experience a wide range of changes in their lives. Often a rescue dog may have various behaviour problems, some may be known of by the rescue centre, however others may only come to light after the adoption takes place. Commonly, rescue dogs need behavioural help, so you can make your home their forever home. This takes your time, patience and work. Guidance from a Clinical Animal Behaviourist can help with this.

The dog’s history and exhibited behaviour will indicate which behaviour problems the dog needs help with. Anxiety in rescue dogs is common, this may lead on to other behaviour problems, or typically be one of several behaviour problems.

Why are rescue dogs anxious? All dogs need a time of adjustment to a new home and life, even those without specific behaviour problems. What was familiar has gone. This needs to be done in the correct way. There are ways Canine Whispers can advise to aid the adjustment, establish and build your dog-owner bond and create acceptable boundaries in a non-confrontational way. Your new dog deserves the best start in their new home. Be mindful that there may well be yet unresolved specific behaviour problems. This needs to be addressed for your dogs and household’s future, it will not go away and can get worse if not resolved, or inappropriately managed.

Some breeds are genetically more susceptible to develop anxieties. The dog’s history and experience are also common factors in determining what behaviour issues may manifest (1). Anxiety is anticipation of what may happen next. Likely something fearful, or overwhelming. Anxiety can occur in various contexts for example in response to places, environments or with certain environmental factors present eliciting an anxious reaction.  Sights, sounds, smells or the presence of certain people, dogs and animals can also manifest such a response. A good observation to make is whether there is imminent potential for factors that scare your dog in the environment based on its history and experience.

Fear is an essential emotion that facilities survival. In a scientific study by Tiira K et al (2016) the most common anxieties were stated as “general fearfulness” (around 26%), separation anxiety (around 17%) and noise sensitivity (1). Fear towards unknown dogs or people, being in new situations, noise sensitivity, separation and aggressive behaviour was studied in a variety of dog breeds. Problems occurred most commonly between the ages of 8 weeks and 10 years. The study suggested that when a fearful dog evokes an anxiety response towards a specific condition i.e. noise sensitivity there were often related anxieties. The study also found that fearful dogs tended to be more aggressive than non-fearful dogs (1).

There are many reasons a dog may be anxious, or become fearful. It is important to find the cause and apply a plan to influence your dog so it can gain confidence. Does your dog want to escape, avoid, freeze in fear, or does it act aggressive? A fearful dog is often in survival mode. Fear of various things exists, but fear of other dogs or people is a very common behaviour in dogs (1).

A behaviour consultation with a clinical animal behaviourist can guide you to help your dog. Each case is individually looked at in detail to discern causes, circumstances and how a dog feels as well as its level of anxiety, current situation and history.

Get support for rescue dog anxiety all across Guildford, Aldershot, Farnham and the surrounding areas. Call today for a thorough consultation package and let Canine Whispers can help you understand your dog so you’re more able to help them adjust to their new home.  Check out our Behaviour Consultation page with more information on our packages for support on a wide range of issues.  Together we can develop a detailed behaviour modification plan of easy to do methods that’s specific to your dog and family circumstances, we’d love to hear from you.


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(1) Tiira K et al (2016) “Prevalence, comorbidity and behavioural variation in canine anxiety”. Science Direct. Elsevier. Available from: Accessed 17.9.23


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