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Is your dog panicked by people? Terrified of traffic? Traumatised by thunder? Dominated by other dogs? Does your dog slink along, low to the ground, tail firmly clamped under its belly, ears flat to its head, nervously licking its lips? You have a nervous dog.
So what can we do to help build its confidence? First and most importantly you must never try to reassure this dog when it is displaying fear with encouraging words, because to your dog this sounds like praise and praise is what you give your dog when he or she is doing the right thing. Instead you need to show the dog that you're in control and be a positive leader, a giver of simple commands, like sit or down and then, when your dog obeys the command, you can praise them for doing the right thing. Another alternative when a dog is showing fear is to give them something else to think about by playing with them (use a ball or favourite toy) or distracting them with food.
Homeopathically try one of the following: aconite, argent. nit., gelsemium, nux vomica, phosphorus or pulsatilla. Pulsatilla is best for the dog who follows you everywhere, phosphorus for dogs frightened by loud noises. Give the dog shaking with fear gelsemium. Nux vomica is for the dog who may snap in fear, aconite for a frightened dog who has had a shock. Use argent. nit. for the dog frightened of going to the vet. All these remedies should be available at your local health food store in 30c potency. Try a remedy, one tablet three times a day, for up to seven days. If there is no change in your dog, try a different remedy.
There are many different herbs that can be tried for nervous dogs and many of these are available as herbal tinctures where you buy your homoeopathic remedies. Oat tincture is calming, as are skullcap, hops, rosemary, lime blossom and passionflower. Valerian is recommended for a very sensitive dog and blue vervain for a depressed dog. As with homeopathy, try any of these for a week and change if there is no improvement.
Bach flower remedies can be useful for behavioural problems in dogs, so try Star of Bethlehem or Rescue Remedy for shock, Rock Rose is for panic, Impatiens for stress, Aspen for anxiety and Larch for lack of confidence.
It has been found that some dogs' nervousness is caused by a lack of Vitamin B so try supplementing this vitamin. Either use one of the dog vitamin products or give your dog a food that is high in the B complex vitamins like egg yolks, molasses or even seaweed.
You'll get the best results with a nervous dog if you combine one or more of these alternative therapies with giving your dog some extra training to improve the bond between you and build up the dog's confidence.
If you still need help, contact Canine Natural Cures. © 2014 Frances Gavin
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