Some dogs are not as mellow as we would like. While the Golden Retriever seems to the poster child for well-adjusted, calm dogs, the doberman on the other hand could use some help. For a variety of reasons some dobes have more anxiety or nervousness than others. This could be a result of breeding practices, training issues or home environments just to name a few causes.
So what can you do to help your doberman relax?
The best option is still probably exercise, a good run or wrestling match with a buddy is sure to get all that excess energy out. Some people also state that a healthy diet will affect a dogs mood. Then there is appropriate training to address specific issues like separation anxiety.
And lastly there is medication available to treat certain anxiety disorders. Along these lines you may have heard of something called DAP or Dog Appeasing Pheromone. It is available as a collar or room spray. It works by giving off a synthetic version of pheromomes naturally released during lactation . I have tried this product since it was recommended by my vet for noise/thunder anxiety. Personally I did not notice any visible difference with my two dobermans.
What I have noticed that works for my dobes is music. I had suspected that classical music had a calming effect on dogs, but have since learned solo-piano is the key to influencing your dogs mood. A research study conducted by Dr. Deborah Wells, an animal behaviorist, studied the effect of different styles of music on shelter dogs. You can read more about the study here . While heavy metal caused dogs to bark and pace around more, psychoacoustical classical music on dogs showed less stress behaviours. (Pop and conversation seemed not to have a noticeable difference either way.)
Calming solo-piano seems to have an effect of reducing heart rate due to the slow rhythms and simpler arrangements. For dogs with separation or noise anxiety, try playing this style of music 20 minutes before you leave. If you expect visitors and your dog is a handful, try calming him with music to assist with training obedience when the person arrives. If you plan to board your dog, ask the kennel if they can play your soothing music for your dog.
I recommend solo-piano as a great option to easing your dogs stress. In my home I frequently play solo-piano music from an internet music station, (there are a few that specifically play this music) or you can purchase specially created music for dogs like, “through a dog’s ear” (see ebay link below if interested). With my two dobermans, I have noticed that within minutes of the music playing they settle dog and sometimes even go to sleep.
On another note it’s great for calming humans too!
How do you calm your dog? Do you have any special tricks to de-stressing your doberman?