Make a nervous dog happy through playing

Training your nervous dog to be happy requires one simple behavior modification technique. You must learn to play with him. And I mean play like a dog. If your comfortable with wrestling with your dog or playing tug of war. Or the just as effective chasing after him like a game of tag, that’s just great.

Those are the three natural ways that dogs know how to play, inherited play behaviors. So if your not to freaked out by what some dog trainers and behaviorists say about how that teaches your dog to be aggressive, then play that way. Your dog will not only love it, but playing like a dog with your dog actually makes him happier which leads him to be less nervous.

This technique is how I mentally rehabilitate, every single dog that comes into Spirit Animal sanctuary. This is not rocket science folks. Just get them happy by playing with them, they have lived a nervous and fearful life long enough.

For those of you that are physically or to nervous to play with your dog like a dog, in a future article I will teach you an almost as effective alternate way to play.

Recommended supplies for playing with your dog.

  1. Welders Gloves, Sold at any home supply or hardware store. If your dog is not used to mouthing you gently while play fighting, his teeth are gonna hurt and leave marks. Use the welders gloves.
  2. For tug of war. You will need a thick rope or tug toy sold at pet stores, no less than two feet long. When a dog playing tug of war starts to loose his grip on the tug toy, he will attempt to re grip it to improve his hold on it. Some dogs are not to observant, and will accidentally grab your hand when attempting the re grip. And wear your welding gloves.
  3. If you are not presently comfortable enough with your dog to play with him in either one of these ways, just try to get happy with him at a distance (Not close to the dog). You may use dog toys if you like, the point of this is to make YOU a little more comfortable. Which in return will make your dog a little less nervous.

It’s important that we are not nervous or afraid when attempting this, by doing so we will project our nervousness onto the animal . We have a little learning to do, so lets get started.

Questions? email me.

The Spirit Dog

Related article’s

Teaching your dog to play

From nervous dog to happy dog,

Real Men Don’t Need Protection Trained Dogs and yes they do eat quiche I modify protection trained dogs behavior primarily through playing with them.

Making your dog happy, Dog Toys or Love

Dog Body Language, I’m gonna bite you


Before attempting to play with a dog like a dog, ( play fight or tug, in particular) you better be 100% sure of your ability to read your dogs body language. If you are positive you can read your dogs body language you will not get bit, accidentally or on purpose because you made him or her nervous. If you are not 100% positive you can read your dogs body language, you are trying this at your own risk.


5 Responses

  1. Hello Sheryl,

    Managing nervousness behaviors in dogs is an emotionally based approach. While training programs will only be successful with the the lower scale nervous dogs, if at all.

  2. It is important to manage nervousness in dogs. Nervousness could destruct their concentration in doing their stuffs, a good training program for dogs is helpful in managing nervousness.

    Make your dogs more relax and happy. This free ebook in dog training could help you in making your dogs free from nervousness:

  3. Hi Kare,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Probably another good way for folks to see for themselves the difference in trustworthy faces, as opposed to angry faces or faces we don’t trust. Would be to look at the faces of character actors in the movies, and how their face and specific features usually determine what part they play.

  4. With that in mind, what parts of a human’s face most influence first impressions – in other humans?

  5. […] Thomas Conner wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptTraining your nervous dog to be happy requires one simple behavior modification technique. You must learn to play with him. And I mean play like a dog. If your comfortable with wrestling with your dog or playing tug of war. … […]

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