Stress, Fear and Aggression in Dogs

Stress, Fear and Aggression in Dogs

by Anders Hallgren

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857882042
Publisher: Cadmos Publishing
Publication date: 05/08/2012
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author


Anders Hallgren is a Swedish behaviorist and psychologist and one of the world's first dog psychologists. He has worked with dogs for almost 40 years, specializing in their behavioral problems. He is famous for his gentle training methods.

Table of Contents

Foreword 9

Introduction 11

Stress-A Wonderful Mechanism 15

Stress is how the body adapts to a situation 15

The stress mechanism can also fail 16

What happens now 17

More strength 18

When stress becomes harmful 20

How can I tell if my dog is stressed? 21

Overreaction 22

Hyperactivity 22

Impatience 22

Common physical signs 23

What You Should Know About Stress 25

Inner balance is important 25

Five important aspects of stress 26

The Sum of all stress factors 27

Short-term stress 27

Reactions differ from individual to individual 28

Stress reactions depend on how the situation is perceived 28

Stressful experiences depend on how you handle the situation 30

Positive and negative stress 31

Meilestones in Stress Research 33

The beginning 33

The Physiology of Stress 37

The stress reaction 37

Stage 1 38

Stage 2 38

Stage 3 42

Anger, fear and happiness 44

Recovery is important 45

Type A and Type B 46

Type A and Type B dogs 48

Other hormones associated with stress 49

Testosterone, the male sex hormone 49

The male sex hormone has many characteristics 50

Breed differences 51

Castration as an alternative? 51

Try before you buy 53

Thyroxine 53

The Brain - How it Functions Under Stress 57

The structure of the brain 57

Homeostasis - balance in the different levels of the brain 59

The sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system 60

The two halves of the brain 60

The limbic system and the frontal lobes 61

The link between noradrenaline and serotonin 63

The amygdala and hippocampus 65

Impulsivity and control 67

Stress Creates Imbalance 71

The balance between emotion and logical thought 72

Fast feelings 72

Emotions block thoughts 73

Slow thoughts 75

Contemplation is important - sometimes 75

Driving 75

Team sports 76

A hunting pack 77

Stress and personality 78

Chemistry and personality 78

Stress Factors in Dogs 81

Hereditary characteristics 81

Prenatal stress 82

Early influences 82

Imprinting and bonding 84

Socialisation 86

The mother 86

Social skills 87

Adaptation to different enviroments 87

Diet 88

Diseases and injuries 89

Other causes of stress 90

Hormones 90

The role model 91

The most common kinds of stress 91

Strain 91

Stress factors that cause strain 92

Understimulation 93

Essential stimulation 94

Boredom and cortisol 96

Insecurity 97

Many things can make a dog insecure 97

The pack is so important 99

… but it can also be negative 100

Authority in education and training 101

Illness and pain 102

Acute stress reaction 103

Symptoms 103

Lack of concentration 105

Caution 105

Early traumas are the worst 106

Fireworks as a severe trauma 106

Treatment and Healing 109

Predictability and the feeling of being in control 109

Dogs and helplessness 111

The need to control 111

Encountering new situations 112

Recognition effect 112

Overcomming a situation 112

Active coping 113

Passive coping 114

Both strategies are possible 114

Which strategy does your dog use? 114

If your dog is traumatised 115

Treatment of acute stress reaction 115

Treatment after a shock or treatment of persistent stress 116

Changes in the brain 117

From the weak to the strong 118

Vitamins and minerals 119

Tyrosine can counteract tryptophan 119

The most important feeling is that you have everything under control 121

Helplessness can be avoided 122

Dogs pay for your control 123

Dogs become passive easily 123

Training 124

Mental stimulation 124

Social confidence is important 125

The emotional factor 127

Control motivates 128

Agility is good training 129

Your dog can learn to deal with difficulties 130

Predictability 131

Control of other hormones 131

Illness and pain as a cause 132

Concentrating on the job in hand 132

Enviromental stimuli 134

Control and the feeling of being in control 134

Fear of thunder 136

How you can heal your dog 137

References 139

Index 142

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