Can Dogs Feel Calm?

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Introduction

Dogs can feel a wide range of emotions, from fear and love to anxiety and contentment. Having a calm dog is something many people wish for, but it is important to remember it's just one of many different behavioral traits and emotions they can display. Just like humans, dogs can also feel anxious and fearful, especially when they are separated from their owners. Learning how to calm your dog down and help them feel at ease is important - for both your sanity and your dog's! 

If you've ever experienced anxiety in any capacity, you know how overwhelming it can be. Now think about what your dog is going through when they have anxious feelings. In order to help them overcome these emotions, it's important for you to be able to calm your dog down and help them feel at ease. 

Signs Your Dog Feels Calm

When your dog feels calm and at ease, it makes everyone's life a whole lot easier. Knowing when your dog is comfortable and not suffering from anxiety can take some time, but once you figure it out you will be better for it. There are quite a few signs that will help you know when your dog is feeling calm, many of which are pretty obvious! 

Different breeds show their emotions in various ways, and it is a good idea to remember that not all dogs are created equal. Whereas one dog may laze around the house, sleeping and laying in the sun when they are calm, another dog may be the most content when sitting in their beloved owner's lap. 

This is why it is so important to take the time to learn what your dog's body language means. This isn't difficult and will help you better understand your four-legged friend and how they are feeling. Some of the most common signs of a calm dog are relaxed ears and mouth, non-destructive behavior, smooth brow, and lolling tongue. 

Body Language

Here are some signs you may notice when your dog is feeling calm:
  • Drooling
  • Dropped Ears
  • Stomach flip
  • Sleepiness

Other Signs

These are other signs that may indicate your dog is calm:
  • Acting Relaxed
  • Eyes Closed and Ears Down
  • Curling Up

History of Dogs Being Calm

Dogs have felt calm - along with a host of other emotions - for as long as they've been around. While there are many other, more complex emotions that we don't believe dogs can feel, contentment and feeling calm is inherent. When you think about it, a feeling of calmness is quite natural and occurs when a dog is comfortable with their companion.

When you adopt a new dog, it may take some time for them to adjust to their home, which could mean they don't feel calm right away. This is especially true of rescue dogs who may have been in an abusive home. It is important to take your time with a new dog and encourage and support them. As history shows, they will eventually grow to trust you and therefore display these core behaviors and emotions we've been talking about.

Science Behind Dogs Feeling Calm

When a dog feels calm, it means they trust you and are happy with their life. As we discussed, this may not happen overnight, so it is important to be patient and give them space. Many breeds are inherently anxious and fearful, which is why it's a good idea to do your research and make sure the breed is the right fit for you and your lifestyle. It is important for your dog to feel at ease with you, as the last thing you want is your dog to feel anxious all the time.

Different dogs are born with various dispositions, which could either be a genetic tendency, a chemical imbalance, or a behavior they have learned over time. Dogs that are naturally calm and friendly to everyone they meet likely didn't have any traumatic experiences when they were a puppy, which is just another tidbit to keep in mind when trying to understand your dog. 

Training Your Dog to Be Calm

Low-key, mild-mannered dogs often are this way because of their breed characteristics and upbringing. On the other hand, it is possible to train an overzealous dog to calm down and adopt a more serene disposition.

How do you do this? By teaching them basic obedience right from the start and encouraging them throughout their life. Rewarding good behavior will help your dog understand what you are looking for and what makes you happy, which is all they really want to do in the end.

How to React When Your Dog is Calm:

  • Encourage and reward this behavior.
  • Shower them with affection.
  • Be calm, yourself.