The life of a dog may seem carefree, but according to new research, our dogs are often dealing with anxiety. Anxiety is an unpleasant apprehensive feeling of unease or nervous anticipation about something that might, or might not, happen. This is why most dogs will benefit from a general daily routine, because being able to predict what is happening around, or to them and when, can help them to feel safe and secure.
The struggles of being a dog were discovered through a study conducted by the University of Helsinki in Finland, which found that a majority of the pets exhibit anxious traits.
According to the study, behaviours of more than 13,000 dogs in Finland, 72.5 percent of the animals exhibit traits such as fearfulness, noise sensitivity, separation-related behaviour, or aggression.
General fearfulness was also common among pet dogs, with the trait affecting 29 percent of canines & 17 percent of dogs showed fear of other dogs and 15 percent fear of strangers.
The study encompassing some 9,000 dogs conducted at the University of Helsinki demonstrated that fearfulness, age, breed, the company of other members of the same species and the owner's previous experience of dogs were associated with aggressive behaviour towards humans. The findings can potentially provide tools for understanding and preventing aggressive behaviour.
According to the study, gender did have a very slight impact on anxiety. Male dogs were found to be more often aggressive and hyperactive while female dogs were more often fearful.
Breed and age also impacts anxiety traits as well.
But why are such anxious behaviours so common in dogs?
The researchers cannot say for sure.