The Toxic Stress Cycle

This is an article about children in schools, but every single statement and all the great solutions they come up with for teachers to help kids get off the stress cycle, self-soothe, and get control of themselves 100% applies to dogs as well. When your dog “acts out,” discipline doesn’t help. It perpetuates the toxic stress that then creates more problems later on. This is why I insist so much on teaching dogs Relax on a Mat and other self-soothing behaviors such as default sit or down. Once your dog learns to offer calmer behaviors on his own, your dog is actually moving towards the emotional place to succeed in life and be healthy. If he can’t calm down on his own, gentle, non-confrontational guidance plus more teaching is needed until he can.


  1. seo

    Heya are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to
    the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my
    own. Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Sarah Owings

      Hi Seo,

      Yep. I’m using WordPress. It’s very easy. No coding expertise needed. I just chose a template, then played around with the formatting until I got it to look the way I wanted. The only tricky part was creating the header pictures. I did that separately, took a screen shot of it, then uploaded it into the template. Good luck! –S

  2. Marion

    Interesting insight. I’m actually taking some early education courses and I have a young dog who was exposed to some toxic stress as a puppy. That is what led me to your blog. What happened is we adopted another dog at the same time who was fearful and leash reactive and the puppy was exposed and taught very stressful reactive behaviour by the older dog. It’s a year later and we now have a handle on the situation but still a long ways to go with training these dogs. As I take these early education courses I find that a lot of the same theories can be applied to the dogs. Thanks for the link to the article.

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