“Are Dogs Suffering From Mental Distress?”-by Jan Fennell

Are Dogs Suffering From Mental Distress?

This was the subject of a BBC Radio 2 feature this month and I am sad to say that certainly most dogs do spend most of their life with unnecessary stress and anxiety; why would we do this to our best friends? 

There are many reasons for this. One is that many dog owners have been misguided by online trainers. There is so much rubbish out there that many dog owners can easily be misled, so they fail to recognize the common signs of a dog’s stress.  

Those signs are panting, whining, pacing, overreaction, excessive barking, pulling on a lead, being overly aggressive, jumping up, following their owners around everywhere, destruction in the home, needing to be involved in every activity, constantly seeking attention, ignoring requests; this list could be endless. 

A real problem for the owners of stressed dogs is that they are usually told to focus on the one undesirable, or unacceptable, behaviour. This is a waste of time, and money because each of these behaviours are only symptoms of, and not the real cause of, a dog’s distress.  

As a dog owner you do not have to waste your time on these individual issues, you can instead look directly at the underlying cause of the problems; your dog has been led to believe, inadvertently, that it is the decision maker for the group it lives in; your family. This is a stressful role that we never intended for our dog when we took her, or him, into our home. 

However, the good news is that we can address all of these issues once we understand what we have done to our dog, by unconsciously signalling to them that they are the leader of the group they live with. 

No amount of force, fear, pain, distraction, or coercion used by the people sharing the life of their dog will change this. In fact, traditional ways of working with dogs can make things worse and the smarter the dog is, the more difficult it can be.    

From the moment I started to practice ‘Amichien Bonding’, I saw that even after a few minutes a dog can, and will, begin to calm down and totally relax. This can be seen on my YouTube channel and especially the dogs featured on my earlier television series.  

My method is easy to learn and can be practiced by anyone who chooses to remove the unnecessary burden of leadership from their dog. There are only two requirements: respect for the dog’s nature, and an open mind. 

So, while the answer to the question of whether or not dogs suffer from mental distress, the answer is currently a big YES, however, by using  “Amichien Bonding” we have a simple and assured answer on how to bring peace to our dogs and harmony to our whole family.  


Jan Fennell

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