You think you must have done something wrong, because why else would your dog have so many problems?
Sometimes this is simply because the dog’s brain just isn’t wired right. Crystal Thompson, a social worker by day and a dog trainer by night, explains how stress can affect a developing brain, and why doing everything right may not matter if your dog came from a less-than-ideal background.
She says that science is pretty clear that stress in young mammals influences both brain development and physical growth. Some dogs have genes that are “turned on” by stressful events more readily than other dogs, making them more susceptible to the effects of stress. We see this in human children too; for some, stress creates a resilient brain, while in others, it creates a brain vulnerable to a host of behavioral problems.
Neuroscientists have discovered how chronic stress and cortisol can damage the brain. A new study reconfirms the importance of maintaining healthy brain structure and connectivity by reducing chronic stress, says Christopher Bergland in Psychology Today.
It is all very technical stuff, but fortunately put a lot more simply by Crystal Thompson, along with a glimmer of hope. Science has shown that the brain is incredibly plastic – it can rewire itself and become more functional – but this takes a lot of time and effort.
Here is the story of a very disturbed little dog I went to that had been removed from his mother at about 5 weeks old and then passed from pillar to post. Poor little dog.
Theo Stewart, The Dog Lady
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