A variety of ways are employed to help the dogs, especially those new to the barn, alleviate stress. One of our crew members loves doing TTouch massage on the dogs whenever they appear a bit too tightly wound. We have soothing music playing in the barn oftentimes to ensure a peaceful atmosphere. Crew members also use the same strategies we would use with our own pets: sitting with them wherever the dogs are most comfortable, taking a leisurely stroll around the yard or the neighborhood, watching the sun set together, standing side-by-side and gazing at the stars, standing together silently and letting the dogs just be while taking in the new scents brought in by the breezes. (Hopefully, the breezes only bring in molecules and not golf balls whizzing by your head. That'll interrupt that quiet moment.)
Here's a demonstration of how to relax and enjoy that quiet moment at the end of the shift after everyone's been exercised, trained and fed:
We also reinforce calm behavior in the dogs, e.g. clicking for quiet and settling. So, the crew will find a variety of ways for the residents, including our new red girl, Jondi, to settle into the new environment, be comfortable, content, and, hopefully, stress-free. Oh yes, doing your shift at the barn is a great way for crew members to relieve their own stress and worries.
Photo of Nita and Zack and Anita.