I found some information about stress and blood type that started me off on another meander into the fascinating subject of our dogs mirroring our emotions. My posts are mostly based on my personal experiences and my own interpretations of what is going on. I get encouraged when I read about scientific research that seems to support my concepts. Please humour me.
Do you know what blood type you are? There seems to be a relationship between what blood type you are and what health problems you might be susceptible to (What does your blood type mean for your health?)
I have Blood Type A. According to the article, people with Blood Type A have naturally higher levels of cortisol than the other blood types. This means that we are more susceptible to stress. A few years ago I left my job due to stress but it was the first time I had heard of the connection so I was interested to learn more
Cortisol Levels between Dogs and their Owners
Then I read about a study on cortisol levels in dogs and their owners. The report made the following conclusion:
Often called the “fight or flight” chemical, cortisol acts as an overall stimulant, causing your body to react to a perceived threat, whether real or imagined – The article Lower your Cortisol Levels, Reduce your Anxiety gives a helpful explanation.
What can I do about it?
So now I have a reason for why I might be more stressy than someone else. Maybe this is why my dogs are quite excitable, perhaps they are picking it up from me? The well-used phrase in dog land “its never about the dog” rings my ears. I have two dogs. Archie, the Labrador is quite a stress-bucket, and follows me every where. The hound Jack is more chilled, but he’s older and keeps himself to himself a lot – maybe that’s why!
I decided to try and investigate different ways of managing my stress levels to see if it affected my dogs.
Blood Type Diet
I read ‘Eat Right for Your Type’, by Peter d’Adamo. According to the author, eating a diet specific to your blood-type improves your overall health and well-being. It also helps you lose weight naturally. Apart from my tendency to over-stress I consider my physical health pretty good but as someone who enjoys eating I’m always looking for easy ways to shed those extra pounds!
I wasn’t really being scientific. I had no way of measuring my cortisol levels, I just wanted to see if it made me feel calmer and whether it had any impact on my dogs’ behaviour.
Someone suggested it might be the protein powder that was responsible for the stomach cramps. Perhaps it was the supplements that gave me chronic diahorrea. Maybe I wasn’t following the diet properly. I’ve no idea, but after 6 weeks of needing to be very close to a toilet, I decided my stress levels were too high and I brought the experiment to an end.
Another suggestion for reducing stress levels was particular forms of exercise. I read that the gentler activities like Yoga, Chi Kung and Tai Chi were better suited to Blood type ‘A’s. So for the good of my dogs (!) I decided to join a Tai Chi Class.
Practising Tai Chi has introduced me to a whole new understanding of myself and had a big influence on me, and how I am with my dogs. If you are interested in reading more about Tai Chi, you can read about the Five Winds School here
Maybe you have blood type ‘A’? Do you think you have stressy dogs? Or maybe you have another blood type, and see aspects reflected in your dog’s behaviour? Leave a comment, I’d be really interested to know.