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Dogs Who Have Fears

 

 

Dogs Who Have Fears

It is not uncommon to find a dog who has fears. They can have fears of people or other animals. This is usually caused by lack of socialization. If you are thinking about training your dog with a fear, it may be worth looking into a private trainer that can come to your home.

Sometimes your dog will show signs of aggression out of fear. They can be in so much stress and are not sure how to deal with it, and it comes out in the form of aggression towards people or animals. Try to keep in mind that rewarding confident behaviors such as, when your dog has no reaction to another dog will slowly start to build their confidence. Classical Conditioning is when the dog associates two thing for example, leash=walk, bowl =dinner,pawsitive reinforcement=treats.

You want to keep the situation at hand as enjoyable as possible so your dog will find training fun and exciting. If you are feeding your dog treats when you see them start to become fearful, they will associate it with something pawsitive. If your dog is fearful of people, have treats ready so when they come in contact with them, you can have them drop some treats and find it to be pleasurable and not frightening.

Sometimes we have people offer our dogs treats, and when the dog takes them the person will try to pet them. What can happen is that a negative association gets made between taking the treats from people and then being petted. Just because your dog was able to take a treat it Does Not mean they want to be petted by that person. If you think your dog can handle it, try to have the person slowly approach your dog, kneel down beside them, and allow the dog to smell their hand. If they are able to do this, then and only then you should see if the dog will accept a treat. By doing this they will associate the person with a pawsitive and not a negative. The dog will find it better to tolerate being petted because petting is followed by a treat and the person leaving.

So what do you do until the dog starts taking treats from strangers who might ask. Have the owner feed. Even if the dog doesn't come in contact with the person, if they are getting a treat, praise, and some attention from their owner every time people are around, they will come to tolerate people more. Your dog will make the association between strangers and pawsitive things quicker if the only time they get lots of treats and attention is when people are around. Of course that doesn't mean you should never give your dogs treats or praise, just make sure you always do when people are around. Having the people drop treats on the floor near your dog without speaking to them will help also.

If you allow your dog to stand while people are trying to approach them your dog will feel a bit more at ease. If you are making them sit, they will have to go against what you are asking because they will probably try to move away from the scary thing. This will add that much more stress to your dog. If you force your dog to do something they don't feel comfortable in doing you may end up with a dog that will growl, snap at, bark, none of these behaviors you will appreciate.

One thing I would like you to remember is you are responsible for your dog and they need to trust you. They are counting on you to keep them away from situations they are not capable of handling. Don't allow people to pet your dog if you know they have a fear. This goes the same for your dog meeting other dogs if they find it to be scary.

If your dog is fearful of other dogs, you should allow your dog to come up from behind to sniff the other dog when they feel ready. Never force your dog to do something, that is only making the situation worse. If the other dog can lay down before they go to sniff, this sometimes is less stressful to the fearful dog.