By nature, pooches are inquisitive creatures who like to know things and crave new experiences. They usually communicate with zest with the surrounding world.
Sometimes, dog fears may arise when they become scared or wary. Personalities vary among dogs based on some factors such as personal nature, previous experiences, type of dog, and breed type.
Just like humans, dogs also exist of various kinds because just like humans, some canines are real extroverts and some may be introverts more concerned about their encounter with the world.
We should take a lot of time and patience to carefully observe our dog’s personality. When we know how to predict their behavior, we know how to assist them.
The majority of the dog fears in pooches have their roots in fright, and some of them in aggression.
Common Dog Fears
- Fear of strangers – A few dogs have the fright of strangers, and especially of men especially after a bad experience. Homes where dogs are rescued from instilling this sense in the dog. This may result in reactive behavior.
Moreover, dog fears of strangers can arise from men adorning beefy clothing or people wearing hats, and also fright from other pooches.
- Situational phobias – the fright of circumstances occurring in the highest degree is a result of separation anxiety. At this juncture, dogs cannot realize that their owners are going to come back.
Dogs get involved in ruinous behavior such as barking, undertaking potty in the house, and chewing.
- Blood injection phobias – the fear of needles is quite high in many dogs. these are the form of blood injection dog fears.
Some dog fears arise just because of visiting a vet. Dogs have not been instilled by nature the understanding that these visits are advantageous.
Some situations arise during vet visits such as the sight of other depressed animals, strangers, novel locations, rides of cars, pain, sick feeling, etc. which can aggravate the fears into phobias.
- Sound phobias – a dog fears loud noise coming from firecrackers, gunshots, thunderstorms, and fireworks. Studies suggest that phobias of sounds be a hereditary phenomenon.
Some breeds used in herding are very much used to the environment of less sound, and hence are highly sensitive to dog fears related to phobias of sound.
Dog fears also arise from other reasons such as inattention while away from home, reactivity, and hyperactivity.
A dog generally feels secure more in a home environment where he is in a familiar environment and they can become doubtful like any other pooches of the situations they think can be dangerous.
Dog fears may also be a result of their recognition of out of the ordinary situations, and situations of a past bad experience.
Dog fears make them react in a variety of types of behaviors, not all of which are easily recognizable. In some scenarios, there might occur a “flight or fight” repulse meaning that dogs will attempt to scare the danger or go farther from it to avoid it.
A naturally occurring reaction is the “flight or fight”, but sometimes it can lead to excess. The best step would be to increase your pooches confidence and his skill in dealing with novel situations as it is much better and less of a headache than to let your dog do whatever he does.
Another option for you would be to identify circumstances that make your dog carry out this behavior and try to avoid these circumstances from occurring.
Indications of Dog Fears
Below are the indications that suggest your dog may have anxiety or fear under certain impulsive environments. If you guess so, then immediately contact a behaviorist.
- Loss of toilet training
- Goofy Behavior
- Lowered body language
- Lifting of a paw
- Having eyes white in color (also known as whale eye)
- Licking of the lips
- Opening the mouth frequently in order to yawn
- Drooling salivary fluid from the region of the mouth
- You are unable to get their attention due to their utter distractedness
- Loss of appetite (this includes being not in a position to take a treat)
- Attempting to hide
- Not being able to settle down
- Quickly walking forward and reverse
How to Live With a Dog who has Dog Fears?
Spending your life with a scared dog can become frustrating and stressful. Dealing with dog fears involves consistency, time, and patience. This can be tough if too much howling distracts owners and neighbors.
A dog bite to fight the dog fears can be one of the most dangerous elements to deal with. Also, dog fears make some dogs run away out of the window in some streets.
Pet owners can take certain measures to tackle dog fears. The first step in this is a visit to a vet. Dog fears hardly get sought out by themselves. Certain phobias can make new phobias occur. It is best to take measures at the earliest.
The primary way of targeting this issue is by implementing behavior modification methods, which are suggested by veterinary behaviorists certified by the board.
Methods such as desensitization of fearful dogs assists them in dealing with this behavior successfully.
To alleviate depression, there are certain medicines available in the market, but most treatments involve the combination of behavior modification and drug therapy administration.
Behavior Modification for Dog Fears
The technique of behavior modification revolves around both, the pooch, as well as the owner. Surprisingly, owners are unknowingly involved in making dog fears worse.
Readjusting your pooch and yourself to renewed patterns of behavior requires patience and time. It is explored better with the assistance of a veterinarian.
Uttering phrases like “it’s okay” and “good boy” during stressful situations makes dogs believe that these situations are common and are approved of generally.
Teaching your dog obedience generates a sense of confidence in the dog. Some undesirable acts such as feeling during a fear trigger, asking a dog to stay or sit can be deviated. A method like putting a hand on the dog can relieve his anxiety.
Drug Treatment for Dog Fears
A few dogs know how to deal with their fears with purely behavior modification. Some dogs, however, require the treatment of drugs, like medicines or sprays of a room that imitate treatments of calming.
It is best to consult a veterinarian prior to giving any medicine to your pooch. The purpose of these drugs is not to make the dog asleep, but to reduce his fears to the greatest extent.
We may like to think that dog fears can be resolved just by giving them medications. However, dealing with dog fears is a complex issue because no matter the breed, size, or type of dogs, they all are unique.
The solution that is successful for one dog will not be usable for others. A variety of trials and errors are needed to find the right treatment for dogs.
All along the treatment cycle for dog fears, you must remember that this issue can be solved with patience only and your pooch is not alone in handling this difficulty.
Other Common Dog Fears
1. Fear of Riding in Cars:
A few pooches are scared during a car ride. When pooches do not have the experience of a car ride early in their life, they get this fear. Some negative experiences of dogs can also end up in dog fears of class.
This negative experience can be just riding to go to a veterinarian, going in a car to be put in a shelter, or getting car sick.
This fear can be dealt with effectively by giving him praises and treats to entice him into the car and then gradually taking small rides. Ensure that the car ride ends in a place that is a happy one and not a distant one.
2. Fear of Climbing and Descending Staircases:
It could be seen that a dog has a fear of going up a staircase when he stops at the sight of approaching steps. This fear occurs because the dog has been socialized to a lesser extent.
A dog who has not been introduced to staircases at his young age will have the fear of climbing and descending a staircase when he experiences the steps later in his life.
By making going up and down the stairs a playful activity for your pooch, you can make him overcome the fear. This strategy can not always be useful for all dogs, some of whom will learn the challenge gradually.
All it requires is patience and an ample amount of positive reinforcement. The dogs who have issues moving around such as senior dogs will be highly reluctant in climbing or descending staircases.
Medical conditions should be ruled out completely in order to avoid complications. If the pooch has had a bad trip downstairs in history, then that could also be the cause of his fright.
3. Fear of Men:
The fright to confront a man can simply be because the dog had been abused in the past by a man. The lack of socialization is the most common reason for the fear of men.
Dogs who have not been near a man much may become scared of their depth in voices, hair of faces, and their build.
Dogs who are afraid of male men should be gradually made desensitized in an easy and non-scary way. When a dog is afraid or too frightened, he may bite, snap, or growl at people due to the fear.
Start by cautiously introducing your dog to men from afar. Convey to the men not to look at your dog or attempt to come near him. This process will be slow but successful in the long run.
4. Fear of Children:
There are many reasons why dogs have a fear of kids. The foremost reason is that dogs are not introduced to children early in their lives. If you have not kept your dog in a home with children, then there are chances that the dog has not got the chance to socialize with them.
Also, due to negative encounters with children in the past, dogs may become scared of children. Even though the child’s aims would be good, your dog may think of them as a threat.
The tiny size of the children, their disorganized and jerky movements, or chaos is not understandable by a dog.
Now, what do you think?
Has your dog feared anything overly? If yes, then how have you managed with his fear?
Express your experiences in the comment section.
Happy Petting to You Guys!