How To Recognize And Handle Fear In Dogs.
Fear in dogs can be triggered by a variably of external factors. Loud noises like thunder or fireworks are a common cause of fear. Sometimes the cause of the fear response is not so obvious. If your dog shows fear in certain situations or in certain places, you should keep a note of them and you may gradually be able to identify the actual fear trigger. When your dog is afraid calmly move him away from the situation (even if have not fully identified the actual trigger for the fear).
Be careful how you react because making too much fuss can make the fear more deep-seated. Fear can lead to aggression if the dog thinks that is the only way to protect himself
Remember that fear is a natural reaction to certain situations.
Your dog will show that he is afraid in a number of ways. These include involuntary actions such as drooling, trembling and panting. You may be able to see the whites of your dog’s eyes and he could lose control on his bladder or bowel. His behavior may change, and he could start whining, barking or clinging to you. Much of a dog’s communication is through body language and you may notice flattened ears, yawning, cowering or lip licking.
How To Handle Fear In Dogs
The important thing is not to over-react. There is a tendency to “baby” a dog which is showing fear or anxiety. This change in your behavior can reinforce the dog’s feeling that there is something to be afraid of. Move away from the area and behave as normally as possible. Your dog may be so upset that he may not be able to focus on anything else. Some practitioners recommend giving voice commands which your dog knows well and will react to. However, sometimes, your dog will be too consumed by fear to take much notice of you.
Chronic fear, where a dog is continually fearful, and this fear seems to arise in many different situations should be discussed with your vet.
DESENSITISING PUPPIES AND DOGS TO LOUD NOISES
Puppies and even dogs can be taught that noises are nothing to be afraid of. You should get some recordings of the sounds your dog is afraid of. Take your dog to a place where he can’t run away. An enclosed room is ideal. Play the noise at a low level. If he doesn’t respond give him a treat. Repeat this every 30 seconds or so, for about 5 minutes. Then. Increase the volume slightly and repeat the process. The key to success is not inducing a fear response at any point. If your dog starts to become uneasy, lower the volume and start again. The whole conditioning process will take time and there will be some setbacks. You will probably have to carry out this procedure for every type of sound that scared your dog.
Be patient. You will get there, and life will be easier for you and your dog.