If you’re having a hard time finding a pattern, keep a diary of the times your dog gets spooked. It’s important to manage your expectations when training fearful dogs. The key with all of these games is that they should be fun and easy for your dog. This is difficult, long, slow process – be patient. Make a list of your dog’s triggers (what she’s scared of). If your dog seems genuinely scared of the wind and her own shadow, I strongly recommend discussing behavior medication with your vet. Provide Quiet Spaces. The best way to conquer this is to help Macy build some confidence. Be patient and trust the process. Upward Dog Walker April 21, 2015 at 12:07 pm. The first step to take to help a fearful dog gain confidence is avoiding the fearful situation your dog is afraid of, so that it lowers its stress levels. Fear can be a tough one to conquer. Whether you’re brushing up on old skills like … If your dog is acting happy and confident, take one step toward the scary thing, or turn up the recording, and repeat the exercise. Try to be specific – is your dog scared of all men, or only men who are attempting to pet her? What Is Freeze-Dried Dog Food? Be sure to define and redefine what success will look like for you and your dog. Now that you know what your dog’s fears are, it’s your job to protect her from them – for now. There are two main ways to play. At its essence, targeting is teaching your dog to touch part of his body to get a specific result. These nervous or timid dogs can benefit from confidence-building exercises that can help to retrain their brain and remove the fear stigma attached to various situations or things. Use a pen to click (put it in your pocket if that sound makes her flinch). In this example, I’d suggest having the dog walk through a field after another dog played there. You have successfully joined our pup pack. Dogs get fearful due to many reasons and if these reasons are not spotted and removed by you then your dog’s health and lifestyle can be affected in a negative way. Its purpose is to keep your dog focused on you, even when he’s in the presence of something (or someone) that’s scaring him. Some dogs are just going to be jumpier and more anxious than others – you can help support them, but don’t expect your dog to go from terrified of strangers to being a therapy dog. Here’s a common example: your dog panics at the sight of another dog, even if that other dog is a football field away. Kayla Fratt Happy to give you more case details if you’re interested! Play this game by setting up a careful training scenario where you know exactly how intense your trigger will be. There’s no social pressure and the dog should never get close enough to get scared. Some puppies are born shy. Training is great for building confidence. The click lets your dog know a treat is on its way. This article informing about how to help a fearful dog gain confidence. Step 4. The idea is to slowly reintroduce your dog to the stimulus that causes their fear at a … If your dog is getting stressed, you’re pushing too hard. The dog is naturally going to sniff your hand. Saber now can jog along next to the bike, or even more fun chase me while I ride it. I'm soon to be a foster mom for some smaller dogs and these techniques will be a great help in increasing their confidence. This game is one of my favorites, but it’s only suitable for dogs who can already be within about 10 feet of their triggers. Though Barley isn’t scared of the ocean, the engage/disengage game being demonstrated is the same! Your Dog Will Associate Training With Good Things. Some dogs are afraid of all people, others seemingly inexplicably fall apart at the sight of just a few specific people. Manage your dog’s interactions with people It is also important that you remain calm and relaxed, as your dog will look to you for emotional guidance and cues. Eventually, the dog will learn to trust that this individual isn’t going to hurt them. However, many anxious dogs don’t have any puppyhood trauma. In many cases where the dog is scared of just one person, something happened to cause it. This is evolutionarily advantageous in wild animals – if mom was stressed out while pregnant, there’s a good chance that the pups should be on high alert. Being a parent to a fearful dog can be a frustrating and overwhelming experience. That said, I do actually know of a case of a dog who was petrified of the microwave beep (and all other repetitive beeps) after the owners installed an underground fencing system. Expose her to the scent first. K9ofMine.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. If that myth were true, it would make sense to look for dramatic past experiences that explain fearful behavior. The idea is to slowly reintroduce your dog to the stimulus that causes their fear at a far enough distance away to avoid eliciting a fear response. It would be difficult for you to entertain guests without aggravating your pet, … Some extremely fearful dogs really blossom – but it generally takes years of hard work to get there. To start, put your pup on a dog leash and, at a safe distance or volume—where your dog knows the scary thing is present but isn’t exhibiting any signs of fear—ask your dog to sit and pay attention. The first secret is to find a training reward that your dog really, really likes and only use that during the confidence-building exercises. I own a very busy dog walking and pet sitting business and a conservative estimate of our clientele who are fearful … She travels full time with her border collie Barley and her boyfriend, Andrew. In this example, when someone walks in the door she starts barking. If your dog has experienced a traumatic event, it’s not something he can get over quickly. In many cases, it’s never really “done.”. As part of the family, the dog should have a place he can go that’s entirely his. I was interested until the suggestion of the beep of a shock collar is why they may be scared of the beep of the microwave . This last point is probably my main goal when working with fearful dogs. This video How to Build Confidence in Your Dog or Fearful Dog! Its unfortunate that many people do not understand dogs that are fearful. Aside from behavior medication, you might want to consider the following supportive measures for your dog: Finally, ensure that you’re addressing your dog’s behavioral wellness. This game is the bread and butter of helping fearful dogs gain confidence. 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