One of the saddest things is the number of people who misunderstand fearful dogs, and in trying to make things better for their dogs, they actually make it worse. Fearful dogs are nearly always lacking strong pack leaders, and their owners are often the kindest and gentlest people! They want nothing more than to see their dog live the kind of life that all the other dogs are living – happy, fun and free.
We’ll be talking about things you can do to help your fearful dog in this article, but I first want to refer you right away to professional dog trainer, Doggy Dan, and his video-based dog training website, The Online Dog Trainer. This website contains more than 250 step-by-step videos to help you with any dog behavior issue you could possibly have, and a LOT of Doggy Dan’s time is spent helping you to understand why your dog is anxious or fearful, and what to do about it. You can read my review of The Online Dog Trainer HERE. You can hear from Doggy Dan himself regarding fearful dogs in this video:
How to Calm a Fearful Dog
The best way to help your fearful dog is to recognize that your dog is actually scared because you are giving him the message that he has to be the pack leader. Your dog, like many, is not able to handle the pressure, nor should he be expected to.
Consider this scenario: If you are four years old and find yourself in a dark woods with your younger sister, and there is a strange noise or a person coming towards you, then you may very well be afraid. However, if one of your parents is there with you, then everything would be fine. That is because you would not be in charge! This is how it is for your dog when you make him the pack leader. He is terrified and just wants to get home safe and alive. All the responsibility is on your dog’s shoulders and he is not able to handle it in this human world. There are far too many strange things for him to make decisions about all the time. Eventually he will snap unless you help him.
To Help Your Fearful Dog, You Must First Become the Pack Leader
Establishing yourself as the pack leader is the foundation to any success with fearful dogs. Until you recognize this and put it in place, you will never be in a position to help your dog.
Here Are a Few Things That You Should Remember When Working With a Fearful Dog
They can change, but will struggle if you try to push it too fast.
Ask your friends to ignore your dog when they first meet him.
People should not approach your dog, but wait until he is calm and then call him over. If he doesn’t come over, then he is too scared and you must leave him alone.
These are just some basic ideas about helping your fearful dog and how to calm a dog’s anxiety. You can get much more detailed information on a website called, The Online Dog Trainer. It has fantastic videos on establishing yourself as the pack leader and also shows you how to give confidence to fearful dogs.
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