It is not uncommon for dog’s to have a certain fear of something in life; some dogs may even have several fears. It is how we react at these times that can have a major impact on our dogs’ state of mind and wellbeing.
Helping your dog to deal with fears and by using the desensitising technique is the best way to ensure that your dog stays confident and happy.
- Vacuum Cleaners
- Unfamiliar People
- Unfamiliar Dogs
- Vet Trips and examinations
- Car Journeys
- Walking Sticks
- Loud voices
- Slippery or polished floors
- Moving or flowing water
- Storms (thunder and lightning)
If we know our dog has a specific fear, we can sometimes prepare for these fears in advance and use the popular desensitising method to help change the way they react to a certain event or object. It is not always possible to know in advance that an event will occur or an object will appear and it is in these times that, from our body language and by us staying calm, we can show our dog that there is nothing to worry about.
When we desensitise our dogs we are teaching them not to fear a certain object or event. We must slowly introduce them little by little to their fear and when they stay calm we should reward them with a treat. We can then gradually build up ours dogs exposure to the certain fear, until the dog fears it no more. This technique teaches your dog to understand that nothing bad will happen from being in that situation or from seeing that object. Your dog will then start to associate the previous fear they had with something positive, as they will look forward to getting a treat and forget they even had the original fear in the first place!
When dealing with a dog with fears, the main point to remember is that dogs look to us for guidance and they trust our judgement completely. If we stay cool and calm our dog will read our body language and see that we are not at all bothered by what just occurred and they will think it is nothing to be bothered about also.
This is often the case with the fear of thunder and lightning, we as owners tend make a fuss of our dogs knowing they have the fear and when our dogs see’s that we are acting differently and think there is reason to be afraid. Always stay calm. do not treat your dog any differently, just give them a safe enclosed space where they can go this will give them an extra sence of security in the event of thunder and lightning.
Remember dogs read our body language when a fear is present. Follow these tips to conquer your dog’s fear!