Why is my dog afraid of everything?

Why is my dog afraid of everything

It is wrong to think that fear is a problem of a cowardly dog with a weak nervous system that cannot be corrected. All phobias can be corrected with patience and persistence. The task of the owner is to help his four-legged friend to overcome his fearfulness.

Factors and causes of fear

Dogs can be frightened by a variety of phenomena. The most common fears are:

  • Unfamiliar people;
  • Loneliness;
  • Thunderstorms, fireworks, and similar loud noises;
  • Other dogs or even cats;
  • Going outdoors;
  • Cars;
  • Water, etc.

A phobia never arises on its own: it is usually rooted in a negative experience the animal has had. If a dog is afraid of people, it is likely that it has once been hurt by an angry person. Separation anxiety develops because the pet has received less attention.

Often problems are provoked by mistakes in training and education. A prime example: the puppy ignores the command “Come here!” for a long time, and when he finally approaches, the owner punishes him for disobedience. From a human point of view, the cause-and-effect relationship is obvious, but the dog is not able to build such logical chains. It feels like it is being punished for doing the command correctly. As a result, the animal, subjected to frequent punishments and not understanding their cause, becomes intimidated and prone to psychosis.

How does fear manifest itself?

Many of the signs of fright are easy to see: the dog trembles, growls, runs away and hides. But some are not so obvious. When a pet is frightened, he may:

  • Mess up things, make a mess;
  • Go to the house to make small or big feces;
  • Lose his appetite;
  • He may not sleep well;
  • Vomiting and excessive salivation;
  • Catch his tail;
  • Lick his paws until he has wounds or dermatitis;
  • Constantly scratching and biting out non-existent fleas.

Behavioral correction

Psychological problems are much easier to prevent than to correct later. Therefore, it is important to help with puppy socialization from an early age, so that he grows up to be calm, balanced, and confident.

If the appearance of compulsive phobia is still not prevented, the algorithm of action is about the same, regardless of the factor of fear.

Eliminate or at least minimize situations in which the dog is frightened.

Do not try to fight fear with punishments and prohibitions.

Ignore any displays of fear. During anxiety attacks communicate exactly as you normally would. If the situation occurred during a walk, keep moving, as if nothing happened.

Distract your pet’s attention from the fear factor with simple, familiar commands, such as “Sit!”

Always reward your dog with a treat or favorite food if he behaves normally in a situation that would normally cause him fear.

It also never hurts to see an experienced handler or trainer – professionals can help you properly socialize your dog or correct behavioral problems that are already present.

Autumn Jolley
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