I want to help my dog with fears, visitors
HOW TO HELP YOUR DOG COPE WITH FEARS
Tips to help your dog cope with fears
It is very common for dogs to be fearful or shy. Most common kinds of shyness are:
- Social shyness: fear of new or unfamiliar people. Sometimes this can be very specific, like fear of men with beards, fear of children or of other dogs
- Fear of new situations, new places, specific objects (like the terrifying vacuum cleaner!)
- Traffic shyness: fear of sounds and movements of cars in the streets
Scared dogs may shake, try to hide or run away, but can also bark and sometimes even bite.
When your dog is scared, the best thing you can do to make the fear go away is to… go away from the source of fear!
Stay calm and take your dog away, to a place where they can feel safe. Then you can start to help your dog overcome their fear with mild and gradual exposure.
Try to recreate the situation, but in a controlled manner: introduce your dog to the source of fear from distance, as you calm and praise them. Use treats to reward your dog when they calm down.
Remember that your dog will also react to your emotions, so you must remain relaxed and speak with a calm, confident voice.
Repeat the process, coming a little bit closer every time. Go slowly and give your dog time to adapt.