How to help your nervous dog cope with fears



Tips to help your dog cope with outdoor fears


Help your dog feel more confident with ADAPTIL Calm

  • Releases “appeasing messages”’ to create a safe and secure environment
  • Improvement happens within the first week
  • Continued use for at least one month is recommended

Identify the triggers

  • First try to answer these 2 questions: What is your nervous dog afraid of? And how much can they tolerate?
  • It can be traffic, unfamiliar situations, visitors coming to your house, strangers in the street, other dogs etc.

Be a friend!

  • Don’t force your nervous dog to stay too close to the source of fear
  • Do NOT punish your dog if he barks or shakes! This will only make your dog more distressed

Mild and positive exposure

  • It is possible for your dog to learn over time that there is nothing to be afraid of
  • Seeking the advice of a vet or qualified behaviourist is recommended as some cases can be difficult to manage
  • Go slowly when exposing them: first approach the fearful thing from a good distance
  • Reward when they remain calm and DO NOT force them to continue if unhappy
  • Over time move closer continuing with all the rewards when behaving well
  • Doing this under behaviourist supervision is recommended
nervous dog

We recommend:

ADAPTIL Calm On-The-Go Collar

Helps your nervous dog cope with fears indoors and fear of visitors

Tips to help your nervous dog cope with fears

It is very common for a dog to be nervous, but why are dogs scared of Vacuum cleaners? Some of the most common things that dogs are nervous of are:

  • Social shyness: fear of new or unfamiliar people. Sometimes this can be very specific, like a fear of men with a beard, or children, or other dogs.
  • Fear of new situations, places, specific objects (e.g. vacuum cleaner).
  • Traffic shy: fear of the sounds and movements of cars in the street.

Nervous dogs may shake or try to hide or run away, but sometimes can also bark and even bite. Read our 5 reasons why your dog might bark or growl at strangers.

When your dog is scared, the best thing you can do to make the fear go away is to… get away from the fear source.  Stay calm and take your dog away, to a place where they can feel safe.

Then you can start to help your nervous dog overcome their fear, with mild and gradual exposure. Take a look at these 8 tips to calm your dog if they are spooked by noises on a walk.

Try to recreate the situation, but in a controlled manner: introduce your dog to the fear source from a distance, ensuring they remain calm.  Use treats to reward your dog when they calm down.

If at any point they are distressed or not coping well then abort the session.  Forcing them could make them worse.

Remember that your dog will also react to your emotions, so you must remain relaxed and speak with a confident voice.

Repeat, and come a little bit closer every time. Go slowly, and give them time! Read what you can do if your dog is scared of the vacuum cleaner for more advice. 

Using an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser or ADAPTIL Calm On-The-Go Collar during the whole process will help your dog feel more confident.