Dog fears and phobias

Dog fears and phobias: Fear is in part necessary to stay alive. Whenever a dog runs into an unknown object, or if he sees someone acting in a different way from what he's used to, his survival instinct tells him to back off and when this isn't possible, to growl, bark, or bite at the air. Dogs have a very keen sense of hearing and any sort of intense noise, or sudden sound scares them like a vacuum cleaner, or blender. To avoid a dog from freaking out it's important to get him used to these sounds so that he does not become permanently scared of these things. There are cases of dogs that are scared due to a combination of genetic factors and environmental ones. A puppy is able to learn to be timid or scared of his mother or of other dogs living within the same house. Mistreating a dog will also obviously turn the dog into a fearful dog. If you as a dog owner are scared of certain things, such as rain storms etc, you can also transmit this fear over to your dog.

Pathologic fear in dogs: As you might imagine, a dog that is in constant fear is an unhappy one. His lack of security in himself will hinder his learning, and it will cause training him to be difficult and he can also turn into an aggressive dog. Fear is also seen in the form of several phobias (such as to ambulance sirens, firecrackers etc). A phobia can be extremely debilitating for a dog and cause the dog to urinate, shake uncontrollably, and produce a lot of saliva, whine, hide, or try to dig a big hole in the ground to hide in. Seeing this type of behavior causes almost anyone to react by saying "poor thing" etc, but the truth is that this reaction will just reinforce this behavior. Instead of feeling sorry for the dog, the owner should use a reassuring and firm voice to give the dog the impression that everything is under perfect control. As soon as the dog calms down and relaxes, prize him and praise him with a treat, however, don't touch the dog when doing this, so that if you are also scared, you don't transmit it to him. If the noise the dog is scared of is coming from the window, close all the windows and put some music on for the dog to listen to, or you could also turn on the television, to drown out the noise. Take the dog to a place he feels comfortable in such as his bed, the couch etc.

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