There is a great number of people who misunderstand fearful dogs and when trying to make things better they actually makes things worse. It is really sad because their owners are often the most kind and gentle people who really wants their dogs to be happy and live the life which is best for them. The reason why dogs are fearful is almost always because they are lacking strong pack leaders.
The owners are often unaware of this and the signals they send out to their dogs is that their dog is actually the packleader and not the owner. This puts a lot of pressure on the dog and like many dogs they are not able to handle the pressure and honestly you could not expect them to. After all, domestic dogs live in our world we do not live in theirs.
Imagine a scenario like this. You are 4 years old and you find yourself in a dark forest together with your little sister and you hear a strange noise near you. This might be a person coming towards you are something else. Either way this may very well scare you. If however one of your parents or a trusted adult were there with you though, then everything would be fine. That is because you would not be in charge! This is what it is like for your dog when they consider themselves to be packleader. Your dog is terrified and want to bring you and your family home safely.
To have all this responsibility is a lot for your dog and a dog can not be expected to handle this in the human world. There are many, many strange things happening and they have to make decisions about it all the time. Unless you help them they will finally snap and break down.
If you are to help your dog to find its place with you and your family you first have to become the packleader. You might want to read my post on becoming the PACKLEADER. Becoming the packleader is essential for all dog training and absolutely crucial in making your dog feeling safe and confident. A lot of dog related problems stem from the fact that owner has established her/himself as the packleader. Almost all problems can be solved but first the owner must establish herself as the packleader.
Being the packleader is of course not the only thing that is needed in order to make a fearful dog calm and confident but it is really the foundation on which a dog’s confidence is built and therefore soo important.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are training a fearful dog.
- Fearful dogs will evolve over time but don’t push it to much too fast or you will be struggling. This needs to be done gently and slowly
- You must be in charge of your dog – its natural leader
When your dog first meet your friends, ask your friends to ignore her.
- Do not let people approach your dog. You should wait until she is calm and then call her over to you.
- If she does not come over it is most certainly because she is too scared. In that case, leave her alone for a little while and then try again.
Finally to summarize, fearful dogs are really common issue just like many other problems people have with their dogs. However there is almost always a solution. You should not have to struggle because a fearful dog can be turned into a calm and confident dog. It all really begins with you. When your dog sees you showing strong leadership and being calm and confident then your dog will follow. So establish yourself as the leader and then slowly and gently work with your dog and you will soon turn your scared dog into a dog who is calm, confident and happy.
I hope you enjoyed this post, please leave any comments or questions below.