Everyone is afraid of something, even dogs. However, there are a few dogs that are literally afraid of everything. Maybe they’re just going through a stage in their life or perhaps they experienced something traumatic. Either way, it’s important that you get their fears under control as it can lead to problems in their adult life. Read on to learn how to deal with a dog that’s afraid of everything.
Identify and Address the Triggers
Before you’re able to help your puppy get over their fears, you must first identify what’s spooking them. If your dog shows signs that they’re afraid of everything, then it might be because of the period they’re in. According to CCI, If you have a dog that’s about eight to eleven weeks, then they’re in a phase known as the fear impact period. This is the period in which puppies learn what is safe and what is dangerous. Puppies will bark at anything during this phase, whether it's your neighbor or your couch.
As a pet owner, it’s up to you to keep tabs on what scares your dog. Make sure to stay away from areas that are frightening to a puppy, to praise them, and give them healthy treats as a reward. It’s also important for you to stay calm; if you’re high-strung, they’ll pick up on it.
Train the Fear Out of Them
Once you’ve figured out what’s scaring your dog, it’s time to take action. You’ll need to condition your pet to not be afraid. If this is your first time owning a dog, you might not know what to do. If this is the case, then hiring a professional dog trainer is in your best interest. They’ll incorporate certain tactics to help your beloved pooch overcome their fears.
According to SpiritDog Training, it’s easier to start dog training at around 2 months old before they are mentally confident. If you feel that you don’t need a dog trainer, there are certain steps that you can take. For instance, you can use dog treats as a way to ease their anxiety. The key is to have the dog take the food regardless if they immediately run away.
Take Things Slowly
Dogs are similar to children as both need you to help them through their fears. However, even though you want your dog to be fearless, it’s not going to happen overnight. You need to take things slowly. If you’re worried about your furry friend, you can try calming medication or an anxiety vest. According to Pet Life Today, there are many reasons why dogs experience anxiety. One solution to calm their fears is with anxiety medications. If you rush or force anything, it may end up making their fears worse. Make sure to stay calm, talk quietly, and keep a little distance when approaching your pet.
Owning a dog is often compared to caring for a child; you need to nurture, protect, and—when necessary—help alleviate their fears. If your dog is afraid of everything, these tasks can be especially challenging. However, if you follow the tips above, you will be sure to have yourself a happy-go-lucky pup.
When you’re ready to move on to the next step with you dog, check this article: What to Know About Socializing Your Puppy