Dogs, no matter how brave they look, are not courageous at all times. They fear some things, too. To understand dog anxiety and fear better, we will be discussing some of the most common fears among dogs and how to address each one in this article. Let’s start with:
For dogs, grooming shops share similarities with vet clinics – both are packed with unusual smells and sights that could be terrifying for dogs. And remember, dogs could sense the dread of other animals in the same room. In grooming shops, a majority of dogs exhibit fear, and it’s contagious to other pets. So, it’s no wonder why most dogs dread grooming and grooming shops altogether.
But that’s not all. Dogs are not just scared of grooming shops because of other dogs. They could be afraid because of some other things – like water or the idea of a stranger handling their bodies during bathing and trimming. There are also dogs who can’t seem to figure out what the noisy equipment is for, which in turn, makes them think of probably a hundred reasons to be scared.
If your dog is exhibiting signs of distress during grooming, it’s essential that you, as a handler and owner, could pinpoint the causes of your dog’s anxiety. If your dog is terrified of several things, try addressing these things gradually. If things are difficult to do on your own, seek the help of a dog trainer.
A flight of stairs
Going up on a flight of stairs for the first time is like venturing into the world of the unknown – at least for a pup, who haven’t gone up a flight of stairs before. And first experiences could be terrifying. Also, dogs could be fearful of stairs because of a traumatic experience involving stairs that they have had in the past. It’s also possible that a dog may have been associating stairs with joint pains. Nonetheless, these fears could be addressed using desensitization training and counterconditioning.
A dog’s separation anxiety could be caused by genetic predisposition. Herding dogs, according to experts, are most vulnerable to this problem. However, some dogs develop separation anxiety because of traumatic experiences. Affected dogs could have experienced abandonment as a result of a previous owner’s death or some dramatic changes in life. Nonetheless, leaving these dogs behind even for a short period may trigger their anxiety and may cause behavioral problems.
Using mind conditioning methods, you may also address separation anxiety by helping your dog understand that being alone is not a big deal at all. If you can’t address this problem, you might want to consult an animal behavior specialist and trainer.
Puppies are incredibly social and trusting creatures, and it’s unlikely for them to be fearful of humans. However, some dogs, particularly rescue dogs who experienced abuse and neglect in the past, may develop phobias associated with these traumatic experiences. And these phobias may include being fearful of humans. This is not good news at all, because phobias involving humans, in turn, could make dogs aloof or aggressive even around good people.
To address this fear of humans, regular socialization activities would be extremely helpful. It might be a difficult task at first, but this exercise could restore your dog’s trust and confidence in humans.