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Jenna Stregowski, RVT

What Scares Your Dog?

By August 23, 2011

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Photo of Dog Hiding Under Blankets

Yesterday, I talked about thunderstorm phobia in dogs, but storms are not the only things that can frighten dogs. Some dogs are braver than others, but even a highly confident dog may be afraid of something. Your dog does not necessarily have to be a generally timid and fearful dog to develop a specific phobia. There are a number of common sources of fear in dogs, some more expected than others.

Seeing our canine companions tremble in fear is tough. What's a loving owner to do? First of all, learn how to identify the signs of fear in your dog. The sooner you see that your dog is afraid, the sooner you can address it. Next, develop and understanding of the causes of fear in dogs. This can help you get to the heart of your dog's fear (or fears).

Does your dog have a specific phobia (or several phobias)? How have you handled this? Tells us about your experience.

Photo © Crystal Cartier Photography/Getty Images

Comments

August 23, 2011 at 9:27 am
(1) Cyndy says:

We have a large conch shell on display on a shelf. Our dog won’t get near it. Sometimes he forgets it’s there and catches a glimpse of it. This sends him high-tailing away. The shell opening does resemble a mouth with teeth. I have tried to introduce him to it a few time but the perception is apparently too much!

August 23, 2011 at 9:37 am
(2) MMc says:

Storms, fireworks and raised voices all make our guy extremely fearful. We started using the Thunder-shirt and followed the instructions for conditioning him to wearing it being a positive experience.
It has been an amazing transformation (we are in storm season here in the south) and over the period of 4 weeks, when we get the shirt on in time, we no longer have a panting, scratching hysterical dog. He now lays quietly, still tense, as close as he can to us, not panting and not trying to scratch his way through floors and walls. We do not console him, we praise him for wearing the shirt and make a positive fuss and then let him settle down and ride out the storm.
We no longer even try Rx drugs they helped very little anyway and now we do not need them. I do not know why it works but it does and we’ll take it.

August 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm
(3) Yvette says:

Thankfully neither one of our German Shepherds are afraid of thunder but one does not like fly swatters. I have never used them to abuse them but as soon as she sees it she takes out the dog door. She doesn’t like to see my fold t-shirts either.
We did have two dogs who were terrified of thunder, others just didn’t care. Another one hated air ballons going over and at that time we lived near the route local air balloons took when they did customer flights.

August 25, 2011 at 9:47 am
(4) MARY says:

our husky/golden retriever 2 years old is afraid of kids on skate boards or any related noise or fast movements of kids. her ears go back, tail goes down and she wants to run. she pulls me as she is on leash and runs for our condo.

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