The 2 Most Common Fears Your Puppy May Have

dog_hiddenFear Of  Other Dogs

You may find that your puppy is not social toward other dogs. It may be that either your dog was taken too early from his mother and litter-mates, or the litter-mates may have been much larger and stronger than yours, leaving your puppy socially apprehensive. Some very dominant puppies separate themselves from litter-mates and, on their own terms only, solicit play.

Some puppies have manifested their strong defensive drives in this nonsocial behavior pattern. These puppies can be helped by simply not allowing them to run away when approached by other puppies.

On rare occasions, the puppy would actually attempt to bite the other pup. Most often, having the puppy confront the fear has been extremely helpful in resolving the defensive social aggression.

When adult dogs show fear of other dogs, there is a little chance that this fear can be resolved. Once seeded, this fear appears to overwhelm affected dogs. Since resolution is not always possible, management may be the way to go.

Keeping your dog on a leash in public will help. While on a leash, it is helpful to teach your dog how to focus on you in the presence of other dogs. He should not be allowed to run free off a lead in the park because at any minute a dog may show up and cause a fear response that may cause your dog to bolt into the road or simply run away.

In a controlled situation, perhaps a fenced-in yard, you may be comfortable with him having an off-lead exercise. A fenced-in school yard with a gate that you can close will do just fine for short runs or fast walks. Always be aware of what is around you at all times to prevent any accidents.

The use of a head halter is often useful in controlling fearful dogs. A dog can feel secure when he is being controlled by the face. His options disappear, and he proudly follows his owner’s lead. This is how it should be. Training a behavior such as “Down-Stay” provides us with a bit of control around other dogs too. “Down-stay” is incompatible with running away.

Fear Of Being Inside A Car

Often dog owners think that they own a dog that has motion sickness and that will vomit all over the interior of the family car. Sometimes they are right, and it is solved by the dog having an empty stomach and taking frequent short rides. Carsick dogs usually get over it quickly when you practice the short-ride routine.

Car phobic behavior may stem from a previous accident, a chronically nauseated rider, or perhaps something as simple as a noisy muffler or backfire. Bringing the dog to within sight of the car, giving him a treat, and then bringing him back to where he feels comfortable is a good place to begin this conditioning. Eventually, he may actually be eating his meals in the car.

The dog will graduate to eating in the idling car, and soon will be eating in the moving car. The meals are obviously removed from the car once the dog has shown no reluctance to jump in. If your dog has motion sickness, then feeding will not be the way to go. Veterinarians can offer a motion sickness remedy for those who are afflicted.

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