Why dogs should not be fearful
Our dogs should not have to be fearful of anything. We are here to protect them and tell them what is safe and not safe. When dogs are being fearful and stressed, it’s unnatural. Animals by default are peaceful, calm and content. Imagine deer, cows and bunny rabbits grazing in a field. That is the natural, calm, serene state in which all animals thrive. You don’t see constantly “over-excited” cows or deer. The only time animals do tense up is when there is a life-threatening predator in their midst. If your dog is getting tense or excited, it’s like he is living in or reacting with that kind of adrenaline rush. This is obviously not good for him, nor does it make him happy and content.
In nature, there usually is one leader that is in charge of a herd, flock, pack, etc. who is the “lookout” and who is responsible for alerting everyone of danger so they can all relax. That should be your job.
All that aside, there are important issues as to what can happen to fearful dogs. Fear usually turns to aggression at some point because these emotions/reactions are VERY closely related (flight or fight syndrome). Therefore, fearful dogs often end up biting in reaction to their emotion. You want your dog to like new people and other dogs – not dread them or fear them. And you certainly do not want him to bite them! Also note that puppies under 18 months usually demonstrate only fear and, it is around this age in a dog’s development in which fears turns to aggression. So please work with your fearful young dog before he makes the switch.
Another issue with a human-fearful dog is that, if she gets loose, no one can catch her because she doesn’t trust strangers and will run away. And, of course, she can run into danger (e.g. traffic) as well.
Therefore, I always recommend working with fearful dogs to build their confidence and trust, and to calm them down.
So, if you’d like to understand more of what’s going on with your dog and help her to become confident, calm, happy and safe, then I’m here to help you. Give me a call!