Avoiding Dog Anxiety and Fear

Avoiding Dog Anxiety and Fear

I’m breaking this up into a two part post; first is avoiding your dog’s anxiety and fear and the second will be on how to deal with it.

Obviously it is best to avoid it all together and this article will explain how to do that and why we are seeing so many dogs, as of late, that have fear and anxiety problems.

Please share this with your friends so that they can learn how to raise a mentally healthy puppy.

Unfortunately that has been an extreme up surge in the amount of anxiety and fear in the lives of our pet dogs.

20 years ago, it was rare to see a dog ripping his fur out, hiding in the closet all day, lashing out in extreme aggression, or completely shutting dog from fear and panic.

Just last night we had an emaciated young Pit Bull come into the clinic where I work, who was too terrified to even walk by herself.

Thankfully she had been found and adopted by a loving family, but her life and her learning curve is going to probably be a slow creep forward toward normalcy.

I blame technology for a lot of ills in our society.

I blame it for children getting more wild, breaking more laws, and basically being ignored by their parents.

I blame it for children being unable to sit still and just deal with boredom on occasion, like I did when I was a kid.  It seems that now, children are constantly over stimulated from the time they wake up in the morning until the time they go to bed at night and I fear for our society.

I also think it is to blame for the severe lack of any kind of socialization in our dogs.

After all, how many adults, young adults, or kids want to go home and take their puppy out to a training class or on a long walk through the neighborhood, rather than playing a video game, watching TV or playing on social media.

When I was a kid, I watched some TV (I am about to seriously date myself here) but there were only a few basic stations ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS and TV was only new in the fall and had many a rerun!  Summer was nothing but reruns of fall TV.

We had to find other things to do with our time and there were no computers and few video games.

I liked spending time walking my puppy and training her.

This interaction helped to teach her about her world.

Learning about your world, early on, is crucial to a normal development. Two cute labrador puppies

Imagine for a Moment

Imagine for a moment we trade the average life of a puppy to that of an infant and toddler.

You bring the toddler home, stick him in his playpen and take care of just his basic needs.

You don’t really teach him, you don’t socialize him, you don’t even really bond to him; you just feed him and clean him.

Now, I realize this is child abuse.

And, many people will say that children and puppies are different and I would agree.

A child infant would probably have severe failure to thrive.

Puppies are certainly more resilient, but that doesn’t make the treatment fair.

There are children like this on record.  Children who were locked up and only fed, watered and a few of the basics cared for (again severe child abuse) and they had severe difficulty learning to live in our world.

The same is often true of these puppies.

Learning, developing mental acuity, and socializing with the environment, people and other animals.  I also think that young puppies are more likely generalize when they are young.

Generalizations are usually good, unless something terrible happens.

Socialization probably doesn’t mean what you think it means either. For more on that, read this https://thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/socializing-play-interaction/

Older dogs and older children and people are less likely to generalize that if a few people are good; all people are good.

Instead they are more likely deal with each situation defensively and on an individual basis.  And, defensively isn’t the greatest way to live a happy life.

Puppies need to be taken out often and allowed to explore the world and their environment, especially the kind of world and environment we expect them to live in when they are adults.

Meaning, if you want to take your dog to the ball park to watch your kid play baseball or football, you should be exposing him to these things while he is young and while he can develop a normal and healthy experience at a place with yelling and cheering and the crack of a ball.

Taking an un-socialized older dog and expecting him to just deal with that kind of sound and distraction can lead to possible panic attacks and/or even aggression.

Just like taking a teenager out to a mall, who had never been out of the house or shed, would be traumatic, right?

Early controlled socialization with lots of exposure and obedience is key to your dog not developing anxiety and fear.

Do You Want To Learn How To Avoid Dog Anxiety and Fear?

Check out our 5 Step Formula that helps FINALLY Fixing Your Dog’s Fears, Anxieties & Poor Self Confidence.

Click here to learn this ‘Becoming Fear Free’ training process

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  1. Haley says:

    I have a 9 month old puppy and we go for walks everyday to the park and he plays with other dogs everyday. He loves other dogs and is very gentle with them but when it comes to other people he is super shy, puts his tail down and hides beside me. Once he has seen the person a few times he loves them and will go up to them for a pet. He is just very shy and almost scared of other people that he does not know or in crowds of people he does not do well. Is there any tips on how I can fix this? It’s not like he is not a well socialized dog he is just scared of people.


    Minette Reply:

    I would work on getting his eye contact and focus http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/eye-contact-focus-behavior-broken/


  2. Roxanne says:

    I have a puppy that is terrified of riding in the car. She has gotten to the point that she doesn’t even want to got through the laundry room into the garage because she knows we are going on a ride in the car. If I get my keys she runs and hides. Once in the car she salivates extensively and sometimes throws up at the end of the ride. She is extremely shy and hides behind me when we are around other people, or she runs and hides under the kitchen table or behind a chair if I have people over. She is wonderful with me one on one and is outgoing and playful and a lot of fun, but when it comes to the car and strangers she acts terrified. Before I got her she was socialized with other puppies and adult dogs with no negative encounters and had positive experiences in the vet. I was told that she did salivate in the car though. I’ve been told she will outgrow this behavior but it is causing me a great deal of anxiety and I think she is beginning to see that I am getting more and more frustrated with it. The biggest problem in getting into the car. I now have to pick her up and carry her to the car and then it’s salivating, shaking and sometimes throwing up. HELP!


    Minette Reply:

    We have several articles on car or motion sickness, use the search bar at the top of the page to find them.


  3. I have a 6 week old small Morkie. I noticed most of your training is with dogs at 12 weeks or older. What type of training do I need for a puppy at this age?


    Minette Reply:

    6 week old puppies should be with their mother and littermates learning important behaviors humans can’t teach them.


  4. Jennifer Brenza Stuck says:

    I have a 15w old Bernese Mtn puppy and she a sweet and loving puppy. The thing we have noticed is she has a fear of the water when being bathed. Absolutely panics! Right now I’m now having her stand in an inch of water in the tub a couple of times and watching my boys in the bath having fun. Any other suggestions on ways to ease her anxieties?


  5. Donna says:

    I have a 4 year old hound mix that I believe has fear agression. Usually directed towards males. He was dropped by 3 adopters and I want to help him. Once he calms down he is fine. It is upon initial entry/meeting I muzzle and keep on leash until he’s calmed down to feel safe. 15/20 minutes.


  6. Minette says:

    Actually, a vet should tell you, as disease kills puppies 🙂


  7. Diana says:

    We have an 8.5 year old chocolate lab, who cries a high pitch panic type cry on car rides. She rarely lays down, never sleeps, pants for hours & salivates. We’ve tried the Thunder Shirt, a mothers hormone collar, Rescue Remedy for dogs, calming treats, Benedryl & finally Xanax. Nothing helps. Even combinations of some of those things. We feel like were torchering her. What should we do?


    Minette Reply:

    Search are articles using the search bar for car sickness for more ideas.


  8. Maria says:

    I have a black lab. She is 2 or 3 months old. She chews on everything can’t get her to calm down. I have her inside with a gate between the doggie door n living room. She is too big So I’m thinking of living her outside. As soon as I go out she jumps on me. I have try to teach her not to jump on me or people. Help


  9. Angela says:

    I have a 6 year old mix Australian corgi we rescued last year. At first she was afraid of nothing and now she is very afraid of big trucks and any load noises. Any ideas on how to help her?


    Minette Reply:

    As bad as it sounds, I try to expose them to as much sounds as possible. Noises are an opportunity to earn food


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