Just like humans, some dogs have fears and are traumatized from events that occurred in their past. Whether the level of fear is minimal or to the point where they are deeply traumatized, how you react to your pet can make all the difference. It can help your pet transform from a scared and confused dog to one that is lively and happy.
Your dog will give you signs when he is scared or petrified of an object or action. He will cower, the ears will go back and the tail will go in between the legs. Another sign is that he will run or back away from an object that is near him. He may also be frightened by people, tremble, cower in the corner, avoid any interaction with humans or be mostly inactive. When you pay attention to when he exhibits these behaviors, you can pinpoint what the source of his fear is.
Avoid Loud Noises or Fast Movements
When a dog is scared of a specific item, moving it quickly can make his fear worse. When a dog is traumatized in general, any fast movements or loud noises could deepen his fear. Keep the noise level to a minimum, move slowly around him and whatever item he is scared of, make sure to keep it away from him.
Sit on the Floor
When you want to be in the presence of a skittish dog, one of the worst things you can do is to tower over him. He may feel intimidated, scared and it could affect how he feels and reacts toward you. Sitting on the floor gets you down to your dog’s level or below it so he can feel more at ease. It also gives him an opportunity to get used to you and approach you when he is ready and does not consider you a threat.
When you go toward a dog, especially one that is scared or traumatized, the worst thing you can do is move toward him as though he is an inanimate object. Never go at a dog with your hand out and over him. Hold your hand low, palm up, and even with his nose. Move slowly and carefully. Hold your hand about two feet from the dog and let him come to you. If he wants to approach you, he will sniff your hand and move toward you. Let him take the lead on the situation.
Love Not Punishment
Screaming at or punishing a dog that reacts out of fear can traumatize him further. Instead, speak in a calm voice and give plenty of reassurance. Providing treats when he reacts to a situation properly, such as when he reacts calmly to new people or an object that usually scares him, is a good way to give positive reinforcement and let him know it is okay.
A dog’s behavior is not going to change overnight. It takes time, understanding and consideration of the dog’s feelings. The more calm and patient you are, the better results you may have.
For more helpful and effective tips on how to calm your dog and how to treat your pet properly, you can check this site out. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to know what’s best for your dog. You should keep their health and safety a top priority.
If your dog exhibits aggressive behavior when he is afraid, it is vital that you get help from an animal behaviorist and not go it alone. It can be a dangerous situation when a dog becomes aggressive as he could hurt himself or others. The sooner you get him help, the better. In addition, if you do everything in your power to help your dog and he does not respond and is still traumatized or scared, consult with the behaviorist as soon as possible.