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Dog is Scared of Everything

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How to break a dog from being scared of everything!

By MShearron from Nashville

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October 11, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

First thing to do is learn a new pet vocabulary that doesn't include the word 'break'. Believe it or not, using words like 'break' in relation to training a pet can set up a mindset that uses fear to train, and since you are hoping to help your dog adjust to things that frighten him, fear is probably going to be counter-productive.

Right then, on to helping your little guy...

Is he a pure-bred dog, and if yes, where did you get him? It's possible that he is the result of poor breeding practices and either has some neurological problems that cause him to 'startle' easily, or he suffered abuse before becoming part of your family.

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Is he a rescue? Even more likely he suffered some abuse.

Have him examined by a good canine vet to be sure he doesn't have physiological problems that can be alleviated with medication, improperly healed fractures or other injuries from past abuse. A canine vet is one who specialises in canine care and should be able to perform an exam that will answer those questions, and will also be able to advise on ways to help your little guy overcome his fears.

One especially successful assist to the process is to provide your dog with a 'safe place' he knows is his alone and is somewhere he can go to take a time out from the upsetting stimuli. Wire crates work well if you place it somewhere there is no household traffic, like a bedroom or study used by his favourite person. Drape a blanket over the crate to create a dark, warm, private spot-he'll instinctively see this as a 'den' and will retreat to it when ever he is needing some physical and emotional space.

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By now you surely have a feel for the things that frighten him-doorbells, loud voices, too many people at one time, pots and pans clanking, etc. Know what upsets him, and remove him to the crate if you are going to be unable to control those stimuli.

Put him in the crate but don't latch the crate, close the door to the room the crate is in-this will give him a sense of control (he can get out of the crate if he wants to) and also help him to trust you that you will protect him from the things that frighten him without 'punishing' him for being afraid by locking him up.

Gradually bring the crate closer to the areas where the frightening events occur. Speak calmly and matter of factly whenever the frightening events occur as you move him to the crate so that he understands you are in control and can protect him from the scary stuff.

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It will take a lot of time and patience on your part, and the part of any household members. But the effort is well worth it. Back in the mid-seventies I rescued a young dog (about four months old at the time) who had been badly abused; it took nearly a year to help her but that hard work on our part (and her's, imagine how hard it is for a dog to confront and overcome fear must be!) paid off.

She lived another 15 years and was a very important member of our family, teaching both my children to walk by patiently permitting them to clutch onto her thick fur and then slowly walking them around the house. She was also bar none the best watch dog we ever had, preventing two burglaries over the 15 years she was with us.

Check your library and the Internet for books on helping a dog overcome debilitating fear, and remember, the word 'break' is no longer a part of your animal companionship vocabulary:)

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October 10, 20120 found this helpful

You will have the most loyal, loving friend. This can be so very rewarding. Calm, loving, noise free, warmth, not shut outside, talked to, held, played with, his/her own toy, buddies, no abandonment. no hurt, good food (no corn wheat or soy) treats, no vaccines ( can be cause of this whole thing) homeopath has inexpensive remedies, check toenails, ears and teeth, most of all, patience and love. It is so gratifying to see something such a mess grow into a loving friend. They may never trust anyone but you and that's OK. That is their comfort zone and you let them become much more wholesome. Truer love you will never have probably because they knew evil before.

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