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5 Dog Phobias and How to work with Them

A phobia or fear (a term used in clinical psychology) is a type of anxiety disorder, defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which a person tries to avoid. Like people same dogs may develop different types of phobias and fears in throughout their lives. They can develop fears when they are little puppies or they may exhibit fear of their owners. Here we have five types of common phobias that your dog may face and what can you do in order to help him.

#1- Loud Noises (thunders, storms, fireworks, etc.)

A thunderstorm rolls in and owners try to calm their dogs. Unfortunately, by doing that they are actually reinforcing the panic. A dog that is getting patted is receiving praise for being in a fear stage. The dog will probably assume that he should responde in the same way to all the loud noises. In order to stop this we have some good ways.

  • Stop the coddling! The dog needs to understand that this is not the appropriate respond to have.
  • You need to be calm and detached. Do not show signs of fear or any other reaction.
  • Redirect your dog’s fear in a positive manner
  • During a loud noise feed him with his favorite treat or play with him a game in order to get his mind thinking that loud noises are not so bad
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#2- Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is very common for dogs. There are many dogs that do not like being away from their owners. There are cases in which dogs chew through walls, broke doors with their head causing bodily injuries. How you can prevent this?

  • Have 10 minutes of fetch in the yard
  • Have a 20 minute walk
  • Leave the radio or the TV open during you are missing for company. Some dogs like to hear voices or calming music.
  • If these are no helping then seek for help to a qualified dog trainer that is expert on behavioral issues.
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#3- Car Rides

The most common connection to a car ride phobia is the unpleasant destination.  For example, if you are planning to go to the vet, he probably will have anxiety of not wanting to get in the car. For a rescue dog, there is the fear that getting in the car might separate them from their pack. What can you do?

  • Try to make the car outings a positive experience
  • Put a soft blanket to rest
  • Give him some good  traits
  • Make the destination positive place

#4- Hats & sunglasses

Dogs are people decoders. If a dog does not like someone, there is a reason why he doesn’t. Someone who is approaching wearing a hat and sunglasses are not to be trusted and some dogs usually react by barging, lunging and nipping. If the person wants to interact with the dog you should ask him take off his hat and his sunglasses. Most of the times he will calm himself and decide if he wants to interact or not with the person.

What do you think?

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