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How To Help Fearful Dogs

Growing up we learned that scary movies aren’t real, there’s no monster hiding under our bed, and you won’t actually die from eating that strange looking casserole your mom made. Thankfully, we humans learn a lot of life lessons at a young age and our families are there to help us overcome our fears and reassure us that everything is OK. Dogs, however, aren’t always so lucky. Without proper socialization early on, your puppy can become fearful of just about anything they deem “scary” or a threat. While this may seem harmless for a sweet little puppy, this learned behavior tends to escalate into aggression as they get older – and it becomes self-reinforcing.

Was your dog properly socialized?

Most reputable breeders understand the importance of socializing dogs at a young age to prevent fear and anxiety of the “unknown” as they get older. Socializing your puppy doesn’t just mean introducing them to other dogs, but taking them in the car, walking them across carpet, grass, asphalt, shiny linoleum floors (yes, some dogs are afraid of shiny floors!), introducing them to household appliances and the noises they make, taking them to the store, allowing them to meet new people, experience new sights and sounds, the list goes on and on.

Signs of Stress, Anxiety, or Fear

Some signs could be easily dismissed as typical dog behavior, but it’s important to look for the cues that your dog is stressed, anxious, or afraid.

  • Trembling
  • Tucked tail
  • Hiding, or passive escape attempts
  • Anxiety-related licking, or biting themselves
  • Excessive panting (when it’s not warm out), yawning, or lip-licking
  • Flattening ears back against the head
  • Submissive urinating
  • Bark or growl at the person or object

Assertive K-9 Can Help!

Learn how to recognize and treat your dog’s insecurities through a lecture with a Certified Pet Dog Trainer! Assertive K-9’s “Fearful Dog” lecture will give you the tools you need to quickly identify the signs and symptoms of a stressed or frightened dog and how to immediately deescalate the situation.

If you would like to boost your dog’s confidence and improve social interactions, register for this seminar today!

This event has been cancelled.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I’ve owned and trained German shepherds for around 30 years now.
    We have had both show dogs and working dogs. Sadly our DDR Shepherd passed away last summer @ almost 14 years old. His life friend our show line shepherd was so distraught that he passed away (cancer) six weeks later.

    This was like losing two family members.
    But life must go on and now we have ordered a new DDR/working dog pup, soon to be born. From a very reputable breeder in our area.

    I watched your YouTube video that included more socialization than I thought or ever knew was necessary.
    It makes a lot of sense to me.
    Our last DDR was great with friends and even ppl that came to the house, however strange people while on a walk or especially other dogs… he did not demonstrate “good behavior.”
    (and this wasn’t due to any body language etc… he was getting from me.)

    So back to your point, a lack of extensive socialization is likely the cause of this.

    Anyway, my question is: do you offer online classes? We live in Ohio and it would be impossible to attend your classes in CA.


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