Fearful Dog Tips

Fearful DogFearful dog behavior can be quite a challenge to live with and witness. It’s both frustrating and heartbreaking to watch a fearful dog navigate a world populated with scary sights and sounds. Our hearts go out to these poor shy creatures that are often even afraid of their own shadow. But what to do? How does one go about making a shy dog more comfortable in her environment? Is it okay to comfort your dog when he’s feeling nervous? Should you ignore the behavior?

 

In this interview, dog trainer Amy Cook answers these questions and provides empathic insight into life with a shy canine. Amy is a shy dog specialist who is also working towards her doctorate in Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley with a focus on the human/canine relationship. She is also the owner and moderator of the Shy-K9s Yahoo Group, which is an excellent resource for people who are dealing with fearful dogs.

 

In this interview, Amy and I chat about the origin of shyness, what defines it, the trial and tribulations of living with a shy dog, and how to best address shyness or fear from a behavioral standpoint.

 

Is a shy dog born or made?

 

What are the chances that a shy dog will make a full recovery and overcome her fears, and to what degree?

 

How do you integrate a shy dog into your home and how do you build trust in your relationship with your fearful dog?

 

Most importantly Amy wants everyone to know that it is not really possible to reinforce fear and make it worse. Fear is an emotion and emotions cannot be so easily manipulated or contrived operantly. A frightened dog deserves comfort and a safe place to hide and peek while you do your best to resolve the issue via classical conditioning and training, which will take some time, patience, and understanding.

 

Please listen to the podcast below to hear Amy answer the questions above and more. If you’d like to learn more about fearful dog behavior and training, or have a shy canine and would like to reach Amy directly please join the Shy-K9s group on Yahoo.

 

 

2 comments
JessicaSala
JessicaSala

This is a great post!  Thank you so much for the insight!  I have a dog that is scared of everything and anything and this really gave me a deeper idea of what is going through his head! 

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  1. […] week, Amy talks with Animal Cafe host Kelly Gorman Dunbar about fearful dogs and offers some of her best tips. Amy is the moderator and leader of the Shy K9s Yahoo group. She is no stranger to fearful dogs and […]

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