When a dog shows signs that he is afraid, the pet parents immediately want to find a way to relieve those fears. Often, though, determining the underlying triggers can be challenging, causing significant concern for the animal’s well-being.
When adopting a pup, the desire is to provide a healthy, happy environment where the canine feels safe, secure, and comfortable. Recognizing distress in a pet is equally distressful for the parents.
Fear or nervousness is not an unusual emotion for dogs, even in the most loving of homes. There is a broad range of circumstances that can create this reaction, even for a customarily laid-back pet. Before there is an opportunity to help with the “behavior,” it’s essential to learn the cause and eliminate or do the best to correct the situation.
Recognizing A Dog’s Fear
For some dogs, a fear response is due to situational circumstances, and for others, it is a behavioral cause. But being scared is not uncommon for pups. The important thing is for you to determine the trigger and work to eliminate it or make corrections to ease the animal’s situation. Things to look for if your puppy is showing nervous behavior:
Has The Canine Experienced A Change In His Surroundings
Once a dog becomes comfortable in his surroundings, they do not welcome abrupt changes and won’t handle these well. Moving into a new house after making his current home his own is a significant challenge. A pup does not understand what’s going on or why they have to leave their space.
Environmental happenings can create immense fear, particularly if there’s booming thunder, lightning, or catastrophic weather happenings creating chaos for the family. Not only will the noise of the storms make the pup afraid, but he can sense the family’s nervousness as well, making the canine’s emotions magnified.
Is The Dog Exposed To Noise Or Sounds That Scare Him
Booming sounds are among the most common causes for puppies experiencing fear reactions. A vast majority of dogs will hide when they hear a firework show or if someone is running a vacuum, or even if you live close to a loud construction zone.
Does Puppy Experience Separation Anxiety When Everyone Leaves For The Day
Separation anxiety typically happens when pet parents leave for work. Employment is a mere part of life for humans and heading out each day is second nature.
When adopting a pet, the thought of leaving the animal alone does not come into the equation until the day comes, and the canine cries, barks, and becomes upset at the sight of you walking out. What usually results is destructive behavior until you find your way back home in the evening and you see your shoes torn to bits.
How Does The Canine Feel About Traveling
Not all people like to travel, and some dogs dislike it even more. Again, the animal doesn’t enjoy the thought of leaving its comfortable, familiar home and isn’t sure if you will take him back.
The idea of going in a car or other form of transportation can result in extreme emotion for the pup. The dog might display that he’s afraid through excessive panting, drooling, crying, or even barking.
How To Help A Dog That’s Exhibiting Being Scared
The first step in helping a dog that’s showing signs of being afraid is to assess the situation to determine what could be causing the emotion. You won’t be able to relieve the symptoms if you don’t know what’s triggering them. In most cases, you’ll struggle to eliminate the cause fully. The best you can do is try to remedy the situation in the most beneficial way for the animal.
- Divert Attention: If you can distract the puppy’s attention away from what’s happening onto something that comforts him, it can help to soothe the situation. When moving homes, make sure to have familiar things already there so when he arrives, he can smell “home.” Set the house up in a way that looks comparable, helping pup not feel so overwhelmed when he attempts to learn the landscape.
When the weather is chaotic, let the dog go where he feels safe and put a radio in the room with him playing soft music. The faint sound will help to soothe the animal and distract from the problematic situation around him.
- Stimulate The Mind And Body: Make sure you keep the dog regularly moving so that there is a continual release of endorphins. These help stabilize hormones and boost the canine’s mood, plus tire the fur baby. When you need to leave for the day or go to sleep at night, puppy will want to rest if he’s had adequate exercise.
You also need to ensure plenty of activities to busy the animal’s mind while you’re away. With the stimulation of the brain, there’s less time to be destructive. A Kong filled with peanut butter can use up significant time for a pup.
When you adopt a dog from a shelter, there is the possibility the animal experienced extensive mistreatment leading to a striking fear of people. A dog like this is going to need the utmost patience. Look here for guidance on getting a scared dog to trust you.
When you believe you have gained trust, the pup will go backward into what seems like almost PTSD, and this can happen many times over where you feel like you will never move forward. But with each step, you are progressing. Do not give up on these animals. They need loving people willing to help release those fears and horrors. Be the hero!