Fear is a normal emotion that causes dogs to respond to what they see as a threat. Some of these things can be certain people, other dogs, strange objects as well as many other normal things in their lives. Why are dogs scared of certain people and things? Below are just a few reasons…
What exactly is a reward all about? As affection and attention are forms of reward in the canine world just as food is. When we see dogs who have fears issues and watch what is going on very closely, the fearful response is often rewarded with praises. Of course, the owners of these dogs do not consciously try to make their dogs more fearful by reminding to dogs that they need training with the dog mentality. Know what to do when your dog shows signs of fear is crucial to avoid rewarding the behavior.
In most cases, you just have one chance to expose and socialize your puppy. We always say this: “You can teach your dog to come and stay at any time, but you can’t go back in time and socialize your puppy.” This is where the socialization process comes in and should be started well before the age of about 17 weeks.
The more places, people and other well-loved dogs that you can expose to your dog, the better. Many dog-to-dog aggression problems are based in fear related to inappropriate socialization or bad experiences, and in turn, they become defensive or learn an inappropriate behavior.
Underlying medical conditions may arise if you have a middle-aged dog that shows a small increase in fearful or aggressive behaviors. Hyperthyroidism, neck and back pain, joint problems are just a few possible causes of fearful behavior in dogs. IMPORTANT: Consult your vet to rule some of these out.