Are you struggling with your fearful dog? We understand the stress this causes. We want to help both you and your dog to feel relaxed.
Training takes much time and commitment to help a Fearful Dog. Middlefield is near Garrettsville which is where Bella lives. She is a dog that has been fearful when new people come into the home.
We worked often with Bella to help her become more calm and happy around new people. We can help you too, with your fearful dog. Middlefield and surrounding areas is where we serve.
Here are some tips for dealing with a fearful dog. Middlefield owners will see success if they follow these guidelines. These tips work best for dogs that are feeling fear around new visitors in the home.
1.) Go at your dog’s pace. It is easy to push your goal of wanting your dog to be comfortable around other people.
You will get better results, if you focus on how comfortable your dog is feeling. If your dog is comfortable you can proceed forward to the next step.
If your dog is still stressed it is not time to progress forward. Instead continue training at the current step.
2.) Stay positive. Focus your mind on successes rather than dwelling on the negative. Journaling your progress can help with that.
3.) Honor yourself when you are frustrated by taking breaks. Emotions are normal. However, it is not time to train your dog when you are highly emotional.
Instead, do some self-care with yourself first. Proceed forward when you are more grounded.
4.) Make the training positive for your dog. Counter conditioning seems to work well for a fearful dog. Middlefield owners can pair the scary person with food.
The visitor can toss treats under hand toward your dog to make it positive. Do NOT have the visitor encourage your dog to move toward him / her, but instead have them toss the treats toward or behind your dog.
5.) Learn to read dog behavior so you know when your dog is stressed and when he is relaxed. This takes time and effort.
Spend time learning this. This will make or break your success. Keep your dog close to the relaxed state when you are doing training.
6.) Use systematic desensitization. This means that your dog is far away from the stimulus at first and then is gradually moved closer as he becomes more comfortable. You will use this with the counter conditioning stated above.
7.) Do training set-ups. It is easy to just train your dog when visitors randomly stop by. You are then unprepared and not present to do training.
Instead, set up training sessions so that you and your dog are ready for the visitor. Ask someone to come over, for example, at 2:00 PM on Sunday so are ready to go.
8.) Be prepared for sudden visitors. If a sudden visitor arrives, unpredictably, decide if you can do the training steps above successfully. This means that your dog will remain calm the entire time your visitor is over.
You will do systematic desensitization and counter conditioning. If you cannot do this, then, it is best to use management.
9.) Management is key to success. When you cannot train your dog, manage the behavior so that your dog doesn’t get stressed.
You can keep your dog away from the visitor by putting your dog behind a closed door. Turn on some relaxing music and give your dog a Kong to chew on.
10.) Above all, if you are struggling with your fearful dog. Middlefield has Four Legged Scholars LLC. We will help you with your dog training professionally and successfully by personally coming to your home.
Johanna Teresi, Middlefield Dog Trainer, Four Legged Scholars LLC – Fearful Dog – Middlefield