Nervous and fearful dogs

Does your dog…

  • Cower behind you or back off rapidly?
  • Tentatively approach dogs/people/new things and only when they are not being looked at?
  • Bark and lunge when dogs/people/animals etc approach?
  • Act quiet and still but stare at the thing they are scared of, then explode in a frenzy of barking and snapping?
  • Go crazy when another dog looks at them?
  • Even bite or attack other dogs or act this way towards people?

These can all be seen signs of (over) reactivity and inability to cope and it is vital that you know how to work with this dog to help manage and address their behaviour…

Its ok – just keep making them do it…
The ‘traditional’ approach has always been to keep exposing the dog to something it is afraid of, based on the theory that eventually it will ‘get over it’.  Or to distract them and hope they don’t look at the thing they are afraid of…

Long term this doesn’t address the problem – you need to change how your dog emotionally feels about the trigger situation to impact on their behaviour. There is NO quick fix involved! We don’t use advice or recommend tools to ‘hide’ the behaviour as these result in increased stress and frequently an escalation of the behaviour in the longer term.

There is science behind this – dogs have a mammalian brain (like humans) which responds in the same way to stress. Think about if you feel really angry, scared, shocked, upset…. You dont think about how to behave or react. You just react. This is your brain responding to changes in chemistry. You have no control over this. It just happens and its no different for dogs.

What do we offer ?
We have several different options, depending on the severity of your dog’s anxiety and stress:

Stage based space in an evening class
Reactive dogs class – only 3 dogs in the class
1 to 1 session
Get in touch and we can talk through how best to help you and your dog