Is your dog distressed by the storm, the noise of firecrackers or any new situation? In this case, he trembles, drools, barks or destroys ... Very often his ears are facing back, his hair bristling, his pupils dilated ... What if your dog is hyper anxious?
Discover the reasons for the fear in dogs and advice to have a serene animal.
My dog is afraid of everything, why?
The dog develops anxieties in the first days of his life if the education he receives is not appropriate.
The breeder has a decisive role in the balance and the future of the puppy that he entrusts to a family. Because as a conscientious professional, it is up to him to prepare the dog to leave his mother and his siblings. How? 'Or' What ? By offering her all possible sensory experiences and by associating each one with a pleasant experience.
- First, by familiarizing him with the noises of everyday life (vacuum cleaner, radio, storm, firecracker, etc.).
- Then by making him meet children, men, women, the postman, other animals, etc.
- And finally by getting used to the car or being handled for daily care (visit to the vet, bath, cleaning the ears ...).
A puppy becomes anxious deprived of all these stimuli because he finds himself confronted with situations which he does not know. Therefore, he is unable to handle them.
Dogs separated from their mother before the age of 8 weeks develop separation anxiety. And he is sometimes unable to control his aggressiveness when he is afraid. This time is necessary for the dog to teach her autonomy and the rules of living in a group.
Inappropriate behavior of the master:
The ideal age to welcome a puppy is between 8 and 10 weeks. He then loses all his bearings and it is his master who becomes his new referent. As such, it must take over in the pursuit of socialization. The puppy thus continues to discover different situations and places.
The dog does not develop anxiety in a secure environment with very precise rules of life (do not beg at the table, do not bark for a yes or a no, learn to be alone ...).
The rules set are to be applied by all members of the family so as not to generate anxiety. Consistency and regularity are essential for having a Zen dog.
Diseases such as hyperthyroidism or obsessive disorders (OCDs) cause phobias in dogs. Talk to your vet.
My dog is fearful, what solutions?
Installed fears are very difficult to dispel because they are the result of trauma. The right reflexes should therefore be taken as soon as the dog arrives home.
For the puppy:
Socialization is to be continued and deepened.
- Learn to stay alone in a room for a few hours a day, so as not to create a hyper attachment. It leads to separation anxiety. And have it looked after from time to time in a boarding house or by friends.
- Do not overprotect your companion by hugging him at every difficulty. But on the contrary, confront him with his fears by reinforcing all his progress with a reward (treat, toy, caress, etc.).
- In a thunderstorm (or the like), let your dog hide and ignore him. If you try to comfort him, he will sense your anxiety and his fear will increase. Ignoring it, he said to himself: "Well, finally, this noise is not so bad! ".
- Anthropomorphism is absolutely to be banned. Humans and dogs don't have the same needs or the same expectations.
For the adult dog:
The anxieties of the adult dog or the adopted dog are deeply rooted in his memory. And it will always have consequences.
However, consulting a behaviorist is recommended. With his perfect knowledge of canine psychology, he knows how to desensitize a dog from his fears. In canine terms, we speak of dog reconditioning.
Your veterinarian can direct you to synthetic pheromones (soothing) or tranquilizers. In case of a hidden disease, appropriate treatment is prescribed.
Read also: separation anxiety in dogs
A benevolent environment and a life punctuated by rituals (daily walk, meal given at the same time and positive education) soothe anxious dog.