in Training & Behaviour // Behaviours & Habits

THE MOST COMMON DOG PHOBIAS & FEARS PLSA002 A
It’s usually sad and can cause stress when dog owners
realise their dog has a fear or phobia. They often don’t
understand the cause and don’t know how to handle the
behaviour that comes with the fear.


 POSSIBLE CAUSES

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HERE IS A LIST OF COMMON THINGS DOGS
CAN BE SCARED OF AND WHY:

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VISITS TO THE VET
Just like many people are not excited about hospital visits, many dogs don’t like visits to the vet. The thought of tests and procedures can be, understandably, unsettling. Imagine a dog’s first visit to a veterinarian clinic or hospital. The experience can be overwhelming in terms of intense smells; hard, cold surfaces; strange noises; and an unfamiliar person handling (or even restraining) them. Also, many vets are not focused on making their environment less stressful. Then, after all these intense experiences, the actual checkup and vaccination still need to happen. One or two traumatic experiences at the vet (even if everything seems OK to you) can lead to a phobia for veterinary clinics and veterinarians. To help treat the phobia, try going to the vet a couple of times without the need for checkups so that the environment also has a non-threatening side.

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SOLITUDE
Solitude, or more ocially, separation anxiety, is a dicult phobia to deal with. It can lead to excessive barking and destructive (amongst other) behaviours as soon as the owner leaves. The first thing you can do when leaving and returning is to not make a fussDon’t say goodbye (don’t even wave) and don’t welcome them with open arms and dialogue when you return. Simply switch to ignore mode until your dog calms down completely before you show affection. Desensitisation can also work. Basically you start by leaving the house for very short periods and gradually increase the time spent away.  Another option: change your behaviour. Don’t follow normal routines before you leave the house, or when you return (if you have specific habits), whether it’s putting on headphones; running around because you’re always late; handing out treats; frantically searching for your keys; slamming the door when you leave, etc. The trick is to be calm and quiet; that is, don’t draw attention to yourself when leaving or returning. This way, stress may be reduced.

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