Dog Fears And Dog Phobias

For convenience, we will refer to your dog as “he” rather than “he or she”.


A number of young dogs, as well as many shy and nervous older ones, have fears and sometimes these develop into irrational dog fears or phobias.  When this happens, seemingly simple everyday situations can lead to sheer panic in your dog.  It may be difficult to predict or anticipate the onset of such an attack of phobia or irrational fear.


In many cases an attack can be induced by a common household sound such as the noise of an electric mixer when making a cake, or the sound of a vacuum cleaner or a washing machine which is suddenly switched on when your dog is close by.  If you know from experience that he is likely to bite anyone who approaches him in such a state, then be careful how you respond.  In your effort to help and sooth him he may return the favour by trying to bite you, when all you are doing is attempting to help him.  Remember that he is not acting in his normal rational manner when he is in such a state.


You need to cure him of his irrational fear, not only for his own sake but for the sanity of everyone else in the house.  Do this by getting him used to the object of his fear, so that he comes to realise that the noise or the object itself will not hurt him.  The recovery process is bound to be gradual, but if you are patient and persistent your efforts will bring success.


There are a number of very helpful training procedures or techniques which you can use to rid your dog of a phobia.  Some of these will be discussed in a future article.  For the moment, take heart from the knowledge that this is a somewhat common problem but successful measures are available to cure a dog of this affliction.


We wish you every training success and years of enjoyment for both you and your dog.