Tips To Cure A Dog Phobia – Part 2 of 2

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

 

In an earlier article we discussed three approaches that can be used to rid a dog of his irrational fear or phobia.  Here are three more measures which experience has shown to be very helpful in achieving this aim.

 

1       When your dog receives a bad fright, which could be caused by a loud noise such as a car backfiring, or by the sight of an object which induces fear, give him an encouraging smile and some reassuring words of support.  Your intention is to let him know that you are not afraid or concerned by this situation and neither should he be afraid or even worried about it.  This approach is designed to help him gain confidence and realise that he is not alone with his fear and that you, his leader and trusted companion, have the situation under control.

 

2       A good way to take his mind off one thing is to engage his attention with something else.  When a terrifying situation occurs, immediately remove him from the source of his fear, spend some time playing with him, and then begin a training session with him.  It would be a good move to pick a task or skill he enjoys and is good at and reinforce this skill in order to restore his calm and rebuild his self confidence.

 

3       Adopt a calming technique which works with humans who are feeling stressed.  It is a well established fact that listening to soft peaceful music has a very calming and soothing effect on humans.  Try this approach with your dog and play the music quietly, but within ear shot, while you play with him.  Next, record the sound of whatever it is that he finds terrifying, such as the sound of a noisy machine within the house, or the sound of thunder in a storm, and play this sound quietly in the background while you play and have fun with him.  Gradually increase the volume so that he adjusts to it slowly.  Over time he will ignore the sound which once terrified him.

 

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