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to Help Your Fearful Dog
A dog who is bottom-of-the-barrel fearful is like a feral cat on leash. This dog clearly wants to bolt and flee with no idea of where he or she is heading. This is the dog who needs us the MOST.
FEAR FROM ...
- Home Alone
- Strange People
- Other Dogs
- Loud Sounds
- Trash Trucks
... and More
"I thought that my lovely little Golden Retriever 'Goldie Hawn' was afraid of her water bowl and of leaving our apartment, plus was having a tough time adjusting to the hustle of cars and so many other dogs after we moved to a busy apartment from the country. With the water bowl, she would take a sip and then jump back away from the bowl. My partner and I tried all types of bowls but couldn't find one that worked for her. With other dogs and cars and people on the walk, she was very jumpy and skittish. I was so stressed for my poor girl.
Lyndy came over and set the world back in order for us and our girl. She wasn't afraid of the bowl at all, she was slipping on the wood floor and having to catch herself. Lyndy quite simply placed a throw rug at the water bowl to solve that dilemna and another in the exit hallway to solve Goldie's worry about getting to the door. So simple, but we had no idea!
Once out on the walk, Lyndy handled Goldie on leash and showed me how my girl could relax. It was not my Goldie who was nervous but me, and I was feeding my energy to Goldie. I couldn't believe when she took Goldie to the informal dog park across the street and coached Goldie into lovely social play, it brought happy tears to my eyes. I started understanding who my girl really was, plus how me flooding her with my tense worries affected her. With Lyndy, she relaxed and was so beautiful frollicking with the other dogs and chasing balls. A big AHA. The issues, all of them, were us, not Goldie.
Lyndy is providing some dog park excursions to help teach us how to read Goldie and other dogs. She even has planned an off leash hike to show me how Goldie follows a calm assertive leader. I am so happy we found Lyndy. Otherwise my girl would be shuffled in and out to poo and pee only, I had no idea how social and playful she wanted to be! I am so very thankful for Lyndy. She's going to make a big difference in our lives!" - Kevin P., Domain area, Austin
SCENT controls 2/3rds of a dog's brain (SIGHT for humans). A dog who spirals up with anxiety can often be redirected to interested curiousity by using an enticing scent (NOT feeding treats). This switches his brain from fight/flight (Defense Drive) to pleasurable sniffing where he naturally relaxes and gathers information. Read recent article:
A dog who develops fear aggression often strikes out because he feels cornered. This dog takes refuge in his Defense Drive instead of staying in his happy friendly Pack Drive. Let us help you learn to block this wrong turn in your pup's brain.
1. Affectionate Reassurance - Holding, Comforting, "It's OK, baby!"
Affectionate talk, touch and eye contact REWARDS a dog's insecurity. It tells a dog, "This is how I want you to be!" which is of course not true.
2. Avoiding the Cause of the Dog's Discomfort and Fear
You steering your dog away from flapping trash can lids and other dogs on the walk wrongly tells dog that he has good reason for grave concern. The same goes for picking up dog when he becomes anxious.
3. Letting Fear Escalate Instead of Blocking and Disagreeing With
You need to communicate "I disagree with what you are thinking and feeling" using a strategy of prevention instead of later intervention. If you do not communicate to the dog in a way he understands, he will never learn to cope using curious relaxation instead of fearful panic.
4. Ignoring Early Fear Warning Signs and Letting Fear Snowball
Being overly shy and submissive, always tailgating you, and rolling over to meet others are all signs that your dog needs leadership help.
THE IDEA is to expose a feaful dog to the things he fears in small doses with baby steps. This gives him the opportunity to learn to gradually cope, experience successes and build confidence. We first earn trust as we lead this dog into enjoying our world.
Our forte is helping fearful, anxious dogs achieve calm confidence and relaxation. We mentor you with customized plans which are developed to help your individual dog change bad reaction habits and learn to confidently enjoy stable balance, living comfortably in his own skin.
Many dogs live in a constant state of whining and high strung skittish anxiety. Others go there with the slightest provocation For these dogs, being "happy-go-lucky" is sadly an unknown joy. They are locked in distrustful minds and defensive beings contrary to nature.