Fears in the dog are common and can be very recognizable. Think of fireworks, a loud thunder or perhaps something as general as men or large animals. This can affect his life enormously.
What fears are most common?
Where do they come from?
And how can you best help your dog as an owner?
Read all about the ten biggest dog fears.
Contents of this article
What is the use of fear?
Even the toughest watchdog is afraid of something. Fortunately, because this can save his life. But not all fears are useful.
How does a dog get such a phobia?
Fear plays a role in every animal's life. This is an important emotion, which makes the individual pay more attention to risky factors. Such as not being eaten or injured.
But fear can also lead to dangerous situations. Think of running head over heels for one, so that the animal lands in the middle of another danger. For example, scaring the vacuum cleaner, and then running into the busy street in panic.
So fear has an important function, but can also cause unintended risk. Especially when the fear is unfounded.
How does my dog get anxious?
Fear often comes as an important life lesson for our dog. Often he has had a negative experience with something, as a result of which the brain will warn him extra about this. Beware, we don't want that again!
This can be something as obvious as an accident or attack, but also something stealthier. Maybe your dog fell down the stairs as a puppy? Or was he once pinched mean by a child?
The 10 Biggest Dog Fears
The subject of fear can be different for every dog. By (re) knowing the fear, you can better help a dog to get over this phobia.
What fears are most common in general?
1. Being alone (separation anxiety)
One of the best known fears of our four-legged friends is being alone. Not only is our dog a group animal by nature, he is also made completely dependent on the owner. To be able to defecate, to feed or to drink ..
No wonder our dog would rather see us come than go. Without us, he would have a serious survival problem!
Many dogs express this fear through stress and protest behavior, when the owner has left or left the house. Think of howling, barking, demolition or repeated behaviors such as chasing the tail or polar bears.
Want to know more about separation anxiety? Read it in our article Fear of separation in dogs.
Ah, fireworks. Our annual tradition with old and new, and unfortunately also the weeks around it. Because did you know that a lot of animals get seriously disrupted by this? And we are not just talking about the animals that we have in the house.
Wild nature is also severely affected by the loud bangs and flashes of light. Animals such as birds and roe deer, as well as rabbits and hares, die annually in blind panic from fireworks.
Even our average cat or dog does not like the sudden, loud sound. In fact, the fear can get so bad that the animal no longer dares to go out, stops eating and makes its feces run out. 19659029] 3. Thunder
Flash, boom! In a severe storm, many Fikkies prefer to sit under the couch all night. Where does all that tumult come from?
Especially because of the fear of thunder, this is a completely natural reaction. It is safer for most animals to find shelter when nature is raging. A firm burrow underground is a favorite here.
That's why you often notice it when pets storm when a storm will set in. Often before we realize that the thunder is approaching, your pets will find a safe haven. Better safe, than sorry!
The vet should of course be your dog's best friend. After all, isn't he or she the person who will make your four-legged friend better again if everything goes wrong? But your dog often thinks very differently about this.
Veterinarians are pre-eminently people who come across them when they were feeling bad. And if they felt fine, the vaccination would otherwise hurt quite a bit! What does that annoying person want from me, with all his poking and pulling?
It is striking that men are regularly less appreciated by our four-legged friends than women. Sometimes this has to do with an unpleasant experience, such as abuse. We often see, however, that socialization has not been sufficient.
It is not entirely clear why the fear of men arises precisely for that reason. It may be that the lady of the house has interfered more with the education of the puppy. And the man only let himself be heard when the puppy had peed on the carpet.
It may also be that the low hum of men comes across as somewhat growling or threatening. Women often have a much higher voice, or deliberately put it on to put the dog at ease.
What should that be? Most dogs don't have love at first sight for unfamiliar visitors. They only thaw after they have proven that they do not mean any harm or when the owner says it is good.
But some dogs do not thaw at all. What does that strange lady want? Why is she on my owner? And how do we know that it is not a danger?
Usually the fear of strangers is associated with crawling away or barking, growling and nipping.
Unfortunately, dogs are also often afraid of (young) children. Children are boundless, with a lot of noise and little control. If the contact with the pet is not properly guided by the parents, you have a good chance that your dog will have a bad experience.
Children are so out of control, because their young brain is still trying everything. The motor skills are not yet refined, consequence is not yet linked to cause. So they don't mean it meanly, they just don't know how to do it yet!
But the dog often doesn't understand this and can feel threatened by these out of control whirlwinds in the house. Especially if it causes pain or punishment.
Do you want to know how you can prevent problems between children and dogs? Then read our Family dogs top 10.
8. Car (driving)
Many dogs have to get used to driving a car. It is important that they are given the time to do this and to build positive experiences. For example, they associate the car with something fun, such as a nice walk in the forest or visiting friends.
But at least as often, our four-legged friends don't like driving at all. Didn't we get to the vet by car? In addition, many dogs suffer from motion sickness
9. Climbing stairs
You may be surprised, because what damage can a staircase do to the dog. But many animals are not at all eager to climb the stairs. Not up, but especially not finished!
We humans walk upright when climbing stairs. But your dog is pointing straight down with his nose as he descends the stairs. In addition, the steps are often narrow, smooth and sometimes there are also curves in the whole!
What your four-legged friend often also dislikes is when the steps of the stairs at the back are open. This gives your dog the feeling that he slides easily through it, into the depths. Brrrr, not seen me!
10. Objects or Intangibles
As we said, fear or phobia can vary from one individual to another. One is afraid of the vacuum cleaner, while the other is terrified when he looks his reflection in the eye.
Fears occur in all shapes and sizes. They often have in common that in reality the dog is not really threatened.
But how do you explain that?
How do you help an anxious dog?
Is your dog anxious, it is important that you helps you get through this the right way. Always remain calm and radiate peace. Speak to your four-legged friend kindly and remove him quietly, but steadily from what frightens him.
Taking fear away from a phobia is very difficult. You cannot train a dog if it is too afraid to give you attention. For this you need calmness, in the broadest sense of the word.
Want to know how to calm a fearful dog? Read it now in our article Calming a frightened dog.
Calming is not the same as getting rid of fear. This takes a lot of time and training. In addition, you can easily do something wrong, so that the fear returns or even gets worse. That is why we advise to always seek guidance from an experienced and dog-friendly trainer or behavioral specialist.
How do you prevent phobias in your four-legged friend?
Prevention is better than cure. Of course you don't want your four-legged friend to develop a strong fear of something, which could cause him to lose control of himself. That will only lead to more problems.
Easier said than done. Fortunately,
Fortunately there is quite a lot to avoid as an owner. This starts with a correct and complete socialization. When your dog is guided and systematically comes into contact with all kinds of new things, you have less chance that he will suffer trauma from this.
It is also important that you spend enough time and attention in developing your puppy. to adult dog. Self-confidence and confidence in the owner play an important role in this.