Fears and Phobias in dogs

What is the cause of phobias in dogs?

It is a common issue for phobias in dogs to manifest from noises of thunder, vacuum cleaner, fireworks, guns and bird scarers. We seem to think as humans that a dog is like us and automatically knows what the noise is, unfortunately it doesn’t which means our dogs do not understand it and become scared of it.

Dogs need for leadership in their pack is extremely ingrained as the leader takes control of everything. They calmly keep the pack safe at all times even at times when unusual things are happening like loud noises. So this is where we need to act in a way that can help our dog deal and react in a certain situation.

There are many training techniques and products on the market which can help dogs with this particular issue

The biggest sellers at the moment are the plug-in devices and sprays. These products emit a natural pheromone (the smell of their mother) which can calm a stressed and nervous dog. These products do work well for some but not all dogs and in my experience they seem to work better on young dogs rather than dogs that are that little bit older. Products like Pet Remedy however seems to have a better results whatever the age of the dog.

dog chasing tail

Pet Remedy works alongside the brain’s natural ‘messengers’ called neurotransmitters, which work by telling the nerve receiving the message either to calm (via GABA pathway) or get ‘fired up’. In times of stress or anxiety the nerves get over stimulated, which leads on to the many symptoms we see in our stressed pets. The special Pet Remedy blend of essential oils works alongside these natural relaxation pathways to help calm the nerves of anxious or stressed pets. Pet Remedy is low dosage valerian blend and constant slow release, which is very kind and gentle on the metabolism of any mammal.

Now in certain cases of noise phobia a veterinarian may suggest sedatives but this should only be considered as a last resort as this is never going to be a long-term solution for the future. Long term we need to be really looking at desensitisation to enable our dogs to cope with noises without the reliance on products. When we look at a desensitisation program we have to work it gradually. Gradually building up the exposure, making sure we do not have increased anxiety. Moving forward each and every time we expose our dog but stopping at any point your dog starts to get anxious. This will build our dogs confidence and show them there’s no need to panic. 

Panic is a fear response so if your dog paces around, pants or barks during the process of desensitisation you need to step back and break the cycle. This process may take a while, so get yourself prepared to complete the process once you have started with gradual introductions and a step-by-step approach.

Fears and Phobias can develop at any time in a dog’s life, they can be triggered by any outside stimuli and as with any behavioural issue if you are unsure make sure you seek professional advice.

© Canine Coaching