The second most common issue I deal with is fearful and/or insecure dogs. Fear usually originates from a lack of exposure and socialization. From there humans get involved and the result can be devastating.
The most common ways humans try to help fearful dogs is with sympathy and affection. Whatever gets affection gets repeated so telling a fearful dog “it’s okay,” in a soft affectionate tone is only telling him it’s okay to be afraid. The other thing we like to do is focus on the story of why they may be fearful. Oh my, Taxi (real dog, true story, read testimonial by Janet Malloy) had been thrown in a lake to drown by a mean man and now he hates people so much he bit the nice man who saved him!
Now the story is true but Taxi’s mind doesn’t work like ours and he has no conscious recollection of his past. The symptoms and associations of his past lingered until I helped him move forward with structure and balance, not affection and sympathy. Sharing the energy of Taxi’s past will keep it in the present. Every time his story is told Taxi feels a sadness in the room, and after a while he would simply associate humans with weakness and continue to be wary of them. The recipe to help fear is the same as for aggression it just needs to be applied with a softer touch. An exercised dog with structure and discipline quickly becomes confident because they no longer have the responsibility of being in charge. It’s like I say during my consultations, “dogs are barely qualified to work in the mail room, yet we make them CEO.”
I will set up the structure and teach you how to bring out the confidence in your dog. Dogs have an amazing ability to move forward from the past but they need our help. It’s not hard but it does take time. I can help no matter how intense or permanent the behaviors may seem. Please call today to free your dog from her mental prison.