Romanian Rescue Dog Trainer Edinburgh – 6 Professional Tips to Help A Scared Dog
You’ve adopted your rescue dog and soon discovered they are scared or fearful. It’s a tough time because you want to do what’s right but aren’t sure where to start. This guide will help you with what to do next. I’m a professional Rescue Dog Trainer and I’m here to help you and your fearful dog.
I can help today! Begin by clicking HERE to gain access to my schedule so if you want to, you can book in a FREE 30min telephone chat. Or Send me a message for me to begin to help your dog, plus read all of my professional doggy FAQs. I’m here to listen and advise.
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1. Recognise that the dog is fearful
The first step is, of course, to recognize your dog is fearful in the first place.
In case you’re not 100% sure your dog is scared then these are body language signs to look out for.
First of all, there are a lot of signs of fear, anxiety and stress in dogs. Key things to look for include a tail that tucks underneath their body, ears pinned back and flat to their head, lip licking out of context, whale eye aka wide eyes showing the whites of the eyes, looking away from the fear/scary thing, trembling or shaking when not cold, a lowered body position, yawning when not tired, panting when not hot, self – grooming aka licking and cleaning, sniffing away from the source of the fear, looking for comfort from you as their human, hiding away, not moving aka stiff or frozen posture, urinating and defecating.
2. Help your dog feel safe
Your first priority with your fearful dog is to help him feel safe. That will look different depending on what the issue is. For example, if your dog needs their own space like a crate, so they can choose to go in if they don’t want to be around any strangers in your home.
Maybe it means telling strangers they can’t pet your dog because your dog is fearful of humans they don’t know well. It means devising a slow and gradual plan to help your dog learn not to be afraid.
Romanian Rescue Dog Trainer Edinburgh
3. Don’t punish your dog
Punishing your dog for reacting to something they find scary will not help your dog or you. You will be likely to do more harm to your dog and the risk is your dog may become more fearful or even become afraid of you. This is why positive reinforcement is the best way to train and help them create positive associations.
If there are behaviours you want to change, concentrate on using positive reinforcement to train your dog what you would like them to do instead. Use training treats your dog loves and do lots of repetitions of the training.
4. Comfort your dog
You can’t reinforce fear by offering comfort to your dog if they need it. Not all dogs do like to have close contract comfort, some dogs prefer to run and hide in their safe space. Some dogs will approach their human to ask for comfort and protection.
Talk to your dog in a calm, soft and friendly voice, this is the best way to support them. Even if they don’t want cuddles you can still talk to them.
5. Don’t force your dog.
Forcing your dog to face their fear and deal with it will most likely backfire and cause your dog to become even more scared of their fear and you too.
Dogs can easily turn to aggression to make the fearful thing go away and may redirect that aggression onto you. Your dog may panic or become ‘shut down’ where they offer no reaction at all to their fear.
Remember, your goal should always be to ensure your dog feels safe. Instead of forcing the dog to face their fears, work out a plan to help them not be afraid.
6. Ask for Professional Help
Don’t be embarrassed to seek help. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will make progress. It’s important to choose dog trainers with care, ensure you seek out a Rewards Based Trainer who will use the right methods to teach you and your dog.
Helping a dog to become confident around fears is a long term way of living and training with your dog. As with all dog training, there is no quick fix here.
If you need help and support reach out now.
Anxiety and Nervous Rescue Dog Training in Leith
If you have an anxious or nervous Romainian Rescue Dog you need help with Contact me today.
Read more of my FREE blogs for help and advice.
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Rescue Dog Training – Stray Dog Advice from Overseas Holidays