Dog is man’s best friend, ever friendly and playful, yet at times dogs can become fearful and nervous, but still need to be approached. It’s possible to tell that a dog is scared by observing its body language- a cowering, shivering dog is quite plainly terrified. There are also other signs of uneasiness such as excessive yawning and escape attempts, tail tucked between legs, hiding and aggression. If a dog’s nervousness is not dealt with, or if you turn a blind eye to signs of discomfort, the dog may end up biting you.
If possible and necessary, contact appropriate authorities, who are equipped to deal with a dog which is aggressive, brought on by terror, however, if the situation is such where the dog must be approached, here apply the following rules.
In order to approach a dog, you must appear non-threatening. People are much taller than dogs, towering above them, and appear threatening. Move slowly; do not make very sudden moves to startle the dog. Similarly, don’t get too close straight away, especially if the dog appears aggressive. Firstly, it’s advisable to crouch down or even lie down a little way away from the dog to allow it to become accustomed to your presence. A dog that can see you at its own eye level will feel more comfortable than a dog that sees you only as a towering human. Secondly, it is important not to look the dog in the eye. To a dog, you looking it in the eye is a challenge. Similarly, smiling is not a good thing to do, for showing teeth is a sign of aggression in the dogs mind.
Dogs have been human’s companions for thousands of years, they are intuitive to our emotions, so they will pick up on any irritation or fear you have, which isn’t helpful when trying to teach a dog confidence. It’s important to use a positive and playful tone while interacting with the dog, so as to create a comfortable atmosphere for the dog to overcome its nerves.
It’s important to identify the cause of the dog’s nervousness, for only then can you attempt to help the dog overcome its fear. Nervousness may be caused by certain sounds, strangers or unfamiliar situations. It can also be caused by not being socialized at an early age. To dissipate the dog’s nerves, you must gradually expose the dog to the situation it finds scary and let it learn that there is nothing to fear. Playing will occupy the dogs mind and it will come to associate the particular thing with positive emotions. You must not offer treats or food to the dog, for this will not lessen the fear, indeed the dog may proceed to fear food. This process may take up to months, but will eventually boost the dog’s confidence, so that it may enjoy life to the fullest. Additionally, it’s vital to understand that although your dog must be gradually exposed to that which scares it, you must be thoughtful and careful, and approach this training with moderation. Over exposure will only further the anxiety which the dog experiences and will provide a greater setback. In short, don’t get ahead of yourself and be aware of the dog’s tolerance threshold.
It’s important that not only you, but also those around you help your dog in its healing process. Ask family and friends to approach cautiously and appear less threatening. Also, consider hiring a professional animal trainer, who can pinpoint exactly what triggers your dog’s nervousness and give advice on how to deal with it.
About The Author: Alex Henry is a blogger and the content writer at the official service dog registration of America website which helps you to register your dogs for free.