Updated: Mar 9
A fearful dog does not need comforting and definitely does not need the human sharing in that fear. A fearful dog needs a calm, assertive leader. We can't tell our dogs that everything is going to be okay with words, but we can definitely show them with our actions and energy. Stay calm, and don't be afraid
Over 80% of dog bites in the USA result in the miscommunication and misinterpretation of fearful behavior in dogs.
Here are the TOP 3 MISTAKES You May Be Making With Your Dog with Fearful Behavior:
Fearful Dog Barking to The Sky
If you happen to approach a dog and he/she starts pointing towards the sky and barking/howling, you are witnessing a clear sign of fear and shouldn't immediately approach. In translation, this is the dog saying, "Back it up or leave, I'm uncomfortable." A lot of the times this behavior is paired with the dog backing up and creating distance between him/her and the trigger.
A Fearful Dog with Whale Eyes
We also call this the "Side Eye" where the dog is keeping a watchful eye on the trigger. This behavior is actually comparable to what we do as humans when we side eye someone who is acting a little odd and mischievous but we do not want to let them know we are watching them. Use caution when approaching and remain neutral. Eventually the dog will realize you are no threat.
Dogs Approaching From The Rear
For dogs that lack confidence, they often greet another dog/human from the rear. Approaching from the front in dog language indicates a dog with high confidence and sometimes can be interpreted by other dogs as confrontational. This is normal behavior. However, if a dog approaches you from the rear, remain neutral and try not to do exaggerated movements. Let them approach you from behind. If successful, you will find out that you have gained their confidence over time.
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