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Dog Is Scared of Objects

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How To Stop Your Dog From Being Scared of Objects

Is your dog frightened by the vacuum cleaner, the hair dryer, other household items? To overcome the fear of objects, your dog needs help in learning to view the object differently. Currently when he sees the object it is associated in his mind with bad things - scary or hurtful. For some objects that's okay, but he shouldn't live in fear of neutral or positive objects.

Why Do Dogs Get Scared of Objects?

  • Past Negative Experiences
  • Lack of Positive Experiences

Tips To Stop Dogs From Getting Scared of Objects

  • Identify how far away he can be without getting scared and stay outside that line.
  • Reward him for staying cool.
  • Work to move him closer to the object he is afraid of, in baby steps.

The process of re-teaching these associations is often called "counter-conditioning." As the name implies, the goal is to counter, or change, the connection that exists in your dog's mind. To do this, we must give his new experiences (new connections). While doing that, we encounter a concept known as the "behavioral threshold."

Behavioral threshold is a term that refers to the distance at which your dog can no longer calmly handle the presence of the feared object. When that line is crossed, the frightening aspects of the item become too strong and he will begin to respond with fear instead of indifference. The goal is to reduce and eventually eliminate the distance that she needs to feel safe.

In counter conditioning we are dealing with a dog's emotions, not actions, so the intention is to make those feelings better. Flooding the dog with the stimulus or making him quiet down may well produce satisfactory outward results, but the inner impact may make the problem worse. By recognizing that it is an emotional state, we can work directly with the problem to alleviate it.

To effectively cure the problem, you must identify specifically what it is. Make a list of the specific objects that terrify your dog. For assistance in identifying these objects, please read the article on dog language to see signs of stress in your dog. This will help you to identify what bothers him.

With time and patience, he will learn to see the object in a positive light. Time should be spent with his on basic obedience as well as learning tricks and games. This will give him better structure and increase his confidence.

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