Can a fearful dog be cured?

Will my dog get better? It’s possible! Most fearful dogs gradually improve with time, training, and trust. But they won’t likely become outgoing if they’re naturally nervous or shy.

Fearful dogs can be difficult to manage and can suffer from various anxiety-related issues like barking, destructive behaviors, and general misbehavior. It can be challenging to balance the need for discipline and structure with the need to provide comfort and reassurance to these anxious dogs. But understanding the cause of the fear and learning to recognize the signs of anxiety can be beneficial in helping to manage the behavior and can even help to cure the fear in some cases. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the question of whether a fearful dog can be cured and what owners can do to help their pet feel more secure. We’ll look at the signs and symptoms of fear, potential causes, and discuss the potential of behavior modification and other therapies to help alleviate the fear. We’ll also explore the importance of understanding the individual and unique needs of the dog, as well as the risks and benefits of different treatments.

Recognize that the dog is fearfulThe first step is, of course, to recognize the dog is fearful in the first place. If you know that already, well done for recognizing the signs. Hopefully you will find the following tips helpful. If you aren’t sure, you might like to read

Photo: SebiTian / Shutterstock

Never force your dog to approach something that scares them.

It won’t help, and it might even make things worse, adding another terrifying experience that reinforces your dog’s belief that there is something to be afraid of. Wilde suggests that we let the dog decide whether to approach or flee a potentially frightening situation.

You might be categorized as having poor social skills if you were raised in a small town and only started experiencing panic attacks after relocating to a big city with lots of people of all different kinds and crowds. This means that your current attitude toward strangers as an adult is directly impacted by your lack of (pleasant) exposure to them as a child.

Owners shouldn’t spend too much time trying to figure out what happened in the past because abuse can result in issues with fear. While being aware of the dog’s past can be helpful, it won’t alter the dog’s behavior.

Changes in diet may also yield positive results. Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine research has found a link between behavioral issues and high-performance diets (those high in dietary protein) (5). Check with your vet before making any nutritional changes. Home-cooked “whole food” meals and a decrease in packaged kibble, in my experience, offer some relief.

Dogs trained using harsh methods and shock collars have also been found to have learning deficits. These animals exhibit what can only be described as the canine version of attention deficit disorder (ADD), learned helplessness (dog shuts down), and general difficulties picking up new skills, problem-solving skills, or a reluctance to try out novel behaviors. (4).

The Neurology of FearWhen the brain’s fight-or-flight system is activated, such responses may include hiding or fleeing (flight), or acting more assertively (fight). Two regions of the mammal brain, the amygdala and the hippocampus, control the fight-or-flight mechanism.


How do I fix my fearful dog?

Companion Animal Psychology
  1. Recognize that the dog is fearful. …
  2. Help the dog feel safe. …
  3. Don’t use punishment. …
  4. It’s okay to comfort your dog. …
  5. Don’t force your dog to face their fears. …
  6. Seek professional help. …
  7. Be in it for the long haul. …
  8. Make the most of available resources.

Will my dog be fearful forever?

The good news for dog owners is that they can help their dogs get over their fears. The bad news is that it requires a great deal of effort, endurance, and comprehension. Additionally, it calls for a lot of initiative because these issues rarely get better on their own.

Why is my dog so fearful?

There are many reasons why dogs become fearful. It may result from neglect, abuse, improper socialization with humans and/or other animals, early pressure, physical or emotional pain, any trauma during a crucial stage of puppyhood, etc. Sometimes we know the reasons, but oftentimes we don’t.

How do I help my fearful dog gain confidence?

Give your dog enrichment exercises and relationship-based training to increase his confidence more generally. Your dog can become more confident by being fed through food puzzles and participating in nose work (which, by the way, is enjoyable for both dogs and their people).