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In previous articles, I discussed common causes of fearfulness and emphasized the importance of appropriately managing fearful dogs. In this article, I will discuss fearfulness towards humans, as it is the phobia most likely to result in bites and legal problems.
This article covers:
Raising and training dogs in Denver, Colorado, in 2012 is a far cry from what it was when I was a child in West Virginia in the late 60's through the mid-80's. For the most part, the changes have been for the better. Here are a few quick comparisons:
Then: Dogs lived most of their lives chained to dog-houses in the back yard. Hunting dogs were kept in kennels down by the woods. Because they lived outdoors, nobody knew dogs could have gas.
Now: Most dogs are indoor dogs. My bird dog sleeps on my bed. My coonhound sleeps on the floor on my side of the bed; he farts constantly.
In my last article, I discussed how fearfulness in dogs can be caused by genetics, mistreatment, trauma, poor socialization, medical issues, or immersion into traumatic situations. Now, let's discuss the importance of (and ways to) manage your fearful dog, including:
I just read an interesting article about the discovery of paleolithic dogs being buried with their (chewy) bones. Archeologists theorize the dogs may have been used for pulling heavy objects, such as mammoth carcasses.
In this four-part series, we will examine the nature of fearfulness and discuss appropriate ways to manage fearful dogs and help them cope with their phobias. To start the series, let's look at why dogs may become fearful.
Breed: Lhasa Apso
Age: 3 Yrs
Jody currently lives in a home with two very caring people and two other Lhasa Apsos. He has developed severe canine rivalry towards one of the other dogs in his home. And for some very valid reasons, the owners (who are very kind-hearted people) are just not able to continue working with him and providing the level of management Jody requires.
Jody is a very affectionate and playful dog, but he has learned to bite (people and dogs) when he doesn't get his way, and so he is a liability issue if not properly managed.
Years ago, a mentor told me the best way to learn is to teach. Teaching (both the preparation and the interaction) has a way of triggering creativity and pushing us towards insight. I occasionally experience the reality of this when I conduct in-home dog training sessions in Denver, Colorado.
When someone has a very problematic dog, I (the dog trainer) am usually the last person to know. But when I finally do hear about it, I encounter a lot of human frustration: someone at their wits' end because their dog has destroyed an expensive sofa, shredded a mattress, or uninstalled some linoleum; or someone who is feeling angry and betrayed because their dog bit them or a family member.
"What if somebody asks to pet my dog?" It is a question I often get from clients with fearful dogs.