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The bottom line

Dog Anxiety – The bottom line:

Dogs feel “rewarded” for fearful behavior if you pet and praise when the dog is behaving fearfully. Rewarding a behavior increases the likelihood of that behavior occurring more often, even when the individual is not conscious of being rewarded for it. Give rewards when the dog is behaving confidently, calmly, or happily. Work with your dog to develop ways to elicit these behaviors so that you can do so during storms and then reward. This is powerful training that will help you and your dog in all aspects of life.

Punishing or crating an anxious dog is also bad thing to do since they cannot control this anxiety and may well destroy their crates or injure themselves.

You can help your dog overcome fear and prevent anxiety by ignoring anxious behavior and rewarding behavior that you prefer.

Anything that is new or unfamiliar to your dog could pose a threat to his life so it’s normal for a dog to fear the unusual. But some dogs fear common events or things that can’t be prevented; car rides, the groomer, the veterinarian, thunderstorms, family members, water, hats, crowded buildings, other dogs, sirens, children screaming, rollerblades, skateboards, gunshots, bicycles, cars and trucks.

If your dog is genuinely frightened of a specific person, object or event that can be avoided, it’s appropriate to simply avoid it, if at all possible.

Many forms of problem behavior are a result of a dog’s fears. A dog can become anxious if frequently exposed to something he fears. In the home environment, where your dog has you to protect him, this anxiety is unnecessary.

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