Helping a Fearful Chiweenie Get Over Her Fear of Unknown Men

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 24, 2018

For this Omaha dog training session, we helped 2 year old Chiweenie Frankie (Right) get over his fear of meeting new men and stop 1 year-old English Lab Vinny (Left) from pulling on the leash.

Both dogs showed some reservation when I arrived for the session, but Frankie was dramatically worse. He stayed far away, barking in protest at my presence.

I sat down with the guardians and we discussed some of the common mistakes people make when trying to help a fearful dog. Adding rules and structure, not reinforcing bad behaviors, increasing exercise and petting to reward desired behaviors will all help Frankie stop feeling so fearful around new people.

As we were discussing these dog behavior tips, I started leaving high value treats in strategic places. My goal was to entice this scared dog to move towards me in the capacity he was able to. At first, just leaning in my direction to lick up the treat. Then taking one step towards me, then two, then three. Each time Frankie licked up the treat, he leaned quite a bit to limit his proximity to me. But each time he came, got the treat, then moved away without me trying to pet, entire or talk to him, I was building up trust credit in this anxious dog’s eyes.

Eventually I had Frankie coming over to take treats out of my hand and lingering after instead of running away. It took time, lots of treats and even more patience, but by giving Frankie space and time to process things on his own time frame, we made considerable progress.

I pulled out my phone and handed it to the guardian so I could summarize the dog behavior steps I took along with tips to help a dog get over a fear of meeting new people.

One of the most rewarding things I experience as a dog behavior expert is helping a fearful dog learn to stop fearing people and gain enough confidence to move past their fears. Seeing how Frankie’s body language changed in this three hour in home dog training session was so invigorating.

Now that the guardians know what to do and not to do, they can help the dog get over its fear of meeting new males. Stopping a dog from fearing unknown men is all about building up positive experiences. It will take time and practice, and lots of really tasty treats, but based on how well Frankie responded in today’s session, Im very optimistic that he can make a full recovery.

To help the guardians remember all the dog behavior secrets I shared in this session, we shot a roadmap to success video.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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