The success of a successful cohabitation between you and your dog depends entirely on your knowledge and understanding of your pet. And knowing your dog is not just knowing by heart what he likes and dislikes. It also means being able to determine or anticipate what scares him.
That’s right! Dogs can also be afraid. Just like us, they have emotions. So, depending on the circumstances, they may feel joy. They may also be stressed or feel anxious. And just like us, they may be afraid of something or someone.
What are dogs afraid of? What are they most afraid of? How do they react to this feeling? Let’s talk about the things that can give our doggie the willies!
The 5 things that can scare dogs in general
The things that scare dogs are not necessarily the same. Some things may scare some dogs and have no effect on others. In reality, the feeling of fear will depend on several factors including the species, age, sex, the circumstances in which he grew up, and his living condition. That said, there are some common sources of fear in all dogs in general.
Dogs are afraid of the noise
According to a recent study conducted by zoopsychologists in Finland, the majority of dogs are very sensitive and therefore afraid of noise. The experiment was carried out on more than 260 dogs of all breeds and concluded that regardless of the breed, age, and sex, a large proportion of them would suffer from noise hypersensitivity.
This explains why the dog is uncomfortable, shows signs of anxiety, and even panic when the storm breaks out. He may also react in the same way when he hears a gunshot.
Dogs are afraid of other dogs
Some dogs may be frightened by other dogs. You can infer that this is the case when he is uncomfortable or when he reacts strangely in the presence of these companions.
Where does this fear come from? Generally, it is due to a deficiency in his education. If he has been weaned and separated from his mother at an early age, or if he has not been in contact with other dogs frequently when he was small, it is possible that he has not developed his social instincts. It is therefore normal for him to consider other dogs as a threat.
Dogs are afraid of humans
Among the main sources of fear of dogs, humans are also regularly found. We are talking here about strangers in particular.
If your dog was abused as a child, or if he was abused by his former owner, he may be afraid of anyone else – other than you. You need to understand that he doesn’t easily trust everyone, even when he’s traumatized. If he shows fear towards other people as a result, this is perfectly normal.
Dogs are afraid of objects
Many dogs can show fear at the sight of an object. Again, trauma is the most plausible source of this fear. It is possible that he may have been mistreated by a particular object before. It is therefore quite natural for him to be afraid if he sees it again, or if he sees something that looks like it or reminds him of it.
Dogs are afraid of the unknown
Almost all dogs are afraid of the unknown. And by “the unknown” we don’t just mean strangers. It is common knowledge that dogs bark and can be aggressive when in the presence of people they don’t know. At times, these may even be people they are not used to.
But you should also be aware that dogs can react negatively when you take them to places they don’t know, or where they are not used to going. It is therefore normal if your companion does not behave normally after a move.
What should you do when your dog is afraid?
If you notice that your dog is afraid, whether, of something or someone, you must above all – keep calm. Don’t panic, nor try to calm him down or soothe him. By doing so, you will make them believe that they are right to be afraid. This will only reinforce the spawning state he is already in. Worse, it may become a bad habit.
Instead of trying to calm him down and reassure him, adopt normal behavior. Pretend that everything is fine, so he won’t value his fears either. You can also try to divert his attention by offering him treats or distracting him with toys. And if he really gets out of control, get him into a room where he feels comfortable and safe.
Most importantly, even if his fear makes him do something stupid, don’t scold him! That won’t help anything. On the contrary, he is already afraid, so your anger will only stress him further.