The Most Fearful Dog I Have Ever Seen

I have been a professional dog trainer for going on three decades and I must say this had to be the most fearful dog I had ever seen.  I had a client call asking for help with her 3-year-old German Shepherd that was so fearful if a stranger came in the same room it would urinate or defecate or both out of fear.  In this article I want to tell you how we were able to get this dog to change its attitude.

On my first visit to the home, the evaluation that I was about to perform needed to be conducted outside with me at a distance.  I found this dog to be very fearful.  I had never seen a dog with this severe of an anxiety problem before.  If I tried to approach but not get to close the dog would start to growl but as I came closer he would retreat behind the owner.

This dog was so fearful of everything that the owners were never able to go on walks.  I found out that the dog had absolutely no training.  The owner’s goal for the dog at this point was really simple, she just wanted to have a dog that does not go crazy when someone comes into their home.  I wondered if this dog would ever trust a stranger enough to approach it.

As the training progressed for the next four weeks this dog made tremendous, unbelievable progress.  If you remember this dog would urinate or defecate when a stranger entered a room.  Not anymore!  In fact recently the dog and the couple that own it spent the week-end in a 2 bedroom cabin with 2 other couples.  The dog isn’t perfect but was able to move around and allow the other people to move about freely as well.

The dog is now going for long walks and can walk past strangers, cars and other dogs without going crazy.  This was not possible before.

The problem with this dog was that since it showed fear the owner simply kept it away from everybody and anything that could cause it anxiety.  I find this same problem quite often when pet owners allow a dog to do what it wants rather than train and teach the dog to do what is best for it.

This dog had no training, but now it can sit, down, sit stay, down stay and it even heels nicely.  To make it simple this dog is now a trained dog and the owner has become the pack leader.  The dog now trusts the pack leader and understands what the owner expects from it.

To avoid a problem like this be sure to start your dogs training earlySocialize your dog with people, children, other dogs and of course take it to strange new places.

Please remember that “a trained dog is a happy dog… and a confident dog is even happier!”

Mark Mansfield

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