Learn to Train and Understand Your Dog
Nature and Scope of Canine Psychology
Understanding Natural Canine Behaviour
Canine Behavioural Development
Canine Behavioural Disorders
Basic Dog Training
Dog Obedience Training
Controlling a Dogs Movement
Training Working Dogs
How Do You Deal with Phobias or Fear in a Dog?
Phobias such as being scared of thunderstorms and noise are a common problem for dogs and sometimes cats. Dogs can display signs of their phobia at the beginning of a storm such as a drop in barometric pressure, lightning and even the smells associated with storms. Signs that an animal has a phobia can include:
- urinating or defecating
- loss of appetite
- trying to escape
- following owner
- ignoring commands
- dilated pupils
If you believe the animal has a real phobia of loud noises, it is best to seek expert veterinary advice to best treat it. Treatments will not always have the same effect on different animals. You may need to try and test a few.
Some treatments include:
- Do not reward or punish the behaviour associated with the phobia.
- Provide medication – there are some homeopathic remedies available. You should consult your local veterinary expert to find out which is the most appropriate for the animal.
- Reduce or mask noise level – noises from fans or air conditioners may block the noise causing the phobia.
- Increase exercise – if you are aware that a storm may be coming or fireworks are scheduled, you can exercise the animal prior to tire them out both mentally and physically.
- Behaviour modification – counter-conditioning, where the animal is taught to display the desired behaviour rather than the instinctive response.
- Desensitisation – The animal’s response to phobia triggers can be decreased by exposing it to increasing levels of the stimulus which causes the response.
Calming a Dog
There are many things that you can do to help calm a dog. For example, nervous dogs are better approached from the side than front on as this can be perceived as a threatening action. There are many situations where a dog may need calming, such as meeting another dog, a visit to a veterinarian or a new visitor to the home. It is suggested that the owner use calming signals to help a dog choose an appropriate behaviour to deal with a stressful situation. Calming signals are those used naturally by dogs to calm themselves when faced with conflict.
These calming signals can include:
- moving slowly with exaggerated movements
- moving in an arc
- turn away
- lip licking
- sitting or lying down
- blinking or averting eyes
By being aware of these signals we can help a dog feel more secure. It is important to reward the use of calming signals by a dog once you have identified them. It is recommended that you reward the most frequently used calming signal by a dog to avoid confusion.
Why do this course?
- Understand dog psychology.
- Learn about behavior.
- Basic training and obedience techniques.
- Deal with dogs behavioral problems.