Fear & Anxious Behaviour
Most dogs who display fearful or anxious behaviour towards people/dogs are generally not very confident dogs. This can be due to them either not being socialized when they were young or from experiencing a situation where they felt anxious and responding with a Fight/Flight/Avoid/Submit behaviour. Removing puppies from their siblings and mother before 8 weeks of age can affect the social skills of a dog to learn how to be around members of their own species without being anxious.
They also rely on their mother to teach them how to interact and respond to situations and stimulus they encounter with confidence. Dogs who are also ‘isolated’ from the outside world eg kept in a kennel or just never taken outside the home, can also become extremely fearful or anxious when they finally have to face life outside of their ‘normal’ environment. Breeding dogs who have lived most of their lives in Puppy farms or Rescue dogs who have spent a long time in kennels are a good example.
Having a great start in life during the early years and introducing your dog to everything and anything in a positive, fun way is key to building your dog’s confidence. Developing a dog’s confidence takes a long time but a patient, calm Pack Leader is paramount to the dog’s rehabilitation process.
Here are just some examples of dogs with fear/anxiety issues that I have rehabilitated, giving you a taste of the dog’s behaviour before and after working with me.