It is normal that dogs are wary of their surroundings, their wild instinct urging them to be on their guard against what they do not know. However, some dogs may develop an overreaction against their environment, some pretend to be afraid of everything and other suspicious things that are totally harmless. There are solutions to help your dog overcome their fears and here is an overview:
Where does the fear come from?
It is useful to know the origin of your pet's fear to be able to help them overcome it more easily. All dogs can be fearful or phobic, it does not depend on the breed or size, but their experiences. So a dog that has not been used to being surrounded by other dogs or people during the first months of their life will find themselves helpless and panic later in the presence of new individuals. It is the same with unknown noises (truck, fireworks, music ...). Generally, dogs are afraid of what they do not know, that is to say a lot of things. This is why it is important to introduce the puppy to the outside world.
Some dogs may be shy by nature and in this case, you should never get angry but accompany the dog in all uncomfortable situations. Fear can also be the result of a trauma that has deeply upset the dog.
Socialize the dog
The best way for the dog overcome their fears is to be directly confronted to them. Take them into town so that they can get used to crowded streets and the noise. In the case that your pet fears almost everything, it is recommended to take them out every day for at least half an hour in your neighborhood so that they learn to follow you and to trust you. During these outings you have to walk very quickly and change directions often without ever stopping. The dog will be forced to keep pace and will notice throughout the sessions that it is safe to walk near you, even when you make decisions. Do this for a quarter of an hour and then use the last quarter of an hour to play with them with their favorite toy in a quiet place. Having fun, the dog will focus on something other than their fears and finally will enjoy going out.
In addition to the outside world, the dog must be socialized to other dogs and humans. Make them meet other dogs and let them stay in the room with you when your receive friends. If the home does not include children, they should meet children of friends or family. Children can be a source of distrust and anxiety for a dog. Indeed their poorly controlled actions and their attitude may be surprising for them, but they must understand that they are not a danger.
The attitude to have
Your attitude is crucial for your pet. It can either help reduce your dog's fears or increase it. First of all, do not have the reflex of reassuring and cuddling them as it would confirm their fears by proving that they have reason to be so suspicious. Their fear must not catch your attention or they will continue. But when they come out of their state of panic, you can congratulate them warmly. Do not pull on the leash or do not tell them off. Leave them time to understand that there is no danger.
We must also accept that dogs progress at their own pace and some days are better than others. There may be periods of regression, but in this case you should not be upset or discouraged but continue to persevere for the sake of your pet and your relationship.