This weekend, I was housesitting where some of you may remember Understanding Fancy. Dogs will show physical signs when they are startled..
Some signs are:
- The hair on their back raises up
- Their ears are down
- Their tail is tucked between their legs
- The dog is barking incessantly
- The dog is shaking
As you know, some dogs may be more fearful than others. If you are in a situation and the dog is afraid, the best thing to do is ignore the dog and do not make eye contact. Many times, dogs will view that as a threat. Keeping calm and not giving a dog attention can be just as useful as positive reinforcement. What's important is not to show you are scared yourself as dogs have the ability to smell fear.
As a result, Fancy did get better with me. She wasn't barking like she had in the past, and although she was still scared at times, I felt that at least the environment had become less adversarial. Sometimes, progress with dogs must be done in baby steps but like all situations the end result is worth it.
Well, I hope you all are having a great Monday. Here's another post you may want to check out:
When Your Dog Is Fearful