Fear: Dogs and Owners - Halloween
Halloween is Cooooooming!
Now it's time of the year when people play tricks on each other, dress up in scary costumes, tell scary stories and visit haunted places. Why do we do all these thing? Why do we like playing with things that we are afraid of? Well, when we watch a horror movie, we usually have a paradoxical reason to do so. We want to see things happening to others that we are afraid of happening to us. This way we can feel that these things won't happen to us, they're far away from us. What about dogs? What are the things that they are afraid of and why? Since dogs cannot make horror films of their own we need to help them overcoming their fears.
read more about the reasons why we watch horror films: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-excess/201510/why-do-we-watching-scary-films
read about Halloween: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween
Common Fears of Dogs
1. Fear of thunder and fireworks
Fear of thunder and fireworks are common dog phobias. In both cases the unpredicted loud noise and the lights cause the fear. Some dogs have a mild fear while others will tremble and hide or totally lose control. The situation may seem helpless, however in some cases slowly getting your dog used to these sounds and assuring him/her that nothing bad will happen can work.
2. Fear of Riding in the Car and Fear of the Vet
Experienced doggie owners know it very well that these two go hand in hand. Why? Well, the fear of traveling by car can rather be the fear of going to the vet, as many doggies only ride in a car when going to the vet. Another reason is that your dog wasn't introduced to riding in a car step by step. We humans have fears of unfamailiar things and so as doggies. You should train your dog to love riding in a car. How? Let them relax a bit in the backseat and don't go anywhere - they will sniff things and this way will know the place. Next time put your dog in the car and drive somewhere nice. No, not to the vet. Go to a park and play with your four legged friend. If you are going for a long ride with the family, stop for short walks from time to time. Also, you can take a chewer with you and your dog may not even know that s/he is in a car as they will be so busy chewing. Maybe applying these techniques your dog won't be afraid of riding in a car. Okay, but what about the vet issue? The solution is something similar. It's simple psychology: for your dog going to the vet is connected with unpleasant memories. You should try going to the vet but only to chill out in the waiting room and make friends with other doggies and then go home and give him/her a treat.
3. Fear of human beings
There are dogs who like making friends with basically everybody. Unfortunately others may have issues with meeting new people, children or with the human species in general. These problem may occur due to lack of socialization. If you don't introduce your dog to people in early stages of socialization, s/he may have problems later with meeting people. If you have this problem with your dog, don't push them, let them have their own pace. Dogs that have problem only with children, may have a problem with the way children express affection. When your doggie and a kid interacts, you should ALWAYS supervise it. At last but not least if your dog is afraid of all kinds of human beings (maybe including you and your family) it may be caused by a trauma or bad experience that triggers a fear response in your dog whenever s/he sees a human being. For instance if you adopted your dog from an animal shelter and the dog is extremely shy, it may be because s/he used to be treated in cruel ways. Give your dog time, on the long-run patience and love may help them trust you.