Are Dogs More Fearful Than They Used to Be?

December 2018 Issue

Are Dogs More Fearful Than They Used to Be?

This formerly feral dog is obviously still quite fearful, as evidenced by his pinned-back ears, pulled back commissure (corners of his mouth), wide eyes, stress lines in his face, body posture (lowered and behind-the-vertical), and tucked tail. Dogs who are this fearful are likely to be lifetime projects, and “love” alone isn’t enough to fix them.

Dogs who are fearful are becoming increasingly common. Learn how to prevent your dog from developing chronic fear – or, if it’s too late, how to improve his security and happiness.

Many of us trainers also have been called upon to help owners with extremely undersocialized and fearful dogs imported from elsewhere, such as the Chinese and Korean meat-market dogs and “street dogs” brought here from Puerto Rico, Mexico, and elsewhere. Whatever the reason for the seeming increase in the population of fearful dogs, good behavior professionals will do their best to help these dogs (and their humans) have a better quality of life – and there definitely are things that can help.

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