Inanimate Object Aggression
Sometimes dogs react very strangely or unpredictably to an object or a noise. They might want to run away, or start shaking, or lunge and bark at it. But this is usually something that is fairly easy to address.
Socializing while young
When dogs see and experience a variety of different things when they are very young, they usually adapt fairly easily to new situations and objects. Puppies are typically curious to explore something new. All animals are born with no fear, including humans. They count on someone else looking out for them. Dogs are able to feel fear at 12 weeks old (whereas children typically take until age 2). So puppies need a good variety of experiences before they are 12 weeks old, which can be a difficult task. And, if something goes awry during the developmental period, or if they did not gain enough confidence in the world around them, then they are likely to respond with caution, if not outright panic, to new things.
If something happens to a dog when they are younger, they remember similarly as humans do with post-traumatic stress disorder. That object or noise becomes associated with a bad memory, and they freeze up or freak out. Since humans can experience this even with our ability to logically convince ourselves it won’t happen again, you can imagine how hard it is for an animal to calm themselves!
How we are affected
So naturally we, as owners, feel badly for our dogs. We often react by coddling the dog and feeding into the negative energy surging through them. This, ironically, usually just makes the situation worse! We need to show strength and help our dog gain confidence. If we get nervous along with our dog, of course he will stayed locked into his fearful state. Or, if we get angry at his barking, of course he will remain agitated. This creates a cycle where we are anticipating our dog’s reaction and getting almost as upset as he is! Without outside help, it’s often very hard to break this cycle.
How to stop it
When a dog is fearful or fear/aggressive, we need to first rebuild their confidence through training, trust and repetition. We can then slowly re-introduce the object that is scaring them until the negative energy it’s causing them to feel is defused. SF Dog Connect will work with you to overcome your dog’s reaction to any and all objects and sounds until he is confident and happy once again in all his surroundings.
Here are some simple instructions with a short video to help get you started on overcoming your dog’s fear: http://www.poochcoach.com/overcoming-dog-fear.html
We are the SF Bay Area’s experts in dog aggression. Schedule an appointment today!
There’s a better way.
If your dog doesn’t trust someone, you probably shouldn’t either.