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Pet Tip of the Week: The 'Scaredy Dog':

by Dawn Watson

Bubsy Roo
Balan, the author's Scaredy Dog. R.I.P. Bubby.




It is easier to train a dog that wants to bite than a dog that shrinks into a corner
and trembles with fear.  

The frightened, submissive, or fearful dog, i.e. the ‘scaredy dog’ is a real challenge. Some were abused as puppies. Others have neurological problems that cause them to feel threatened. For some, the question of why the dog continually seems frightened is one that cannot be imagined.


 If you own a dog that fits this description, there is hope for him or her to lead a happy, quiet life. Motivation is the key to making progress. Here are a few steps to ease Fido into a less-fearful existence: 

  • Do not allow strangers to reach for the dog. Instead, allow Fido to approach the strangers on his own terms.
  • Keep a crate handy indoors, covered with a sheet or blanket, so Fido has a ‘safe zone’.
  • Praise Fido for brave behavior and ignore fearful behavior. Do not cuddle him if he shows irrational fear or nervousness (this is a tough one!) Cuddle him when he displays brave behavior.
  • Daily walks will increase his threshold for noise and neighbors. Walk him twice a day, even if it’s only around your neighborhood.
  • Contact a professional dog trainer for more help, if needed.

 If you would like to better understand what your dog is trying to tell you, you may consider attending Brother of the Wolf’s Canine Body Language Interpretation seminar on Saturday, December 15 at 11:00. This two-hour seminar will allow you to ‘see’ exactly what your dog is thinking and feeling! Seating is limited. Tuition is $25.00. Registration is required by calling 856.981.8957. Gift certificates are available. Cash or checks only, please.

If you have a question about this topic or any other dog-related topic please feel free to get in touch with us. We are located at the corner of 7th and Market Streets in historic Gloucester City, NJ.

Wado udohiyu, (thank you very much in the Cherokee language)

Dawn Watson

Brother of the Wolf, LLC