Q: Why is my dog always so scared

March 17, 2011 | By Kbear21 | 2 answers | Expired: 1776 days ago

About 2 years ago we got a 6 month old puppy from a rescue shelter. We didn't get any information on what kind of atmosphere she came from but when we got her home and she joined our year old lab she seemed happy. The first night she was home we took a ton of pictures of her and continued to with no problem for the next 6 months or so but now she is scared of the camera! If she even hears it turn on she runs away. Also, if your just walking past her she puts her head down and watches you out of the corner of her eye. She always seems on edge. If you call her over to you to pet she comes really slowly and stays at arms length. Other times she'll come right over and climb up on you for loving so it's strange. I just don't understand what she's scared of.

Readers' Answers (2)

Mar 25, 2011

For some reason, she's developed a fear or an insecurity. If it's fear based, this is probably something that occurred w/o your knowledge. Such as a mean kid outside or a loud noise while you were away.

Insecurities are more common and develop w/time, often occurring for reasons owners are unaware of. Consider your interactions w/her. Has she been raised to be independent or have you coddled her? Was she allowed to explore new situations or did you overly supervise her?

There's a big difference in what training is needed between these two, but I would start w/basic obedience. Work on teaching her to sit, stay, come, and anything else you'd like her to learn, b/c this will help raise her confidence. Personally, I wouldn't use a clicker for a dog afraid of a camera shutter. While you're training her, speak gently and softly, using both calm praise and treats as a reward. If she doesn't get the trick right, it doesn't matter. Stay calm and welcoming and keep going.

As you're working w/her this way, also start to slowly introduce her to new places, people, and things - but always in a positive manner. If she gets excited about walks, that will help. Never coddle her or tell her "it's okay" when she's afraid or uncomfortable. Just ignore it and try to calm her another way - like through training. When she becomes nervous around you, slowly move to the floor and avoid eye contact. For dogs, it's often best to lay down on your side, letting them come to you w/o any instigating. This presents you as non-threatening as possible and will help repair your bond.

Wait until she's more confident and comfortable before working w/the camera or any other tools she may not like.

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Mar 20, 2011

I would take her to the vet if nothing is wrong I would get a book on clicker and treat training or look this type of training up online it seems to me that something has been happening when you are away that you are unaware of, if you are leaving her outside when you go somewhere put her inside instead you can never trust passers by that is how my dog got sick from a half cooked chicken and that is how my spaniel use to get loose when we had her cause neighbors and passers by would let her out of the fenced backyard if I am not out there they will harass Skitters and because of that we always have to be on our toes now. Good luck!

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