December 8, 2014
Queso is a fearful little guy that has created a move that is truly unique to protect himself from the horrible door frames and I just can’t quit giggling. Although Queso has found a really cute way of conquering his fear, dog’s fears should be taken seriously and we can help ease or relieve them.
I spoke with my vet about pet’s fears and she shared that puppies can be exposed to traumas and not have the trauma manifest as a fear until adulthood. It is important to give a puppy lots of experiences with people, places and things. Good experiences and challenging experiences, both help animals build confidence in their ability to handle different environments successfully.
My vet was quick to say that a dog that has experienced trauma can develop a phobia, and traumas can include situations that are confusing or create stress for the pet. A good
example is vacuuming: to a dog, it must seem there is absolutely no point in the noise-making machine that moves randomly and quickly. To a sensitive animal, this could create confusion, stress and fear.
I consulted my trainer to find out how to help a pet live with their fears. His advice was to create positive emotions with the phobia trigger. Offer them their favorite treat as they approach the object of their fear. Then as the pet becomes comfortable by being near the object of their fear, you can move them closer to actually experiencing the fear. He said that by being patient and proceeding slowly, you can help your pet begin their journey to becoming confident and happy around the thing they fear the most.
In the meantime, I hope that all pets that are scared can create a coping skill as funny and endearing as Queso’s unique safety move.