Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fear Periods

I have never been one to worry about fear periods in puppies.  I am amazed, over the years, how many people freak out when their puppy is afraid of something as they are growing up.  Over the past 10 years I have heard people ask "what should I do Fee Fee is sooooo afraid of 'X' and I don't know how to handle it".
I have seen so many people try to "work" their dogs through it.  Why?  If I am afraid of spiders and you force me in a room with spiders I will most likely deck you one.  Duh!!!!
If a dog is afraid of a fire hydrant, don't flood them with it and force them to go up to it.  Just do your walk every day and walk right past it like it isn't even there.  Don't try to be a Pezz dispenser and constantly feed cookies to your dog as you are walking by something that has spooked your dog in the past.
So, over the 18 or so years of raising dogs on my own, I have learned to just let them deal with it.  The more a human worries over it the more the dog becomes phobic over it.
So, my response to my dogs is to let them grow out of it.  I do not try to desensitize them of anything that they are "afraid" of at the time.  I just carry on with life.  If they show fear of something I do not recognize it and just carry on our marry way.
My dogs are pretty much fearless in life.  I really can not say that there is any one thing that freaks any of my dogs out.  I know that things that come out of the blue can make them startle, but heck it would me too.


Janet said...

My 6 month old pup, Jude, is scared to death of our plastic outdoor garbage cans right now. But he is fearful only when we are walking back home from our walk - he forgets they're there when we set out on our walk every morning! It is kinda funny what pups find to be scary. I do like your spider analogy though - that's totally relatable.

Happy said...

Thanks for posting this.

Catalina said...

This is good advice! My puppy used to be scared of man hole covers, but she has (thankfully) grown out of it.