unleash your dog's spirit 


Monday, 01 September 2014 00:00

Handling: For Fearful Dogs

Rate this item
(0 votes)


Learn the correct way to gain trust from a fearful dogs

If your dog is fearful of people, then teaching it to calmly accept, and even enjoy touch, can be a challenge. It may even seem impossible at this point! But, with the right steps, building their confidence and understanding your dog's body language, you can create a dog that seeks out touch - even from strangers!

To start, please read The dogma of Handling to learn about the importance of teaching this to your dog and the introduction steps for you to work on with handling your dog. If they are unsure or fussy about handling from you, then do not expect them to be comfortable with a stranger touching them.

When working on handling with a fearful dog, you always start where they are most comfortable and build from there. Be patient with this and understand that you cannot push your dog. If you push them, you may traumatize them and make their fears even worse. Follow the handling steps but keep the below considerations in mind.

  • Work at the dog's pace. Do not rush the process, but also ensure you are progressing through the steps.
  • Start with the dog approaching you while you are seated. You may need to have treats on the floor to start.
  • Keep your movements slow. Work on the approach, then the duration - will the dog stay near you and take multiple treats.
  • When you do begin to handle them, start by reaching your hand towards them while offering a treat. Then touch them with the back of your hand and below their head while offering a treat.
  • Slowly expand your touch, always pairing the food with the touch.
  • As they become more comfortable, do the touch, and then offer the treat.
  • For standing, toss treats while you stand and ensure you do not bend forward.
  • Work on also approaching the dog and offering food. Start by moving slowly with minimal eye contact and not head on.
  • Then begin moving and offering rewards as the dog follows or approaches.
  • Then work on all of the stupid things humans do! Bend over your dog, pat them faster, get very excited, approach them head on, etc.

As you go through these steps on your own, you will begin to work with familiar people and then strangers. Keep yourself calm and ensure everyone involved in calm. Reward all appropriate behaviour and if your dog does react or flee, simply step back and use the food to get them settled again. The world is a scary place for our fearful dogs, so it is our job to ensure we expose them to it and work them through these fears. Do not use their behaviour or past experiences as an excuse. Work with your trainer to set these training situations correctly and enjoy the rewards of watching your dog's confidence build! Socialize them to the world as you would a new puppy! Get them out and teach them the world means good things - they will thank you for it and be forever grateful!

Read 26530 times


  • Comment Link Joshua Saturday, 23 September 2017 12:03 posted by Joshua

    Heya this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting
    to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have
    to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding
    expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Comment Link Jared Saturday, 23 September 2017 11:37 posted by Jared

    Hi! I just wish to give you a big thumbs up for the great info you've got here on this post.
    I'll be returning to your blog for more soon.

  • Comment Link Gracie Saturday, 23 September 2017 11:12 posted by Gracie

    This is very attention-grabbing, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed aand sit up for searching for more of your fantastic post.
    Also, I have shared your site in my social networks

  • Comment Link Karri Saturday, 23 September 2017 10:10 posted by Karri

    It's amazing to pay a quick visit this site and reading the views of all friends concerning this piece
    of writing, while I am also keen of getting know-how.

  • Comment Link Percy Saturday, 23 September 2017 08:17 posted by Percy

    I have been surfing on-line greater than three hours today, yet I never found any attention-grabbing article
    like yours. It's pretty price sufficient for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you
    did, the web will be much more helpful than ever before.

  • Comment Link Crystle Saturday, 23 September 2017 07:47 posted by Crystle

    Também, junto ao PHP, autor incrementou um curso de HTML e também CSS,
    todo desenvolvido no conjunto de notas.

  • Comment Link Helene Saturday, 23 September 2017 06:25 posted by Helene

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website.
    I am hoping to see the same high-grade content by you later on as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get
    my own, personal website now ;)

  • Comment Link Gina Saturday, 23 September 2017 05:47 posted by Gina

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this
    blog and I'm impressed! Extremely useful information specifically
    the last part :) I care for such info a lot.

    I was seeking this certain information for a very long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  • Comment Link The Workbook On Twitter Saturday, 23 September 2017 01:34 posted by The Workbook On Twitter

    Wow! Thank you! I continuously needed to write on my blog something like that.
    Can I implement a fragment of your post to
    my blog? http://www.cyberplusindia.com/w/index.php/Techniques_In_Photography_With_Raw

  • Comment Link Blake Saturday, 23 September 2017 00:39 posted by Blake

    One could even consider cholesterol too become the main foundaation for arterial
    plaque thus keeping cholesterol consumption under 200 milligrams oor thirty percent per day if the extremely important portion of our plan. A polluted, malnourisged stomach andd intestines is the best environment for parasites and worms.

    The price varies with all the materials used and it is
    design in fact it is surely worth every dollar you

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.


Megan’s Musings are by Megan Armstrong, Owner/Operator of dogma

Megan became one of Calgary's only Certified Pet Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA) in 2005. The CPDT designation means her programs are based on humane training practices and the latest scientific knowledge about dog training. In other words, Megan's dog training expertise is grounded in a thorough, extensive education and examination process. 

View Megan's bio