The more I train dogs, the more fearful dogs I encounter. Dogs that are afraid of mailmen, being alone, kids, strangers, other dogs, being handled, traffic noises, novel things they haven’t seen before, things appearing suddenly in the environment . . . the list goes on. One little dog I worked with a few years ago was afraid of so many different things that her guardian was overwhelmed after just a few weeks of life together. She’d asked me for recommendations on books about fearful dogs. How I wish Debbie Jacobs’ A Guide to Living With & Training a Fearful Dog (“Guide”) had been available then! Continue Reading
A new client dog who I’ll call Misty is very fearful girl with multiple fear triggers. Misty has growled, snarled and lunged at people in certain situations but hasn’t bitten anyone. Misty’s human definitely has her hands full. “I don’t want her to be the type of dog that bites,” she said when we first met.
I know what the woman meant but I explained to her that actually, all dogs are “the type of dog that bites.” Given the right circumstances any dog can bite. Continue Reading