Top Common Dog Fears and Phobias

There are so many different fears and phobias a dog can have!

Top Common Dog Fears and Phobias

A dog’s fears and phobias may lead to signs such as cowering, trembling, drooling, barking, destructive behaviour, and, in some cases, aggression. Dogs can suffer from a number of different fears and phobias. These phobias can have a variety of causes, including lack of early socialization, genetics, or a negative experience.

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1. Fear of Veterinarians

It is probably the sting of the syringe, when they receive their immunizations that are the scariest for dogs. Not to mention an unfamiliar person sticking a thermometer in their rear end.  The strange smell of antiseptics and bleach may be an additional factor. Also, the unfamiliar environment and different people handling your dog can be quite intimidating!

2. Fear of Being Left Alone

The fear of being left home alone is referred to as separation anxiety. Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety tend to exhibit destructive behaviour as soon as their owners leave the house. Other symptoms include excessive barking and housebreaking accidents when left alone. Small changes in the dog owner’s behaviour may help ease a dog’s fears.

3. Fear of Riding In The Car

Many dogs are afraid of riding in the car. The fear is usually due to a lack of early exposure to car rides or negative experiences with riding in the car, such as getting car sick, riding in the car to be left at a shelter, or only going for a car ride for a visit to the veterinarian. It is possible to overcome your dog’s fear of riding in the car by using treats and praise to slowly lure your dog into the car, and then working up to taking rides in small steps.

4. Fear of Strangers

A fear of strangers is similar to a fear of men, but in this case, a dog may be afraid of anyone he doesn’t know. This can be a difficult problem to overcome because it’s impossible to teach your dog to accept every possible new person. It’s important to allow your dog to approach new people in his own time. Forcing a fearful dog to accept a stranger could push a dog to become aggressive.

5. Fear of Children

Dogs develop a fear of children for several reasons. One is a lack of early exposure to children. It is not uncommon for people to get a pet before becoming parents. Unless you bring a puppy into a household with children, your dog may not get the opportunity to socialize with them. Dogs also often have negative experiences with children. While a child’s intentions may be good, a dog may interpret overtures of affection as a threat.

Updated: December 7, 2017.

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