Should You Comfort A Scared Dog? Understanding Canine Anxiety

Should You Comfort A Scared Dog? Understanding Canine Anxiety

Comforting A Scared Dog | Cesar Millan’S Dog Nation

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Should I Comfort A Fearful Dog?

The topic at hand is whether or not one should provide comfort to a fearful dog. There has been some misinformation circulating, even from well-known dog trainers, suggesting that comforting a frightened dog is a bad idea because it might reinforce their fear and exacerbate the situation. However, it’s essential to debunk this myth. In reality, your presence can serve as a secure and reassuring anchor for your dog, especially when they find themselves in stressful situations. This comforting support can significantly aid in calming your dog’s fears and anxieties. [Date of the original statement: August 15, 2018].

Should You Ignore A Nervous Dog?

Is it a good idea to ignore a nervous dog? Ignoring a dog that experiences severe anxiety when left alone until they stop trying to interact is considered unkind and counterproductive. In fact, this approach can exacerbate their anxiety. Instead, it’s advisable to speak to the dog in a gentle and reassuring manner, aiming to soothe them without overdoing it. This approach is more compassionate and effective in helping the dog cope with their anxiety. [Published on February 5, 2021]

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Comforting a Scared Dog | Cesar Millan's Dog Nation
Comforting a Scared Dog | Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation

With experts divided on what’s to do, it’s probably best to just listen to your dog. If he’s scared and has found a place to hide, that’s likely the comfort he needs and you can let him try to work it out. But if he comes looking for you to reassurance, you may just want to give it to him.Unfortunately some dog trainers – including famous ones – have spread the idea that you should not comfort a fearful dog because it will reinforce the fear and make things worse. This is a myth. In fact, you are a secure base for your dog – meaning your presence can help them in a stressful situation.Ignoring a dog that has suffered with severe anxiety whilst alone – until he gives up trying to interact – is unkind and counterproductive because it actually adds to their anxiety. Talking gently and kindly to the dog with the aim of soothing them without over fussing is a much fairer approach.

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