How To Help A Fearful Dog

A fearful dog is what many people misunderstand, but sadly, in trying toA Fearful Dog make things better for their dogs, they actually make it worse. Fearful dogs are nearly always lacking strong pack leaders, and their owners are often the kindest and gentlest people who want nothing more than to see their dog live a life of happy, fun and free.

What They Fail To Recognize

Here is where the problem is – many fail to recognize that their dog is actually scared because the owner is giving them the message that they are the pack leader. Their dog, like many, is not able to handle the pressure, and they should not be expected to.

To illustrate: Imagine yourself as a 4-year-old with your younger sister in a dark woods and there you hear a strange noise or a person coming towards you, then you become very frightened. However, if one of your parents were there with you, then everything would be fine. That is because you would not be in charge! This is how it is for your dog when you make them the pack leader. He is terrified and just wants to get home safe and alive.

All the responsibilities are on your dog’s shoulders and they are not able to handle it in this human world. There are just far too many strange things for them to make decisions, all the time. Eventually, they will snap unless you help them.

Help A Fearful Dog

To help your dog you must establish yourself as the pack leader. The best way to learn how to set yourself as the pack leader is by watching the videos rather than reading about it.

Here Are A Few Things To Remember When Working With A Fearful Dog

1. They can change but will struggle if you push it too fast

2. Ask your friends to ignore your dog when they first meet her

3. People should not approach your dog but wait until she is calm and then call her over.

4. If she does not come over then she is too scared and you must leave her alone.

Become The Pack Leader

For detailed information you can access a video-based website, The Online Dog Trainer, that will show you how to put all this into place through the use of video so you can sit back, watch, and learn.

Establishing yourself as the pack leader is the foundation to any success with fearful dogs. Until you recognize this and put it in place you will never be in a position to help your dog.

The Online Dog Trainer has easy to follow videos to set yourself as the pack leader and shows you how to give confidence to fearful dogs.

Thank you for visiting my website. If you have any questions or would like to leave a comment please do so below.

24 thoughts on “How To Help A Fearful Dog”

  1. Interesting post!

    I actually have a fearful dog so this post does pertain to me quite a bit. She’s just terrified of any sudden movements or if, for example, I drop something she’ll get the fright of her life.

    I think this was due to mistreatment in her younger days (we got her from a rescue home), but your post definitely helps me to understand how to behave with her. Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Stephen, 

      Thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you found the information helpful. I know about the concern you feel about your dog. I brought home a couple of rescue dogs myself and they were so scared and shaking they wouldn’t enter my home. Fortunately they are doing fine now. I’m glad this information has come to be very useful for you and I certainly hope the best for you, may this post help you help your dog. 

      Thank you so much for your comment.

  2. Very interesting post.

    I don’t have a dog but I love pets and I’m thinking about getting a dog soon, if for some reason my dog is scared I will differently revert to your post.

    I see where leadership is important, and we do look for dogs to protect us at times not knowing that they are scared because we too are scared. Now I understand when I get my dog I have to be leader.

    Good knowledge I just received. Thanks

    1. Hi Kaciexox, 

      Thank you for taking the time time to stop by and read my article. I’m glad you found this article interesting. I certainly hope that when you decide to bring home a dog, referring back to this article will help you.

      Again, thank you so much for your comment.

  3. Hi. This is a timely post. I have a dog that seems to act out because of fear, but rather than back away (flight) she moves into a situation (fight). I know that we need to help her see us as the pack leader but still struggle when around other dogs. It sounds like these videos may be really helpful. Thank you. 🙂

    1. Hi Randene, 

      Thank you for stopping by and I’m glad you like this post. So sorry about your dog acting in fear, mine were that way too at the beginning when they arrived at my home. Yes, the videos are great! You actually see how Doggy Dan works with dogs on varies issues, including dogs that act in fear.

      I appreciate you stopping by. Thank you for your comment.

  4. Great piece.

    As a dog lover and owner it is always great when you see a confident well mannered dog and hopeful for a dog that is not confident in their own skin.

    Your suggestions are very helpful and particularly from someone who has not worked with a dog that is not confident within the pack.

    The second point made on “with a fearful dog” was wonderful to train humans and other people at the same time.

    Loved It!

    How long have you been training?

    1. Hi Robert, 

      I’m glad you found the information in this article helpful. By becoming the pack  leader we can help a fearful dog that they have nothing to fear. Give them the right signal and to help them gain confidence. Doggy Dan does an excellent job working with dogs including dogs that act in fear in videos I’ve watched. It’s only $1 for 3 days free trial. 

      About a month ago I brought home 2 rescue dogs they were very fearful. They were scared to even enter my home. They’re doing good now. 

      Thank you for stopping by and for commenting.

  5. Hello Rosa
    When you make the comment about the children being in dark woods scared and if a parent were there they wouldn’t be scared anymore because they would no longer be in charge. Wouldn’t you say they felt safe because the parent was there? I do agree that leadership is important, but say if a dog was abused by previous owners, that dog would be scared, don’t you think love would have more impact for the dog?
    This was very interesting thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Angie, 

      Fear on a dog does not always mean he has been previously abused. Fear can be brought on by anything. They could be scared of the water, lawnmowers, thunder, or they could unhappy or uncomfortable. But most often they may have fear of other dogs and fear of people. I hope this helps with understanding what makes a dog fearful.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article and for commenting.

  6. Hi, thank you for the post. We have taken our friends dog for a bit and he seems a bit fearful. I never knew that you had to be the pack leader. After reading your analogy of the woods it all made sense.
    I never thought about it but, a dog in a human world must get really confused, so i is our responsibility to be the pack leader and take charge.
    You gave some really interesting tips and you know your stuff.
    I think watching videos is the way forward and I am going to check them out!
    How long will it take a dog to change? specifically a dalmatian.

    1. Hi Freddy, 

      I’m glad you found this article interesting. Every dog is different. Some dogs may be easier to train then others. If you want your dog to continue to listen to you it may be best to train him for most of his life. You can have periods where you can stop the training for awhile from time to time. Then when you see behaving issues with your dog then you can continue your dog training.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article and for your comment.

  7. Rosa, I believe that people have a great tendency to anthropomorphize animals. They expect them to react the same as us. And this doesn’t happen except by coincidence. Like humans some are meant to lead and some (most) to follow.

    Making sure your dog knows his position in the family doesn’t mean to be aggressive with him/her. I think many feel that this is so. Your post and site should help many to understand this.

    You have the four best points down pat and if people remember these and follow them the dog/s will have the best families ever.

    People really need to train their kids too. Our neighbour’s Rottie used to spend most of her time with us (he was a contemptible man). Some friends came to visit along with a young friend of their daughter. This child raced up to the Rottie and tried to grab her food bowl. Fortunately Boxhead (our nickname for her) just sat and growled. Many other dogs would protect their bowl. Boy did I tell her off, questioning the learning that her parents were giving her.


    1. Hi Helen, 

      I understand your concern. Many parents allow their children to do whatever they want especially with dogs, which is not a good idea or safe. I’ve seen cases like that before and of course it’s the dog that gets the blame. All family members need to learn to be the pack leaders including children.

      Thank you so much for your comment.

  8. This is a great post
    I have met many fearful dogs and have always wondered how to help ease their fear, especially with dogs that were not my own and I just wanted to interact with them. I would have found it beneficial if you would have summarized the videos a little bit in the post. However I thought you had many great points and thank you for the helpful information.

  9. Great post! I had never thought about fearful dogs this way. I didn’t realize they were afraid because they felt too pressured. That’s very interesting.

    I knew the owner is supposed to establish themselves as the pack leader right away, but I didn’t know a fearful dog could be the result if the owner doesn’t do that.

    Very helpful. Thank you!


    1. Hi Weston, 

      I’m glad you stopped by and found my post interesting. A scared dog is simply afraid of just about anything, water, butterfly, loud noise, other dogs or even other people. To help a fearful dog as you are aware we as the pack leader can help him from having fear from everything around him to grow confidence each day and become relax. 

      Thank you again for stopping by and commenting.

  10. Wow, this article was very interesting, I always thought that dogs would have liked to be the pack leader because I figured it would give them confidence and maybe a sense of responsibility, but the way you explain it makes much more sense!

    I just wish you had provided a little bit more information on how to become the pack leader. I know you referred us to the website with the video, but sometimes people prefer not to be diverted from the page that they’re on. Well, at least I prefer to stay on a web page.

    Still, you did provide a lot of valuable information and I really appreciate that because my girlfriend and I love dogs!

    1. Hi Joeka, 

      I’m appreciate that you found this article interesting and with valuable information. My desire is to help people with their dogs especially dogs that act in fear. And when you see the training live on video it’s so much better and you get a clear understanding. 

      I do want to thank you for stopping by and for commenting.

  11. Really interesting post, as a dog lover, i had a fearful dog too and now i understand how i could help him.

    Next time i have another fearful dog, i’ll try to be the pack leader, and follow your 4 step.

    But sometimes the way the dog act (fearful), isn’t due to a traumatic moment ?

    1. Hi Raimana, 

      I agree. Anything traumatic is not always the reason for a dog to act in fear. It could be anything. A piece of paper could be blown across your yard by the wind and some dogs may act in fear from that or maybe the sound of a lawn mower.

      I”m glad you found the post interesting. Thank you so much for your comment.

  12. This is an interesting point of view and I can actually relate both ways. What I mean is I have a daughter that was petrified of dogs. I’ve also had a dog in the past that was very timid but all of a sudden the shoe was on the other foot. The funny thing is that after sending my daughter to psycologists and hypnotists, the thing that actually fixed her fear, was getting our own dog (as a pup). I’ve now taught my daughter to be the pack leader and all is well. Just goes to show how good dogs and humans can be for each other. Great article.

    1. Hi Nigel, 

      I’m glad you found this post interesting. Teaching your children to be the pack leader helps to give the dog the right message from each member of the family, that the family has control and your dog will be happy and calm. 

      Thank you so much for your comment.

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