How Do I Take Away My Dog’s Sudden Fear of Me?

Anxiety in dogs is always a very unpleasant topic. A lot of things that are perfectly harmless to us can be scary and scary to the dog in a moment.

Most anxiety, however, has valid reasons. Be it that the animal has had bad experiences in the past or simply by chance associates a threatening situation for the dog with a certain person.

So it can happen that the beloved four-legged friend suddenly twitches away anxiously when you want to pet him or don’t want to be put on the leash.

The dog is suddenly afraid of his caregiver. This is a nightmare for any dog ​​owner. But what can you do to take away this fear from the animal?

Anxiety that comes on suddenly

It’s all sudden. The dog was just the cuddly roommate. A few hours later, he’ll duck away if you want to pet him.

The dog refuses to be touched, refuses to be put on the leash, and backs up when you walk towards it.

As a result, the animal may even bark anxiously, start to growl, and possibly even snap at you.

Then you have a serious problem. Your dog is afraid of you. You must now react to this as quickly as possible. First and foremost, it is important to find the trigger for irrational fear.

Anxiety is completely normal in dogs

Fear is a normal behavior of animals to protect themselves. However, many fears are very difficult for us to understand or cannot be understood at all.

A single traumatic experience is often enough for our four-legged friends to manifest fear. For example, a loud New Year’s firecracker that explodes next to your dog.

We know from the reward principle that dogs can associate a situation with something positive. However, this also works with negative impressions. One then speaks of a faulty link.

Your dog may feel a pain impulse while you are petting or holding it. He now connects this pain with you.

The animal does not know that the pain has nothing to do with you. However, his reaction is fear of you, even when the pain is long gone.

Think about it and think back to the situation if this could be the trigger for the fear. In any case, rule out pain by taking the animal to the vet.

Avoid the anxiety-provoking situation

Using the same principle, you can now consider various situations that may have been frightening for the dog recently. You will not always be successful, because the feeling that the dog has can be very individual.

Such a fear is a fear that is learned. That’s good because everything that is learned can also be unlearned.

It is now important to avoid situations that trigger fear in the dog. Always stay close to him as calmly as possible.

How do I take my dog’s fear back?

Don’t approach your dog directly, let him come to you. Do not lure the animal.

Once he approaches you of his own accord, you can toss a treat to give him positive reinforcement. It is very important never to force the dog to be near you.

Try changing established rituals. One of these could be putting on a leash. Just take another leash to go for a walk. Also, do not put the leash on the dog as you normally would. Don’t wear your usual dog outfit, try something different.

As soon as you make progress, always give immediate positive reinforcement. However, these first tips are only recommended if the fear is not yet deep-seated.

In any case, it is still advisable to get additional help from a dog trainer.

Get help

If the dog has been afraid of you for a long time, this has already become established. This is where it gets a lot harder to work on.

In such a case, you should ask an experienced dog trainer for advice. She can support the therapy professionally. And you will certainly find out connections that you had not thought of. So I wouldn’t try it myself for too long.

If a dog is afraid of its caregiver, this can end tragically. You should therefore always react as quickly as possible if your dog shows fear.

Frequently Asked Question

Why is my dog suddenly afraid of me?

If your dog suddenly shows fear of you, this is never a good sign and urgent action is needed! A third of the causes of sudden anxiety have medical causes. Severe pain and vision or hearing loss are the most common causes.

How do I take the fear out of an anxious dog?

Longer chewing is particularly suitable in this case because your anxious dog stays longer in “relaxation mode”. Playing in the immediate vicinity can also calm your four-legged friend. It is best to use a toy that you are already familiar with. Anything new could be even more irritating.

Why is my dog suddenly so skittish?

Dogs that have had no contact with humans during the imprinting phase are often unusually jumpy and react sensitively to everyday noises (noise from the street, loud conversations, construction work). Separating from the mother dog too early can also have fatal consequences.

How can I take away my dog’s fear of people?

Address your dog encouragingly and reassuringly and reward him with a treat when he approaches the stranger. Take your time and only do this exercise for a few minutes at a time. Your dog sets the pace while you merely encourage him.

How do I strengthen an insecure dog?

Dogs with insecurities and fears like to protect themselves by scanning the environment. Especially when they suspect something that scares them. If you insist that your dog looks at you instead of at the world, you deny him the opportunity to protect himself.

Why is my dog turning away from me?

Why is your dog showing this behavior? Through both defensive and avoidance behavior, the dog wants to ensure that it remains physically unharmed. Just like us humans, our four-legged friends want to feel comfortable and safe. They avoid what is uncomfortable for them.

How long does the fear phase last in dogs?

During adolescence, dogs can go through additional periods of anxiety, each lasting around 3 weeks, during which time a dog becomes easily frightened and is particularly good at remembering unpleasant experiences.

How does a dog behave when scared?

Your dog suddenly pulls in its tail, it trembles and doesn’t want to run any further. Such a reaction to fear can occur in dogs in a wide variety of situations. Fear of people, sounds, objects, or even other dogs is not necessarily a bad thing.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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