How to know if my dog is scared and how to reassure him?

how to reassure a scared dog

Like any living being, a dog can also be subject to emotional and behavioral disorders. This fear can manifest itself in different ways. Your dog may run away, won't move or even become aggressive.

But how do you reassure a dog that's scared? It is certainly one of the questions that dog owners often ask themselves. Don't panic, this guide will explain the causes of his fear and will give you tips on how to calm your doggie as best as possible.

How do I know if my dog is scared?

To reassure your pet, you must first analyze and know his behavior. Fear is a fairly violent emotion that can make your pet unstable. A frightened dog can change mood suddenly, but don't be afraid, this reaction is completely normal. He doesn't do it on purpose. Every dog has his own way of expressing how he feels. You will notice these different signs when the dog is in distress:

  • He yawns several times, which doesn't happen when he's in his normal state.
  • He's trembling and his eyes are sad.
  • His ears are back and his head is bent over like he's being punished.
  • He shows his teeth and threatens to bite to hide what he's afraid of.
  • He's hiding in a place he thinks is safe, away from what's stressing him.

When you notice these behaviours in your doggie, you need to comfort him and make him feel safe. Depending on the situation, don't hesitate to pet or play with your doggie.

Define the causes of his fear

Secondly, we need to know the reasons for his fear. Ask yourself: what is he afraid of? Then, put yourself in his shoes in order to understand him better. Several factors can be at the origin of his suffering. However, most of the time, your dog is afraid when:

  • He hears thunderstorms or fireworks because they are too loud.
  • He smells or hears sounds he doesn't know.
  • Bad memories from the past arise, such as abuse.
  • Other animals are threatening him.
  • Loneliness takes over.

In these situations, how do you reassure a frightened dog? By diverting his attention. You can for example give him something to chew, like a treat, stick or dog toy. Chewing an object will calm him down. If he is afraid of the storm, you can put him in an enclosed area and pet him to make him feel safe.

Adopting the right attitudes to help your dog

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Here are some tips to help you support your frightened dog:

  • It is necessary to follow your pet's health, check from time to time at the veterinarian's to see if he is in pain. Because this pain can be a cause for concern when he is petted.
  • It is advisable to know his history. Do a little investigation to find out if he bit before, especially if he didn't grow up in your home. This will allow you to train him not to be defensive nor attack every time something unpleasant happens to him.
  • Your dog needs to have confidence in you, so that complicity can develop. Some dogs need to be reassured all the time. Sometimes, the simple fact of seeing you will calm him down.
  • Don't hesitate to call a professional if you are worried about his problems or if he never calms down. Dog trainers are experienced in this area. They can help your doggie overcome his fears.
  • Dogs need to get accustomed to sudden, loud noises from an early age so that by the time they reach adulthood, they will be fully accustomed to the sound.
  • Very important: never raise your voice in front of a frightened dog because, in addition to being frightened, he may get depressed.

How do you calm a scared dog?

Finally, a dog that is afraid needs a lot of love like any human being. Learn to calm him down depending on the situation that arises. How can you reassure a dog that is afraid? By adopting these few techniques that will help you calm him down:

  • Follow his rhythm, don't rush him and don't force him to do anything so you won't make him nervous.
  • On the other hand, if he comes to you for comfort, don't run away from him, give him hugs and share all your love. A dog that is afraid needs affection.
  • Spend time with him to make him feel you are there, that he is safe. Your cuddles are the sweetest thing you can give him and can reduce his stress.
  • Stay calm and serene so that the positive waves will get through to him, to calm him down and help him stabilise.
  • Talk to reassure him, your voice can ease his anxiety.
  • Don't yell at him, just get him on your side and start talking.
  • Make his living environment a pleasant one, so that he can find his comfort zone, a place where he feels good.

The dog becomes part of the family once you adopt him. It is therefore necessary to understand him because he is your best friend. Your dog feels the way you feel. He is a lovely animal and a good and lively companion. If you ask yourself the question: how can you reassure your dog when he is afraid? Know that he simply needs your attention and likes to feel that you care about him.

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