Adopting a dog can be very rewarding. There are thousands of dogs in shelters throughout the country that are in need of homes. When you take in a dog that has gone through some form of trauma, you may find that they are shy, fearful, or scared during ordinary situations. Other dogs may develop a fearful personality simply due to their upbringing.
They may react timidly to your commands, which can make dog training difficult. It can be heartbreaking to deal with. You want the best for your dog. If you are in this situation, then take a look at the following advice on how to train a scared dog.
Understanding Your Dog’s Biggest Fears
In order to help your scared Basenji, you need to understand their fears. Some dogs may be afraid of people, other animals, strange objects, or even loud noises. Each of these issues will require different forms of Basenji training. This is why you first need to address their fears, in order to instill positive behavior.
Dealing with a Fear of Objects
Some dogs can be afraid of strange objects. One of the most common items that dogs tend to have a fear of is empty boxes and paper bags. There is something about these objects that can give many dogs a good fright. While you may find this humorous, your dog likely finds this experience frightening.
The best way to deal with a fear of objects is to expose your Basenji to the object. Using an empty box as an example, bring the box out into an open room, such as your living room, and place it near your dog.
As they back away, begin laughing at the box. Walk over to the box and inspect it while laughing. Speak in an excited voice, as you would when you give affection to your dog. Call them over and remain upbeat as you pet your dog and examine the box.
Dealing with a Fear of Loud Noises
Loud noises are another common issue with scared dogs. This could include thunder, clapping, and even loud vehicles. Dealing with a fear of loud noises may require more patience than helping your dog get over a fear of objects. You will need to desensitize your dog to loud noises and reward a positive reaction.
One method of desensitizing your dog to loud sounds requires the use of a metal pan, such as a small saucepan. While your Basenji is another room, drop a metal pan onto the floor of your kitchen. Your dog will likely hear the noise and react in their usual manner to the loud sound.
Use the same method described above to let your dog know that the noise is nothing to be scared of. Begin laughing and call your dog into the room. Speak to your dog with an excited voice as you inspect the pan. It may require repetition, but they should eventually come over and inspect the pan with you. Repeat this process several times per day. Each time drop the pan, drop it closer to your dog until you can drop it while standing a few feet away.
Dealing with a Fear of People
Learning how to train a dog that is scared of people is a more serious issue than the previous fears. Again, desensitizing your dog is the best technique. Expose your dog to multiple people, one at a time. You could invite a different friend or family member over every couple of days.
Allow your dog to investigate the person. Talk to your guest in a normal tone of voice and allow your Basenji to greet them when they are ready, instead of forcing your dog to come out and greet your guest.
Dealing with a timid or scared dog brings a few additional complications to dog training. A scared Basenji may be traumatized from past experiences or due to their role in their litter. This is behavior that can be overcome.
If you use the tips and suggestions provided, you will be able to overcome these difficulties. Take your time and show your dog plenty of affection.
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