How to calm a scared or nervous dog

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scared puppy

Surely on more than one occasion you have been able to see how your dog gets nervous for some specific reason, such as when there are fireworks, loud noises, when he crosses another dog, when you go to the vet, etc … There are many reasons for which your dog may feel scared or anxious, so we will explain how to easily solve these situations.

The first thing we must know is what is the reason why the dog is scared, if it is a stressful situation, how when he comes across a dog that he gets along with or when he goes to the vet. Or if instead it is a panic situation, how when there are very loud noises or fireworks. Depending on the origin, we will apply the following methods.

Index of contents

  • 1 How to calm a scared dog with loud noises or fireworks
  • 2 How to calm a dog that gets stressed easily
  • 3 Things we should NEVER do to calm a dog

How to calm a scared dog with loud noises or fireworks

Dogs like to live without stress and without jolts, they are routine animals that like to know what is happening around them. That is why some dogs when they hear fireworks or loud noises, such as trucks, thunder, etc … They get so scared that they panic.

A dog frightened by this type of noise will show a lot of nervousness, will bark, moan or even hide in some corner of the house (usually, under the bed). It is completely normal and we should not prevent him from doing so, as we will only be making the situation worse.

If our dog hides somewhere in the house, it is because he feels safe there. We simply must stay close to him and speak to him normally, so that he relaxes little by little. We must not force him out of hiding, ever. Let him be the one to go out whenever he wants, when he relaxes.

If he starts to bark or moan and we’re home, we can distract him with a toy or practice a little obedience. For example, tell him to sit or lie down and when he does, give him a prize. What we seek with this is to divert your attention from the noise, making you focus on another task.

We will know that he is really scared because he will surely have his tail tucked between his legs, the language of the dogs tail is a clear way to show their mood. Find out more in “The meaning of the movement of the tail of the dogs “.

We should never yell at him, nor should we be angry, much less nervous, because he will perceive our anger or nervousness and his fear will increase even more. Keeping calm, patience, and diverting your attention is all you have to do.

If our dog is frightened by noise while on the street, we should simply get away from the noise a bit, walk in another direction. When the noise is a little far, we must play with our dog or practice obedience, giving him a prize every time he obeys our order.

It is a way to distract your attention so that you don’t focus on the noise. After a while, we can reach a little further towards the noise, so that it is somewhat louder, stopping again and starting to play or educate again. The goal is that as you focus on our obedience game / class, you gradually make noise, get used to it.

scared dog hiding

We should never force him to walk to the source of the noise if he does not want to, we must not increase his fear. Calming our dog is something that we must do with patience and without obligations. Some dogs take a week to accept the noise and calm down, and other dogs take a month… we just have to be patient.

Walking daily through streets with traffic and people walking is highly recommended, so that our dog socializes with his environment and with the sounds of it. So in no time, you will know that noise is not really a danger.

How to calm a dog that gets stressed easily

Not all dogs get along with each other and many times, there is a specific dog that gets a little bad with ours. This is completely normal, it is how with people, we don’t get along with everyone.

However, some dogs do not know how to stay calm when they cross another dog with which they do not get along. This produces fear and stress in large quantities, something highly inadvisable as a scared and stressed dog can be unpredictable.

If our dog fits this example, what we should always do is get a little out of the way and sit him down, quietly and calmly waiting for the other dog he doesn’t get along with to pass. As we will have gotten out of the way, there will be no danger of biting or growling (remember to take it tied).

We can also take a piece of stick or some blades of grass, to distract the attention of our dog while the other puppy passes. Soothing our dog is very simple actually, simply distracting his attention.

With this exercise our dog will calm down over time and lose fear of the other dog, which will make walking with him much more fun and enjoyable.

If our dog suffers from stress when visiting the vet, what we should do is set an example. Do not lose your cool at any time, stay calm and do not force him to enter the office.

Here the food is our best ally, we must deceive him little by little so that following the food, he enters the consultation voluntarily. We will give you prizes to keep your mind busy and focused, without realizing that you are already in the consultation.

Once inside, more of the same. We must play with it or practice obedience exercises, always with prizes so that its sense of smell is focused on food and its mind does not drift towards its surroundings. The easiest trick in the world is this, keep the dog busy.

This will prevent you from feeling fear and feeling insecure, our pampering and caresses will also help you a lot. With food, calm and practice, our dog will easily lose his fear of the vet.

scared dog

Things we should NEVER do to calm a dog

Some people try to calm their dog with highly recommended practices, since without knowing it, instead of actually calming it, what they do is make it more nervous. Although some of them may seem obvious, it never hurts to remember what we should not do when we want to calm our nervous or scared dog.

  • If the dog hides, never force him out, don’t force him out because he will panic.
  • If the dog barks or cries Do not scold him for doing it as it is his way of expressing that he is scared. Just distract him with something else and apply a lot of positive reinforcement, this will stop him from barking or crying.
  • If the dog pulls on the leash to the opposite side, don’t force him to continue. He wants to leave because he is afraid, what we should do is get away a little and start working on that fear with the advice previously explained.
  • If the dog urinates with fear, you should never scold him. Don’t even be mad because it was unintentional. He simply tries to understand what scares him and that fear begins to work.
  • Don’t try to calm two dogs that bite each other, because you could also take a bite. It just separates the dogs that bit
    e as we explain here: How to separate two fighting dogs , and after verifying that he has no wounds, he takes a leisurely walk to calm him.

And always remember that your dog can perceive your emotional state, if you are nervous or scared, he will be too.