The phobic dog

Many dogs exhibit signs of phobia when faced with certain situations. Dogs are commonly afraid of veterinarians, car rides, other dogs, and people. Phobia from storms is reported in 5% of dogs, and 20% of these exhibit phobias related to sounds of explosions. Thus, it can be easily said that phobias do exist for dogs.


Fear is manifested by low posture, panting, and uncontrolled elimination (defecating). The dog may drool, sweat, and empty his anal glands. Subsequently, the dog may also flinch, try to escape and bite.


The dog can be scared of either, one type of stimulus, a group of stimuli, or a number of stimuli unrelated to each other. There equally exists canines who are scared of people or just social gestures.


In general, phobias develop after a bad experience or because of lack of socialization. They can also appear as a result of trauma.


It is generally easy to reduce the fear caused by phobias by desensitizing the dog, in effect, changing its perception of the stimulus. However, if the dog has a deep fear, the work has to be done for a longer period of time. Often times, taking the time to treat the phobia is the fastest way to be rid of it or at least, to greatly reduce it.