At certain ages during the dogs early developmental stages, about eight weeks and again at fourteen weeks, all dogs go through a phase that will shape their lives. It is called the fear imprint stage. They are highly susceptible to being scared at this time and if they are frightened, that could develop a phobia that could stay with them for the rest of their lives. The educated dog owner should be able to notice and remedy this shock and take corrective action to prevent a phobia toward the object of fear.
Let me give you an example of fear biting in dogs. The plumber comes around to your house where he startles and scares your puppy. If the shock isn’t corrected by the owner, the puppy could develop a phobia of things that represent the plumber such as uniforms, toolboxes, caps and beards etc. which could lead to fear biting later on.
Certain breeds are by nature nervous, and their breeding has caused them to be anxious. The more intellectual breeds and ones that are emotionally connected to humans, have a greater tendency to acquire nervous tendencies. These nervous breeds include Border Collies, Weimaraners and Great Danes.
Another reason that could bring on fear biting in dogs is if the dog has had a lifetime of mistreatment and distress. Abused dogs and dogs that have been rejected by their owners have a greater chance that they have issues with anxiety that could lead to fear biting if corrective therapy isn’t carried out.
The difference between shyness and fear-biting.
Most dogs experience a degree of shyness during their lifetime but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the dog will develop into a fear biter or that it a troubled dog. It is a natural thing for dogs to be nervous in strange situations and environments. However, if shyness becomes deep set and it affects the dog during the routine of everyday life, it can become an issue. For instance, a dog could dart across the street when it is spooked endangering itself and others, or it could be that around unfamiliar people it is nervy and untrustworthy. If the way that you live your life changes around your dogs fear then that is a worry.
For more information on behavioral problems in dogs, check out Secrets to Dog Training, a comprehensive manual about raising a contented, well balanced, obedient dog.
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