Tips for Owners of ‘Scary’ Dogs

Have people stopped coming to your house because they’re scared of your dog(s)?

That can be a serious problem…you don’t want to lose your friends over your dog(s) but if your dog jumps on guests, barks crazily, growls, lunges or constantly craves attention, then you might consider a little behavior modification for your 4-legged pal and a little extra effort communicating to your guests about your dog(s).

Many people are scared of dogs–it’s called cynophobia.  People who experience this type of fear usually will avoid contact with dogs or freeze up when a dog is near. Severe cases of cynophobia result in panic attacks, rapid heart beat & accelerated breathing.

Luckily, most people experience a milder fear of dogs rather than cynophobia itself. So for these people, there’s an easier solution to help alleviate their fears when they enter your home:

1. Tell your guests that you have a dog before they come over – just in case they’re fearful or even if they have allergies. This way, their expectations can be set up front.

2. Walk the dog before your guests arrive or let him run around in the backyard so he can exert some energy.

3. When your guests arrive, put your dog in a confined area and give him some good toys to keep him occupied. That way, he will focus his attention on the toys, not on your guests. This should help your company feel more relaxed as well.
The right toys can really hold a dog’s attention in situations like this. Kongs are great training tools–you can insert highly rewarding food inside so your dog will be focused on getting the food out versus bothering your guest. Another toy you could try is a twined rope type toy…purchase one that is designed for the type of dog you have. The larger the breed, the larger and more durable the toy should be.
Your pet sitting, dog walking, poop scooping specialists!

*credit to Dr. Jon at Pet Place

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