Fearfulness in Puppies

Puppies tend to pick up on the emotions of people around them.  They can be excitable or very calm depending on how you act to certain situations.  The tone in your voice and the way you posture yourself will tell the dog if there is something to fear or not.  If you want the pup to remain calm, then you must act this way yourself.  He is learning emotions and will mimic what you do.
Puppies can be afraid of other dogs, especially larger ones.  Let your dog come into contact with other dogs.  When you are walking him, you may run into other dogs.  At the vet’s office, he will run into other canines and maybe a few felines.  Try to find some friendly dogs at first.  This will help the pup build confidence.
Puppies fear people at times too.  They may see them as a threat if they have had other bad experiences with people.  Try giving the person a treat to toss to the dog or let the dog walk up to the person.  Never drag a dog over to a person he doesn’t want to meet.  Allow the dog to set the tone.  Give him a treat or praise when he meets someone new and doesn’t growl.  If the pup becomes aggressive, you may need to have a dog trainer work with him.
The most common fear is the fear of veterinarians.  You certainly can’t blame the pup for that.  There are so many things going on at the vet’s that the dog doesn’t get to see anywhere else.  There is sensory overload, other animals ranging from dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles, many unfamiliar people, and the dreaded shot.  Bring a toy or blanket with you.  Bring some of his favorite treats so when he does a correct behavior, you can reward him.

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