Why Is My Puppy Scared Of Everything?

Puppies are just beginning to learn their way in the world, and a small amount of trepidation and anxiousness, particularly over new situations, is normal. However, a habitually frightened puppy who is unable to socialize or function in normal settings may have underlying emotional, mental or health problems that require veterinary assistance.

Puppy Scared Of Everything

Reasons why your puppy may be afraid of everything:

Early Weaning

A puppy who is taken from its mother and siblings too soon may experience anxiety and have behavioral issues because he didn’t have an opportunity to learn these early skills from his littermates and mother. Pups often learn acceptable behaviors from brothers and sisters through play fighting, and they learn from their mother when to be wary of dangerous situations. A pup without this knowledge may be frightened until he becomes accustomed to learning these skills on his own.

Puppy Mill Puppy

A young dog produced by a puppy mill may have a variety of emotional and physical issues that cause him to be skittish and frightened. Puppy mill pups are often inbred, not socialized properly and may have undetected health problems. They are often reared in crowded, noisy conditions and don’t get the time or attention they need to become well-adjusted, which can make them wary of new situations.

Past Abuse

Unfortunately, many puppies who behave in a scared manner are frightened because they were abused in the past. This can be prevalent in shelter and rescue dogs. These puppies need consistent love, care, and attention to help them overcome their past emotional trauma and learn to trust human beings again.

Personality Traits

Just like people, some puppies have naturally anxious personalities. Your puppy may be frightened of other household animals, loud sounds or may suffer separation anxiety when you’re away. These pups may benefit from behavioral training and proper socialization to help them overcome their fears. In extreme cases, your vet may recommend an antidepressant or antianxiety medication to help relieve fears.

how To get a scared dog to trust you?

how to get your puppy to trust and respect you
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Puppies who are scared of people have often been through emotionally or physically traumatic situations. Puppies may be the product of puppy mills, or may have been in abusive situations. Pups who are abandoned by owners or are separated from their mothers too soon can suffer mental trauma that scares them and makes it difficult for them to bond with their human companions.

Build Trust

Scared puppies have to learn how to trust. This starts with you, as an owner, never yelling or physically reprimanding your dog. Puppies who cower, hide or exhibit nervous urination are demonstrating their fear. Gentle, patient interaction that is loving and consistent is vital to showing a puppy you won’t hurt him. Give the pup his own private space to retreat to with his own bedding, toys and bowls, and show physical affection if the puppy will let you.

Identify and Overcome Fears

Study your puppy to find common threads in fearful situations and look for ways to alleviate the fear sources where you can. For example, if your dog is afraid of loud noises, don’t run power tools around him; if he’s frightened when storms strike, put him in a covered kennel in an insulated part of the house with a chew toy to distract him. Some puppies outgrow common fears as they mature and become more confident.

Puppy training help

A puppy who is afraid of people likely has never been properly trained or socialized. Having these basic skills and knowledge gives the puppy the tools he needs to have positive and rewarding interactions with humans. Puppies want to please those who care for them, and understanding commands and expectations can help establish a bond and begin the rehabilitation process.

Reinforce Positive Interactions

Reward your puppy when he has a positive interaction with you or with other people. Give praise, use encouraging words and provide treats when the puppy is social and interactive. Use only gentle reprimands and reward your puppy every time he does something right. Don’t force your puppy into physical interaction or situations that make him afraid. Time is often one of the best rehabilitation tools.

Consult a Professional

A puppy who has suffered severe physical or emotional trauma may need the assistance of a professional to help with the rehabilitation process. Ask your vet for a recommendation to a canine behavioral specialist who may be able to provide you with one-on-one instruction and show you how to help your pup regain a normal and happy life.

Employ Dog-Friendly Help

Gradually introduce your puppy to calm, gentle animal lovers who can provide positive experiences. For example, invite a friend into your home to sit on the floor and hold a treat or toy, allowing the pup to approach without the fear of forced interaction. Slowly expand the number of people who interact with your pup and begin the socialization rehabilitation process. When your dog gets more confident, encourage interaction with larger groups until fear starts to dissipate.