Does Your Dog Feel Scared During Training Sessions?

Does Your Dog Feel Scared During Training Sessions?

Just like humans, dogs can also feel scared during walks or training sessions.

Dogs that were well-socialized as puppies—meaning they were exposed early on to various sights, sounds, and experiences—are generally more comfortable and adaptable during training.

However, no matter how much socialization they had as puppies, a dog’s breed characteristics and individual personality can still affect how they react to stressful situations. Here are some things that might stress your dog during training.

Dogs Get Nervous or Stressed because...

1. You Maybe Teaching New Techniques

When teaching your dog new tricks, be careful about how you act and treat them. Avoid actions that could scare your dog, like bending over them or moving too fast.

Stay calm and gentle when you train. Dogs can pick up on how you feel, so it's important to keep your cool to help your dog feel less stressed.

Use rewards like treats or kind words when your dog does something right. This helps them feel good about learning and keeps training fun.

2. Environment Stressors

Dogs may also worry because of external factors that are new to them. That may include training in a new area that they find overwhelming or distracting, or working in familiar environments with people and dogs they’re not familiar with.

Unexpected changes in the environment, like a thunderstorm passing through, can also cause fear.

3. Increasing Training Difficulty Level

Sometimes, moving too fast in training can confuse your dog. They might not understand what you expect from them and respond with fear.

Also, introducing new items too abruptly can scare them. It's better to bring in equipment or props slowly. For instance, if you're training for agility, start with jumps at low heights to make them less daunting.

Once your dog feels comfortable with the lower jumps, you can gradually increase the height to the standard level.

What if My Dog Still Feel Scared?

If your dog seems scared during training, change your method right away. Talk to them in a happy voice and move them away from what scares them, using treats to help. Let them do an easy, fun trick like "sit" or "wave," give them lots of treats, and end the session on a happy note.

Let your dog check out scary things at their own speed and give them treats if they show interest from a safe spot. Don't force them closer to what scares them, as it might make their fear worse.

In future training, slowly help your dog get used to the scary thing little by little, mixing this with fun things like treats or toys. Start in places they feel safe if they're nervous in new spots.

Don't push your dog through their fears—it doesn't work and might make them shy or snappy. Keep training easy and fun for them.

When training your puppy, their comfort matters too. A poorly fitting harness can cause discomfort and even hair loss. The Joyride Harness fits well, preventing rubbing and discomfort, so you and your dog can enjoy long walks without worry.


SOURCES: American Kennel Club (AKC) 
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