August 3, 2007, Newsletter Issue #195: Retraining a Fearful Adopted Dog

Tip of the Week

If you have an adopted adult dog that has fear issues, you need to take steps towards properly socializing your pet to help her overcome her fears. You can try desensitizing her to situations where she shows signs of fear. For instance, if your dog is afraid of unfamiliar dogs, she has probably developed an innate distrust of other canines due to certain situations that occurred in her past. You should find a controlled environment where you can introduce her to various other dogs. Try to do so slowly and have her interact with friendly dogs. She should gradually be able to realize that a meeting with an unknown canine doesn't necessarily mean bad news.

If you find that you've exhausted all of your resources and your dog is not making any signs of progress, consider eliciting the help of a professional trainer or animal behaviorist that has experience with fearful dogs.

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