Peculiar fears in dogs: TEENAGERS

Another prevalent fear-based behavior
Imagine this scenario: your new dog is mild-mannered and presentable, so you decide to show it off to your neighborhood/local dog park/extended family. All is going well when your 15 year old neighbor’s kids/dog walker/nephew approaches your pooch turns into a furry version of Godzilla and attempts to defend his life! Oh your dog cowers, letting his body shake uncontrollably as if about to be eaten whole. And, you’re thinking: great, my dog is afraid of...adolescents? Why? 

What is behind it:
It is very likely that
your dog was lost on the streets before it got rescued, it was a stray. And, the most probable reason your dog is so fearful/aggressive toward adolescents is because while most of the adult world is at work, school lets out early, and they get to hang outside during the daytime. Lost and desperate animals too often fall victim to antics of children, who were not taught to be humane.

What you can do right away
I typically work with such dogs to undo this behavior by re-programming them. In a sense, I reverse their expectations. I have kids be most generous with treats, especially while on walks in public places. I take the fearful ones to barbecue parties, where they quickly realize that shaking fearfully in a corner will not get you that deliciously smelling morsel of cheese or nacho or meat. So before you know it, your dog will get desensitized to his bad memories and form some great new ones, with your help.

So there you have it, while others will continue to wonder, you will be well on your way to having your sweetheart trust you, kids of all ages and other previously fearsome objects again.
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