Fears and Phobias
Like some humans, some dogs have a fear or phobia about certain things such as loud noises from thunder or fireworks, rolled up newspapers and sticks, but there are ways to ease fears and overcome phobias.
Fear Of Objects
Cause: If a dog has had a bad experience with a certain object, such as hit with a rolled-up newspaper or a stick, then he associates those things with pain.
Solution: Leave the objects lying around the house to de-sensitize him to them; reward him for going near them. Work towards picking up the objects and call your dog to you while you hold them, reassuring and rewarding him, so he learns to associate them with good things.
Fear Of Vehicles
Cause: The size and noise and speed of traffic worries some dogs, usually because they have not been acclimatized to it properly, or due to being hit by a vehicle.
Solution: Gradually acclimatize him to traffic on quiet roads, both day and night, offering lots of treats to distract him and so that he associates traffic with reward. To be on the safe side, ensure your dog is always on a lead when walking on public highways.
Fear Of Thunder Or Fireworks
Cause: Loud noise can hurt a dog's ears. one train of thought is that dogs view thunderstorms as dangerous because of lightning strikes.
Solution: Keep the dog inside and ensure he has a covered den where he can feel safe. Food-filled activity toys will distract and occupy him. Avoid fussing him as this will reinforce his fear. Noise de-sensitization CDs can help, as can leaving the radio or television on. A DAP diffuser may help alleviate fear, as may rescue remedies and a soothing massage.