Fearful Dog Becomes Confident Again

As some of you may know, our Tommy came to us fearful of vehicles – not just riding in them but vehicles, period. After months of work, we have been able to get him to the point of being able to ride on the floor of our truck for a short distance at a low speed without having a panic attack.

Unfortunately or fortunately, however you look at it, we now have a new vehicle – a van. A totally different looking and sounding vehicle. Since we had accustomed Tommy to the old truck, we have to now get him used to the new van. So I am now videoing the realtime training I am doing to get Tommy used to the van.

Sounds tedious, I know, but necessary. I am basically starting over with his training. To put this in perspective, a fearful dog benefits from a change in his perception of the thing he fears. When Tommy’s fear developed, he was simply shoved into a crate in the back of a vehicle and was driven about 1300 km to his new home. Because of this, I will likely never be able to crate him again in a vehicle. It is just too risky to try as it would likely undo all the training I have done.

Instead I plan on having him ride on the floor of the van between the seats and later, be belted sitting on the seat in an appropriate dog seatbelt.

This is the reality of fear issues with dogs. The training takes time (as all training really does), and it is irrational. You can’t reason with a dog to get rid of his fear. Instead, I like to think of it as a relationship building time that we spend together.

3 thoughts on “Fearful Dog Becomes Confident Again

  1. The “change of vehicle” reaction seems to be a typical insecure canine response. Our Ray is relatively happy if one of us leaves the home by the back door ….. but distinctly unhappy if the front door is used. He grudgingly accepts that one of us can go into certain stores ……… but go into a store that he is not familiar with? It could perhaps be deduced that their view of the world is quite simplistic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Been there…I wish that had been our only issue. Good luck to you. It took a month for our mentally damaged rescued dogs to be great car riders. I blogged about our ordeal. Update your current progress! Hope all has drastically improved.

    Liked by 1 person

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