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Strategies Against Anxiety: How to Make Your Puppy Safe and Confident

03.01.2023 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Ein deutscher Wachtelhund Welpe

Anxiety is natural and a vital protective mechanism. It only becomes a problem when it is excessive and inappropriate and the dog cannot find its way out of the behaviour on its own. A dog that hides under the table out of fear of a man and only comes out after several hours is an example of this. This kind of fear and stress behaviour can even make your pet really ill in the long run, so you have to do something about it in good time, ideally from puppyhood onwards.


Showing the puppy the world

To prevent your puppy from developing unfounded fears, it is important to introduce as many different stimuli as possible during the socialisation phase – see here. However, no matter how much effort you put into making everything optimal for your puppy, there will always come a time when your puppy becomes frightened and shows anxiety. Now it is crucial that you behave correctly.

Calm and security instead of pity and comfort

When your puppy is frightened because it has experienced its first summer thunderstorm and there has been a loud bang, you should never pity or comfort him. If you go up to it and try to calm it down, this may increase its anxiety. It seems to it like you are also impressed by the situation, because you never behave like this. And then you confirm its behaviour by comforting it, stroking it and giving words of encouragement. Of course, you should not ignore the young dog when it is sitting there shivering and trembling and is really scared. Instead, act calmly and confidently. Call your puppy over to you and let it be calm with you. You can also put a hand on its back – but please don’t stroke your dog, just let it know that you are there and that everything is under control. Your calmness, which you radiate, will also quickly reduce the puppy’s fear.

Don’t exaggerate the situation

If your puppy is frightened by an object, you should not try to lure it there. The more attention you pay to the incident, the more sceptical your puppy will become. Just go to the object and wait. Give your puppy time to look at it calmly and approach you on its own. After all, if the owner remains so relaxed and calm around the strange object, it can’t be all that dangerous. If you take your puppy through situations that are scary for it, it will gradually gain more confidence and self-assurance – and discover and experience the world as confidently as you do!


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