How many times have you seen a LOST DOG poster (or post on Facebook) that says, “SHY, DO NOT CHASE” or something similar?
If you’ve adopted a shy or fearful dog, there are many things you can do to prevent this situation from happening. It all starts with the right equipment.
Tagg GPS collar attachment
If you only do one thing for your fearful dog, buy him or her a Tagg and activate it. A Tagg collar is $99 and has a monthly fee of $9.95. Compared to the price of a professional dog tracker — $100 an hour! — the Tagg is a bargain.
- Set your home zone. (You can change it if you go on vacation, to grandma’s house, etc.)
- Tagg will notify you immediately by text and/or email if your dog leaves your home zone.
- You can track your dog using the Tagg app.
- Tagg also tracks activity. Even if your dog is just lounging at home you can get an idea of how active he is when you are out.
Buy your Tagg at smile.amazon.com (select Your Dog’s Friend as your charity of choice!) and we will receive a small donation.
Two Points of Contact
When out on a walk, a fearful dog can slip a collar or harness in an instant. While it may seem like overkill, it pays to have two points of contact with your dog.
- One leash is attached to the collar.
- A second leash is attached to a harness.
There is no way the dog could slip out of both, so you have backup in case of an emergency. In our Reactive Dog Class, all dogs are double-leashed for security.
For even more security, you could clip one leash to your belt loop with a carabiner or wear an extra long leash around your waist (look for jogging leashes on Amazon).
…the third item is not a thing, but a question.
Is Your Dog Ready for Walks?
This is a crucial question when you have a fearful dog. Rex, pictured at the top of this article, has been in his foster home for 3 months and is still too scared to be in the fenced yard. He is paper trained like a puppy. While it is more work as far as cleanup, it enables Rex to feel safe and he is quickly progressing in his confidence.
There are many ways to exercise a fearful dog that do not involve being out in the big, scary world. Toy-motivated dogs can play fetch in the house. You can stuff a Kong with pureed pumpkin, freeze it, and let them work at licking it clean. Basic training (Touch, Sit, Down, etc) is mentally stimulating and will tucker out a pup.
Walks are wonderful, but if your dog is fearful and a flight risk, they can wait.
Join the Community
Trainer Debbie Jacobs has a wonderful community of fearful dog owners and foster parents on Facebook. You can feel safe there because everyone there is in the same boat. Everyone loves a fearful dog (or more than one!) and will help you with your questions and cheer for you when you have a breakthrough.