Caring for a Nervous Dog

Do you have a timid dog? Our canine pals all have distinct personalities. Some are friendly and outgoing, while others are very jumpy and fearful. A local Lakeville, MN vet discusses caring for a nervous dog below.

Recognize Fear

Fear in dogs can manifest in many ways. Fido may pant, drool, defecate or urinate inappropriately, jump around, or try to stick close to you. Fear can also cause aggressive behavior, such as growling. Training and conditioning may help your four-legged pal overcome his anxiety. Ask your vet for more information.

Crate Training

Used properly, crates can be very helpful dog training tools. You want Fido to think of his crate as a cozy den, somewhere he can always retreat to if he feels unsafe. Of course, in some cases, this may backfire. If your furry friend is a rescue dog that spent too much time crated in the past, this may not be the best way to go.

Positive Reinforcement

Anxiety can cause dogs to act up in a variety of ways, such as digging, chewing, and eliminating improperly. Never punish Fido for misbehaving. This will just make him even more uneasy! Focus on rewarding good behavior instead.

Veterinary Care

Health problems can have a drastic effect on dogs’ personalities. Have Fido examined thoroughly. Also, if your pooch hasn’t been spayed or neutered yet, get this done ASAP. Dogs are usually much calmer once they have been fixed.


Make sure that Fido is getting enough exercise. After a vigorous doggy workout, your pup will probably be pretty tired, which will naturally calm him down a bit. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Look For Triggers

Many dogs have specific fears. Fido may be afraid of a certain type of person. Or, he may be frightened of loud noises. Manage your canine companion’s interactions with others, and don’t expose him to things or places that may upset him, such as large crowds.


Making sure that your pooch feels loved and safe is very important! One way to do this is to work on Fido’s training. Even having him Sit before he gets a treat can reinforce the dynamics between you, and let him know that good things happen when you’re in charge. This can help him feel secure.

As your Lakeville, MN vet clinic, we are dedicated to offering great care. Contact us anytime!