Ask the Dog Trainer: Why Is My Dog Afraid of Men?
Dog trainers deal with a variety of interesting – and often challenging – behavior patterns every day. One of the most common observations we hear from our clients involves dogs who have a fear of men.
Most pet owners mistakenly believe that, if their dog fears some or most men, the poor pup must have suffered abuse at some point. Although that would cause this behavior pattern, it’s usually not the reason Fido reacts differently around your male friends and family members.
The good news is that this is a behavior pattern that a professional dog trainer can help you address.
How Your Dog May React if He’s Fearful of Men
Typically, canine fear responses include tucking the tail, flattening the ears, shaking, cowering and spontaneous urination. Some dogs may even act out in aggression, barking, growling and attempting to bite.
Although you don’t want your dog to experience fear unnecessarily, you really don’t want your dog to exhibit aggressive behaviors that are born of fear. Consequently, if Fido displays even mild symptoms of fear around men, it’s important to proactively address the problem before it gets out of hand.
Why Does Your Dog Have a Fear of Men?
Although some dogs display this behavior because they had a bad experience or suffered abuse at the hands of a man, that’s not the case for most dogs. The chances are much better than your pet wasn’t well socialized as a puppy.
Many dogs react fearfully to men because they behave differently than women. Men tend to be taller and to speak more loudly than women. They also tend to be more assertive and direct, and approach animals with a different energy than women do.
Knowing the specific reason Fido fears men isn’t important. What’s more important is to observe and watch for patterns, so you can provide your dog trainer with as much helpful information as possible.
Let a Dog Trainer Help Your Pet’s Fear of Men
Although you could attempt to desensitize your pet, consulting a professional dog trainer first is highly advisable. Unless you have the experience and training, you could potentially worsen the situation or make your pet feel even more uncomfortable.
A professional dog trainer will evaluate the issues and become familiar with your pet before deciding on the right approach. After working directly with your pet, the trainer can give you some homework that you can do to help the process along.
Before you know it, Fido will be as happy to see your male guests as he is with the ladies.
In Salt Lake City, Innovative K9 Academy provides comprehensive dog and puppy training classes and boot camps, to address behavioral problems and for teaching basic obedience and other skills. Contact us today and speak to one of our professional dog trainers to learn more about how we can help your pet overcome his fear of men.