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About Fear Periods in Dogs in Plano, TX

Fear Periods in Dogs: A Survival Guide

Bringing home, a puppy is packed with excitement, but when your puppy begins displaying symptoms of fear, you may feel concerned. This behavior is called fear periods, and they are normal in dogs, but what exactly are they? K-9 University in Plano, TX, is here to explain fear periods in dogs and how to effectively overcome them with our best dog training services.

Fear Periods in Dogs in Plano and Garland, TX

Understanding Fear Periods in Dogs

Fear periods in puppies take place within the first 1-2 years of a dog’s life. During this time, your dog will undergo cognitive changes that make them hyper-aware and more sensitive to the world around them. Although fear periods are functional occurrences, they may seem alarming and can be challenging to navigate.

Why Do Fear Periods Occur?

Fear periods are a result of cognitive changes in your dog. During this time, your dog’s brain is evolving and preparing them for self-sufficiency and independence. Your dog may seem spooked by certain things during a fear period. However, it’s an essential pattern they are engaging in as they learn to recognize what is safe and what should be avoided.

Symptoms of Fear Periods in Dogs

Fear periods in dogs may vary from one dog to the next. Some of the common symptoms of fear periods in dogs include:

  • Easily startled by sounds or changes
  • Dramatic reactions to unpleasant instances
  • Fear of people, animals, or unknown objects
  • Barking, backing away, and other fearful body languages

How Long Do Fear Periods Last?

Fear periods in dogs come with a sudden onset of behavioral changes. Not all dogs will experience fear periods, but for the dogs that do, the common times we see the shift in their behavior typically occur in puppies between 8-11 weeks old and 6-14 months old, and they usually last for approximately 2-3 weeks.

The 8-11 Week Fear Period

The 8–11-week fear period in puppies happens around the time they are removed from their litter and brought into their new home. This can be stressful for a little dog with many new things around them. The goal during this time is to promote positivity for your puppy as it adapts to its new environment.

The 6-14 Month Fear Period

The 6–14-month fear period is known as the more challenging fear period in dogs as fearful behavior can be more complex to manage in an older and larger dog. When your dog begins displaying symptoms of fear, anxiety, or a decline in obedience, don’t panic, it’s an essential biological process that will pass.

Dog Training Through 8-11 Week Fear Periods

To help your 8–11-week-old puppy during their fear period, here are some effective measures to take:

  • Give them time to settle in before beginning training.
  • Begin socialization early but in moderation to deter discomfort.
  • Choose a veterinarian that engages in fear-free care at a reasonable pace for your puppy.

Dog Training Through 6-14 Month Fear Periods

To help your 6–14-month-old dog overcome their fear period, pursue the following:

  • Use positive reinforcement to correct behaviors.
  • Refrain from on-leash gatherings with other dogs.
  • Do not isolate your dog but socialize them in a controlled and moderate manner.
  • Avoid suspicious or fear-inducing training, such as invisible fences, e-collars, or physical corrections.

What Isn’t a Fear Period & When to Seek Help

Fear periods in dogs are classified by their sudden onset shift in behavior. Therefore, a dog who gradually becomes fearful or anxious and does not come out of this pattern after 2-3 weeks is not experiencing a fear period and, instead, may require professional guidance to alleviate the worsening behaviors.

Contact K-9 University in Plano, TX

If you’re the proud owner of a new puppy, K-9 University is here to ensure you and your dog develop the most trusting bond possible. We will help you bond with your dog with positive reinforcement training and sustainable obedience that promotes a lifetime of happiness. Contact our dog training professionals to discuss your dog training service needs.