together solutions for
fearful and anxious dogs
At Together Dog Training, when we work with fearful or anxious dogs, we work with the whole dog. This is because we know that addressing all aspects of a fearful dog’s life produces the best outcome. Whilst behaviour modification to change how your dog feels about what upsets them is extremely effective, taking a holistic stance will greatly encourage your dog’s confidence. The use of positive reinforcement training empowers your dog to make choices about their behaviour. Ensuring your dog has opportunities for mental and physical enrichment also contributes to their emotional well-being.
Living with a dog who is fearful or anxious can feel very confusing, upsetting or worrying. It may impact significantly on your lifestyle. For your dog, living in a state of fear or anxiety, just like people, can be very debilitating.
We take great care to ensure that you have access to the most up to date knowledge so that you will understand the what’s, why’s and how’s of your dog’s behaviour. We only use scientifically proven behaviour modification techniques that have superb track records to effect change without harm or that put your dog into situations beyond their comfort zone.
Frequently Asked Questions
“What is fear?”
Fear is the desire to create social distance.
Fear is the feeling or emotion of wanting to get away from a perceived threat – wanting to escape, to get away – to get distance. If your dog is restrained in some way or fleeing is prevented, your dog may escalate to making “the frightening thing” go away.
In dogs, just like us, that feeling results in behaviours that are species specific reactions – flight or fight.
Imagine you’re a gazelle, you approach a water hole for a desperately needed drink. Something catches your eye at the periphery of your vision. You don’t know what it is, a shrub twitches. What to do? Carry on to get your drink, have a think about it for a few seconds? No! Too late! You should of run.
All animals including us, are prone to being fearful – it’s a survival trait that has continued through evolutionary time. The unfearful, the bold don’t survive. So, it pays to be fearful, even if you’re wrong – so you can go back another time to the watering hole, but you have survived.
When a dog is afraid of something or someone, they can express this in two different ways.
Flight – I’ll go away
- A dog making themselves small, hiding, cowering or freezing in position
- A dog turning away from the “thing” and fleeing
For our dogs, they may be prevented from fleeing by being confined or attached to a lead, they can’t get distance to feel safe. We might not recognise their need for distance, we might not recognise what our dog’s body language is telling us. Punishing any of these warnings signals is, as Dr. Ian Dunbar says, “like removing the ticker from the time bomb”. A dog that is afraid, if they can’t get away from the “scary thing” may use a more aggressive display to get that distance or they can learn over time that a good offence is the best defence.
Fight – You go away
- Warning Signals called the Threat Sequence
Our dogs communicate their need for distance by using warning signals. We might see our dog freeze in position, stare, hear growling, see our dog snarl or snap or bite. Some dogs give lots of warning signals, some less and some zoom from lower levels to escalation very quickly.
“My dog seems to be anxious about everything, what can I do?”
We are very experienced with dogs that have generalised anxiety. Generalised anxiety may come about because your dog has inherited a fearful disposition or become sensitised to their environment indoors or outdoors or both. Sensitisation is a learning process, in which a dog, continually exposed to their fear becomes more fearful. The fear spreads like a cloud to encompass all kinds of stimuli in the dog’s environment. Fear is particularly pervasive and generalises easily.
“What does advocating for your dog mean?”
Part of our work is to help you to understand how your dog feels, that they are not being naughty or difficult, they are frightened. We teach you the advocacy skills, the scripts to use and how to explain to family or friends that it is vital for all of us to help your dog feel safe in their world.
“I need help with my dog, what should I do next?”
Give us a ring or fill in our Contact Form. We are very experienced at working with owners who may be upset or distressed about their dog’s behaviour. We’ll have a telephone conversation to get a broad outline of what’s going on with your dog, give you emergency guidance if necessary and then we can set a date for your first visit.
I need this – what should I do next?
Give us a ring or fill in our Contact Form. We’re happy to chat on the phone and we’ll answer any questions you have. When you want to go ahead, we’ll speak on the phone to get some more detail, then we can book your first appointment.
Fearful Dog Programmes
We work very closely in partnership with our clients and their dog to work through and to resolve your dog’s fear or anxiety. We have designed our Assessment and Behaviour Modification Sessions as packages, so that we can offer the consistency your dog will need, and we are all on board committed to working towards the very best outcome. We offer two Programme options because every dog is different and will need an individually tailored programme. Our Programmes are designed so that you can spread the cost and not have to worry about paying a large sum at once. Each Programme starts with an Assessment Consultation that will last from one to two hours. After your Assessment, we draft a Behaviour Modification Programme for your dog, write a full report detailing our discussions and provide background information that will help you understand your dog’s behaviour. Our Programmes come with free between Session support and guidance by phone or email and Homework that is appropriate for your schedule and your dog’s progress.
Assessment Consultation followed by 4 One-Hour Sessions
£120 in advance then two easy payments of £150.00 for Four Sessions – Total = £420.00
Assessment Consultation followed by 6 One-Hour Sessions
£120 in advance then three easy payments of £150.00 for Six Sessions – Total = £570.00
If you need more Sessions after your Programme, or you want a top-up refresher.
Single Add-on One Hour Sessions = £85.00
Two Add-on One Hour Sessions = £150.00
About Our Pricing and Packages
Our Pricing and Packages
We offer two-hour Consultations for advice and expert guidance, assessment and recommendations for training or behaviour modification. Consults are good if you need help quickly, are getting or have just got a new puppy or adopted dog or if you have a difficulty with fear or aggression issues.
Our Programmes consist of a set number of sessions. As a package, they are priced at a reduced hourly rate. This ensures you get real value and great service to deliver you the consistency needed to get the results you want. Before we start your Training or Behaviour Modification Programme, we'll talk on the phone to assess your needs and plan your programme.
All our services have built in flexibility. So it doesn't matter if you feel that you and your dog don't fit like a glove into one. We will always find the right pathway for you and your dog.
Getting in touch
At together dog training we recognise how important it is to find a trainer who is the right match for you and your dog. That's why we ask you to give us a ring, email us or fill in the contact form. Then we can help you out by assessing your needs to find the best route for you and your dog. If you leave a message we will get back to you.