How to Help Your Dog Overcome Fear

Helping a fearful dog learn how to enjoy life takes time and patience, but with the right nurturing your nervous dog can learn that the world is not such a scary place. Today we’re going to discuss how to help a nervous dog, including what dog treats to give and what to do when your dog is spooked or anxious.

Why Is My Dog Scared of Everything?

Many experiences we take for granted can be very scary for dogs. If your dog has not been socialized from a young age or has experienced trauma, pain, or stress, they are likely to find everyday situations very daunting. This means that something we take for granted, such as a person with an umbrella or walking past a flapping sheet, can trigger a severe fear response in your dog.

Some dogs are naturally more fearful, while others are bold, confident, and not fazed by anything. If your dog is still young, careful and patient socialization can help them learn to overcome their fear and anxiety. However, a dog that has experienced trauma in the past may find it more difficult to overcome their fears, and you may need to adapt how you handle and care for your dog accordingly.

Dogs show signs of fear and anxiety in different ways. Some will attempt to flee from whatever they fear, while others will manifest aggressive behavior to drive the perceived threat away. Dogs that have experienced extreme trauma may freeze and shut down emotionally as a response to fear.

How to Help Dogs with Anxiety

To help your dog overcome anxiety, it helps to understand what triggers this emotional response. It may be a physical activity or object, or it could be the anticipation of something such as being left alone or traveling in the car. Recognizing the early signs of anxiety, such as lip licking or flattened ears, means you can take prompt action before your dog begins to panic.

Once you understand what spooks your dog, you can take steps to help them overcome their anxiety. Good techniques include:

  • Creating a safe space for your dog where they can relax
  • Building your dog’s confidence gradually with safe experiences
  • Teaching your dog to settle when they become overexcited

Remember that your dog cannot help their anxiety – it is a deeply ingrained fear response. Never punish your dog for their behavior when they panic, and never force them to ‘face their fears’.

Does CBD Help Dog Anxiety?

It can be very helpful to use dog treats such as those containing cannabidiol as a form of positive reinforcement when training a nervous dog. Giving CBD products can help distract the dog from things they normally find frightening. Chews and treat balls are also useful for dogs suffering from separation anxiety or boredom when left home alone.

What To Do When Your Dog Is Spooked

When your dog is spooked, the best action to take is to remove them from the situation as calmly and quickly as possible. It takes time for the fear response to subside, so allow your dog to sit in a quiet place where they feel safe and secure until all signs of anxiety have subsided. Some dogs find the presence of a person comforting at this time, while others are best left alone to quietly overcome their panic.


Helping a fearful dog is a slow but rewarding process, as you celebrate every little milestone that your nervous pooch achieves. Positive reinforcement is a great way to help your dog overcome their fears, so don’t forget to reward them with tasty treats containing oil for dogs.

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