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  • Writer's pictureMecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI

Scary Things: Is Your Dog Scared?

Dogs can be scared, and the feeling is very real. They might be afraid of trash truck, a person, possibly an environment. Just the sound of a train coming down the tracks.

As I work with dogs and notice how they are reluctant or move quickly away from something. I've been working with a dog that moves and runs away from the sound of a train coming. I live close to a railroad track and the train comes along sometimes a few times a day.

In the beginning when I started helping him with this he would run towards the door and ready to come back in. I knew I had to set up a plan to help him. I never made him do anything. He would run towards the door. I would stay by him and assure him I was staying there. I would give him treats as he listened to the sound of the rumble coming. At this point I knew that distance was going to be our friend. The further away we were the better.

Over time I was able to gradually get him closer to listening. I could hear the train coming and I started giving him treats because I knew he could hear it too. Distance was being our friend.

Over the past year he has improved, and he is rewarded by me tossing treats to the ground. The sound is not so scary anymore. I never pushed the dog over threshold and that is so important in behavior modification.

When dogs are scared, we need to understand how real that is. If I am working with a dog out in a different place, I sometimes use a long line. The long line is very useful and should be handled correctly.

I like the round ones because they are smoother. Very helpful when I am slow stopping the dog. Just like a car we don't want to always be slamming the brakes on.

If you have a dog that is scared and you need help, please contact me. Helping dogs with fear, frustration and aggression can be done. Behavior Modification does take time but it so worth it in the end. Invest now and into the future with your dog.

With time and slow exposure, you can make a difference!

You can book online at

Until next time be safe and think about the environment and set ups with your dog. Don't set your dog up for failure.

Mecca Curtice, CDBC, CCDT

Slow braking is better than a harsh stop.

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