Fearful Dog Resources

10/11/15: Hasn’t been updated in a while but here is a small collection of helpful links for helping dogs with fear/anxiety issues!

This page is a collection of resources on one of the most prevalent yet misunderstood topics in the dog behavior world: fear and anxiety. In no way is this collection meant to be comprehensive. I believe that “fear” is one of the most widely misunderstood and mistreated dog behavioral issues. So I am collecting resources that get it right and posting here together as a single, handy fear and anxiety resource.

General Fear:

Building Adaptive Skills for Fearful Dogs by Giving Powerful Options and Freedom to Make Choices – Steve DeBono
I really wish the concepts contained in this article were implemented in a more widespread way.

(VIDEO) Introducing Myself To a Fearful Dog – Steve DeBono
Older video… a bit embarrassed by a couple of snafus, but the beauty of patience and allowing the dog to make his own decisions means neither I nor the dog paid for those mistakes!

If Only That Hadn’t Happened, this Dog Would Be Fine – Suzanne Clothier
Some dogs are just more resilient than others, for whatever reason. This great article includes a great reference list of ways you can observe how fear, anxiety, or stress is affecting a dog’s behavior in a particular situation.

(VIDEO) Calming the Fearful Dog – Suzanne Clothier

(VIDEO) Counter Conditioning & Safety – Suzanne Clothier

(VIDEO) Arousal, Fear, & Anxiety DVD Preview – Suzanne Clothier

Dealing with Canine Anxiety & Phobias – James Watt, Vetsci Science Blog

Lots of basic useful info on this website created by Debbie Jacobs. A good overall resource fearful dog information.

Autonomy & Domestic Dogs Part 1 – Patricia McConnell
Autonomy & Domestic Dogs Part 2 – Patricia McConnell
While not strictly an article on fear, giving dogs opportunities to (safely) make their own choices can be extremely helpful in addressing generalized fear/anxiety. Patricia discusses the importance of autonomy in this excellent pair of blog posts.

Body Language:

Identifying Fearful Signals Poster – Center for Shelter Dogs, Animal Rescue League of Boston
Well done cartoon drawings are used to show various ways that a dog’s body language can demonstrate fear.


The Three P’s: Does Your Dog Need Medication? – Suzanne Clothier
A “quick and dirty” assessment to determine whether a dog’s fears may call for medication.