Why Is My Dog Scared Of Me? Understanding Their Fear

Are you concerned why is my dog scared of me? It’s a heart-wrenching thought, but the reality is some dogs do develop fear towards their owners due to a number of reasons including past trauma and inconsistent training.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into recognizing signs of fear in your dog, understanding its root causes and exploring helpful strategies to rebuild trust with your scared pooch. Ready to face the issue paw-on for a happier furry friend? Keep reading!

why is my dog scared of me

Key Takeaways

  • Signs of fear in dogs include running away, hiding, cowering, disobedience, submissive behaviors, and physical reactions like trembling or hiding tail.
  • Reasons for a dog’s fear may include past trauma, inconsistent training, and negative reactions from the owner.
  • To address a dog’s fear and build trust, be patient, give them space to feel safe, use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise, stick to a routine for stability and consistency, seek professional help if needed from a veterinarian or certified trainer specialized in fearful dogs.

Signs Your Dog May Be Scared of You

If your dog runs away or hides when you approach, cowers in fear, disobeys commands, shows submissive behaviors, or has physical reactions like trembling or hiding tail, they may be scared of you.

Running away

Your dog may dart off if it fears you. This is a sign that the dog does not feel safe. It tries to escape from what scares it. To help your dog, give it a safe place in your home where it can go when scared.

Do not follow the dog or try to pull it out of its spot. This will only make things worse. With time, patience and love, your dog can start feeling more at ease around you again.


Your dog may hide when they are scared of you. This could be a sign that they feel unsafe or threatened. When dogs hide, they may try to find small spaces where they can’t be seen, like under furniture or in a closet.

They might also tuck their tail between their legs and lower their body close to the ground. Hiding is a way for them to protect themselves from what they perceive as a threat. It’s important to recognize this behavior and approach your dog with calmness and patience so that you can help them feel safe again.

If your dog is hiding because they’re scared of you, it’s crucial not to force them out or punish them for hiding. This will only make the problem worse and damage the trust between you and your furry friend.

Instead, give your dog space and time to come out on their own terms. Create a safe environment by making sure there are quiet areas where your dog feels secure.

By using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, toys, or praise when your dog comes out of hiding, you can help build trust and confidence in them. Avoid any sudden movements or loud noises that could startle or scare your dog further.In severe cases where helping your fearful dog overcome their fear seems challenging,b seeking professional guidance from a veterinarian or certified trainer specialized in fearful dogs is recommended for effective support.


Cowering is a common sign that your dog may be scared of you. When dogs cower, they lower their body and tuck their tail between their legs as if trying to make themselves smaller.

This behavior usually indicates fear or anxiety. Your dog may cower when you approach them or when they think they’re in trouble. It’s important to understand this behavior and not punish your dog for cowering, as it will only make their fear worse.

Instead, try to create a safe and calm environment for them so that they feel more secure. Building trust through positive reinforcement can also help reduce their fear over time.

Disobeying commands

If your dog is fearful of you, one sign to look out for is when they start disobeying your commands. This could be because they are afraid and anxious, which makes it difficult for them to focus or follow instructions.

When dogs are scared, their instinct is to retreat or avoid anything that causes them distress. So if your dog is not listening to you or seems resistant in following your cues, it may be a result of their fear towards you.

It’s important to approach this with understanding and patience, rather than reacting with frustration or anger. Building trust and creating a positive environment can help alleviate their fear and improve their obedience over time.

Submissive behaviors

When dogs feel scared or threatened, they may display submissive behaviors as a way to show that they are not a threat. These behaviors can include lowering their body posture, tucking their tail between their legs, avoiding eye contact, and even urinating out of submission.

Dogs may also roll onto their backs or expose their bellies to demonstrate submission. It’s important for dog owners to recognize these signs and respond with patience and understanding rather than punishment.

By creating a safe and consistent environment for your dog, you can help them feel more secure and confident over time.

Physical reactions

When your dog is scared of you, they may show physical reactions that indicate their fear. These reactions can vary from dog to dog, but some common signs include trembling or shaking, tail tucked between the legs, flattened ears against their head, panting excessively, and having a tense body posture.

Some dogs may also urinate or defecate out of fear.

It’s important to pay attention to these physical reactions as they can give you insight into how your dog is feeling. By recognizing these signs, you can take steps to alleviate their fear and make them feel more comfortable and secure in your presence.

why is my dog scared of me

Reasons for Your Dog’s Fear

There can be several reasons for your dog’s fear including past trauma, inconsistent training, and negative reactions from the owner.

Past trauma

If your dog is scared of you, it could be due to past trauma. Dogs can have negative experiences in their past that can cause fear and anxiety. This trauma could come from abusive or neglectful situations, or from a lack of socialization during early development.

It’s important to understand that your dog’s fear is not their fault, but rather a reaction to what they’ve been through. By recognizing and acknowledging their past trauma, you can take the necessary steps to help them feel safe and secure in your presence.

Inconsistent training

Consistent training is important when it comes to helping your fearful dog. Dogs thrive on routine and structure, so inconsistent training can confuse them and make their fear worse.

When you have clear and consistent rules for your dog, they know what to expect and feel more secure. This includes using the same commands, reinforcing positive behavior consistently, and setting boundaries that are consistently enforced.

Inconsistent training can lead to mixed messages for your dog, causing them additional stress and anxiety. So be sure to establish a consistent training routine to help your fearful dog overcome their fears.

Negative reactions from owner

If your dog is scared of you, it could be because of negative reactions from you. Dogs are sensitive and can pick up on our emotions. If you get angry or yell at your dog, they may become fearful or anxious around you.

Punishing or scolding them harshly can make their fear worse. It’s important to remember that positive reinforcement is more effective than punishment when training your dog. Being patient and using rewards for good behavior will help build trust between you and your furry friend.

Seek professional help if needed to learn better ways to communicate with your dog and address their fear.

why is my dog scared of me

How to Address Your Dog’s Fear and Build Trust

To address your dog’s fear and build trust, be patient, give them space, use positive reinforcement, stick to a routine, seek professional help if needed, and avoid certain behaviors.

Read on to learn more about helping your scared pup overcome their fears and develop confidence.

Be patient

Being patient is a key factor when it comes to helping your fearful dog. Understand that overcoming fear takes time and effort. Rushing the process or getting frustrated can make your dog more anxious.

By being patient, you allow your dog to feel safe and secure as they work through their fears at their own pace. Remember, building trust and confidence takes time, so be patient with your furry friend as you guide them toward a happier, less fearful life.

Give space

If your dog is afraid of you, one important thing to remember is to give them space. Dogs need their own personal area where they can feel safe and secure. Pushing or crowding them can make their fear worse.

Instead, allow them to come to you on their own terms. This will help build trust and make them feel more comfortable around you. Creating a calm and relaxed environment without any pressure or demands will go a long way in helping your fearful dog overcome their fears.

Use positive reinforcement

To help your fearful dog overcome their fear, it’s important to use positive reinforcement. This involves rewarding your dog when they display calm and confident behavior. It can be as simple as giving them a treat or verbal praise when they approach you without fear or respond positively to a command.

Using positive reinforcement helps build trust and confidence in your dog while creating a more positive association with you. Remember, patience is key when using this technique, as it may take time for your dog to feel safe and comfortable around you.

By focusing on positive experiences and rewards, you can gradually help your dog overcome their fears and strengthen the bond between you both.

Stick to a routine

Sticking to a routine is important for dogs that fear their owners. Dogs feel more secure when they know what to expect and when things happen consistently. Having a regular schedule helps them feel safe and reduces anxiety.

This includes feeding times, walks, playtime, and even bedtimes. By sticking to a routine, you create a sense of stability for your dog, which can help them overcome their fears and build trust with you over time.

Seek professional help if needed

If you feel like your dog’s fear is causing significant distress or affecting their quality of life, it may be a good idea to seek professional help. A veterinarian or a certified dog trainer can provide expert guidance and support in understanding your dog’s fear and implementing effective strategies to address it.

They will have the knowledge and experience to assess the situation, create a tailored plan for your dog’s specific needs, and guide you through the process of helping your fearful dog feel more comfortable and secure.

Remember, there is no shame in asking for help when it comes to your pet’s well-being!

Avoid certain behaviors

To help your fearful dog feel safe and build trust, there are certain behaviors to avoid. First, don’t punish or scold your dog for their fear. It will only make them more anxious and worsen their fear.

Additionally, don’t force your dog into situations that make them uncomfortable or scared. Instead, give them time and space to adjust at their own pace. Remember to always use positive reinforcement and rewards when working with your dog, as this encourages desired behaviors and helps build their confidence.

Seek professional help if needed, such as from a veterinarian or certified trainer who specializes in fear-based behavior in dogs. By avoiding these behaviors and focusing on creating a safe environment, you can support your fearful dog’s emotional well-being.

why is my dog scared of me


In conclusion, it is crucial for dog owners to understand and address their dog’s fear. By creating a safe environment, seeking professional help if needed, and building trust through patience and positive reinforcement, we can help our fearful dogs overcome their fears and live happier lives.

Remember, understanding their fear is the first step towards helping them feel safe and loved.


1. What are the signs that my dog fears me?

Signs of fear in dogs include scared dog behavior and fearful dog behavior. Understanding your dog’s body language can help you spot these signs.

2. Why is my dog showing fear towards me?

Dog fear causes can be due to past bad experiences, lack of trust, or a canine phobia developing from fear conditioning in dogs.

3. How can I help ease my anxious and fearful dog?

Building trust with a fearful dog, calming techniques for anxious dogs, and overcoming their fears with training helps an anxious or scared dog feel safe.

4. Can training help with overcoming my dogs’ fears and anxiety?

Yes! Fearful dog training or specific sessions on building your pooch’s confidence can go a long way into dealing successfully with their fears.

5. Are all the scared behaviors shown by dogs due to fear-based aggression?

Not always! While some frightened pups may show aggression as part of their response tactic; it could also be because they’re feeling threatened or unsure about their surroundings too!

6. Does rebuilding a trusting bond with the pup also assist in calming them down?

Definitely! Rebuilding your furry friend’s trust helps build its confidence while equipping them better at dealing calmly during stressful situations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *