This article has been saved to your library here.

You have reached the maximum of 5 saved articles. Want to review and email them?

Lifestage mascot

How old is your dog?

Pre-Puppy
Pre-Puppy preview image

Pre-Puppy

What’s better than puppies? That’s right: your own puppy. So, what do you need to know before you take the plunge into pet parenthood?

0-2 months
0-2 months preview image

0-2 months

Welcome to the world little one. It’s all grow-grow-grow for your puppy right now, so there’s many things to prepare.

2-3 months
2-3 months preview image

2-3 months

Your puppy is ready to come home and turn your world upside down. It’s time to put your preparation into practice – and remember to take it all in!

3-6 months
3-6 months preview image

3-6 months

You’re entering a period of immense growth, lots of learning and new adventures. Bring on the play date with the big wide world!

6-12 months
6-12 months preview image

6-12 months

Your fur-baby is nearing adulthood. Can you see their grown self coming through? Sigh…they grow up so fast, don’t they?

12-18 months
12-18 months preview image

12-18 months

Your puppy has turned one and they might not be so little anymore. Make sure to book their first annual check-up.

18 months - 3 years
18 months - 3 years preview image

18 months - 3 years

Your dog is one an established family member now. Enjoy who they have become and the bond you now share at this special stage.

3 - 8 years
3 - 8 years preview image

3 - 8 years

Your dog is a full-grown adult now. They understand where their place is in your home and the wider world.

8+ years
8+ years preview image

8+ years

Just like many senior citizens, senior dogs have some extra needs. Learn to look after your best friend and support their health as they grow older.

What are Puppies Scared Of

What are Puppies Scared Of

Fear is a normal response in puppies and a survival mechanism in all animals. Although some puppies may initially be fearful of certain people, places or things they encounter, upon repeated exposure to these things puppies generally habituate and their fear reduces and eventually stops.

Some puppies are very bold and may appear to not be fearful of much at all.

That said, it’s important to acknowledge that all puppies experience several “fear periods” in their life. The first fear period occurs from 8 to 11 weeks and the second fear period happens between about 6 to 14 months of age.

Things That a Puppy can be Scared of

Although puppies can show fear of a variety of different things, depending on their genetic predisposition, personality and past experiences, there are some common things for a puppy to be scared of. These include:

  • Unfamiliar people
  • Other dogs
  • Loud noises (e.g. thunderstorms and fireworks)
  • The vacuum cleaner
  • Power tools
  • The lawn mower
  • Cars and trucks
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Going up or down stairs
  • Car rides

The first Fear Period (8 to 11 weeks)

During the first fear period it’s very important to avoid traumatic experiences as these can have a lasting impact on the way your dog views the world. Close supervision and ensuring all the experiences your puppy has with people, other dogs, the vet and new environments and inanimate objects during this time are as positive as possible can help avoid fear-related problems down the track.

The second Fear Period (6 to 14 months)

The second fear period typically coincides with a growth spurt in your puppy with smaller breed puppies entering this fear period sooner than larger breed puppies. During this time, you may notice your puppy shows an increased intensity in their fear response. It’s even more important to take things slowly and work on teaching your puppy to associate everyday things and situations in a positive light.

Allowing your puppy to take their time rather than forcing them to get over their fear will help them feel more comfortable and move past their fear quicker.

How to Reduce Fear in your Puppy

If you notice your puppy is fearful of something, whether it’s strangers, other dogs or inanimate objects, you can use a combination of desensitisation and counter-conditioning to help your puppy learn they need not be afraid. This means gradually exposing your puppy to the “scary” thing at a distance where they’re comfortable and simultaneously pairing the “scary” thing with your puppy’s favourite treats.

As the training progresses, the distance is gradually reduced if your puppy is succeeding. With time and repetition, this training helps to change your puppy’s emotional response over time from a negative association (due to fear) to a positive one.

Articles

Save your favourite articles

Want to save this article and others for later? Easy!

  1. Click the toggle  at the top of each article you’d like to save.
  2. View your saved articles in My Library in top nav in the top right of the page.
  3. Open your saved articles and enter your details and we’ll send them to you.

Pet Paw-Trol

Promotion preview

Be First to hear about Promotions

Like competitions, giveaways and more.

Enter Now

Promotion preview

NEW Pocket Treats

Because your pooch won’t work for free. Our real meat treats go fun-sized with the new VitaPet Pocket Treats. Perfect for training on the go.

More Info