Although our dogs may seem daring and appear to fear nothing, there are many dogs with fear of heights. It is true that cats are the best known in this of being climbers and climbing to high places, but also dogs like to jump and climb to certain places, which they sometimes do without thinking and then do not know how to get off.
Why there are dogs with fear of heights
Well, this is a mystery, it is as if we are asking why a person is afraid of a spider, water or anything else. Everything will depend on the dog, although there are factors that could have influenced it. For example:
- Abuse. If you have adopted your dog when he was older, he may have a history of abuse, such as pulling him from somewhere high. This could explain very well the fear he has at heights. The best practice in these cases is that your dog is checked by a canine ethologist or psychologist.
- Overprotection. On the contrary, if you adopted him as a puppy, it is possible that your protection instinct has gone beyond what it should and you wanted to avoid any situation that you thought would endanger your life, such as climbing some stairs. If the animal has never been in high places, it is normal for them to fear them now, as it is the unknown.
- Trauma. Some other type of trauma could cause a dog to be afraid of heights. Maybe he had a fight with another, and they fell, or he just fell off a bed or the couch and hurt himself. Sometimes they can be situations that even you don’t know.
How fear is recognized
No matter what fear your pet has, the symptoms to identify them are always the same. These are the most common:
- Try to run away When an animal is afraid of something and is not comfortable, the most logical thing is that it wants to leave. The problem is that if the fear is at heights and is in a high place, escape can be difficult.
- It lies hard on the ground. If it is crushed against the ground by throwing the backs, it is a way to somatize your stress to the situation you are living.
- It urinates or defecates. This is a common reaction, since the body in the face of fear becomes paralyzed and loses the center of the sphincters.
- Find a place to hide. Maybe it can be a corner where you snuggle or someplace covered.
- Tremors. Trembling is one of the most common symptoms of fear.
- Aggressiveness. Even if you want to help him get off the place where he is, your pet may see it as aggression and try to bite you, be careful!
- Dilated pupils. The pressure of the face changes when we are afraid; It happens to people and animals. The pupils will be the warning signal in your dog. Normally it will be accompanied by ears back and the tail between the legs.
Can dogs be helped with fear of heights?
The truth is that fears are usually linked to problems that lie in your mind, so the best option to treat them will always be a canine psychologist. However, there are things you can do to avoid fostering those fears. These are some:
- Do not stroke him. Our tendency when we see our animal having a bad time may be to caress or pamper it, but this will only make you believe that what you are feeling is normal, and will not help you at all.
- Do not scold him. His feelings in this matter are not controllable and scolding him makes no sense, besides you will take him further away from you and not help him feel better.
- Don’t try to force him out. If it is in a high place, do not force it down. Wait for him to calm down a bit and offer your help. He will go to you when he is ready.
- Do not want me to face your fears. Many say that the best way to remove fear is to face it. This does not work with pets. Do not upload it to high places if you know he is afraid, you could create trauma.
Remember all these tips and do not forget that if your dog is afraid of heights it has to be checked by a psychologist.