Message Us

Are You Afraid of Scary Dogs? Read This!

By NanciCreedon. | Dog Info

Do you feel nervous around scary dogs? If so, please take a minute to read this.

  Are You Afraid of Scary Dogs? Read This! So today I got a lovely email out of the blue which got me thinking! Yelski, my first foster dog, was sent to Sweden 6 years ago, and his owner who adopted him just found me on Facebook and sent me the beautiful picture. However, the first time I met Yelski I was petrified of him!!

Was he barking? No. Was he jumping up? No. Was he displaying any signs of aggression? No. So why was I scared?

  Because he was a Pitbull (*likely American Staffordshire terrier). When I first met Yelski I had been working with dogs for about 4 years and had been studying dogs, and dog behaviour for several years. I had worked with dogs of all shapes and sizes, and was pretty confident in my knowledge that I would know how to spot a dog that was likely to bite. I had gotten on to Dog Action Welfare Group to let them know that I had the space to foster a couple of dogs. They replied that they had two for me, Frank, a white German Shepherd, and Yelski, a Pitbull. I said "great" and went about my day as they were not due to arrive until about 7pm. I thought no more of it, and as 7pm ticked ever closer, I finished up my cleaning and waited for the bell to go. Once the dogs arrived, I opened the door with a smile on my face. The instant I looked at Yelski my blood went cold. My mind went into autopilot and I remember a voice in my head saying "don't look him in the eye, don't look him in the eye." I tried to have a normal conversation with the lady who dropped them off, but inside I was panicking. She left, and I put the dogs into the daycare while I calmed down and tried to figure out why I had gotten so spooked. It only just occurred to me then, Yelski was the first Pitbull that I had met, up close and personal. My years of training and studying had told my conscious mind that a Pitbull was no more likely to bite me than any other dog. HOWEVER, through classical conditioning, my subconscious mind had formed an association in my brain, forming an association in my brain, where the presence of a Pitbull elicits fearful emotions. Do you guys remember learning about Pavlov's dog in school? Where Pavlov's dog would drool when presented with food? Then Pavlov began ringing a bell before presenting food, then after repetition, the dog would begin to drool when the bell rang? This is classical conditioning at its finest. Yelski came home with me that evening, and within minutes decided he was a lap dog and the sweetest lap dog at that! He was my baby for about 3 months, always looking for cuddles, and grunting at me if I stopped petting him. He made loads of friends at doggie daycare and fell in love with Cyan, his Dalmatian girlfriend. I don't mind admitting that I cried when saying bye to him and was quite emotional when I got the email update from his new owner in my emails!

Are you scared of clowns? Non-poisonous spiders? Going into a dark attic alone?

  If so, and you have not had a negative experience to cause this fear, then you have been classically conditioned too. This is one of the foundation elements of learning, and classical conditioning impacts us all day every day. Advertising and branding is all about classical conditioning. The feeling we get when we hear "˜bank holiday weekend', or "˜homework' is classical conditioning. It is super powerful. When we form an association through classical conditioning that something is dangerous, it is really quite difficult to break this association, as our brain holds on tight to fear associations, after all, fear helps us to survive. However, you need to remember, if you are frightened by a dog breed, you are barking up the wrong tree!
  • A friendly Pitbull is far less likely to bite you than a frightened dog.
  • A friendly Doberman is far less likely to bite you than another dog guarding a bone.
  • A friendly Rottweiler is far less likely to bite you than another dog minding her puppies.
  • A friendly Mastiff is far less likely to bite you than an anxious dog.
  • A friendly German Shepherd is far less likely to bite you than a dog that is lunging at another dog.
The restricted breed list in Ireland is classical conditioning at its finest. The government tells us (with no scientific basis) that this list of dogs is more dangerous than dogs of breeds not on the list). This has no scientific basis, has been discredited by research into dog bites in Ireland, but will cause classical conditioning in those who read the list to associate these breeds with more danger. The media often use images of certain breeds, snarling, when reporting a dog bite, when it's not uncommon that after the media attention we later find out that it was not that dog breed involved. However, the classical conditioning has been done. I had a client for consultation who, unknowingly, had adopted a lovely dog that just happened to be a restricted breed. She took her new dog home, fell in love with her, then at a trip to the vets was told that her dog was dangerous by the vet, because it was on "˜the list.' This client lost all trust in her dog and was working hard at re-building their relationship, simply because she was then conditioned to associate her dog with high risk of aggression (this tubby dog was a lot more danger to the cookie jar than to any human!). I don't expect that reading this article will change your opinion. Classical conditioning was powerful enough to make me fear Yelski despite my training and experience. However, I hope that understanding it a little better might help you understand your own emotional response a little more, and help you to logically understand irrational fears. Scary Dogs and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers
nanciNanci Creedon Nanci Creedon is Ireland's top dog behaviour expert. With a primary degree in Zoology and a masters degree in Animal Behaviour Nanci has also continued to take courses, attend seminars, and continue to educate herself during her 10 years working professionally with dogs in Ireland. As a certified dog behaviour expert Nanci appears regularly on National television (regular slot on RTE's Today Show) and in print media. Nanci is also an award winning businesswoman, winning Cork City's Best Young Entrepreneur in 2014 as she owns and operates two companies "“ Creedons Doggie Daycare which offers dog daycare, luxury pet hotel, dog grooming, training classes and private behaviour consultations, as well as Creedons College, a private education institution where industry experts offer a wide variety of educational courses. www.nancicreedon.ie

Comments

Signup/Login to post a reply

 

Reviews From 4Knines Customers VIEW MORE »

The best evaluations of our products come from the people who’ve bought them.

EXCELLENT SEAT COVER

We liked the first cover so much that a few days later we purchased a second one. The cover installs very, very easily, fits and covers the rear seat and the back of the front seats of our Subaru Tribeca perfectly, has flaps that cover the door-side edges of the rear seat, and stays perfectly in place. Spilled or tracked water beads up on the material and can be easily wiped off. At first our dog did tend to slide just a little on the new cover, but he soon learned to stand, sit, and lay just as well as he did before on the uncovered seat. The hammock portion seems like it might provide some little bit of protection in a sudden stop (our guy will chew apart any "doggie seat belt" type of restraint in very short order - so that option is out of the question for us). As to keeping him out of the car front-area - well, our long-legged Standard Poodle has no problem in still looking closely out the front windshield by putting his front feet on the center console - straddling the hammock - with no problem whatsoever. But we did discover that having the hammock in place does allow us to safely keep his water bottle and dish, his leash, and an old towel on the floor under the hammock - where he can no longer get at them (especially the leash and towel) to chew on them. All in all, an excellent seat cover.

READ MORE »
KENNETH MONSEY

My furbabies don't like leather seats!!!! But they love this seat cover!!!

Very hard to find a split bench seat cover at a reasonable price, this one fit the bill. Easy to install, very durable and looks to be easy to clean. Wanted something that would protect the leather seats and was pet friendly (hate it when the material of regular seat covers snags toenails and collars). I don't think I will have to buy another for many years!!!

READ MORE »
Jackie Carter

My Doodle approves!

Received on time, fits great and easy to install. Color is a great match. So far, so good. Durability? Time will tell. It appears to be well constructed.

READ MORE »
Donald Fish

Fits my 2018 VW Tiguan perfectly

Very happy with our purchase. Fits perfectly, was easy to install and keeps the leather seats in our brand new vehicle perfectly clean.

READ MORE »
Chris Campbell

great cover

This is actually a replacement for my original 4 knines cover which was 4 years old. I used it daily (bringing my pup to work with me) and washed it weekly, so the backing finally started to flake apart and come off. This newer version is easier to put over the headrests, great improvement in the strap and closures. Also the best improvement is the side flaps, the old cover didn't have these. These flaps help to catch the dirt from dogs feet when they are jumping up into the car, instead of it going on the side of the seat.

READ MORE »
Diane Breland

Fantastic

This is my 2nd seat cover from 4knines and love them both. The product and service were both fantastic.

READ MORE »
GREG BATEMAN

Repeat customer VERY satisfied.

We have made several purchases from 4Knines and are VERY satisfied with products (cargo liner, back seat cover, bucket front seat cover...). I volunteer at a shelter and take dogs offsite daily. Always a Pleasure doing business with 4Knines. Highly recommend.

READ MORE »
Cristina Jones

Split Rear Dog Seat Cover - Fitted - No Hammock

I had ordered this item from an on-line site and was extremely disappointed when I received the wrong item. I was impressed with the quality of the seat cover and decided to contact 4Knines directly. I placed my order with Maggie and received the Split Rear Dog Seat Cover within three days. The seat cover fits nicely in my new Honda CR-V and as stated by 4Knines, is very easy to install and remove. My 8-month old labradoodle Brodie likes the comfort, and friends agree with him. Great quality item, reasonably priced, and outstanding customer service. Thanks 4Knines.

READ MORE »
Sally LIEDHOLM

4Knines.com

For all general inquiries, please call or email us
Phone: 888.602.2509
Email: support@4Knines.com

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Nothing but the best for your best friend!
© 4Knines. 2017. All rights reserved | Terms | Privacy