Gracie on Fearfulness

GraceOK, here’s one that’s close to my heart! When I first moved in with Barbara, I was pretty much afraid of my own shadow. Other dogs? Forget about it; it didn’t seem like I was cut out to be a social animal. Strange people made me cringe, odd noises sent me into a tizzy. Fearfulness ruled my life.

Of course, looking at the outspoken, out-going, self-confident social butterfly I am today, I’m sure you’re finding this all pretty hard to believe, but it’s true.

Many of Barbara’s clients call her because they’re living with dogs who are fearful, timid, shy, anxious or just have crummy self-confidence. For folks who had visions of picnicking in the park, hanging out at soccer games or spending weekends at the dog park, having a “fraidy cat” on the other end of the leash can be a real doggy downer. Most folks just write it off and assume there’s nothing to be done, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Fortunately, there’s lots you can do to turn things around. For the DIYers, there’s some great books out there to help turn your wallflower wolfhound into a confident collie. Try Scaredy Dog by Ali Brown, or Help For Your Fearful Dog by Nicole Wilde. You can also visit a great website,; the owner, Debbie Jacobs, has had lots of first-hand experience working with her own ‘fraidy-cat, and she can help point you in the right direction.