Karen B. London
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Have a Fearful Dog?
Check out fearfuldogs.com
Sunny inspired a site devoted to fearful dogs.

Whether you call them shy, cautious or just plain scared, there are a lot of dogs struggling to deal with this issue, and just as many people trying to help their dogs deal with and overcome their fears. A great website called fearfuldogs.com offers great information and lots of links to direct you to the help you need.

The site was started by a woman whose dog Sunny, pictured here, survived a hoarding situation before arriving at her loving home in 2005. It was developed to prevent others from struggling with the many frustrations of rehabilitating a fearful dog who was not blessed with the best start in life. Good information is your best tool for helping dogs who are afraid, and this site refers to only the best, most reputable and effective products and services that relate to helping our fearful canine pals.

Check it out and let us know what information and advice you found there has been most helpful to you and your dog!


Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Jane May Jones | September 4 2009 |

I personally know Debbie Jacobs and Sunny. Debbie is doing amazing things to help people with fearful dogs. In fact our chocolate labrador, Nina, spends quite a bit of time at Debbie's house and is best friends with Sunny. Check out www.fearfuldogs.com.

Submitted by Mel | September 6 2009 |

As someone who has a fearful dog, I can attest to Debbie's knowledge, skill and helpful advice. She is a great resource for folks with fearful dogs and I often refer my clients to her site for help. I could have used Debbie's knowledge when I first adopted my dog Daisy (a puppy mill survivor). I'm just lucky I found her within the past year!

Submitted by Carolyn | September 6 2009 |

It's great that Debbie has started this great site to help people dealing with fearful dogs. I've been doing some gemstone therapy with some dogs that have suffered trauma and getting some great feedback. I think the results are certainly worth sharing and maybe adding to all the other therapies and love and attention.

I got an emergency call last month. Yes, seriously, it was an emergency dog collar request. Dewy a sweet Schnauzer who belonged to a friend of a friend had been attacked by a large German Shepherd. The owner of the Shepherd continues to allow her aggressive dog to run loose and for whatever reason the authorities aren’t acting. Dewy was severely distressed, agitated and had gone from being a calm, sweet dog to a barking maniac.
Here’s the note I got a week after Dewy got his gemstone collar:
“Carolyn, The German Sheppard is still walking past the house, and Dewy is still barking but...his bark is less urgent and agitated! He has also calmed down some about joggers passing the car etc. so I think we're on the right track!! Blessings and many thanks

Kathy and the Dew-man”

“Cookie (English Spaniel) is acting much braver and more confident now that she’s wearing her collar.”

Heidi Suhl, MN

Heidi - has become a huge proponent - ordering collars for her new rescue doxies, and also for the local doxie rescue shelter.
Trauma can leave emotional scars that are deep and that keep the animal from being able to open up to the love you have to share – special treatment is needed to help them recover from trauma. I’ve been working with some rescue dog owners and owners of dogs who are scared or have been traumatized to develop a special gemstone combination to help address a variety of issues.
The animals are sometimes so marked by their experience that even the most caring, loving new owners find it hard to form a rapport with them or nurse them back to emotional health. When that happens sometimes the new owner gives up and returns the animal to the shelter, possibly creating another level of trauma.
Any animal that has been rescued or had a difficult path should be treated for emotional trauma – even if the details are not known. Traumas can include fights, beating, chronic states of fear, suffering, starvation and neglect. You may see signs that give you some insight into their past. A dog that cringes or pees in submission when you casually move your hand is showing their fear. A horse or dog that is terrified at the sight of a tall man, stick, rope or other object is letting you know there’s an issue in the past that hasn’t healed. They need to feel safe and loved once again.

An animal with a difficult past, needs help to settle in and heal – changing environments is hard for all animals, but one who has been abused may feel especially scared and overwhelmed. Remember that most aggression towards humans is based on fear.
Rescue collars and necklaces are created especially to help heal trauma physically and emotionally.
The crystal therapy in the collars helps to release fearful, locked-in memories so they may return to a more normal life. The gemstones I’ve chosen will assist your pet in feeling safe, confident and loved and return their physical vitality as well.

Your adopted best friends will benefit most if they wear their “rescue collar” for 6 to 9 months to really help them heal emotionally and physically. After that period they’ll be ready either for a collar created for their breed or a customized collar to address specific health or emotional issues.
for more info www.4pawcreations.com/Rescued.html
Special thanks to the work of Martin J Scott and Gael Mariani. One source I used to help me tune into specific issues of Rescue Animals is their book “Crystal Healing for Animals”. Their work coincides with and bolsters my own intuitive work in this specific area of healing.

Submitted by Hilary Bloom | September 16 2009 |

Ms. Jacobs’ ebook on working with fearful (or timid) dogs is the most helpful guide to managing shy dogs I have ever read. She writes with great clarity, precision, and humor. It was enormously useful to follow the examples of how she worked with her own very scared dog.

Through her guidance, I changed the way I worked with my Shiba who is terrified of children—no longer “forcing” him to take treats from them. Eventually, turning his attention to me (and his treat), rather than the children, our daily walks off-leash are virtually stress free for all.

I am so grateful for this sensibly written book which reminded me to remain patient and positive and to rethink what I thought I knew about a dog’s behavior, especially shy dogs.

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