Why Does My Dog Shake When They See a Squirrel?
Your dog may be shaking when they see a squirrel, but don’t panic! There are several ways to de-sensitize your dog to the object of its fear. Here are some tips:
Identifying the triggers
Identifying the triggers of shaking when you dog sees a squirrel may help you better understand why this behavior occurs. Dogs are natural predators and are likely to chase other animals, including squirrels. This behavior can be controlled, however, by identifying the triggers. Here are a few tips that can help you identify the triggers that cause your dog to shake and how to prevent it in the future.
Squirrels have different response methods. A squirrel’s vocalizations are not as specific and may act as a warning for other squirrels in the area. This means that if your dog barks or shakes, the squirrel may respond by retreating up a tree. The same is true for the corresponding tail flag. Using both of these signals in combination could increase the likelihood of your dog detecting the squirrel.
Desensitizing your dog to the thing it’s afraid of
Your dog may be afraid of a certain object or other object, but by gradually exposing it and building positive associations with the trigger, it can learn to be comfortable with it. In some cases, a Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap can help reduce the dog’s response to the trigger. Drugs or a behavior modification program may be needed for more serious cases. Once your dog has learned to tolerate a particular trigger, it can progress to a normal environment.
First, you need to identify the triggers. Then, set a threshold for each trigger. Manage your environment to avoid triggering a full-blown response. Remove the opportunity for your dog to react. This step is crucial in helping your dog overcome its fear and improve its general behavior. Ultimately, it will be up to you to determine what causes your dog to react in this way.
Rewarding your dog
The best way to deal with your dog’s fear of squirrels is to reward them whenever they come when called. This way, they won’t think about it and will focus on you. The best way to train your dog to leave a squirrel alone is to start by getting their attention before they notice a squirrel. After a few weeks, you can start increasing the distractions and increasing the reward as your dog becomes more comfortable with the environment.
You can also use a game called “find it” to redirect your dog’s seeking behavior. Simply scatter some kibble on the ground and ask them to find it. Your dog will be delighted to find the kibble and you can then reward them with it. This will both challenge and reward your dog. By rewarding your dog when they find a squirrel, they will start to associate the squirrel with a good food reward.
Working with your dog’s prey drive
For dogs that chase squirrels, working with your dog’s prey drive when it sees a squirrel is key. While a squirrel may be a tasty treat for your pooch, it may not be desirable for the animal. The squirrel may have a lot of space and time to escape before your dog will start to hunt it. There are several steps to work with your dog’s prey drive when they see a squirrel.
Work with your dog’s prey drive by introducing him to a squirrel in a safe, familiar place. Introduce him to pasture animals, such as squirrels, which are relatively safe for dogs. However, don’t let him chase a squirrel in an urban setting. Instead, make sure he’s calm around these animals before letting him out of his crate.
Why does my dog shake when they see a squirrel?
Some dogs are afraid of squirrels because they are fast and agile and some dogs simply want to chase and catch them.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.