how to stop my dog from being scared of everything

By Bethany Tate

Is your dog scared of everything and you don’t know what to do? Was your dog acting normal before, but then suddenly they became fearful? 

In this article we’ll look at some common reasons why dogs can be scared of everything. We’ll also outline some steps you can take to help your dog overcome their fear. 

Reasons why your dog is scared of everything and how to stop it

Your dog lacks Socialization 

There’s a critical time in a dog’s life from when they are eight to sixteen weeks old. During this developmental stage it’s extremely important that puppies have good experiences with the world around them. This is the time to expose your new dog to people and other pets in a way that helps your puppy learn how to interact with others. This process is called socialization. 

If your dog hasn’t been socialized then they haven’t built the necessary core experiences to teach them that the world around them is nothing to be afraid of. 

People, dogs, and objects can seem new and frightening to your dog if she or she hasn’t been exposed to them before. 

How to desensitize your dog

If your dog is lacking socialization the best way to help them overcome their fear is to gradually expose them to new situations. Target a specific thing or situation that your dog is scared of. Slowly reintroduce your dog to the situation or object in question. Help your dog stay calm and build a new positive association with whatever it is that they’re afraid of. Once your dog is more comfortable, continue to introduce new things and experiences. 

This will help stop your dog from being scared of everything. 


Some dogs can be genetically predisposed to being scared of everything. This includes dogs whose mother was overly anxious. If this is the case you can still help your dog and stop them from being scared. Work on desensitization and building a loving and trustful relationship with your dog. 

Illness or Injury

Sometimes a dog might seem anxious or afraid because they are in pain or uncomfortable. More often than not the pain and discomfort is due to sickness or an injury. If your dog wasn’t scared of everything in the past and suddenly their behavior changed, it could be an indication that your dog is injured or sick.

In this case it is best to consult your local vet as soon as possible to identify what’s bothering your dog and determine the best course of treatment. 

Bad past experiences

It could be that your dog has had traumatic experiences in their past. This is especially true of rescue dogs. If you are not your dog’s first owner, it might be difficult to identify what exactly your dog is afraid of. Through trial and error you can try to pinpoint what your dog is freaking out about. Once you have an idea of what’s triggering your dog’s fear and anxiety you can either avoid the triggers altogether or try to train your dog to become comfortable and calm around them through desensitization. 

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Bethany Tate
Writing and analyzing data are her superpowers. Dogs, nature, and trail running are her oxygen. Bethany passionately believes pets make the world a better place. Her world is made better by Nemo, her pet dachshund.