This actually freaked me out but I had to show my dog how to be brave #dogtrainer #dogtraining #dogs

Are you looking for ways to teach your furry friend to be brave? Do you want your dog to conquer their fears and be fearless? As a dog trainer, I know how important it is to equip your dog with the skills they need to face their fears head-on. In this blog post, I’ll share my experience about how I had to show my dog how to be brave and how you can do the same with your furry companion. So, let’s dive in!

This Actually Freaked Me Out But I Had to Show My Dog How to Be Brave

As a dog trainer, you encounter a wide variety of personalities in the dogs you work with. Some are obedient and eager to please, while others can be timid and anxious. It’s your job as a trainer to teach them the skills they need to be well-behaved and confident in all situations. However, in some cases, it’s not just the dog that needs to learn – you need to step up and conquer your own fears to help your furry friend.


Sometimes, the most important lessons in dog training aren’t ones we anticipate. As much as we want to be prepared for every scenario with our canine clients, sometimes unexpected challenges arise. One such instance happened to me recently, and it taught me a valuable lesson about the power of facing our fears and being brave.

The Challenge

I was working with a new dog training client – let’s call her Sarah – who had a beautiful and energetic Labrador Retriever named Max. On the surface, Max seemed like a typical happy-go-lucky lab, but as soon as Sarah left the room for our training session, I could see that he was visibly nervous and whining for her. It was obvious that Max suffered from separation anxiety, and this was something I knew we needed to address in our training session.

After a few minutes of trying to calm Max down, I decided to lead him into the large training room we usually used. However, as soon as we entered the room, Max started growling fiercely and barking as if he had seen a ghost. I couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary, but I knew something was up. I tried to coax Max with treats and toys, but he refused to move from his spot.

Discovering the Problem

Eventually, I realized that Max was not simply acting out of separation anxiety – he was genuinely afraid of something in the training room. I couldn’t see anything that would be causing such a reaction, so I had to think outside the box. That’s when I remembered something – a few days prior, there had been a break-in at the training center, and a mirror in the room had been shattered. Sure enough, I saw that Max was barking at his own reflection in the remaining shard of mirror.

Overcoming Our Fears

In that moment, I knew that it was up to me to show Max how to overcome his fear. He was looking to me as the leader of the pack to guide him through this situation. However, there was a problem – I was absolutely terrified of that broken mirror. I couldn’t help but imagine the sharp edges and potential for injury if I got too close. But I also knew that if I didn’t face my own fear, there was no way I could help Max.

With my heart racing, I took a deep breath and stepped towards the mirror. Max was still growling, but I could sense that he was watching me closely. As I got closer, I mustered up all my courage and grabbed the shard of mirror. It was sharp and cold in my hand, and I felt a shiver run down my spine. But then I looked at Max, who had gone completely silent and was watching me with a mixture of curiosity and awe.

The Result

Without a word, I walked towards Max and held out the mirror in front of him. He sniffed at it, then looked at me and licked my hand. It was as if he could sense how proud I was of him for facing his fear, and he was thanking me in his own way. From that moment on, Max was more relaxed and confident in his training sessions. And as for me – I learned that sometimes, we need to be brave not just for ourselves, but for those who are looking to us for guidance.


Dog training is not just about imparting skills and commands to our furry friends – it’s about building trust, respect, and confidence. When we face our fears and show our dogs how to do the same, we create a deep bond that goes beyond simple obedience. So, the next time you find yourself faced with a challenge that seems scary or impossible, remember that your dog is looking to you for guidance. It may be daunting, but together, you and your furry friend can conquer anything.

FAQs After The Conclusion

  1. How do I know if my dog has separation anxiety?
  • Signs of separation anxiety in dogs can include excessive barking, whining, destructive behavior, and attempting to escape from the home.
  1. What are some ways to help a dog overcome fear?
  • Gradual exposure to the thing that the dog is afraid of, using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise, and seeking the help of a professional dog trainer can all be effective ways to help dogs overcome fear.
  1. Can my own fears affect my dog’s behavior?
  • Yes, dogs can pick up on their owner’s emotions and behaviors. If you are anxious or fearful, this can impact your dog’s behavior and cause them to become anxious as well.
  1. Are there certain breeds that are more prone to anxiety?
  • Some dog breeds, such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, German Shepherds, and Greyhounds, are known to be more prone to anxiety. However, any dog can develop anxiety depending on their personality and experiences.
  1. How important is it for a dog trainer to have good communication skills?
  • Communication is essential in the relationship between a dog trainer and their furry clients. Good communication skills allow the trainer to convey instructions clearly, understand the dog’s behavior and needs, and build trust and rapport with both the dog and their owner.