The other day I shared with you what a dog’s fear of people looks like. We also talked about why some dogs are scared or shy. We busted through the myth that dogs who are scared must have a history of abuse or have suffered some traumatic event.
Today I want to talk about the toll that fear of people can take, both on your dog and you. I also want to share with you a crazy story about the consequences of having a dog who is afraid of people.
What Effects Does Fear of People Have?
Dogs that are fearful suffer emotionally. The stress of being afraid can also lead to health problems, resulting in disease and illness. We see this in humans all the time, too, right? This results in more suffering for your dog. You’ll find yourself having to take her to the vet more often, which takes both time and money.
Your social life may also be limited as you try to keep your dog from being exposed to other people. You may have to walk your dog at strange hours and in unlikely places in order to avoid other people. And if your dog becomes aggressive when she’s afraid, you could be faced with medical bills from whomever she bites, as well as a lawsuit.
Crazy (but true!) Story
I know of a dog who bit a neighbor so lightly that the skin was not broken. The dog’s parents offered to pay the neighbor’s emergency room bill because, yes, the neighbor actually insisted he needed emergency care. The neighbor found a lawyer and sued the pet parents.
Although it was a ridiculous lawsuit, the dog parents’ lawyer advised them to settle out of court for 20 grand (yes, 20 grand) plus his own fees, as he said it was too risky to face the neighbor in court. And so they did.
Now this situation occurred in California, where the judicial system is kind of crazy, but that’s not to say you couldn’t face similar damages in other states.