Q. My dog shakes with fear with coal being put on the fire

Answered By

A. These are learned behaviors and so they take patience to change and improve. You can begin to desensitize by providing treats and affection in the presence of the charcoal and then bit by bit increase the amount of exposure. For example, just next to the charcoal, then moving them, then using them. The goal is desensitization so the experience should be as positive as possible. If he becomes nervous you have progressed too quickly.

DISCLAIMER: The answers in Ask petMD are meant to provide entertainment and education. They should not take the place of a vet visit. Please see our Terms and Conditions.


Ask an expert about your unique situation now FOR FREE!

IMPORTANT: The opinions expressed in Ask petMD content area are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. Our Ask petMD experts include veterinarians, vet techs, veterinary students, pet trainers, pet behaviorists and pet nutritionists. These opinions do not represent the opinions of petMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a petMD veterinarian or any member of the petMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, timeliness, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. petMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider petMD user-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on petMD.