A scared dog may seem to be a no-threat to most people, but actually most dogs are most dangerous if they feel scared or threatened. Like most animals, dogs have the instinct of self-preservation, and are most likely to attack if caught in a tight corner.
Generally well-treated dogs do not attack randomly, unless they are infected with rabies. Well-treated dogs include those which are given the freedom to walk around even while on a leash, or those which have sufficient playtime with persons or other dogs. However, maltreated dogs are more often scared than not and will use whatever faculties they have to defend themselves.
It takes more than maltreatment to make a scared dog. Dogs faced with stronger, more powerful enemies get scared. So do dogs which are exposed to repetitive loud noises. Whatever the source of their fear may be, fear naturally affects their temperament, and this does not bode well to an owner-pet relationship.
So what happens if a dog is scared? Different reactions may take place. Dogs may retreat at first, and then bounce back if cornered. Or they may immediately fight back, not out of aggression, but because of the imminent danger to their security.
It is imperative to observe proper measures to alleviate a scared dog’s fear. After all, it is what every owner should do. While a dog’s feelings may not be as acute as that of a human, they have instincts which tell them what to do, and more intelligent breeds can identify potentially threatening situations. Thus, care and affection should be given to a pet dog to keep its behavior manageable and desirable at the same time.
Punishing a pet dog using violent means is not advisable. It increases the risk of having it see you as an enemy, which in turn will increase the likelihood that it will attack if it sees the chance. Less severe penalties should be meted out, not out of spite, but out of desire to train the scared dog in a way it is supposed to behave.
Dogs respond to training more favorably if they feel that they are cared for. Some breeds attach to only one owner, sometimes to very few people. Therefore dog trainers should not use an approach which will intimidate, scare or threaten a dog, as this will only make it harder for them to achieve the desired effect.
A scared dog deserves proper attention. If neglected, this will lead to dire consequences, such as failure to render basic obedience, and worse, attacks against the owner, his or her immediate family or housemates, and strangers. No animal deserves to be treated cruelly, and this applies to dogs of every breed. It must be remembered that dogs make faithful companions when treated nicely, but they can also turn to formidable enemies if maltreated.