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Dog Fear and Anxiety Problems

Together we can help your dog to feel safe and overcome their fears and anxiety 

Clinical Animal Behaviourists in Birmingham Wolverhampton Derby Stoke-on-Trent Solihull Burton-upon-Trent Dudley Halesowen Redditch Kidderminster Stafford Stourbridge Walsall Tamworth Lichfield West Bromwich Atherstone Aldridge Evesham Tipton Cannock Bromsgrove Smethwick Willenhall Oldbury Droitwich Spa Uttoxeter Rugeley Stone Stourport-on-Severn Brierley Hill Wednesbury Brownhills Alvechurch

Dog fear and anxiety problems can be a concern for many caregivers. As a devoted dog owner, you don’t want to see your dog in distress. Most dogs feel fearful or anxious about some things; however, when they can’t avoid what’s causing them worry, then there’s snowball effect and it impacts upon the whole family. You long to provide a safe, comforting environment, but sometimes, despite your best efforts, your dogs frequently appears anxious, scared or panicked. Examples of dog fear and anxiety problems we support with includes firework fears, car fears, a fear of visitors, touch sensitivity, generalised anxiety and much more.

Together, let’s help your dog to feel more relaxed and less anxious about their triggers. Our clinical animal behaviourists can help you to decode your dog’s subtle body language signals to understand how your dog feels, and learn how to manage them around the things that cause them to feel fearful or anxious.

Our dog behaviour specialists travel to your home in and around Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and more. We can also offer our clinical animal behaviour services virtually.


Here to help

Our dog behaviour specialists are here to help you with your dog’s fear, anxiety or phobia

As dog behaviourists, our goal is to help you decode your dog’s fear and anxiety problems, and guide you on ways to help yopur dog feel more relaxed. By examining your dog’s environment, daily routines, and interactions, we can identify potential triggers and devise a personalised plan to address them.

Whether it’s through removing sources of worry, addressing your interactions with your dog, and addressing their needs, we’ll work together to reduce the stress causing your dog’s fear and anxiety problems.

Remember, overcoming dog fear and anxiety problems takes time and patience. But with consistent effort, professional guidance, and a lot of love, we can help your dog feel more secure and confident. Together, we can work towards a happier, more peaceful life for you and your precious companion.

dog paw on hand

Examples of dog fear and anxiety problems

Here are examples of dog fear and anxiety problems we support with:

  • Fear or phobia of sounds (such as fireworks or thunderstorms);
  • Fear of humans (your dog might hide, run away, pant or appear tense around you or other people);
  • Fear of car travel (your dog might ebreluctant to go in the car, or appear fearful when travelling);
  • Fear of handling (your dog might run away or appear tense when you touch or handle them);
  • Fear of the vet practice (your dog might appear avoidant of going into the vet practice, or they may appear tense and fearful when examined by the vet), and
  • Fear of leaving the house, or running back home on walks.

Meet Your Dog Behaviourists

Zoe Demery Clinical Animal Behaviourist

Zoe Demery

Zoe has a doctorate in animal cognition and behaviour, and she is an independently accredited clinical canine behaviourist in the UK (CCAB). She is also a Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society, registered with ABTC, and certified by IAABC as a dog behaviour consultant. Zoe is a proud member of FAB Clinicians. 

Since starting practice in 2012, she has helped hundreds of dogs and their caregivers better understand each other. Zoe also mentors budding dog behaviourists.

Megan Richardson training her dog

Megan Richardson

 Megan graduated from Harper Adams University with a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, then grew her busy clinical canine behaviour practice.  She has many years of experience and is an independently accredited Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB)

Megan is an active member of various organisations, including FAB CliniciansAPBC and PACT.  Last but not least Megan is registered as a CAB and ATI with the ABTC. 

Really pleased with the outcome and what an enjoyable experience meeting with you – Ted has calmed down a lot now!

It’s great that I can cuddle Rob now without worrying! Ted is much calmer when people visit, but we’re still working on him tolerating strangers approaching me. Nonetheless, on the whole fantastic!

Ted, Rob and Michelle

Comprehensive support

  • We visit you at your home in person or online, for an initial assessment generally lasting 2 hours and ideally, everyone in the household should be present.
  • We take a full and detailed case history.  Together we work out a treatment plan that is realistic and tailored to you and your dog’s needs.
  • You receive a dog training manual and relevant information sheets, which tie in with the behaviour plan for your dog.
  • Soon after the consultation, a report is sent to you, which is later copied to your vet.  This outlines the reasons behind the problem and highlights the key steps of the plan.
  • Your vet is kept informed of how your dog progresses.
  • Plans are updated with new material for you to work on.
  • Then, you have the option of scheduling one to three one-hour follow-up sessions, generally about a month apart, either online or in person.
  • We are available for remote support via email and WhatsApp between your sessions with us.
  • If a veterinary behaviourist’s additional expertise is required during the case’s development, we integrate their advice into the plan. We work closely with select, independently accredited dog vet behaviourists, who will review and discuss your dog’s case with your vet.
  • More follow-up support is available as needed.

Invest £750

get expert help now

Fancy a £350 discount?

Book a supervised consult with one of our associate behaviourists, or allow a budding behaviourist to lead your consultation under the watchful eye of one of our senior behaviourists

Gracie’s story


Gracie went to live with her owners from the Retired Greyhound Trust. Gracie was finding life very difficult as she was incredibly anxious and her inability to sleep through the night, cope with anyone other than her owners visiting the house and her extreme nervousness on encountering other people on walks was making her owners doubt if they could keep her. This was extremely upsetting for Gracie’s owners as she is a very loving dog. As a result of Gracie’s issues, her owners were referred to Second NatureBehaviour by their vet.

Zoe visited Gracie and her owners at their home and observed Gracie and talked with them about their experiences with her. This consultation was very successful and quickly supported Gracie’s owners to improve the ways they approached and helped Gracie, by diagnosing Gracie with ‘generalised anxiety disorder’ and providing them with a tailored behaviour modification plan. This plan included methods to help avoid Gracie’s triggers, ensure her needs were met, and use reward-based training methods to encourage Gracie to develop positive associations with her triggers.

Thanks to Zoe’s input, when Gracie is at home with her owners, she is now a happy, playful, confident and affectionate dog. During walks she is nowhere near as scared of traffic, people, noises as she used to be, and no longer ‘freezes’ as she used to at times.

The coaching the owners received from Zoe through the initial visit and follow-up gave her owners the confidence to continue to make progress to help Gracie live an even fuller and happier life.



Next steps

1. Vet referral

Dog phobias are sometimes caused by underlying physiological issues, so we need to address these first

2. Booking

Online or by giving us a call on 0121 299 0188

3. History form

Give us some background about your dog, their environment and your relationship

4. Consultation

Let’s get started on the plan to dealing with your dog’s worries

by vets

you may be able to
claim on insurance

“As a vet, I have referred many of my patients to Zoe – she works absolute miracles on dogs!”

Nikki the vet

Book a consult

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Have a more general question?  Check out our general FAQ.

Prefer to chat things through a bit more?

Contact Us!

Give us a buzz by email or phone
(+44) (0) 121 299 0188.

How do I book an appointment?

Contact us for a no obligation chat. After you have been referred by your veterinary surgeon, you can phone us on 0121 299 0188 to discuss the details and costs, or book online here. You can access the referral form here, or your vet can make the referral online here.

How should I go about arranging a vet referral for my dog?

We will send you a referral form to give to your vet. Ask them to look at your dog and fill the form in. You should send this to us prior to the consultation, together with any clinical records that your vet may think are relevant. Alternatively, your vet may like to email, fax (0844 358 3201), or post their records directly to us. Note that they can also fill in their referral online. If you have already spoken to your vet, then this may be sufficient, but please double-check with them. Different vets have different ways of doing things. Some vets charge an extra fee for a referral.

What happens during the consultation?

Consultations are held on an appointment basis, either at one of our regional clinics or in your own home. If possible, all family members involved should be present. A history of the problem will be taken and your dog’s temperament assessed. After this, the clinical animal behaviourist will explain the motivation for the behaviour and devise a treatment programme to help you modify your pet’s behaviour.

What happens after the consultation?

Treatment programmes vary according to the nature and severity of the problem. Sometimes only the initial consultation, remote support and some hard work on your part work are sufficient. Moreover, a detailed report outlining the therapy will be sent to you and your veterinary surgeon. Further advice and aftercare are provided via further sessions and email for at least 3 months. Where treatment dictates it, or if you would prefer face-to-face support, a follow-up appointment can be arranged online.   Alternatively, we can come to your home again.  As a dog owner, we offer extensive face-to-face support following the initial consultation as part of our standard service.

What kind of guarantees can you offer me? What if your suggestions don't work?

We cannot guarantee a ‘cure’ or work miracles, but if between us we can diagnose what is going on, and if you are prepared to work hard, dramatic improvement is not unusual.  The treatment plan is designed to be fluid.  If what we initially suggest doesn’t seem to have much effect, then we will reassess and make some other suggestions about what to do. 

How quickly will we see results? How long will it take to solve the problem?

There is no quick fix to any kind of behaviour problem. The treatment plan advised may produce results very quickly, but often it will take time, effort and commitment from all of the family to produce the improved behaviour. Always remember that your pet’s current problems may have developed over a long period of time, so it may take a particularly long time to improve. It really varies from individual to individual. However, support from us is ongoing, as you need it. Following your consultation, further advice is available by phone and email as you progress, or face-to-face if you require it. Progress is often faster with greater follow-up behaviour support within your own environment.

Why must I seek referral from my vet? I'm sure my dog is perfectly healthy - what's the point?

A strong link between the veterinary surgeon and the animal behaviourist is essential in all cases. In order to rule out any physiological causes for the problem behaviour and in accordance with the Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians‘ Code of Conduct, we only work on veterinary referral. Behavioural symptoms are often intertwined with some medical conditions. To provide a truly holistic solution to your problem, your vet needs to be involved at all stages of the process. The behaviourist will work closely with your vet, who often provides ongoing support from their end for various elements of the behaviour plan. 

How does the vet referral process work? What do you need from them? Do I have to pay more? My vet just said to give you a call - is that enough?

We will send you a referral form to give to your vet. Ask them to look at your pet and fill the form in. You should send this to us prior to the consultation, together with any clinical records that your vet may think are relevant. Alternatively, your vet may like to email, fax (0844 358 3201), or post their records directly to us. Note that they can also fill in their referral online. If you have already spoken to your vet, then this may be sufficient, but please double-check with them. Different vets have different ways of doing things. Some vets charge an extra fee for a referral.

Are you covered by insurance?

Second Nature Behaviour and our employees are fully covered by professional indemnity and public liability insurance.

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Ted, Rob and Michelle
Emma the vet
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Riley & Paul
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Alfie & Charley
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If you are looking to make your dog’s fear, phobia or anxiety a thing of the past, contact us to get started.

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