Dogs are some of the most courageous animals you can have as pets. However, at the same time, they can also be just as cowardly as they are brave. It really depends on how they were raised and on what they were exposed to when they were young.
In some cases, dogs may be brave against certain animals and humans but can be cowardly when it comes to smaller ones. This includes flies.
It is not odd for your dog to be afraid of flies. After all, if you yourself find flies annoying, it is completely understandable for your dog to feel the same way. However, because your dog is afraid of flies, it might keep him indoors for virtually his entire life. He can’t have fun that way.
So, what do you do if your dog hates flies? Well, here are some tips that might help make your dog a bit more tolerant of them:
Desensitizing the dog to flies can be the best way for you to make it hate them less. In a way, they will still hate flies but will only find them more annoying than something he should be afraid of.
If it gradually realizes that flies really are nothing to be afraid of, your dog will begin to tolerate them more. At the same time, he will be able to enjoy being in the outdoors more often even if there are flies around.
So, what do you do to desensitize your dog to flies? Well, here are the steps that would help you make desensitization easier:
When you are trying to desensitize your dog to flies, you have to start with an approach that is slow.
Things should be taken in small and gradual steps instead of forcing them all of a sudden. Identify what is causing the dog to react that way. In this case, it is his hatred for flies.
So, what you should do here is to make sure you slowly expose your dog to flies. It could be that you place your dog somewhere close to a few flies. You could also put him a good distance away from flies without forcing him to come near them.
Determine the actions that are causing the dog to react
While you are slowly exposing your dog to the presence of flies, try to observe and determine what are the conditions that are actually making him feel afraid.
Look at the way your dog reacts to certain actions done by flies. It might be the buzzing noises that are scaring him. Or maybe it is the fact that they fly too close to your dog’s ace that makes him hate them. Perhaps it could be because the flies feast on his food.
Look at the way your dog reacts to how flies act so that you could determine what exactly is provoking your dog to hate them.
Arrange the conditions in terms of how they are least likely to provoke your dog
Once you have determined the conditions that are making your dog hate flies, try to rank them according to how they are least likely to provoke him.
The purpose of doing so is to be able to gradually desensitize your dog to the flies using the conditions that are least likely to provoke him up to the ones that are most likely to cause him to react.
For example, if you notice that the buzzing sounds do not actually provoke a lot of reactions on your dog, you can desensitize him to the sound that the flies make.
You can use an artificial way of simulating the buzzing noises or you can actually place your dog near the flies. And if your dog reacts the most to when the flies get too close to his food, this should be the final step in the process.
Find ways to make the conditions less intense than they originally are
When you are desensitizing your dog to the conditions that make him react, use ways that reduce their intensity. So, if your dog hates the sound that the flies make, try to use a simulated buzzing sound but in a lower intensity than what flies make.
The reason why you need to do this is so that you can present the conditions to your dog in a way that will most likely make him react less. Increasing the intensity gradually day by day will allow him to get used to it.
Use positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is the best way for you to actually train dogs. It also works really well in desensitizing. In this case, the way we reinforce a dog’s behavior is by giving him a reward such as his favorite treat.
When you are reinforcing his habit of being tolerant to flies, pair the conditions up with a reward. So, if you are trying to get him used to the buzzing noises of a fly, reward him with a treat for not reacting to the sounds.
As such, your dog will begin to correlate being tolerant of the buzzing sound with treats. This association may help in gradually reducing how he reacts to flies.
Do not move on to the next conditions unless your dog is already completely tolerant
Do not proceed to the next conditions if you notice if your dog has not entirely become tolerant to the conditions you are desensitizing him on. So, for example, if he is still reacting negatively to the buzzing noises of flies, do not stop working on that condition until he is completely tolerant.
Repellant and feeding combo
One other good way of conditioning your dog to get used to flies without doing so in a gradual procedure is by using a good insect repellant. Use a brand that is as natural as possible so that it will not cause any long-term effects on your dog.
At the same time, it is also a good idea to feed your dog outdoors while you are using a repellant. This allows you to condition him to become more tolerant of the outdoors even though he does know that there are flies there.
However, this does not always mean that he will be more tolerable of flies. Think of it as a way of making him more used to places where there are flies because you conditioned him to do so.
In a way, it does not really take away his hatred for flies but simply allows him to want to be in the outdoors regardless of whether or not there are flies.