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Fear & Anxiety

Potcakes can be fearful but are not skittish. When afraid they may cower, tremble, tuck their tail under or attempt to hide. Potcakes can show fear toward strangers or unfamiliar objects but are quick to adapt. They have sensitive hearing and may be startled by loud noises, including thunder and fireworks.

"He is very laid back, nothing seems to really scare him too much."

"Does not show fear/aggression except *maybe* to noise"

"Almost any new experience will give her anxiety but once she knows she isn't going to be hurt, she's OK."

61.5% Tail between legs 
41.8% Hiding 
Ears back
Trembling or shaking
Slinking away
39.9% Cowering, low to ground 
37.8% Refusing to budge from a spot 
25.2% Wimpering 
15.1% Urinating 
12.2% Yelping 
8.4% Teeth showing  
5.5% Howling 
3.8% Extensive nose licking 


50.6% Sudden/loud noises 
Approached by strange adult
Stranger entering home
33.8% Visiting the veterinarian
Thunderstorms, fireworks, and other loud noises
28.4% Unfamiliar objects 
Bathed/groomed at home
Approached by strange larger dog
Touched/pet by stranger
17.9% Strange dog barks/growls/lunges 
15.6% Heavy traffic 
Strange dog entering home
Approached by child
10.9% Approached by strange smaller dog 
Left at home
Rain, puddles, streams, etc.
6.1%  Walking on stairs
3.8% Left outside


 More Comments
Fear and Anxiety
  • "All during his bath."

  • "None."

  • "Afraid of storms and firewrks"

  • "Barking with hackles up; sounds mean but I think she is more scared than mean."

  • "Pooping, she licks excessively and I think it is a defense mechanism."

  • "None"

  • "Mainly before a bath."

  • "I believe that some of her aggressive behaviors are fear-based."

  • "She hates the Gentle Leader!"

  • "Katie's tail curls and when she is afraid of something her tail goes straight."

  • "None, except with other dogs."

  • "Only when playing with his brother."

  • "Mostly when we first got her."

  • "Tries to run away."

  • "None."

  • "Doesn't really ever seem scared."

  • "None."

  • "Only when I go over to see her. She wags her tail but still does this and then turns over to rub her belly."

  • "At the car wash!!"

  • "Seems to act agressively only when scared."

  • "Will try to hide behind me - seeks me for comfort."

  • "Dakota our younger potcake is more a nervous dog, then our older potcake."

  • "NONE."

  • "Barking at the object that caused the fear (vacuum)."

  • "Barking."

  • "Is not often scared but runs behind my legs when startled or uncertain.-"

  • "Only about the car.-"

  • "Just during lightening and thunder."

  • "Gets as close to me as possible."

  • "He has never shown any fearful reactions."

  • "During thunder storms."

  • "Unknown people/dogs in immediate territory."

  • "Even though Penny exhibits some fearful and/or aggressive behaviors, she is actually very laid back at home. She loves to work with me (agility, tricks, fetch, tugging) but I do not believe she will ever be able to perform any of these things in public due to her fearful nature. I am working with her. She loves hiking and is very protective of me in all situations."

  • "Shadow doesn't trust humans easily, she had gotten better, but this makes her hard to train. She is very skiddish when you try to discipline her."

  • "Leery of most men (especially with hats), mostly aggressive when scared but can be very dominant over some other dogs."

  • "Alfie is extremely shy and will hide away rather than face strangers or conflict with other dogs."

  • "Toby is almost 7 months, so still a pup, but he is already showing signs of being a very calm, steady as a rock dog in familiar situations."

  • "Easily spooked, jumps if startled, hides if given an opportunity at park, but knows her family and stays close."

  • "Fearless!"

  • "Climbs in lap."

  • "Barks. Becomes aggressive when afraid."

  • "He is sometimes scared of thunder. Otherwise, nothing."

  • "When our big dogs get too rough with him, he yelps."

  • "Begins to run when she gets near the fence of the dog that barks at her."

  • "She will just crouch down when she's in trouble or she knows she's misbehaved."

  • "Shakes trembles when smoke detector goes off while cooking."

  • "Chatters teeth when very nervous."

  • "When attacked by another dog, this happened - he cowered, yelped and cried for a minute after the event."

  • "Hides behind my legs."

  • "Only did this in the first few months."

  • "Only at the beginning when we got her, then stopped."

  • "Haven't seen any fear/anxiety in her."

  • "The urinating was bad in first year the was pretty much gone."

  • "Gets carsick. Seems anxious in the car."

  • "Pants."

  • "She is only about 10 months old, has become more confident as she ages."

  • "Hair raising on back, running away."

  • "Whale Eye."

  • "No fear."

  • "Not really fearful."

  • "Hackles raised; tail curved over his back."

  • "Knows the word bath and will hide and shake."

  • "Foaming at mouth."

  • "Gets gassy."

  • "Only when being bathed."

  • "Shadowing - following us around."

  • "Afraid of thunder storms."

  • "Scared of sudden loud noises like vacuum, blenders anything motorized."

  • "Doesn't like getting his walking harness on."

  • "Not really an issue....."

  • "She doesnt like yelling."

  • "Caic never has to be told 'NO' twice, she melts down if she thinks you are angry at her or even if you are angry at someone else.  If the other Potcake LadyBug is in trouble or even one of the kids, she will come over and try to get in between you and will smile, jump up so she can put her paws around your neck and lick your face and rub her face against yours.  Also if she is upset her ears corkscrew like a pigs tail."

  • "Pretty timid but she gets over it quite quickly 95% of the time - I call it 'cautious'."

  • "It took about a year for her to look us in the eye. She never let us cuddle her as a pup and as an adult, while affectionate with people, you cannot wrap your arms around her and she gets very agitated when "pinned" in any way. She is terrified of feet. We have worked extensively to get her to let us touch her with ours."

  • "Submissive peeing (under 2 years old.)"

  • "Will not walk on bare floors. Also prefers the company of other dogs."

  • "She was abused so we don't scold her."

  • "Tends to run away when frightened unless egged on by Tuck."

  • "When afraid of aggressive dog."

  • "Eyes diverted; lips lips."

  • "He backs away rather than attacks things he is scared of."

  • "Timid & submissive with dogs."

  • "Oakley will sniff a stranger but if they try and pet him he will jump away."

  • Fear and Anxiety Triggers
  • "Goes btwn 1st & 2nd floors on steps, refuses to go into bsmt."

  • "Only if scolded."

  • "Lily does not appear to have anxiety issues but our other potcake Lulu does."

  • "SNOW!"

  • "Loud, deep voice."

  • "Some unfamiliar objects."

  • "When he is guilty or being punished."

  • "Shows none of these fears."

  • "Scared of little things like children and puppies. Loves hiding under bed. She is fearless when it comes to physical things or when playing with her older brother pot cake who is aggressive, she is scared of everything else even us and nothing bad has ever happened to her since we had her, she came to me scared. I tried to socialiize a lot as a puppy and she pooped on me, the car, others all the time."

  • "Very very scared of vet and groomed. Impossible to cut nails even if we try, I think he was cut too far once."

  • "Night time walks - fear triggered by passign car w/head lights."

  • "I manage some of the triggers by focusing her attention on me with treats."

  • "Being disciplined." 

  • "Doesn't seem to be afraid of anything!"

  • "He is very layed back, nothing seems to really scare him too much."

  • "He never leave her tied up outside but she is very attached to us and cries and scratches the door when we leave sometimes unless we give her a kong to keep her occuppied."

  • "People arguing or yelling during football games, etc."

  • "Does not like walking on smooth surfaces like tile floors."

  • "Really none noted."

  • "Poor girl never had a bath only ran for cover in rain storms."

  • "Scolded."

  •  "Wind rattling my windows."

  • "Afraid of stairs when younger"

  • "When being scolded."

  • "Gain our younger potcake when putting her collar and leash on her she gets very nervous, she wants to run away shes afraid of them."


  • "In car (but he's getting used to it more); fear behaviour shows up most around older dog."

  • "Vacuum."

  • "Least fearful dog I've ever owned!"

  • "Doesn't show much fear ever."

  • "Nipped by other family dog."

  • "Walking on the kitchen floor in front of the fridge."

  • "Being tied to a long rope in the yard."

  • "Use of garden hose always causes these reactions."

  • "He began this only after having hip surgery recently and seems to be getting over it."

  • "Fear of tile floors (Isak)."

  • "Getting in the car."

  • "Demonstrates fear/anxiety in most new experiences."

  • "Riding in car (Caico)."

  • "At groomers."

  • "Swiffers, vacuums."

  • "Santa Claus."

  • "High winds."

  • "When owners are upset/ yelling (not at potcake); when "mean" characters appear on TV; going for walks in the night."

  • "Getting in trouble."

  • "Thunder."

  • "Street sweeper."

  • "Same as with aggression: certain people she was afraid of hadn't figured out a pattern other than it was mostly people I was worried about or larger unfamiliar males."

  • "Extremely afraid of other people."

  • "Shy around new people."

  • "Paces around someone she doesn't know."

  • "Very fearful of new people and things. She's very sweet once she gets used to her surroundings."

  • "Men, brooms, sticks or others objects waved near him."

  • "Statues, fire alarms, skateboards, anything that surprises him. Teenage boys with good reason as they charge around our house."

  • "Is wary of any new or unfamiliar thing - very alert and aware, but when he knows it's "OK", relaxes quickly. Easy for me to reassure him, except when he "knows better" (like with an aggressive dog)."

  • "Leaving her behind when going out, going into pet store."

  • "Heavy winds."

  • "Cat attacked him once in dining room and he would not walk through that room again for 6 months, has a lot of these type of incidents."

  • "Smoke alarm."

  • "Anything unfamiliar frightens him but quickly recovers by showing him it's O.K."

  • "Very anxious around skateboards and bicycles."

  • "Dog park visits."

  • "It took her a good month and a half to even go up or down stairs!"

  • "Smoke detector beeping."

  • "Night time walks - fear triggered by passing car w/head lights."

  • "Stairs is a hit and miss, but only going down. She is fine going up."

  • "Walking on metal stairs/docks and having her toe nails trimmed."

  • "Cars."

  • "When being scolded or spoken to harshly. Beans strives to have fun and to please at all times."

  • "Crashing waves at the beach (surprises him).  Flying makes him nervous. As a puppy he would whimper severely when he was left alone or in a different room than us."

  • "When my other dogs argue."

  • "Dog park; head shy/doesn't like strangers scratching her head or approaching from above but fine if they approach in other ways."

  • "Fearful of motorcycles, lawn mowers, power tool sounds."

  • "She loves to be groomed but hates the bath. Will stop moving entirely."

  • "Walking on bare floors."

  • "Storm drains."

  • "He doesnt like wood floors or narrow areas."

  • "If someone/something strange is going by house or in yard."

  • "Hugging by humans."

  • "Plastic bags, laundry, when we tried negative reinforcement."

  • "Doesn't seem to have anxiety triggers except sometimes he chews things when I leave the house."

  • "Rolling things such as the garage door and suitcases.  But getting better."

  • "Man with cap, large groups."

  • "Fear of stairs only as puppy (.6 months)."

  • "No triggers,"

  • "Any person, car, delivery truck, etc. passing by our house. UPS or FedEx deliveries."

  • "Goes btwn 1st & 2nd floors on steps, refuses to go into bsmt. (finished)"

  • "Little dogs don't seem to bother her as much. She also does not like to walk on certain floors."

  • "Traveling by car."

  • "Fire sirens, car rides."

  • "Car rides,shaking."

  • "Once she knows the person, she is fine, but will still bark when they enter the house. Excellent memory and will recognize people she knows after many months of not seeing them."

  • "When scolded."

  • "Trying to get her into any bathroom."

  • "Tight spaces such as a small bathroom, etc."

  • "Nail trimming."

  • "She sometimes barks when new people approach, not everyone though."

  • "Swiffers, vacuums. She adapted to Chicago quickly.  She barked at horses and trains but got over it.  She is fascinated by the sites and smells."

  • "None."

  • "Fire alarm, snow plow, car lights at night."

  • "Gentle, sweet dog who is easily scared, very timid of new people or situations, what was fine yesterday is not fine today, today it will terrify him and then tomorrow he could be over it or like the cat thing it could last for months

    Startles when sleeping and touched (or thinks she's been touched).  She'll snap instinctively before she even realizes she's done it."

  • "Does not like vacuum and gets nervous walking through tight spaces or on wood floors."

  • "Does not like being picked up, scared of stairs, likes to be close to the front door, does not like to be enclosed in a room, does not like tile or vinyl floors."

  • "Easily startled by new things, noises, sounds etc."

  • "When first "meeting" someone, she will come in for a sniff or pet and then jump away as if scared.  Then she bows down on her front paws and barks, as if to say,"Hey! Play with me!"  We ignore her and eventually she gets over "the shy act," and makes friends, sits at our feet and waits for us to finish our conversation."

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