Kites are something that your kid would love to play with, but you will find your dog trembling with fear and start barking at them whenever he sees them.
It seems that to your dog, kite is a source of his stress! This makes you wonder what makes a kite so terrifying for your dog?
Let’s get to know the reasons behind that behavior.
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It Looks Like a Big Flying Predator to Him
Your dog is likely to feel threatened by the kite because it looks like a bird with a long tail and a head like a hawk.
The kite flies in a circular motion just like the wings of a bird, which makes your dog think that it is an eagle or a vulture.
He is worried that it will swoop down and attack him. He sees the kite as a predator that wants to eat him!
This is the reason why when he sees a kite, he starts to growl and bark at it.
A Bad Experience Associated With A Kite
Did you give your dog a bad scolding when you found that he had damaged the kite that was meant for your kid?
This can make him have a negative attitude towards it and associate kite with bad experience, causing him to be fearful of it.
He starts to believe that whenever he sees a kite, BAD things will happen, and you will be angry with him again.
This makes him afraid of a kite the moment he sees it, even if he did not do anything wrong.
Or it could be the case that he had been injured by the sharp kite line before. The line entangled his legs and caused a deep cut on his skin.
As he tried to get away from it, the line pulled his foot and dragged him along. The wound had caused a deep gash on his leg and he was bleeding profusely.
This painful experience left a deep impression on him, and he became fearful of kites.
From that time onward, he would stay away from any kites.
Even if you were holding the string and the kid is playing with it, your dog would not touch it. And when you approach him with a kite in your hand, he will run away from it.
To help him overcome his fear of the kite, train him to associate kite with rewarding experience.
The Scent Of The Kite Make Him Uncomfortable
Dogs possess an acute scent and can easily detect smell that we are unable to pick up.
This enables your dog to be very sensitive to the smell of kites. If your dog smells something that he does not like or triggers an unpleasant memory, that will make him uncomfortable.
As kites are typically made of polyethylene terephthalate (a synthetic plastic), they do come with a candle – wax like scent.
Thus, if your dog is sensitive to this scent or has a bad experience associated with this scent, that will freak him out.
The Sound From The Kite Frighten Him
Your dog is probably scared of the kite because of the sound it generates. The wind rushing through the strings of the kite makes a noise.
And as a dog’s ears are sensitive to noises, he can easily pick up this sound and get scared.
Fear of An Object That Can Fly from Your Hand
If this is the first time that your dog has seen a kite in your home, he may be wary of that big object that you are holding in your hand.
This fear may manifest if he sees you chasing after him with this object flying from your hand.
Lack of Exposure and Socialization
Dogs that have had limited exposure to kites and windy environments during their critical socialization period may find these unfamiliar stimuli threatening or alarming.
Lack of positive experiences and interactions in these situations can contribute to fear development.
Dogs are observant creatures and can pick up on the reactions of their owners or other dogs around them.
If your dog had witness your fear or anxiety when you are handling a kite or perceive other dogs being fearful of kites and the wind, he may imitate these responses, leading to his own fear associations
Some dog breeds may be more prone to fear of scary kites and the wind due to genetic factors.
For instance, certain breeds known for their sensitivity, such as the Border Collie or the Shetland Sheepdog, may be more likely to exhibit fearful behavior in response to these stimuli.
Understanding breed predispositions can help you tailor your approach in helping them overcome their fears.
How To Help Your Dog Overcome His Fear Of Kite
The way to do this will be to make him associate kites with good experiences instead of bad ones.
Here is how:
1. Have your dog stay in his crate while you place a kite about 2 meters away from him. This is assuming that your dog has completed his crate training and feels safe in his crate.
2. Leave a highly valuable treat such as a piece of beef or cheese about a meter in front of the kite. The goal is to lure your dog to make his first move out of the crate to eat the treat.
3. You will have to be patient with this as it might take quite a while before your dog has overcome his fear and makes the move. Trying changing to various different types of high value treats if the one that you are using is not making him go for it.
4. Once he had made that initial successful move, give him lots of praise and pet him on his shoulder.
5. You can then gradually reduce the distance between the kite and the treat with the goal of making him sit beside the kite without any fear. Keep rewarding him with high valuable treats when he is making good progress in the training.
6. The intended outcome is to make him associate kites with good things instead of bad experience. This will help him to overcome his fear of kites.
7. Eventually, you should be able to take the kite all the way to where your dog is and sit next to him without him running away from you.
One of the compelling reasons for you to engage your dog in socialization exercises is that when he has been properly socialized, he will be capable of coping well in various different situations, without being scared or anxious.