When dogs with such a fear are brought to the animal shelter, they are gradually introduced to the play yard and given positive responses as they learn that the outdoors can be fun and entertaining.
There is an opposite fear that feral dogs or dogs that have been living on their own, surviving by their own wits, exhibit. These dogs are panicked by buildings and kennels. Depending on the age of these animals and how long they have been fending for themselves, they may or may not be rehabilitated. Often, these dogs will attack the fencing of their kennels, breaking teeth and causing their mouths to bleed. It takes specially-trained workers who can interact consistently with these dogs to calm them and convince them that buildings, kennels and people can produce good things in their lives.
Unfortunately, the animal shelter finds a few dogs that are injured as well as wild. When the injuries are serious enough, it is more merciful to euthanize them than to subject them to treatment, especially if it will be painful.
Hetts comments on the various triggers for fearful behavior. She says that it happens through classical conditioning in which the dog learns that one event predicts another. Freezing in one spot is a common sign of fear and distress. A veterinarian may find that a dog under stress will have an elevated heart rate and cortisol level. When such a fearful dog's blood glucose is checked, it may be elevated, sometimes dramatically.
Hetts advises all owners to carefully observe their dogs. Besides the above signs of fear, she says watch for the eyes opened wider than normal (you may even see a ring of white around the eye). Is the dog's body relaxed or tense? Does the animal lean away from the fearful object? Does he ignore something that you think he should react to? Does your dog's change in behavior puzzle you? You may need to videotape him in action and have an animal behaviorist evaluate it.