My Dog Is Scared of Umbrellas

It’s so strange and seems to have no explanation: your dog is scared of umbrellas. Why is your dog scared of umbrellas? Why does your dog bark at umbrellas? What is it about them that makes your dog react like this? What should you do? How do you get your dog used to umbrellas? And will your dog grow out of being afraid of umbrellas?

Today, we’re going to answer all of the questions you have about this confusion problem. And we’ll of course also tell you how to stop your dog barking at umbrellas. Soon, you won’t have to worry about this ever again. So without further ado, keep reading below for our article “My Dog Is Scared of Umbrellas!”

How to Stop Dog Barking at Umbrellas

My Dog Is Scared of Umbrellas

To get your dog to stop barking at umbrellas, they need to learn to become quiet on command. For us to do that, bring your dog somewhere you know that they like to bark like the park, with lots of small dog treats. Leave them on their leash and stay a fair distance away from the other people and animals there.

As soon as your dog begins barking, say “quiet” in a positive and calm voice. If they focus on you, then reward them with praise and a small treat right away. But if they quickly resume barking again or never even stop, then you should hide a treat inside your fist.

Place your hand very close to your dog’s nose. Your dog will still be able to smell the treat even inside of your fist and will stop their barking to investigate the scent. Once they’ve gotten silent and are also paying their full attention to you, again give the “quiet” command and then open your hand to reward them with praise and a treat.

If your dog keeps staying silent, keep rewarding them with praise and a treat. But if they start barking again, regardless of whether it’s at you or at someone at the park, repeat the steps of hiding a treat inside your fist, placing it next to their nose, and then waiting until they’ve quieted.

Make sure that you’re waiting until your dog has become silent before you reward them. This helps form a positive connection in your dog’s mind with paying attention and staying silent any time you say “quiet.” Reward them with praise and treats right away when your dog is responding well.

With repetition, time, and consistency, your dog will become quiet just by you giving the command, and you won’t need to place your hand near their mouth. You should then begin increasing the amount of time before you give them their rewards. Start with just 1 to 2 seconds, then increase that to 5 seconds, and so on.

It won’t be long before the food rewards and praise won’t be needed and your dog will quit barking at umbrellas or at anything else just by giving the “quiet” command.

But while this will get your dog to stop being scared of umbrellas, it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issue (anxiety) that was causing this fear to begin with will still be present. And until you address that, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog is scared of umbrellas and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog being scared of umbrellas ever again!

Why Is My Dog Scared of Umbrellas?

Your dog is scared of umbrellas because they’ve had a bad experience with one at some point. It’s also possible that they’ve made the connection that umbrellas mean rain and thunder, which obviously most dogs do not like at all. Either of these causes would make a dog feel anxious and afraid.

How your dog responds to being afraid of umbrellas will vary. Some will refuse to go near one, some will freeze up when one is opened, and some will bark at them. We’ll go over how to get your dog used to umbrellas in the next section, but for now, let’s explore how to handle if your dog barks at umbrellas.

Your dog is barking at the umbrella because they’re very frightened and stressed by it, which many respond to by barking. In some cases, it’s solely due to their anxiety, while in others, it’s in combination with a feeling of dominance, and your dog feels the need to protect both themselves and you from what they see as a threat.

If your dog barks at the umbrella and then ignores you when told to stop, they very likely have dominance issues in addition to their anxiety. It’s important to address these behavioral problems right away, or you will give your dog the idea that behaving like this is okay, and that they are in fact in charge.

Their misbehavior will then become more frequent. You’ll find that your dog barks at the rain, barks at the thunder, barks at the sky, and maybe even barks at their shadow. These are just a few examples — a dog suffering from anxiety with no boundaries will be set off by practically anything (especially if dominance issues are also present).

These things are relatively easy to handle, however. To learn how to stop your dog barking at umbrellas with one command, while also taking care of any anxiety and dominance beliefs, go back to the first section now where we’ll teach you exactly how to proceed.

How to Get Your Dog Used to Umbrellas

To get your dog used to umbrellas, you’ll need to form positive associations and slowly desensitize them. Put the umbrella (closed) in a corner of the room and bring your dog by it. Sit with them, hold them, and softly pet them while speaking positively. Give them small treats when they’re doing well.

If they’re staying calm, continue this process after opening the umbrella. Do not rush or force things if your dog is still showing signs of stress. Be patient, and be prepared for this to take multiple sessions. It’s good to remember that multiple, short training sessions have been shown to be more effective than long, individual ones.

Do not use anti-anxiety medications with your dog. For starters, these will do nothing to actually address the problem at its root. In addition, they have been shown to be ineffective and to come with very negative side effects like a loss in energy and a lack of desire for human contact, even with their owner.

Will My Dog Grow Out of Being Afraid of Umbrellas?

Your dog will not grow out of being afraid of umbrellas. While it’s true that puppies tend to be more timid than adult dogs, it’s unlikely that they will simply forget their fear of umbrellas once they’ve grown. Just waiting things out and expecting it to go away is a bad idea as you will very likely only find that the phobia becomes even more deeply ingrained.

In the previous section of this article, we went over how to get your dog used to an umbrella. This can be effective with dogs of any age. If you have a dog that barks at umbrellas, then you can go back to the first section where we have an easy-to-follow step-by-step method that will help you address that.

I’m sure you’re ready for your dog to not freak out at the sight of an umbrella, so I’ll let you get going on things now. Best of luck, and thank you for reading our article “My Dog Is Scared of Umbrellas.”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.