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Need help with my noise-phobic dog

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posted on May, 16 2015 @ 12:17 PM
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a reply to: hebegbes
Separation anxiety can affect dogs in different ways, some may destroy things, some may be lethargic.

A sweater or vest that can ease separation anxiety because it hugs and wraps the dog and helps make them feel secure.
Also, if it is in your budget and will, a friend to have around is always nice!




posted on May, 16 2015 @ 01:00 PM
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originally posted by: hebegbes
a reply to: seentoomuch

That's really interesting. I've glad you found your solution. The progression of the symptoms sounds exactly like what mine is going through. I probably should get him to the vet and have him checked out, although I know he's not going to find anything. He's just gonna tell me to keep up the Xanax, which I'm not going to do. What other symptoms of allergies are there, I wonder.... he doesn't seem to have anything wrong with him physically at all. It's just this noise issue.


When I took Bella Blue to the vet for her rash and hearing problem the vet didn't find anything wrong with her ears. He said to use a ear wash just in case. (Which I didn't do, I've always found that dog ear wash messes up their ears). The vet said to use the claritin for Bella's rash. After two weeks her hearing was great, she's happy, she doesn't get upset at sounds.

It had gotten so bad before that even ripping a sheet of foil off the roll would send her running outside. Or opening a foil pill pack for my benedryl would send her running for cover. Or getting a pot out of the cupboard with a bit of clanging she would run out the doggie door. All better now, she's a brand new dog.

Ask your vet why this could be, k? If he/she thinks it wouldn't hurt to try I would say give it a go


STM

Note: If you do try it give it two weeks, one plain claritin a day, guess it needs to build up in their system to work.



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 01:53 PM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic

What a great video for this, BH... thank you!! After watching it, I had to get the leash on him to get him out of the shower, but we went outside... it's darkening up and the storm's due to hit soon, and he knows it... but he stayed outside with me and played ball with me giving him treats. When I came back inside, he tried to go right back into the shower stall. I've just closed the door... I don't think I'm going to let him do that anymore. He loves water, too, like Gavin, and I feel that that's the right way to get him out of this. Unfortunately, I don't have a pool nor do I know anyone that does that I could use. I am gonna do some homework, though, and find someplace, like a pond or lake somewhere, that I can take him to for the training. So, do you think I should not let him find a safe place to go to when the storm gets really bad? Should I force him to stay in the living room with me, even though I know he's gonna be shaking and doing his normal scary thing??



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 01:55 PM
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a reply to: seentoomuch

Thanks, STM... I'm gonna give it a go and make an appointment next week just for a thorough check and will ask about allergies. That's really interesting. I hope he comes around like your Bella did.



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 01:59 PM
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a reply to: hebegbes
I hope you can get him to be a little more brave and he is well. It sounds like you have some good advice in this thread though.

My German Shepherd would not go up or down stairs his entire first year until I decided I would hang out in the basement whenever I was home and not on the main level, eventually, his desire to be with me overcame his apprehension of the stairs.

I think the important thing is keep with the conditioning, associate these things with happy things as someone has pointed out, and keep with it, be consistent, and try not to get frustrated as it will show.

Give your guy a hug for all of us, I know we all hope for his best ... and yours.



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 02:03 PM
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a reply to: ladyinwaiting

Yep, that sounds just like Mojo. I won't hold him or comfort him, though, when he's going through it just because of the things I've read that say that makes them worse. He knows what a lawnmower and weedeater are.... he used to run around with me using them outside last year. Just this year, it's a different story. I can't give up on him... he's all I have... and vice versa.

The trainer at my school tells me she thinks I need to bring him to doggie day care so he can get used to being around more people, more dogs, loud barking, but I wonder if that's really gonna help him or if she's just wanting more customers.
I took him to boarding last year at the school for one night at 4th of July. She assured me that the kennels were concrete, sound and solid, and he shouldn't be able to hear the fireworks that were going to be let off in the nearby town. When I picked him up the next day, he wasn't in good shape at all. She told me that she didn't even take him out of the kennel to socialize because he was in such bad shape. So, even if I take him to doggie day care, I don't know that that's going to make any difference.



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: AllSourceIntel

Yep, I'm glad I made this thread. There are some great suggestions I'm going to follow through with. He does love to play in the water hose when I get it out. I may try that today when the weather starts getting a little worse.

He won't go down the stairs, either, at my house. He'll go up/down anybody else's stairs, but not here. When I first bought this house, I brought him over before anything was moved in. He was running around, sniffing and smelling, and I was standing in the bedroom. I heard a loud BANG, BUMP, THUD, and all of a sudden he was standing beside me with his tail between his legs. He had fallen down the steps. It didn't hurt him, but he has never gone down those stairs again, and there's nothing I can do to get him down them, either. If a tornado ever comes, I guess it's gonna be me and him in the shower stall since I ain't going down in the basement without him!



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 04:37 PM
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originally posted by: hebegbes
So, do you think I should not let him find a safe place to go to when the storm gets really bad? Should I force him to stay in the living room with me, even though I know he's gonna be shaking and doing his normal scary thing??


I wouldn't let him hide or "flight". That just reinforces in his mind that he has a reason to be afraid. I would put a leash on him, be VERY calm, not agitated, worrisome or sorry for him. Play ball in the house, feed him treats white working on the behaviors he knows (sit, down)... basically, keep his mind busy. Have a new squeaky toy ready for the next storm. Don't let him see it until then. I recommend a Wubba. Also, a Kong filled with peanut butter, yogurt, some treats and kibble - all jammed in there and frozen. Let him lie beside you (leashed) while he gnaws on that.



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 04:48 PM
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originally posted by: hebegbes
He won't go down the stairs, either, at my house.


season-5-episode-2

www.youtube.com...



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 06:17 PM
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a reply to: hebegbes

Then to noise therapy on him. This requires some time. You have your vet check him out to make sure he is healthy first,then get a mild tranquilizer for him,and when ever there is noise that upsets him,you tranq him,then take him for a walk to burn off nervous energy. Praise for when he doesn't shake,and ignore like you said,when he does. You will have to repeat this everytime for almost every sound that gets to him. They do have dvds of thunder noises that you can use to make him deal with it while tranqed as well.You do it until he no longer has a reaction.

At this point I would like to point out something,that may or may not have anything to do with this. The Max Planck institute has done a series of amazing experiments on dogs,showing how their behavior is. They have found that dogs watch us much much more closely than we watch them.They even beat chimps on their ability to follow hand signs. If you want a chimp to 'look' at something and point to it,the chimp won't follow you no matter how many times you do it.Their brains just aren't wired for it.Dogs however during their domestication,had their brains 'rewire' to do nothing but watch and learn from us. Therefore,it may be that the dog is picking up nervousness from a family member over the noises,or at least some of them. Then he took it from there to mean that 'all' unusual noises(ones that don't continue without stopping) are bad and to be scared of them. I would check into this to see if anyone is acting upset in any way around the dog when 'strange' noises occur. Did any neighbor aggravate the dog or be mean in any way to it during a time of noise? Once you start looking,you may not find what you are looking for,but instead will find the cause,just not the one you thought. I would try it.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic

Thank you for your reply, BH, and I started following through with your suggestions last night. While there was no thunder last night, rain is all that's needed to make Mojo run for cover, but I kept the bathroom door and the door to the room where his kennel is closed so he was forced to stay out in the room with me. And usually after the rains, he doesn't want to come out of the bathroom for hours, but after I put his leash on him, he went outside with me again after the rain. We played ball and I played with the water hose with him. He did much better than I thought he was going to do. We woke up to rain this morning, but he wasn't crazy like usual...he just had his nose buried in the corner of the bedroom. Doesn't sound like much, but that's a big step for him. Going out today to get him a new squeaky. Thanks again. I'm starting to see some hope here.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 10:54 AM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic

Well, that's another good one... thanks again!! I don't know if this one's gonna work for me, though. I can't manhandle him.. he's just too big for me, and my stairs to the basement are open on both sides. I'm afraid if I try to force him and fight him, he may fall over the sides. I'm gonna give it a try, though, with the walking/running first and then straight for the stairs. We'll see how that one goes....



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 11:02 AM
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a reply to: Dimithae

Thanks for your suggestions, Dimithae. I can see the idea of walking to burn off nervous energy when he's bothered, but I'm not going to use the Xanax anymore. I just haven't seen any good come from using them other than it stops him from the shaking so badly. I've thought about how he picked up this fear of noises, and I can't figure it out. I'm the only one around him, and I'm not afraid of loud noises. Once when he was under a year, I did have a bad reaction to my neighbors right across the street setting off loud fireworks at 1:00 in the morning. We got into a screaming match. So, I don't know if that's what made him afraid of them or not. And, yeah, he's really great with hand signs... that's how we run our agility course. I don't notice it because I'm working him, but the teachers tell me that he rarely takes his eyes off me and picks up on my smallest signals/body language. He knows what obstacle I'm going to next before I even start heading in that direction. Thanks for your suggestions!



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 11:07 AM
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I want to thank everyone that participated in this thread and provided me with all these great suggestions! I've been so worried about him, but I really can tell the difference in just this weekend since I started incorporating some of these ideas. It's been cloudy and raining all weekend, but he's gone outside when the rain stopped and I was even able to get him out in it yesterday when it wasn't raining really hard. He'd do anything to get to play in that water hose! Mojo and I send our thanks.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 11:36 AM
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a reply to: hebegbes

So glad you're seeing some improvement already! These issues can take a LONG time, so I consider your success so far to be very good!

I'm also glad to hear that you're done with the Xanax. He's "stuck" in a mindset and needs to get out of it, not mask the issue with drugs. The incident with your neighbors over fireworks could be the initial cause, but now he's not aware of WHY he's afraid, he just knows that when loud noises happen, he gets scared and behaves by fleeing or flight. Dogs fight, flight, avoid or submit to external challenges.

a reply to: hebegbes

Yeah, I didn't know how big the dog was or how the stairs are. Some basement stairs are pretty scary. I wasn't entirely comfortable watching Cesar handle that St. Bernard, but it was a short-term "pain" as opposed to the long term fear. I would rather put my dog through a short bit of uncomfortableness than resign him to a lifetime of irrational fears...

I would suggest working with him on a mock up stairway (maybe 3 steps) that's part of the agility course. Get a new command ("stairs") and teach him to go up and down them. Maybe build it one step at a time, but make them as much like your basement stairs as you can. The idea being to get him used to the idea of stepping up and down associated with a command and a reward. Make it a HUGE reward for the steps, like that's your favorite obstacle. I suggest cooked chicken bits or raw hamburger bites. But only for the stairs. And LOTS of praise!

Another thing you can do is teach an on-leash "following" game. Teach him to stay on your heels while you walk and run around dropping treats and praising him. Do this outside at first. Then lead him in the house and around and back outside. Get his attention focused on following you no matter where you go. When he's highly engaged, run in the house and down a few of the stairs. Hopefully, he'll follow. if you can get him to go down a few, then keep going to the bottom, but don't stop or hesitate. Just go slowly and carefully. And be VERY CALM in your mind. Calm and confident.

You may be able to use a beloved squeaky toy to lure him downstairs. Here are some more tips:



Here's another technique. While we do not advocate forcing a dog up or down steps, some dogs will respond to a combination of firm physical encouragement and happy talk, which conveys to him that you, the leader, are not at all afraid of the steps and to trust you. Before attempting this exercise, teach your dog to move forward in response to the command "heel" or "let's go" in a nonthreatening situation, such as when out on walks. For the stairway exercise, place the dog in a harness, so that you are not pulling on his neck. Firmly grasp the harness at the point between the dog's shoulders. Then, use the command "heel" or "let's go" and descend the steps with your hand on the harness, firmly navigating the dog down the steps by your side. Move steadily forward, without pauses, so that your dog doesn't have a chance to contemplate his anxiety.


Dog Top: Scared of Stairs

Good luck!



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 11:40 AM
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Acousticophobia, fear of noise, is a branch of phonophobia.

I happen to come across this somewhere yesterday, and it reminded me of this thread.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 04:32 PM
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a reply to: hebegbes

I just thought of this... is there a railing on the stairs? If so, maybe you could attach an old blanket or drop cloth to it and let it hang down to the stairs to provide a visual barrier, since the stairs are open on the sides. I don't know if it would work to get him past his fear, but it might help.

You could also get a few wooden pieces and make a some simple balusters to close things in a little.

Just some thoughts.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 04:47 PM
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originally posted by: Dimithae
a reply to: hebegbes

1 Words....Thunder vest
look them up
Oh and stop petting him and telling him its ok.He thinks your praising him forbeing upset.


Exactly what I was going to say


I had a Border Collie, got him when he was a pup, so I know nothing bad happened in his past, but loud noises such as fireworks or thunder etc reduced him to a quivering ball of fur, to frightened to even move. What we did eventually realise was that to make a fuss of him seemed to reinforce his idea that something was wrong. It was so bad that whenever fireworks were happening I'd carry him to the car and take him to the sea for a nice long walk.

When he was about 9...maybe 10 he stopped being afraid, and we eventually realised he was deaf. That deafness was the best thing that could have happened, it took away all his fear.

OP. You must learn not to react in ANY way when fireworks or storms are happening. Dont even look out of the window! I bet if you watch Mr Dog his first reaction whenever he hears a loud noise will be to look at YOU!



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 08:28 PM
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a reply to: hebegbes

Look, I know all these people are telling you that this is probably a psychological issue but seriously, I DO NOT think so.

I have had many dogs, if there is no abuse and no outstanding reason for your dog to be afraid of noises then he simply wont be. If there is a noise that scares your dog and there is a reason for that, then that is the only noise they will be afraid of..

it does NOT get progressively worse over time with an increasing number of noises that your dog fears. I repeat, this is NOT a normal psychological problem.. it sounds like a medical ear problem to me.

If your normal vet wont actually investigate for a medical problem, then by God find another vet to look at your dog.

A normal fear in a dog, even if there is a reason for that fear... will be confined to one noise, possibly two.. it does not get worse, nor do they incorporate more and different noises into their fears.



posted on May, 18 2015 @ 02:57 AM
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a reply to: VoidHawk

Your herding breeds tend to be that way. Least that is what breeders at shows told me. They said it made sense that the dogs get all excited and have a lot of nervous energy when storms roll in. If a storm rolled in on the British isles,the dog would be expected to round up the sheep quickly and get them away from the cliffs. It seems sheep are kinda dumb and if one falls off a cliff,the others will follow. At least thats what they told me. Never having had experience with sheep, I have no idea.



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