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Old 09-01-2014, 07:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dealing with anxiety/fear

My 4 year old female GSD is scared of everything, and it's now gotten to the point where she hardly wants to go outside. She just hides in the garage. Even on walks she's starting to get weird. I've done everything I can think of and nothing is working. This dog is scared to death of everything, especially loud sounds.

It's time to look into supplements or medicine of some kind. She is so scared and sad every day and it's negatively affecting her life. She used to spend most of the day outside (I live in the country) but now she won't even go outside with me.

What should I look into? I have to do something
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What was her history? Is she a rescue?

If not, what's the breeder say and how are the littermates? The reason we take the months to research and get a 'responsible' breeder is to have the lifetime help with situations like this.

If you rescued her and don't know history or have breeder help, have you seen these sites?

Helping The Shy or Fearful Dog Homeward Trails Animal Rescue | Pet Adoption in VA, DC, MD

How to Fix a Timid, Shy & Scared Dog | Dog Care - The Daily Puppy

Shy dogs/fearful dogs links and resources

I've heard that this helps WITH training/management/PRO-active work ---> Thundershirt | The Best Dog Anxiety Treatment

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Old 09-01-2014, 12:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Was she always that way? How long have you had her? Did something happen out there that freaked her out ?
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's a thread of someone putting their dog on prozac. It would be an avenue I would pursue

Seeing great progress with Eko after starting medication

I would have her checked over by a vet. Hearing, vision. Anything that could be deteriorating
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieRoseLee View Post
What was her history? Is she a rescue?

If not, what's the breeder say and how are the littermates? The reason we take the months to research and get a 'responsible' breeder is to have the lifetime help with situations like this.

If you rescued her and don't know history or have breeder help, have you seen these sites?

Helping The Shy or Fearful Dog Homeward Trails Animal Rescue | Pet Adoption in VA, DC, MD

How to Fix a Timid, Shy & Scared Dog | Dog Care - The Daily Puppy

Shy dogs/fearful dogs links and resources

I've heard that this helps WITH training/management/PRO-active work ---> Thundershirt | The Best Dog Anxiety Treatment

I got her from what I thought was a responsible breeder, but no, there is no help from the breeder. I'm not sure if I've seen those specific sites or not, but I've tried everything at this point and she's not showing any improvement. She isn't interested in toys, treats or praise when she gets spooked. Positive reinforcement is really tough when she refuses to come out of the stairwell in the garage.

I've spent a lot of time reading things to do and none of it is working
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
Was she always that way? How long have you had her? Did something happen out there that freaked her out ?
She always had weak nerves, but she's getting worse. She's terrified of thunder and gun shots. When she hears either, she basically is scared to go outside for the rest of the day. The problem is when she hears a plane flying overheard, a lawnmower off in the distance or basically anything that might resemble thunder, she gets spooked. I actually don't even know what she's truly scared of other than those things. It's as if she's just scared of being outside. Even on walks, she'll be running and playing with my other dog, then the next second she won't leave my side and I can tell she's nervous. It seems that many times absolutely nothing brings it on. I'm simply out of ideas and she's miserable, so I have to try something else.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My dog started out pretty fearful and anxious (although not to her extent), but I really liked reading "Help for Your Fearful Dog." The Cautious Canine is also another good book, but it was not quite as helpful to me as the other one. Help for Your Fearful Dog is really good because it talks about how you can build a good foundation at home to teach her coping skills in a safe environment. There are some very in-depth charts that you can use to identify her triggers, even very specific or odd triggers, and work with her to cope with those specific fears. It sounds like you have tried a lot of different things, so I'm not sure if you've tried the methods in the book, but from what I read, it seems to cover a lot of different methods or ways of helping her.

I would also look into conditional relaxation, which I'm starting to use with Archer, and it's supposed to be very helpful in helping the dog learn to control his own emotions (as opposed to the owner constantly telling him what to do). I'm personally working with a trainer in group classes to learn the techniques, but you may benefit more from personal training if she would be too stressed from group classes.

Nutrition can also play a big role into the dog's attitude. I think going to the vet would be a good idea, if this is a relatively new change or if it has been worsening, and see if there is something medically or nutritionally that could be making her more anxious or nervous.
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