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Firstly, I apologize if there is already a thread that is closely related to this. I did a short search for one but it wasn't very extensive, so please excuse me if this might seem repetitive.

A little history...

My dog Zero is a WGSD and is 12 months old, and we've had him since he was 14 weeks old. My bf had gotten him as a surprise for me as a birthday present. He bought him from an 80 yr old woman who is/isn't a backyard breeder. This was her first set of puppies from her dogs, and it was unintentional. The woman lived like crap and kept her dogs like crap (from what I heard), and he was also the last puppy to find a home out of 4 puppies. When we first got him, he was very friendly loved everyone and especially every dog he came across. I work from home so it was pretty quick in housebreaking and training him. And when I would leave the house to run errands, Zero was always in tow. Every weekend I would take him to either the dog beach or the dog park so he could continue to get social interaction with other dogs and people.

Then one day out of nowhere (maybe 6 months ago), he developed a very intense fear of people who were not me or my bf. When I have a guest at the house he finds a place to hide and if that guest just happens to walk within 5 feet of him, he will pee all over the floor while shaking... and I mean VIOLENTLY shaking and trembling. Yesterday it even went a step further when I took him with me for a car ride to the gas station. I had the back windows down because he loves to stick his nose out the window. I saw a friend at the gas station and when they approached me at my car, turned and just looked at Zero, he sh:censored:t himself because he was so scared.

We've tried having people give him treats and he won't take them. We've tried with toys, and he refuses to move. So he is not food nor toy motivated.

This is not his temperament when he is with just me or my bf. He is such a sweet lovable playful pup, a definite companion dog. I've looked into finding a dog trainer but it's just way too expensive for me. The cheapest I've found in my area is $90 a session, and he would def need more than just two or three sessions. I know Petco has training for much cheaper but is it reputable? Is that a place that could help with my situation?

I'm at my wits end with this, I have no clue what to do about this. It breaks my heart to see him in such fear. I love taking him with me places but its now becoming such a hassle since the slightest noise will startle him.

Please help me, I am open to any and all suggestions. I feel like I wanna cry lol I don't know what to do!!
 

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That level of a fear reaction is not normal. I would start with a full phyiscal at the vet, bloodwork, check thyroid, if possible vitamin leves -- completely rule out physical first.

Next if there is nothing physical going on, I think you are going to have to totally change your mindset with this dog. If there is nothing physical, then you have very weak nerves going on. And I would probably not force anything on the dog. I would probably change completely how I manage the environment. I would find his thresholds and stay on this side of them. As he matures, and very slowly, and very carefully, I would start coming just a little closer to other human beings. I would not want them to react to the dog at all. I would not have them look at him, or offer him treats, not yet.

I would set up a dog-cave in my bedroom. And when I have guests, I would put the dog in his dog-cave with a nice raw meaty bone, and shut the door and not allow anyone in there.

If you have a close family member who over your place a lot, then I would leave the crate door open, and the bedroom door open, and let him decide when he wants to come out.

Don't coddle him or laugh when he acts afraid.

There are some books to help with understanding shy dogs. And maybe a website. I would find them and read them.

I think that you have your work cut out with your boy, to try to bring him around without overwhelming him. Maybe he will be a home body, and will choose to lay on your bed while you have visitors, for the rest of his life. For some dogs that wouldn't be a terrible life.

Maybe between careful, slow socialization, environment management, and time, your boy will be able to function to a level that is acceptable.

If your boy's shyness turns to aggression though, it will be a liability.

I am sorry you are having this problem. It is certainly not easy.
 

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You might want to talk to your vet about medication such as anti-anxiety drugs.
 
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