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My senior is 10.5 y/o. Czech border patrol working lines: an FCI world championship trainer once described him as a "real dog" in a schutzhund seminar. He was the most socially dominant dog in the neighborhood. Nerves were never the most solid but combined with his drives, natural aggression and social dominance gave him that edgy demeanor in protection. In the last year or so he had become more mellow. Yesterday, he got out of our fenced in acreage to chase coyotes but it seemed that for the first time in his life, the coyotes chased him back to our property whereas they all used to be afraid of him. Today, he was scared of thunder and insisted in being let inside the house again for the first time in his life for that reason. Anyone else experienced a once dominant dog losing his nerve and courage in seniority?
 

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It would make sense. With increasing age, testosterone drops dramatically, energy decreases, pain increases. Senses begin to deteriorate. He's no dummy, he knows he's not the dog he was 5 years ago, or even 3. Those factors could easily combine to produce the results you're seeing.
 

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Not an exact answer to your question, but I have seen a lot of older dogs who become very sensitive to thunder as they age. I have an old female most would have considered dominant, and as she ages she gets more sound sensitive.

My Husband says it is because thunder is something you can't fight, and for a dog who loves to take things on, that is the ultimate confusion:).
 

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My 13 year old GS was never afraid of thunderstorms or being alone now he hates thunder and we can't leave him alone. We went outside one day and he just cried and whined and barked which he never did before. I really think as they get older things change. But I know he would still do everything he could to protect us.
 

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I agree with Mary and above poster.

I have had very strong tough dogs and noticed as they age, as in 10+ years, they seem to be more sensitive to things that once never bothered them.

When Dodge was around 11, I got a new stove, this dog was the most solid stable unafraid dog I've ever lived with, well that darn stove would "click" every once in awhile when I'd use the oven..He was afraid of it, at first I thought 'what is his problem?" then realized it was the oven! My husband said it was because Dodge did not like my cooking:))
 

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Daisy now barks at the thunder but stays inside. She doesnt venture out at night in our fenced yardshe wants one of us with her going down her ramp. She never reated to storms before other then wanting to go outside in them. She's 12 .
 
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