Afraid of EVERYTHING!
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  1. #1
    Shelby and Emma's Avatar
    Shelby and Emma is offline Junior Member
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    Default Afraid of EVERYTHING!

    Hey All,

    MY DOG IS AFRAID OF EVERYTHING!

    I have a almost 2 year old Lab who is AFRAID of everything! I MEAN EVERYTHING.

    It's funny to because I have her sister from the previous litter and she isn't scared of anything.

    Has anyone ever dealt with this before, and any suggestions to help her out. I mean when I try to give her, her monthly frontline & Interceptor she runs downstairs and if I'm not real slow with her she will almost pee herself. This also goes for if I try to brush her and so forth.

    This is also the same dog, who I have no found out ie allergic to stuff also. Now currently has sores all over her body. In the process of changing her food. But this post is about her timidness.

    Thanks,

    Matt

  2. #2
    BdoUK is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Afraid of EVERYTHING!

    Matt,

    My 4 year old lab Cisco is the same way. He is very sketchy around people he doesn't know and will run and hide at the sound of an unfamilar voice. He has been like this since we got him at 8 weeks old and has really never grown out of it. Usually after a few minutes of being around a new person he will warm to them.

    For such a big dog you wouldn't think he would be afraid of anything, but that's just his personality.
    Name: Cisco<br />Born: 4-16-2003<br />Nickname: Silly Cisco<br /><br />Name: Enzo<br />Born: 5-17-07<br />&lt;IMG SRC=&quot;http://sweb.uky.edu/~btsmit2/bdoholdingcisco.jpg&quot;&gt;&lt;IMG SRC=&quot;http://sweb.uky.edu/~btsmit2/CRW_6092_small.jpg&quot;&gt;

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    Shelby and Emma's Avatar
    Shelby and Emma is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Afraid of EVERYTHING!

    Sounds like our Dogs came from the same LITTER!!

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    Apollopuppy is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Afraid of EVERYTHING!

    My 1 year old, black lab-mix, Apollo, is that way. BUT its because he was previously abused. He is afraid of toys (YES, toys) the leash, his crate, walls, birds, and my b/f (he was abused as a puppy by a man). Its really sad. We just have to take things really slow with him. He also cowers and urinates on himself and then LIES in it when he is afriad. We DO NOT comfort him when he shows irrationale fear, as it just compounds the problem.

    We have tried to break some of his fears by getting him to associate things like toys with positive things. We will coat a squeaky toy in baby food or peanut butter or we (my b/f and I) will toss a toy back and forth to each other and intentionally ignore apollo. We act like we are having more fun then is humanly possible. I feel like a psycho doing this lol, BUT, of course he wants in on the action and he will ignore his fear of the toy in an attempt to steal it from us (which is exactly what we want).

    As for things like his leash, whenever I put it on him I give him a treat, praise, etc but ONLY if he stays calm. Its frustrating having a dog thats afraid of alot of things. Some dogs are that way because of previous abuse, while others are just BORN that way. With patience and time you will break your dog of most of their "fears." Your dog may not ever be a brave dog, persay, but it will be able to lead a fairly normal life and not be afriad of its own shadow.

    There are many "dog experts" on this forum. I myself am certainly NOT one, as Apollo is my first dog. Hopefully they can offer some suggestions to help you out.
    Love,<br />Giuli<br /><br />

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    Shelby and Emma's Avatar
    Shelby and Emma is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Afraid of EVERYTHING!

    Well I can promise ya'll one thing.. my dog was NEVER ABUSED.. They are both spoiled ROTTEN!!!!

  6. #6
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Afraid of EVERYTHING!

    Well, hard to give advice not really knowing much about the situation, but the thing that comes to mind is: Do you comfort her when she is like this? Coo over her, or pet her?

    It's best not to reinforce scaredy behavior. Simon was a scaredy-boy when we first brought him home at seven months. We had to really be careful what we watched on television for quite a while - anything with a lot of base, loud noises, gunfire, explosions, etc., would send him with his tail tucked, running into the other room.

    I would just let him go and come back when he felt like it. When he came back in and had calmed down, THEN I would give him praise and petting and "Good boy!"

    So, I didn't demand of him not to be afraid, but I didn't reward him for being afraid either. He eventually settled down and realized the TV wasn't going to hurt him, and the episodes got further and further apart. It hasn't happened in so long, I can't even remember the last time. We've had him about a year and a half.

    You can also do some desensitizing on specific triggers. Jean Donaldson wrote a book called "FIGHT!" that outlines desensitizing techniques for fear-aggressive dogs, but I would think the same basic principles would work for a dog who was just plain fearful without the aggression.


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

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    RebaHalle is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Afraid of EVERYTHING!

    I don't think I would want to be brushed if I had sores all over my body!!

    My lab, Reba, at about 2 years of age started exhibiting timidness around people. She also was hyper alert - sounds would scare her. She had some sores on her body - not many. She otherwise had a nice coat. Tell your vet to do a thyroid panel. This is a blood test, but is different than the CBC (complete blood count). I did not realize there was a difference and had to pay for 2 blood tests because they did the CBC first. Reba is now 5 and still on thyroid meds which are very inexpensive. Particularly with the sores present; bad thyroid often accompanied by sores. Sorry, but I am not sure if it is hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, but your vet will know. Search the web.

    I also experimented with different foods (see the health and nutrition ). Chicken Soup worked pretty well. But I settled on Natural Balance Venison and Rice and both Reba and my JRT eat it. I am still pretty careful what I feed Reba for treats, but mostly I try to avoid peanut butter and milk products.
    Judy, mom to Reba, the Lab, and Jalapeno (Halle), the JRT

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    Kzunell is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Afraid of EVERYTHING!

    I was going to say the same things about the brushing and flea meds on a dog with sores. If allergies or thyroid she may have had a sensitive skin for some time and being petted and other things would cause pain. My Amber decided one day to become scared of the TV and bailed out of the room.. I just ignored her and then later taught her to touch my hand with her nose and she would get a treat. Then I had her touch my hand by the TV then I had her touch the TV and get a treat then i moved further away. Now I can send her from a different room and she will run to the TV and "touch" So now I am going to have her start touching different things she is scared of like people and vacuums etc.. what is really amazing is that Amber is totally fearless when she is going to "touch", she is completely confident. Maybe I should have Amber's thyroid checked also.

    Kelly and Amber
    Kelly and Greenwoods Amber Wave CD RA OA NAJ OF WC CGC CL1-F SW<br />Chino CA<br /><br /><br />

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    Apollopuppy is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Afraid of EVERYTHING!

    I'm very glad to hear that your dog was never abused. Please also know that I NEVER thought your puppy doggy WAS abused. As the mama to a previously abused dog I CAN'T understand WHY someone WOULD abuse a dog! Apollo was beaten when he was a puppy, for crying out loud! What heartless scumbag would do that!

    I'm sure your little one just needs time to get over her fears. I'm sorry shes going through this, with the help from others on here I'm sure you will find some techniques that work to break her of her fears. It can't be any fun at all to be afraid of everything, ya know? I'm sure she will just be SO happy once she feels confident in a variety of situations.
    Love,<br />Giuli<br /><br />

  10. #10
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Afraid of EVERYTHING!

    For a detailed booklet on counter conditioning, check out Patricia McConnell's "Cautious Canine".

    She's never going to be a social butterfly, but you can hopefully get her to a point where she is relaxed and comfortable in normal household activities. You may also want to look into the DAP pheromene diffusers/sprays... I've heard pretty overwhelmingly positive results from them (there are occasionally bizarre behaviour side effects, but it seems to be rare....

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