Yesterday was the first time it happened. When my wife started cooking dinner Josie started barking and growling at the pot's and pan's. Then tonight she did it again and nipped at the back of my wifes leg. Even after they were washed and getting put away she still growled at the pots and pan's. We tried letting her sniff them she still growled at tehm. We have used these pot's and pan's ever since we brought her home and this is the first time it happened. I'am thinking she was abused by someone with a pot or pan before. Anyone have any advice ?
How old is Josie? Many adolescents (typically beginning around 5 months but extending for several months thereafter) have a second "fear period" where they are easily startled and spooked by things that have never bothered them before. If this is the case, the best thing to do is not to make a big deal out of it, but to encourage calm, inquisitive behavior around the offending object. During this time when Theo would freak out over things (stumps, shiny things, fire hydrants--I kid you not), I would coax him up to the frightened thing and feed him (I always carried treats) if he would sniff it--sometimes I'd put treats on it and encourage him to eat them. I'd even pet the offending object myself to show him that there was nothing to be afraid of--you can imagine the looks I got.
More worrying is the nipping. Has that ever happened before? Did she put teeth on skin?
Josie is 7 months old. She didn't bite/nip last night but she did tonight. I took several pot's and pan's out of the cabinet so she could see and sniff them. She was fine with that but put it on the stove and it's a different story. She has no problem with the stove it's just the pot's/pan's on it. I did the treat use treat's with her and told her over and over that there is nothing to be afraid of. She still growls and barks. She walked in front of a mirror tonight and started doing the same thing. BArking and growling. This time she started showing her teeth,the hair on her back stood up. Kinda startled my wife. All of this has just started happening and I don't understand why.
This definitely sounds like fear-period stuff. It's important that you not do anything that she might misinterpret as *rewarding* her fearfulness. Don't coo over her or "poor-baby" her. A lot of people make this mistake (including me), because it's very natural. Be relentlessly upbeat. "Oh, Josie, you silly girl; what is this? Let's go see? See, no big deal. No big deal!"
As for the pots and pan: Could you feed her out of the pans? Let her see you take the scary pan out of the cupboard, fill it with food, and then, before giving it to her for her dinner, put it on the stove (where it seems to bother her the most) for one second. If she can handle that one second without barking and growling, then give it to her and let her eat. Just a thought. Basically, the idea is to try to associate the scary object with good things happening.
One other thought: Are the pots and pans stainless? I wonder if they might be giving off a glint or glare that is disturbing her? Same can be true of a mirror. Many dogs go through a period where glinting light and other bright lights scare them. For a couple months, Theo barked and growled at every single porch light on our block. :