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fear periods

We are suddenly weirdly inexplicably very afraid. Spooking us all... A little.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
dinahprincedaly
Oct. 2nd, 2014 06:34 pm (UTC)
Suggestions on how to handle terrifying plants and mailboxes and also it seems, terrifying smells?
redwoodranch
Oct. 2nd, 2014 06:40 pm (UTC)
Fear periods always freak me out despite knowing they happen. I'd say follow his lead, give him a break from scary objects for a few days if possible, and keep doing things he loves. If they persist longer than several days, start making them super fun by training near them, around them, with them.
dinahprincedaly
Oct. 2nd, 2014 07:06 pm (UTC)
There is apparently something terrifying where the road curves by our property. I can not for the life of me figure out what it is. I think it's a smell. He sniffed a weed and went berserk. Although beyond the bushes there is the sound of waves lapping and there was a turkey vulture flying overhead and a man climbing a fence in the distance... But our whole world seemed altered in that moment. In our yard now the flowering trees are now scary and he won't do anything with his back to the road where the initial scare occurred... Ok so it's not a face your fears tactic to take. It's a lets keep it in the comfy zone
biggmellon
Oct. 2nd, 2014 09:18 pm (UTC)
the first time Emily did this to me I thought she was being a silly puppy in a fear period, and it was a mountain lion, just sayin.... if it's a smell, and that sudden and extreme could be something he's never experienced before that he is innately afraid of, my dogs have all shown similar responses to: coyotes, bears, lions- other predators, I am pretty sure they put off and entirely different smell.

I like Naomi's suggestion of just leaving it alone. If it is something weird moving thru your area soon it will be gone, no sense getting all worked up if it's transient.

If it transfers over to other things in other areas, I'd personally take the confident approach and go have a chat with the objects. I have clients pat mailboxes on the back and tell them a joke, lean up against the silly thing and ignore the silly worried puppy, just let him see that you are totally chill about it. Sometimes the bigger deal you make about trying to get them to be ok with something the more suspicious they become, so just be ok yourself, it's ok that's he's worried, just don't join him there, unless it's a mountain lion, then back away slowly and thank him :)
dinahprincedaly
Oct. 2nd, 2014 11:53 pm (UTC)
My first thought WAS coyote. I haven't been hearing their pow wows at night but on walks we have seen scat nearby. And a few years ago I saw one checking the perimeter of our yard. There have been bobcat sightings up the hill apparently on the golf course and fox sightings right here.
The odd thing is he keeps looking up and looking scared. Outside AND inside. At trees, the sky, things higher up in the house. An airplane passing over way way way up just troubled him. AND ANYTHING THAT TROUBLES HIM SETS OFF A DOMINO EFFECT OF EDGEY BARKING DOODLES
dinahprincedaly
Oct. 2nd, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC)
Which makes him all the more worried.
I guess if I could see what it was he was worried about that would be easy to ham it up with and when I see something specific I do. But it seems to be a more general anxiety.
The only thing that happened weird to him before this came on was he got hit in the eye with a rope attached to a ball I was throwing but his eye seems fine/normal and he seems to see just fine..........
biggmellon
Oct. 3rd, 2014 04:01 am (UTC)
there is not much you can do short of hiring a ghost whisperer, since you can't see it and it's so non-specific, could be sounds you can't hear (Cary's Potter did this over the oven beeps and toaster oven dings, just totally out of the blue), could be border collie space monkeys, seriously they can make up a drama about anything, all those obsessive smarts can backfire at times to make mountains out of molehills. Just try your best to not get wound up yourself and portray calm, distract and getting him playing if you can. You can try things like DAP collars, lavender, rescue remedy, thunder shirts, etc, all have spotty at best results back make some people happy to try somethings, and sometimes it does help. But really the big one is being the calm port in the storm...hang in there. DOODLES: stay out of it!!! :)
dinahprincedaly
Oct. 2nd, 2014 07:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks! we will try our darndest to keep it happy
dinahprincedaly
Oct. 3rd, 2014 04:34 am (UTC)
We needed a change of scene--took him to a dog park which is always a crap shoot but we lucked out and there were two puppies there his age with good social skills and he had a ball.
Back home he was much much better but had moments again--like something scary was going to come out of the sky or inside the house something lurking up near the ceiling... I don't know. Hope he finds his confidence again. But yeah I will back off and play more
nosemovie
Oct. 2nd, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
Here's the thing. He's afraid, but you aren't... you're concerned. Please try to keep your concern to yourself (inside your own head) and not play into his concerns with worry that matches his. What I'm saying is. "Hmmm, Hi buddy, what's over here? let's go look ok? And smell, and HEY! I have this ball you love! right here...! want to look at it? Play with it? Sniff it?"

You don't discount his worry, but you don't want to cement for him that it's real. Light hearted and fun is the attitude of the day. K? I believe we should always acknowledge our pets concern, but do what we can to dispel it with our own light-hearted and fun attitude.

Maybe feed him by the smell? Each dinner is in a bowl right there where stuff bothers him, or away from it a bit to start then move closer.

I'm sorry he's worried, it's hard on everyone.
dinahprincedaly
Oct. 2nd, 2014 11:59 pm (UTC)
The domino effect... Sets off all the other freakin barking alarmists... And it's like he's seeing ghosts I can't see half the time so hmmm.
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