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New Anxious Behavior

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Charlie

786521
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 15, '10 10:10am PST 
So I just moved into a new apartment this past week and my dog has been showing some new anxious behaviors. I could really use some help getting past this. He has always been kind of a skiddish dog, with a few strange phobias. Now that we have moved into the apartment complex he gets very scared when we go outside on walks. I like to take him on a few 20 minute walks each day. After being here about a week he's beginning to show some anxiety. His tail is now between his legs for most of the walk and at certain points he will get really close to the ground as if he is almost crawling. The only thing I can think that started this was the other night when a loud car came by and spooked him. He has been acting a little strange ever since. How do I get him back to being more confident and enjoying the walks? It is really sad to see him get so worked up during something he should be enjoying.

Also, I used to put him out on the patio for a few minutes at a time just to let him be outside. We live in a wooded area with a nice view, but he's now showing fear out there as well. I'd like to counteract this as soon as possible so any input would really be helpful.

To go more into his other phobias, he is really afraid of people chewing gum. He can sense it as soon as someone walks in the room with gum in their mouth and he will hide in another room. If they pop their gum that really sets him off and gets him shaking. He is also very afraid of shadows or flashlights. It is so sad to see him like this and unfortunately it seems to be getting worse. I live with another dog who is happy and playful and they get along fine. How do I get my dog to be less phobic?
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Moira

Is that for me??
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 15, '10 11:10am PST 
Look up an anxiety wrap on Linda Tellingham's TTouch site. I used a wide elastic bandage with Moira. It did wonders for her fear based dog aggression. I want to try it with Lily's fear of objects when we can go walking again.
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Charlie

786521
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 15, '10 12:49pm PST 
Thanks Moira, that actually looks kind of promising. Do you know if these are supposed to help build their confidence over time though? I would want to get to the point where Charlie wouldn't need to wear it anymore.
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Charlie

786521
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 17, '10 11:07am PST 
Anyone else have some tips?
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Torie

If you can roll- in the dirt, do- it!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 17, '10 2:42pm PST 
Torie has anxieties like this. I didn't really know, but when I went to Denver and stayed in a motel she got shaky, panting, and so on. I think it is just the new apartment (only been there a week). It took 3 days before Torie seemed more confident in the motel, but she stopped shaking. Torie really calmed down (but became eager and focused) when I pulled out the clicker. Maybe work on responding to his name in a conditioned response.

I guess this is due to being in a new place. You might try using training to gain confidence. If your dog has some familiar tricks and behaviors he has learned you can work with these in the new environment. I hope you didn't throw away the old toys and stuff but I think putting out all the familiar stuff will help.

Are you still living out of boxes? The boxes have new smells and then the other smells are more hidden. I would try to unpack some of the stuff that would have retained odors of your new stuff.

I'd also say to spend extra time playing with your dog with some interactive toys (puzzle toys, flirt pole,etc.)

I think the anxiety wrap, thundershirt would help. While the dog is so anxious its hard for them to think.


--des
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