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How to Help Kaysia with Her Fears?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Any idea how to help a fearful dog? Kaysia has multiple fears.........which is why I take her to obedience training. It helps give her some confidence. She won't stay outside without stressing......at her sitter's house it's due to the black birds that she's afraid of and now she's afraid of the flowering tree because the flowers are falling to the ground.

She's afraid of storms, thunder, rain, birds, planes, jets (louder), she was fearful this time when she got her nails trimmed at the vet.......she's afraid of noises that she can't find the source to such as hammering noises......she's afraid of motorcycles, not to mention fireworks, car backfires......and oddly enough marching band practice (must be the drums) and the loud booms from the HS football games.

Tonight, I stayed at the office a couple hours longer to complete some paperwork. Had the girls in the yard with my office door to the yard open. Kaysia was laying by my chair while Khloe was outside (she loves the rain). Should've known Kaysia wasn't just paying a social visit. I completed my task and went to leave and Kaysia wouldn't leave the office. Had to drag her outside at which point she quickly ran to the gym door and entered so she wouldn't have to be out. Just now, she had to go out, but refused to go outside, so I had to trick her and drug her outside again. Once she went, she quickly darted back to the door to get inside.

I live in an apartment over my church. We go down a flight of steps and through the gymnasium to get to the dog yard. Sometimes, she won't even come downstairs (so the leash has to come out) or she will come down and stop at the threshold of the gym and won't cross the floor to the door as she knows I'll make her go out into her fear zone.

This can't be good for her stress level?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOPE4LOSS1 4/24/2013 7:47AM

    I think anxiety meds are something to consider depending on the severity (and it sounds pretty intense). Talk with your vet. Also, the thunder shirt may be helpful.
Continue to do obedience training - keep working on new things. Also, don't play into her fear - meaning don't baby her about it. It sounds like many of her fears are irrational - meaning you know that these things really aren't going to harm her. So don't feed into 'em, play it like they're no big deal. Your attitude matters too - if you're coaxing her and babying her about her fears, you may be reinforcing them. She is safe - you know she is safe - act like you know she is safe.
I wish you well and hope you can continue to build her confidence.

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NERISSAFAYE 4/24/2013 7:20AM

    I have a 60 pound black and tan coon hound that sounds exactly like your Kaysia. We tried the thundershirt and it did nothing (he was scared of the velcro on it because it made noise). We love him and he has been through 2 levels of obedience training and is a good dog otherwise. Our other dog is not scared of anything but she is smart and stubborn (will not go out in the rain either). How long have you had Kaysia? We've had Duncan for almost 2 years and I must say he is getting better as he gets older (we got him as a 5 month old puppy-rescue). But it takes lots of patience and love, and to try to anticipate his fears as much as we can to help him (he loves his crate). We have not gone the medication route with him but did with a previous cat and it was helpful. I also have a friend who recently was able to get their dog a special collar with maternal hormones in it and a plug in room deodorizer with the same hormones in it and her dog is transformed (she is also giving the dog a prescription drug with it but feels this new therapy has been very helpful). She was able to get it from the vet school in our town so I don't know if it is something they are working on or if it is available everywhere...

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GINA180847 4/23/2013 10:01PM

    That is the strangest thing I ever heard of but we looked after a dog who was terrified of loud sounds like firecrackers and fireworks. I think there are some good ideas here.We have two rescues a little white ball of fluff who puts the run on our pitbull who was used as a fighting dog till he was turned out to starve and die of disease. He is rather dim and is scared of the little white ball of fluff who is not scared of anything. But she is kind to him sometimes and can't dislodge him from her bed once he is asleep there. They are hilarious.

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 4/23/2013 9:30PM

    I remember seeing this commercial about a vest that fits the pup snuggly and helps with anxiety. Worth a look:

http://www.petco.com/p
roduct/115133/Thundershirt-Heat
her-Gray-Dog-Anxiety-Solution.a
spx?cm_mmc=CSEMGoogleAdExtProd-
_-Dog-_-Thundershirt-_-1452460&
mr:trackingCode=4213469B-5A71-E
011-B8A8-0019B9C043EB&mr:referr
alID=NA&mr:adType=pla&mr:ad=288
20619355&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&
mr:filter=51515414275

It's called a thundershirt. Poor poochie, hope she gets over her anxiety as she gets older (am assuming she's a puppy).

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PUPPYWHISPERS 4/23/2013 9:10PM

    I agree with Christie about the anxiety meds. There are non-prescription meds that may help her calm a bit too. Dogs develop their fears at a very early age, so sometimes all the best training can't fix them. However, a good trainer will help Kaysia and you learn to deal with the fears better.

Also, don't let her see you react to her fears. Dogs draw their reactions to fears from us, so if you're nervous around thunder, or nervous that it's going to upset her, she will pick up on that. Stay calm and speak in a low voice to her. I don't recommend forcing her outside if she's afraid. That will just make it worse for her.

Good luck to you!

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2LABS2LOVE 4/23/2013 8:37PM

    Seriously, she might need doggie medicine for this...anxiety med's. I think that since her anxiety is interfering with her normal routine in life, it is time for something. I know that cost is a huge issue...but it might be worth it. So, Kaysia is fearful and Khloe had the bladder issues...?? You have your hands full. You are like St. Francis...you are the dog whisperer.

I am serious about the med's. I think you are past any hope of just using behavior modifications. It might be a chemical imbalance and just her upbringing before she arrived to you. emoticon

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