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My dog is about 2 years old and is scared of literally everything. Any advice?

asked 2020-04-15 08:49:52 -0600

Hi! I have had dogs all my life and just recently we adopted a rottweiler/pittbull. The goal was to foster her because my mom is scared of big dogs but my mom fell in love with her. She was abused before we got her. Anything and everything will spook her. Shes scared of a leash and people in general. She will bark but run away as soon as she sees someone she doesnt know and the same things with dogs. We think she has severe anxiety but we cant take her to a vet because shes too scared.

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answered 2020-06-23 12:46:47 -0600

So i've had my adopted dog for about four and a half months, she's just over a year old. Scared of everything. It took me 45 minutes just to have her warm up to me the first time i met her. my advice is baby steps. she's gotten so much better just in the four months i've had her. she trusts me now and barely leaves my side. just introduce her to everyone and let her warm up to them on her terms. luckily we discovered she's awesome off leash, i think it's because she can move away from a situation that makes her uncomfortable. she doesn't like walking around cars or busy areas with people so we just don't do that. i'll drive her to the trails and she is much more relaxed in the forest. since she is so attached to me now she's been good off leash. she still barks at new people but try distraction tactics, example getting her to turn and look at you and feed her or keep walking and reward her ignoring the scary thing. we did take her to a training session and learned a lot. professionals deal with scared/high anxiety dogs all the time and all dogs are different so they can probably give you some great advice! good luck!

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answered 2020-04-15 10:41:47 -0600

Aww the poor sweetie. I've cared for dogs that are really scared of everything like that. It can't be fun for the and can be stressful for you. My biggest recommendation is to get a behaviorist - a trainer who specializes in helping high-anxiety dogs. You can do some research on the internet or ask around for advice in your area. Meet the behaviorist and let him/her interact with you and your dog before you commit. Many will do a free consultation or do an assessment for a discounted rate. In the meantime, here's some other things you can do:

Contact your vet and let him/her know the situation. They may be able to advise over the phone.

Provide her with calming treats, aromatherapy, or natural calming aids. You can try CBD treats (smaller pet stores usually carry them; they do not contain THC so your dog will not get high), or other calming treats you can get at any pet store. Valerian or melatonin can be added to her food (they are "sleep aids" but in small doses can help calm anxiety); some calming treats have these in them or you can buy them at a health food store or online. I recommend high quality. If you have a diffuser you can get lavender, vanilla, and/or orange essential oils and place a few drops of one or a combo in the diffuser to scent the room. Or you can mix one or more of those oils (just a drop or 2) with a carrier oil like Coconut and rub a little down her back or paws. There are other oils that are calming but those 3 seem to be the most pleasing for dogs.

You can try a thunder shirt; those can be very calming.

She's older, past the ideal training, but you can work on training her. I know you can't right now, but when the pandemic is over, ask a friend to come over, preferable female adult, that your doesn't know. Instruct her not to approach the dog when she arrives. Give her a couple treats when she gets there. Have her socialize with you, ignoring the dog, unless the dog approaches. If it's been a while and the dog doesn't approach, ask your friend to sit on the floor with her back to your dog. Lay a trail of treats to her and see if your dog approaches. This could take time and maybe several visits. Once your dog approaches, your friend should offer her hand, palm down, to sniff. After the dog has poked your friend's hand with her snout she can gently try to pet under the chin or chest (not the top of the head). After your dog is used to that friend, or if it's been a few hours or day since she was there, invite another friend and repeat the process. Just slowly introduce her to adult females who are calm and will respect her boundaries. I'm sure you want to ... (more)

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I adopted a rescue 1 year old Chihuahua she’s afraid of everything! I’ve only had her for 4 months and the biggest accomplishment has been gaining her trust. She had never been on a leash so I bought a harness and leash to start training her. IMPOSSIBLE!!!! She will not have anypart of it! HELP!

Addy V.'s profile image Addy V.  ( 2020-05-24 08:37:41 -0600 ) edit

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