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It is my understanding that puppies go through two "fear stages". In other words, two periods of age where if they are introduced to something new and it scares them, they will always be afraid of that thing. I think one of them is around 8-9 weeks old, and the other is later. Can anyone help? Or is this another doggy myth? :rolleyes:

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Hey Linda, you are sort of right. Fear periods are cases when it's not what's introduced that is fearfull it's just that you don't really want traumatic experiences that will imprint. Around 7 to 9 months and again around 15 to 18 months. Some of this you can actually "see" and other dogs you don't even know they went through it or if they did. I have one who his period may have gone unnoticed, except the trash can for 3 days was an alien that was going to eat him...even though the trash can had not moved :rolleyes: I stay pretty neutral with them or laugh at them and move on, no big deal. It depends on the dog, I have seen some freak out (different breed) but I just keep it in the back of my mind, their age, if they do something very out of character. I don't tailor their schedule to the periods, they deal with it, I help a little, laugh at them, move on. It's generally gone in a few days.

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Karen, thanks! I'm figuring Tucker is around 7mos. and I REALLY need to vacuum these floors! Also, he needs a bath! I just wanted to make sure! And yeah, that's how I try to handle stuff they are afraid of. Like it's really the coolest thing! It worked getting Skip over his fear of the shopvac. Unfortunately, now I have to vacuum with a constant, "move Skip" "no, I'm not playing ball with you!".

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In the literature I've read, there are two recognized periods and a period that appears anecdotally. The first fear period is 2 weeks between 7 and 9 weeks or between 8 and 10 weeks depending on which text you read and the second is 3 weeks between 4 and 11 months. The anecdotally observed period is between 15 and 18 months.

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This is a very interesting thread. I had no idea that a "fear stage"

could be attributed with ages. When we got Dave, he had a huge

fear of mailboxes when we walked past. He got over it fairly

quickly and didn't have any any issues until recently, which just

happens to coincide with him being 18 months old. He went

completely nuts the other day, barking, growling, hackles up and

would not enter my son's bedroom. He always goes in there. We

found out that an empty cardboard box, that hadn't been in there

before, was the culprit. We just removed the box and he slowly

crept in to make sure it wasn't still there, but was completely fine

afterward. I never would have thought that something like that

would set him off.

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The +/- 18 month age bracket is good to know as my boys are about there, and doG knows, Brodie doesn't need any more frights from other dogs. We visited his "cousin", a little Pomeranion cross, who is, well, fearless. She doesn't take any guff from anyone, our Gracie, but they got on okay, she on her owner's lap, and Brodie, relaxed on the patio. It was a good visit A success in Brodie's corner. Not one growl or a lunge. We're invited back.

 

Liz

 

It is my understanding that puppies go through two "fear stages". In other words, two periods of age where if they are introduced to something new and it scares them, they will always be afraid of that thing. I think one of them is around 8-9 weeks old, and the other is later. Can anyone help? Or is this another doggy myth? :rolleyes:
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I don't know about fear of new things, but Seamus has spent the past month or so being afraid of EVERYTHING. He's 9 months now and has become a leash reactive monster. We've been working really hard on it the past few weeks and he's improved a great deal - to the point where we can pass most adults on the street without incident. But we still have to maintain a distance of at least 50 yards from children and keep other dogs out of sight altogether. He is also intermittently afraid of the stairs, and just this morning he decided that the rear driver's side door of my car is haunted. He would only climb in from the passenger side.

 

I've had plenty of fearful fosters before, but their fears always made sense to me. This naturally sensitive puppy stuff is completely baffling to me, since Daisy is hard headed and fearless verging on insane.

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I was so glad to read this thread! Jody is 16 months and all of a sudden anything that is in the wrong place or new means he has to bark his head off!

 

My husband's boots - OK when he is wearing them, scary when they are on the floor by the door. The weed whacker that my son left on the back porch, cardboard boxes, my son's book bag. The other day it was a video game character on the TV. I thought Jody was going to have a heart attack!

 

Of course when Jody starts barking then Bella has to bark too. She doesn't know what she's barking at... but he is barking so there must be some reason. Then my son will start yelling at the dogs to shut up & my husband is laughing like a loon... Utter chaos reigns, but then 30 seconds later everything is fine. Jodi can look right at the "monster" and he'll be all "who would be scared of that? How dumb".

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