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As some of you may remember ... One of my dogs was attacked about a month back. Immediately after the attack he became extremely fearful of EVERYTHING and only was at ease inside the house with us. This was apparent in his sudden fearful barking towards any person or dog we saw outside :( after a couple of weeks of working with him under the threshold with treats he was back to normal.

 

However we travel for work and had to leave what had been our home for a year (he is only a year and a half) about a week ago and since we have arrived at our new place he has become unbearably reactive to dogs and people again. I know that this was a huge change for him and that we just have to work with him slowly, but I am so saddened by this change in his personality outside the house. Inside he is still the same goofy lovey dovey dork he always was but outside he is now constantly on edge and watching for anything that could be perceived as "scary".

 

I have worked with his excitement based reactivity much in the past with huge success, however I would be happy to hear from anyone who has experience in fear based reactions as I am noticing it is very different in many ways. I am hoping that a large part of the barking also has to do with the move across country and that once he becomes used to our neighbors and living here he will calm down as he did in GA. We do not have our own yard and our neighbors both have dogs and are right next to us so even Pottying is a disaster!

 

We are also looking into trainers, which is another bummer since ours back in GA was phenomenal. So far the options are looking very unsavory.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Sorry to hear this but wondering if your trainer back in GA can recommend someone in your new area?

I have been in contact with her, she will be coaching not me as well as she can through emails but doesn't know any trainers here, I wouldn't expect her to since we are on the other side of the country. I will just have to interview the few that seem like they seem to align with what we need and hope for the best.

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No specific advice, but since you just moved, it might be 'settling in issues' similar to what newly adopted dogs go through. The attack is still part of the scenario, but his environment changed. Things might just settle back into his new normal after he gets to know his new surroundings more (and hopefully you can avoid upsets for the time period).

ie. new location = trigger stacking, so things he could 'handle' under threshold in familiar surroundings now send him over the top. Once he settles in and he's feeling at home, that's one less thing to worry about.

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No specific advice, but since you just moved, it might be 'settling in issues' similar to what newly adopted dogs go through. The attack is still part of the scenario, but his environment changed. Things might just settle back into his new normal after he gets to know his new surroundings more (and hopefully you can avoid upsets for the time period).

ie. new location = trigger stacking, so things he could 'handle' under threshold in familiar surroundings now send him over the top. Once he settles in and he's feeling at home, that's one less thing to worry about.

Thanks! I'm really hoping that is the case. I wish I could avoid upsets, unfortunately it's impossible since our neighbors (two adults, three children, and a dog) spend the end tire day outside running around screaming in joy.

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I should have said, 'avoid upsets within reason'. When first got Sonic I nearly turned myself upside down trying to 'avoid upsets'--he was VERY reactive to all things dog (including invisible dogs) in the 1st two months. In my efforts to 'avoid upsets' he was getting very little exposure to everyday life outdoors and not enough exercise, so I finally gave up on that and took him just about everywhere except for the worst known places (crazy barking always outside front yard fenced dogs) and now I'm adding those in too. I've found less fussing and more doing to be helpful.

In other words, LAT & BAT are fine, when you have the right set up, and the dog is hungry, otherwise, just chill, and maybe maybe maybe you'll find out your dog can handle more than you thought.

Crossing my fingers for you.

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I should have said, 'avoid upsets within reason'. When first got Sonic I nearly turned myself upside down trying to 'avoid upsets'--he was VERY reactive to all things dog (including invisible dogs) in the 1st two months. In my efforts to 'avoid upsets' he was getting very little exposure to everyday life outdoors and not enough exercise, so I finally gave up on that and took him just about everywhere except for the worst known places (crazy barking always outside front yard fenced dogs) and now I'm adding those in too. I've found less fussing and more doing to be helpful.

In other words, LAT & BAT are fine, when you have the right set up, and the dog is hungry, otherwise, just chill, and maybe maybe maybe you'll find out your dog can handle more than you thought.

Crossing my fingers for you.

Thank you! Ah yes we have been seeing invisible dogs lately too :/ I know it's not funny that they are scared but you do have to appreciate the humor in that :-|

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Same thing happened to my golden retriever. She used to never pay attention to other dogs on walks. Then one day she was attacked by a pomeranian. It caused pretty bad leash reactivity. We're still working on it.

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Same thing happened to my golden retriever. She used to never pay attention to other dogs on walks. Then one day she was attacked by a pomeranian. It caused pretty bad leash reactivity. We're still working on it.

I am so sorry that happened to you and your Golden (We love golden retrievers !!) it is so frustrating that one incident can cause so much fear and frustration. How long have you been working on it? How old is she?

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Same thing happened to my golden retriever. She used to never pay attention to other dogs on walks. Then one day she was attacked by a pomeranian. It caused pretty bad leash reactivity. We're still working on it.

I am so sorry that happened to you and your Golden (We love golden retrievers !!) it is so frustrating that one incident can cause so much fear and frustration. How long have you been working on it? How old is she?

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Yeah all it takes is having one bad incident. She got attacked about 2 years ago. She is doing much better with bigger dogs but we still have some issues with dogs under 20 lbs. She is 7 years old. What helped a lot is having her around dogs that don't care about dogs. It helps her realize not all dogs are out to get her. When introducing her to other dogs, I turn her around so they can sniff her butt, then I let her sniff them. After that she's fine.

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You might want to try a calming cap (I think they are called ThunderCaps now). They can see through it, but it helps block some visual stimulation.

 

It is really helping us during walks.

Thank you! I actually was going back to get one to try one out, I apprecite hearing from someone who has had good results!! I really think it will help him a lot.

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