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Shelby Is Very Spooked


Guest ShelbysMom
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Guest ShelbysMom

This all started last Thursday. My husband got home Thursday afternoon, and Shelby greeted him as usual and he took her outside to do her business. As soon as she set foot out doors she began to act very strange. He said she focused on a small area of the yard (maybe about 10x10) sniffing like crazy. Then she would put her nose in the air and run all over the yard. Every little sound, including DH opening the door to let her in, made her jump. When she came in, she refused her usual treat that he always gives her. She paced all over the house (upstairs and down. When I came home she continued this behavior. I too took her outside, and observed the same behavior. She's nervous outside, and she's nervous inside.

 

Last week we had a horrible heat wave with day time temps around 100, and the heat index around 113. I sort of wondered whether the weather system was bugging her, but her strange behavior has continued through to today with lots of relief from the heat having come in over the weekend. Besides, Shelby has never been one to spook over weather events in the past.

 

During the heat wave, we turned on our de-humidifier (first time ever for Shelby). We've wondered whether that noise was spooking her so we went a full day with it off, but still no change in her behavior. We've also had some utility workers come through our back yard doing some routine work during the day when Dh and I aren't home. I know they have been here as they continue to leave the gate open when they leave (people are so inconsiderate). However her focus in the yard is no where near where the workers would have been.

 

I'm really at a loss as to what could be causing this.

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However her focus in the yard is no where near where the workers would have been.

 

Are you absolutely sure? Something is in that part of the yard or the workers are using it for a bathroom. If she can see them, can they see her? Some people can be not very nice to animals.

 

Must they be there while you are not home?

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Guest ShelbysMom

No, I'm not 100% sure they aren't in that area. Also, they very well may see her in the house, as we have many window overlooking the backyard.

 

With regards to them being in our yard when we aren't home....I'm not sure I have a choice. We had a utility easement in our back yard for some underground electrical, phone, cable, and gas lines. So basically every utility company in the area has a right to be in our back yard, as they do with most of our neighbors too. The downside of having underground utilities.

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It sounds to me like something in the yard spooked her. Do you go out with her at night? Could there have been something in the yard, another animal for instance that spooked her when you weren't there? There could also have been another animal in the yardduring the day, especially if the workers are leaving the gate open. Maybe another dog that saw her in the window and growled or barked at her?

Edited by JillysFullHouse

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Is it ONLY in the backyard or is it everywhere? IF so, you may want to have a full thyroid panel done on her if you haven't yet. Sometimes behavior changes such as what you are expereincing with Shelby are the first signs of a low thyroid. It sounds JUST like my Chloe prior to meds.

 

It's easy to diagnois and easy to treat if necessary and gives them back their quality of life.

 

Just a thought!

 

Let us know.

Edited by RobinM

 

 

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Guest ShelbysMom

I never thought about another animal paying a visit while the gate was open. That's a good possibility.

 

Also, Shelby has been on thyroid meds for 3 years now, but hasn't had a full panel done on her in a while. I'll ask the vet to do that to see if there have been any changes that warrant her dosage to be changed.

 

Thanks everyone.

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Guest jordan

I am having the exact same problem with my whippet. He loved going out in the yard and sunbathing and just hangin out. Now he is so unsettled and spooked about the yard. We too live in the area where the temps have been in the 3 digits for over a week now. Today is going to be better, only in the 90's! He has also been unsettled in the house, following me around everywhere, before he would get comfy on a dog bed or couch and you wouldn't see him for hours. There was one area of the yard that something was scaring him, we looked and couldn't find anything in that part of the yard. I also have five greys and they didn't seem to mind that area. Not sure what happened to him, am planning on having some bloodwork done to see if anything is off.

This is so strange that someone else is having the same problem, I thought it was just me!!! Please let me know how Shelby is doing...maybe we can compare notes and come up with some kind of solution. I don't know about you, but this behavior is driving me crazy!

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Have the underground wires in your backyard checked. One time we were walking by a lamp post and one of my dogs jumped away suddenly from it. She tried to approach it, and would jump back each time. I suspect that the lamp was not grounded properly and she could feel the current since dogs are much more sensitive than we are (plus they don't have shoes on).

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Guest SillyDog

Do you have any bear in your part of the country? She could be recognizing bear scent as "big, dangerous predator." Hope she starts to calm down soon -- it's no fun for you or them when they're spooked.

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My first thought was insects--possibly the heat "woke" something up that was laying dormant in the dirt? Could you possibly have had some kind of ants or something that might have bitten her? Seems specific to one area, so it is likely something that you, a mere human, cannot smell or hear.

 

 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, I just posted a very similar note just a few minutes ago. I then searched for behavior change and found your note. I wonder what is going on.

Edited by mrs
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That's really weird. Diesel had a random spooking episode last night, it's something he hasn't done for a long time. He smelled -something- that really bothered him when he was outside. I was thinking it was the neighbors' visitor, since that's the only thing that I could find that was different. :blink: But the visitor is long gone, and D is still air scenting, as if something is there. I don't know. :blink: The other two aren't phased at all by whatever it is (or isn't?).

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest ShelbysMom

Just a quick update on Shelby. Although she has calmed down considerably, she still has moments in the yard where she is totally freaked. She runs around in wide circles with her nose in the air, and nothing will distract her. Typically I have to actually go out in the yard and take her by her collar to get her to come in. Once in the screened porch she will stand there with her nose in the air some more. It's very odd.

 

I have heard that some underground utilities can emit a very high pitched noise at times. Maybe that's it. I just don't know.

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How you tried leash-walking her around the yard? That might help to pinpoint the spookiest place. IN the meantime, how about giving her some Rescue Remedy?

 

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Guest greytexplorer
Just a quick update on Shelby. Although she has calmed down considerably, she still has moments in the yard where she is totally freaked. She runs around in wide circles with her nose in the air, and nothing will distract her. Typically I have to actually go out in the yard and take her by her collar to get her to come in. Once in the screened porch she will stand there with her nose in the air some more. It's very odd.

 

I have heard that some underground utilities can emit a very high pitched noise at times. Maybe that's it. I just don't know.

 

I'm inclined to agree with you. Sounds like some sort of electrical emission.

Would it be possible for you to call the utility company to see if they can come out for a quick check?

Or maybe you can, if you have the right equipment?

 

I think some pups, like people, are more "sensitive" to things, like thunderstorms.

This could be one of those "things".

 

Good luck, and keep us posted. I cannot believe how much can be learned on this forum! :nod

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I tried googling about underground electricity.

http://www.hese-project.org/hese-uk/en/niemr/ehs.php

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta, Howie the portuguese podengo maneto
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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What if you were to drive her someplace out of the neighborhood and leash-walk her. You could see if she acts normally away from your yard then.

 

It does seem like something connected with the electrical work could be bothering her. But there was another thread recently where a dog was spooked by cicada song. My Zippy was scared to go out in the yard at night during an extended heat wave with high-humidity recently. We suspect it reminded her of T-storms, even tho there weren't any, but we still aren't sure, and she got over it suddenly when the weather returned to normal.

 

This is quite the mystery...

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Guest IrskasMom

 

 

I would be inclined to say , maybe a Snake in the Grass ?? I am always worried about that . We do have a

drainage Pond behind our Backyard and it could happen.

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