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Once Confident Grey, Now Scared On Walks


Guest Grey_Girl
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Guest Grey_Girl

Hi,

I thought I'd turn to the forum for advice as I'm now getting desperate.

We've had our lovely 6yr old girl for about 7 months now. She was always happy on her walks and after a month of being with us we felt confident enough to walk her off lead - she had her "moments" eg if she spotted a squirrel, or thought that there was food to be scavenged, then we had no hope of her coming back to us, but generally she was great.

Then about 2 months ago we were walking her in our local park, when in the distance we heard a motorbike engine backfire/pop. She just turned around and fled home. From that day on we've not been able to take her to that park as she starts stalling on the walk there and then freezes. So we decided to avoid the local park and walk her around our neighbourhood or take her in the car to other parks instead. At first we thought this was the answer, but now she won't walk around the neighbourhood - she turns into a statue and there's no shifting her unless we give in and turn back home. If we take her off somewhere in in the car, the slightest noise like a branch snapping, spooks her and she starts making her way back to the car.

It's very sad as she's gone from being a happy hound who loved her walks and liked to sniff around and race about with her ball to a nervous wreck.

Has anybody else experienced similar? And do you have any suggestions on how to handle this?

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That's so sad. :( Poor girl.

 

My older dog, Summit, is similarly very phobic of fireworks and gunshots, but fortunately he has never carried his phobia over and associated it with anything after the fact. He does also perk his ears and have a moment of panic if he hears something that sounds similar to a gunshot (car backfiring, or even a car door slamming just the right way) but quickly gets over it when it doesn't happen repeatedly. For him when I know there will be fireworks I give him an anti-anxiety supplement called Anxitane (not sure if it's available in the UK) which makes a huge difference for him. He is still uneasy, however he doesn't shiver, he'll make eye contact with us, and he will respond and take treats. With anti-anxiety remedies it is important to remember that not every dog responds to the same kinds of therapies. I tried several supplements, Adaptil collars, and the Thundershirt before I found Anxitane.

 

There are desensitization cds that you can buy. You play them at low levels to begin with so the dog doesn't even really notice, and then play them louder and louder as they get used to it (I think most of them come with instruction manuals on how to use them) so that may be an option for you. I'm sure someone with more experience will be along to give you some advice.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest Grey_Girl

We've had fireworks going off nearby while she's been in the house but she's not even flinched! It's just as soon as we set foot outside the front door, the slightest sounds makes her freak.

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One of my Borzios got spooked by a firework. Some little idiot let a rocket off in a playing field while we were walking there. The Whoosh! was bad enough but then it set off aerial bombs, she slipped her collar and took off back home across the road and up the hill. Mercifully she didn't get hit by a car.

She never liked that playing field after that but would tolerate it if we walked there with other dogs that weren't tense. Think of it as a 'safety of the pack' factor.

 

So seek out other dogs and maybe drive her to the location you want to visit.

 

Peggy got stung by a wasp on a certain road junction and doesn't like going there in the morning, though the evening is OK. I just treat it as an 'oh-well' thing and cross the road earlier.

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