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Question
Posted by: Brakkie | 2012/10/03

Doggy is afraid

Hi there,

I have two gorgeous Scottish Terriers (male &  female). They are just over a year.

The female is very afraid of noises (like plastic bags) and sudden movements. I don''t understand it, as she (they) is our little baby and we have never ever gave her a smack or shouted at her before. I believe that she is actually very spoilt :)

She is also very afraid of the noise of a hairdryer... she would sit in another room in the corner and shake.. (so I can''t use my hairdryer anymore).

Why would she be afraid of certain things for no reason?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi again Brakkie, as per above, simply slowly desensitizing a dog to something it is fearful of using TTouch and behaviour modification is so easy to do!
A dog is never fearful of something for no reason, there is always a reason behind it. It could stem for the dog not being habituated to the item when in the 3 - 16 weeks period, or could have been what is termed 'one event learning' where the dog gets a fright and then associates the noise as being scary thereafter.
With the hairdryer for example. Start off with it laying on the floor and being off. Take some of her favourite treats and drop one some distance from the HD. Slowly add in more treats making a line directly up to the HD, until she is eating the food off the HD. When she is happy with this (and dont go too quickly, let her build up confidence at each step), pick up the HD a few inches from the floor and repeat the process.
Next step is holding it in your hand, but it is still off.
When she is happy with this, get somebody to help you and you hold her with the lead on. The other person sits at other side of the room and turns HD on, holding close to the floor. Slowly help her to approach this using the food method as above.
It may take some time, but this method does work. The trouble with dogs that have fear issues is that they gradually get worse unless not dealt with. Good luck and do let me know how you do. Thanks Scotty

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2012/10/04

Hi again Brakkie, as per above, simply slowly desensitizing a dog to something it is fearful of using TTouch and behaviour modification is so easy to do!
A dog is never fearful of something for no reason, there is always a reason behind it. It could stem for the dog not being habituated to the item when in the 3 - 16 weeks period, or could have been what is termed 'one event learning' where the dog gets a fright and then associates the noise as being scary thereafter.
With the hairdryer for example. Start off with it laying on the floor and being off. Take some of her favourite treats and drop one some distance from the HD. Slowly add in more treats making a line directly up to the HD, until she is eating the food off the HD. When she is happy with this (and dont go too quickly, let her build up confidence at each step), pick up the HD a few inches from the floor and repeat the process.
Next step is holding it in your hand, but it is still off.
When she is happy with this, get somebody to help you and you hold her with the lead on. The other person sits at other side of the room and turns HD on, holding close to the floor. Slowly help her to approach this using the food method as above.
It may take some time, but this method does work. The trouble with dogs that have fear issues is that they gradually get worse unless not dealt with. Good luck and do let me know how you do. Thanks Scotty

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