Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Kosie, nice to hear from you. From what you say it sounds as if he has had a fright when somebody shouted and is reacting accordingly, which is with fear. You may notice that in addition to leaving the room, his tail may be between his legs and head lowered.You mention that previously he got smacked if misbehaving. You should never call a dog and smack it, all that will result from that is the dog will not come when called, as it perceives that the coming to you is what caused the punishment.Punishment should only be carried out if a dog is 'caught in the act'. Aggression breeds aggression. There are other methods, such as a Time-out that can be used when a dog does need to be reprimanded. What i would suggest you do to help with the fear, is to get a handful of his favourite treats and set the following up as an exercise. Sit in the room with him, and slightly raise your voice and then immediately give him a treat and praise him. He is now being rewarded for the behaviour you do want i.e. dog staying in the room and not stressing. Do this over and over until he is not reacting at all to your voice. When you have successfully achieved this, then gradually raise your voice a bit more, then repeat at a higher volume. When successful with this, start to bring in new sounds remembering to always start softly and build up accrodingly. Wishing you luck and do let me know how it goes or if you need any more assistance. Thanks Scotty
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