I might have written about this before, so if I have, I apologize, but we're having some issues w/Lola again.

She's almost 2 years old, pretty well behaved (knows basic commands, potty trained, doesn't chew up the house, ect.), but she's become extremely scared of certain objects/movements. When my husband or I kick off our shoes/slippers or even walk by her with them on, she runs the other direction, flinching, and sometimes makes a sort of snorting noise. She has tried to slowly take a bully stick or treat when I hand it to her, and then when it falls (because she doesn't actually have it in her mouth), she freaks out the same way she does with the shoes. Now she won't even come near me when I try to hand her a bully stick. She will also do this when we take her on a walk & the leash is near her face. Or, she'll also do it when the tv remote comes too close to her...

We've never hit her or thrown anything at her as discipline (we can throw a soft toy her direction & she's fine). I have no idea where this fear of these types of objects came from. She's always been wierd about feet/shoes, but it seems to have grown into something more. Not only is is annoying/embarassing for us, but I feel bad for her that she's always living in fear of everyday objects. Has anyone ever seen this type of behavior?? We're hoping to slowly get her used to these objects/actions, but I was hoping to get feedback from others with their experience... thanks all!!

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My Corgi has always acted extremely scared of certain noises and spoons. We have an older mixed breed dog, who occasionally makes some strange noises when he is sleeping. This sends our Corgi into fits of shaking uncontrollably. He loves peanut butter, but when you try to offer it on a spoon, he will run. We have never hit him either. So, I am curious now if it is characteristic of the breed.
Oh my gosh Foxi has the same issues!!! she hates paper plates!!! and worst of all she hates cameras especially my camera phone! so taking pictures of her is almost impossible and if its windy out?....well good luck taking her out to potty!!!!. she is very skidish with differant objects and movements!!! sometimes its not so bad but when we have guests over she always seems like she's timid(although she is extremely friendly and social) she just get nervous from time to time. i honestly think it is a breed thing becuz my boss has a corgi also and doesnt like the sound of the microwave, toilet flushing or vacumn cleaners.
I don't want to say I'm glad to hear others have this issue, because it's not the best trait, but it's good to know we're not totally alone!!! I think I need to do some research & really start some training with her. Get her used to the objects the best we can. I'm pregnant with my first & I'm afraid Lola will be a spaz around the little one when we have him/her...
I read somewhere that if you try to comfort a dog when they're scared of something, it will only make the problem worse, so I suggest what Katy said.
Yeah, I heard the same thing. I'm trying to do my best about not comforting Freya when she's freaking out about something. However, she is also the first dog I've seen freak out over a dangle poop.
haha that's too funny :) we try not to comfort either... we have to try to not get irritated by her behavior, but it's hard when you're trying to walk down the street & she stops and is freaking out about her leash dangling near her face!
Ofelia has a similar problem. She's afraid of open umbrellas. I don't make her get near things she's afraid of but I'll just stand there calmly until she calms down a bit and move on. I think it's been helping.
I just posted a video giving an example of her acting this way... please check it out & let me know your thoughts. It seems to have gotten worse in the past month :( I don't know if it has anything to do with me being pregnant (I'm 6 1/2 months), but it did start before that... thanks!!
Gwynnie's phobias: open umbrellas, soap bubbles, thunder/loud bangs.
A gunshot or the sight of a soap bubble turns her into a totally different person.
Bertie Wooster hates tape measures. I can only think there was a traumatic measuring incident in his litter - I mean, how often do I pull out a tape measure? And he is so calm otherwise, literally nothing breaks his cool -- but pull out a tape measure, and you'd think I'd lugged a ticking nuclear bomb into the room. He barks and jumps around, then comes over and wiggles and licks me (in a sort of "save me" mode). It's wild. I just measure things when he's not looking. Oh, he is also scared of spoons IF they are in bowls. A spoon on its own is fine, but put it in a bowl and he will not go near it, no way, no how. Don't know what THAT's about!
OK, this mostly reminds of an experience we had with Pooka which incited me to write my first blog entry. Since that point, she also became very afraid if I held my hand up in a "stop" motion. This made me sad too because I wanted to teach her "High Five". I realized it was because I used that motion to make her Stay when I didn't want her running out the door after me. Like in your video, if I told her to come, or do a different trick, she'd obey while cowering, though not too interested in the treat.

Now, its a few months later, and she doesn't show the same behavior at all. (there is still mild fright at BANG! if its said severely/loudly). I don't know EXACTLY how it happened, but I'll tell you what I did. I used to always try to comfort her and get her to come and give her so many treats and try and CONVINCE her I wasn't mad. This would only frustrate me because I was trying so hard and she didn't care. So I'd end up retaliating, re-enforcing her being scared. So, I just forced myself to start ignoring it. I would just walk away and abandon her completely. When it was really bad initially, I would wait a day or 2 before trying it again with her, and then just ignoring it, but after about a week I tried something else.

After training her, my last thing I would do was BANG! or hold my hand up. She'd run away, and I'd just let her. She actually spontaneously learned to High Five when I lifted my hand, but as soon as she did the trick, she'd cower. She started getting afraid every time I trained her (cuz she knew what was coming), but... I just kept trying that, and she kind've just started forgetting about it. Being confronted with it daily and nothing stressful happening with it. I think that's what eventually did it. She could run to her crate or do whatever she wanted, but she wasn't getting any attention from me until she decided she wanted to see me.

(as another part of the puzzle, that has nothing to do with a resolution, I mentioned how I would get frustrated and retaliate. I am... a bit controlling to a fault and will confess that in my frustration I would sometimes strike her once, and though it wasn't hard, after I did this, she was fine. She went completely back to normal and was a happy girl.... Its like their fear is just the WORRY over something bad happening to them, and once it happens, they're ok, they don't have to worry anymore. I think that's what clued me into ignoring it. The loving attention, trying to convince her I wasn't mad had no effect because, in her mind, that punishment was still on its way.)

In your case... its not as much an action as it is an object so its harder... You might have to incorporate the object into the training. Encourage her to "Touch" the shoe with her nose and she gets a treat and then is ignored to deal with it. Eventually, it will become so daily, and the shoe is directly introduced to her (instead of just passing by) and then directly, nothing bad happens. The shoe may, in her mind, indicate something bad, but its always been an unknown with her. Introduce her to the shoe! Maybe? Good luck!
It's funny how they develop these phobias. Most dogs have them. Many of these dogs seem to take my classes! I can't decide if that's a good or bad thing. lol.

If you want to desensitize them, you must do it on the dog's terms. For example, let's just say your pup doesn't like shoes.
Don't freak when they get spooked. Don't comfort, because that is weak energy. Simply allow your pup to investigate. Don't push or move. Eventually, they'll realize in themselves, there's nothing to freak about.

With many it's not the object but the noise it makes. One of the things I've done in the past is suggest owners make a CD or tape of the noise...i.e. umbrella opening again and again. While you're home, set the CD to run. Start on the lowest volume. As the dog becomes more comfortable, and this may take hours or days, slightly increase the volume until it is loud enough to be at the level of the dog's previous fear response. You'll find that, after awhile, the dog no longer reacts to the noise.

As for being pregnant, check out your PetSmart or online for a CD with baby sounds. Play this occasionally throughout each day. It will allow your dog to get used to the cooing and crying of your newborn. Once the baby is born, have an extra blanket in the bassinette and then put it in your dog's crate with him. He will start to associate the baby smell as a good thing.

Good luck!

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