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jadedangel57
jadedangel57, owner
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19456
Experience:  breeder/ vet assistant.
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Our 8 1/2 year old German shepherd has been terrified to

Customer Question

Our 8 1/2 year old German shepherd has been terrified to come into front part of our home (living room, dining room and kitchen) since New Year's Eve. She trembles so badly, I have given her the occasional Valium. She usually doesn't like going outside unless we are there but, now if we let her out, she doesn't want to come back in even if it's raining. We have to go out and put her on a leash. She is comfortable in kitchen & bathroom. She still loves daily walks & rides in cars. What's wrong?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 4 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Did you have people over on new years eve?

Were there fireworks, gun shots, pans clanging or air horns going off outside on new years eve?

Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 4 months ago.

Hi again,

I was hoping for a response to my information request but I don't want you to go without an answer either.

It is likely your dog associates the front part of the house with all the noises associated with the new year such as gunshots, pans clanging, noise makers and even fireworks. You might not have even heard all the noises your dog did since a dogs hearing is much more acute than ours.

This would not be as much of a noise phobia as an anxiety issue related to the room where the "incident" occurred. So I would recommend tempting her as much as possible to enter those rooms so she can see that the cause of her discomfort or fear no longer exists in those areas. You might leave a trail of tasty treats (not boring store bought ones) such as paper thin hot dog slivers in a trail to the edge of the area she wont' enter. Do this a few times a day. Gradually let the trail come into the areas she isn't comfortable in. Let her gradually see that there is nothing to worry about in those areas anymore.

Some will recommend forcing her to enter those rooms to show her there is nothing there, but that "flooding" doesn't always work and can actually make an anxious dog even more anxious. Now a DAP collar might be helpful. They have been proven helpful for things like noise phobias, separation anxiety, car rides, etc so it is worth a try. they produce a pheromone much like the one a nursing mother produces to calm her pups. They are available at pet stores, vet offices and online.

Another option is obedience training. You can reinforce her training especially with the recall or come command and leash training. Reinforce these commands and then use them to get her to walk into the room remembering to reward her coming into the room with the tasty treats so she starts associating the rooms with good things rather than whatever it was that happened that night.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 4 months ago.

Hi Again,

I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. Let me know if my answer was helpful.

Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 4 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

jadedangel57