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Dr. Schillig
Dr. Schillig, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 640
Experience:  Dr. Schillig has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 10 years.
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Norwich terrier: My 5 or at the ceiling if indoors

Resolved Question:

My 5 year old Norwich terrier recently started to display fear and a constant looking up in the sky or at the ceiling if indoors. When I take her for a walk she cowers at times and ducks her head-- Several weeks ago i left my home with my dog and a large bird was perched high in a pine tree next to my driveway. All of a sudden the bird lunged toward the ground and made a terrible noise. I do not know if it was attcking another bird or what. I picked up my little dog and put my hand on her head and quickly got into my car. Now She hides under tables and blankets in my home. How do I desensitize her and make her unafraid. I want my feisty little dog back. Frustrated and concerned. Tammy
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Schillig replied 7 years ago.

Hello Tammy,


I am so very sorry to hear that this is happening to your girl!


When they experience trauma, it can take a long time to desensitize them to these things, and some of them never truly go back to the way that they were.


Some things to consider:

It is very easy to re-enforce the unwanted behavior. Our temptation is to say, "It's OK, good girl." any time we see them afraid. Remember that you are re-enforcing the fearful behavior by praising her at those times.


It is important, though, to praise her when she is doing well. If she comes to you or the food bowl, and comes out of hiding, that is the time to lay on the praise!


If the Prednisone is not making any changes, I would talk with your veterinarian about stopping it. Unfortunately, Pred can be dangerous to stop abruptly, but it can worsen paranoia in humans, so it only makes sense that it may be feeding the fear in her as well.


There are medications that can help with training and fear, such as Clomicalm and even doggy Prozac. Discuss these options with your veterinarian.


I hope this helps!

As always, if you have further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask them using the "reply" function.

Thank you,

Dr. Schillig

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