5 mo. puppy afraid of everything

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    Okay so…we have this 5 month old yellow (more like white) lab named Lacey. She has mostly pink skin, and some more buff-looking spots on her in various places. Her and her littermates were sent to a shelter when they were 4 weeks old, but they were too young to be around the other dogs so one of the employees took them home after a day or two. She is the runt of the litter, but she is a healthy 28 lbs at 5 months.
    She seems to be afraid of everything, especially low voices, dogs barking on tv, and loud noises. My sister played her trombone in the house once and Lacey just went berserk, she was a nervous wreck for the rest of the day. I plopped her in the car and drove her around a little bit and it seemed to make things better, but she still freaks when the trombone is sitting out of its case or something. She will try to get as far away from it as possible. She will randomly freak out around some people, (hide behind furniture, run around in a crouched, ears-back, tail-between-the-legs position, try to climb on chairs and/or people to get away from the person…) and then a couple hours later she will be playing with them and back to her normal self. I took her on a walk today and she freaked when I stepped on a crunchy leaf! She is otherwise happy and healthy, but she seems like she’s scared of everything. Any ideas?



    Sounds like she might have been abused. We got a German Shepherd puppy from a cruel breeder. They had used shock collars on the puppies and we think they beat them. We have worked with our little girl. When we got her she was afraid of everything and almost everybody. You have to show her a lot of love and attention and work with her with love and kindness. Our little girl has really come out of her fear. She is a very good guard dog now. She alerted us that something was wrong at our son’s house. Our son was the victim of a home invasion. The men had guns and were looking for drugs and weapons. They would have shot him if we hadn’t gone over in time to scare them away. Our girl barked and ran to our back door, alerting us. She still gets a little upset when we remove or put on her collar or adjust it. But I just reassure her that we aren’t going to hurt her. She used to urinate every time we touched her collar. She doesn’t anymore. But she still gets nervous.



    Personally i wouldn’t say abuse had anything to do with your pups behaviour.

    Your pup doesnt sound like its been properly socialised, + the fact that at 4 weeks the litter was removed from mum. Pups learn from mum, yours and its siblings have not had that, and sadly it will show.

    You need professional help to assist your pup in learning to cope. She needs some help to desensitize her to things she is scared of. A scared nervous dog can become a fear biter, and that is something you definately dont want. Be very careful trying to solve this yourself, you can tend to make them more nervous without realising it, only making them more insecure.

    Coddling them while they are scared of something only reinforces the behaviour.



    No, I don’t think she was abused. But the fact that she was taken away from her mom makes sense. The thing that doesn’t make sense whatsoever…our family goes target and trap shooting a lot, and my mom kinda wanted to just test her out to see if she would be a good hunting dog. So we took her to the range and everything, and when my dad shot the gun i put my hands over her ears and she didn’t even flinch. So i took my hands off her ears, and he shot, (mind you, she was about 20 feet away from the gun) and it had no effect on her at all. So she’s scared of trombones, but not of gunshots?? I don’t know. But we will be getting her professional help this summer. Thanks for the help guys!



    We had a similar issue with the dog we adopted. Was afraid of loud noises or if you went to pet him he thought your were going to hit him, so I think in this case he was abused. It just took time to show him that he was safe with you and that you would never hurt him.


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