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The Fear Period

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by mdkel, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. mdkel

    mdkel Active Member Registered

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    Hey everybody,

    I've been reading about fear in dogs. I've read that they go through different fear periods, is this right? What are your thoughts on this?

    - I just took zappa to the woods, where I have taken him 5 or 6 times before, but today he didnt seem relaxed, taking a few steps and looking back over and over again, he seemed fearful. Normally he loves it (except the car ride, that he hates).

    As I read about fear in dogs, I came accross this page that stated dogs get a new fear period around 8 months that lasts to 12 or 16 month, is this real? Or, in zappa's case, some dogs just have those days that they dont like to be in the woods or leaving the house?

    Thaaaaanks
     
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  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes, depending on breed dogs do hit a fear period around that age. You often see it in pups who sail through Guy Fawkes fireworks then get scarred psychologically if New Year fireworks fall at the wrong time for them. It's not necessarily what is happening with Zappa but it is worth being aware. If this is a favourite walk I would suggest waiting a couple of days for any cortisol in his system to dissipate then try again with masses of high value treats to reward his courage. If he gets distressed there though you may have to strip it right back to rewarding for being there in the car, rewarding for sitting in the car park, rewarding for walking 20 paces - but it may not come to that of course.
     
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  3. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    It depends on breed and age of the dog. Ask away if you want anything else answering
     
  4. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Probably coincidence, but Jasper started objecting to going to our local woods at a certain stage - when he was young, but I can't remember how young. I wonder if I'd unwittingly 'oversocialised' him and there were some dogs he really didn't want to meet. Or maybe he just prefers more wide open spaces.

    I work on the theory that whether it's a fear period or something else, the response is the same - respect their fears, give them a degree of choice, try to make it a positive experience, and reward them for being a 'big brave boy' (without making too much of a fuss about it).
     
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  5. mdkel

    mdkel Active Member Registered

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    Today he didnt froze, or wanted to leave, he just seems nervous, always lookng back, not accpeting treats, but walking forward. the walk was around 45 min, the last 10 min he went back to his normal self. this happenned before in the city, and the next day he was normal... I associated with a fear period, like, he's more aware of his surroundings, and sometimes "overthinks" it :p maybe?
     
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  6. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    It could be... see your vet if your worried
     
  7. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    the first fear-period is more significant IME, & it's usually somewhere between 9 & 12-WO, but only lasts for 7 to 10 days; breed has a definite affect on when it tends to occur. // The 2nd fear period does NOT last 4- to 8-months, my word! - that would be awful. :eek: Nobody's dog goes thru a "fear period" that lasts from the time they reach 8-MO until they're 16-MO, that would be crazy-making for owners & for dogs.

    As it is, the 2nd fear-period is usually milder; it lasts a couple of weeks, it fades in, peaks, & fades out; many owners don't much notice it. :shrug: As long as U take care to normalize the things that make Ur dog a bit anxious, without as @JudyN said making a big deal of it, there are very-rarely long-term effects.

    I happened to buy my Akita pup at 9.5-WO, prime time for a fear-period, & she was bathed for the 1st time B4 she even left the kennel - i bathed her myself, in a utility tub in the kennel aisle. Then she left her mum, got her 1st car-ride, changed homes, & saw the vet for the 1st time the very next day.
    She was a remarkably bombproof & calm, thoughtful puppy, & later, dog; i only ever saw her frightened a few times in her entire life; folks would claim i'd ruined her for life if they knew of her "traumatic" puphood, LOL, but i just took care to make things very matter-of-fact, & she dealt with it all.

    that said, with an anxious puppy, i'd have been much more proactive, buffered her for a few weeks, & watched for any signs of serious stress.
    Her 2nd fear-period fell in-between her GDV & emergency surgery, & her 1st airplane flight [to the UKC's Centennial dog-show in Kalamazoo, Mich.]. Good timing, on her part. :D

    - terry

    .
     
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