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9 month old dog suddenly fearful(6 Posts)
Our 9 month old miniature poodle seems to have suddenly become scared of random things.
Today I took him for his usual walk in the woods. For half the walk I worked on his recall and he was great. Even came back when a jogger came towards us.
He normally loves people and dogs so much that he HAS to bound over enthusiastically and so I’ve been working on that.
But halfway around for no apparent reason ( no people or dogs around, sudden noises etc) he started barking and looking ahead. I popped his lead on as I only let him off lead when I’m confident there will be nothing to distract him.
For the rest of the walk he had his head up on alert, ears pricked, constantly looking around - particularly behind us. He wasn’t hearing or seeing me. I could didatract him with treats, a stick etc. A man came to say hello and he didn’t even go to him (unheard of!).
His tail was between his legs the whole way and his back was all hunched down. He made wide berth around particularly ‘scary’ trees. He even ignored a squirrel that went right across our path. He basically pulled me the whole way out of the woods and home. But then wouldn’t go into the garden as the wheely bin (which has been where it was before he even existed!) was too scary. It took him a good 5-10 mins to walk past that.
He has recently started to bark more at random objects (like a bucket, a brush etc) but I’ve always tried to leave him to investigate himself and work out it’s not a threat.
I’m just aware that the way I react to this could shape his future temperament and I want to do it right.
I have contacted a dog trainer to do a 1-1 session with us.
Has anyone else experience of this? Is it a common age for such fears?
Just thought - this all coincides with him constantly eating random soil, bark and sticks whenever he is in the garden. He used to do it as a little puppy but then stopped. I’ve tried distracting him and giving him things he can chew in the garden. But so far it’s not helped
Could be secondary fear faze. They tend to go through this as they are maturing. Mine did and she's just started trusting people and dogs again, she's 16 months now.
It's totally normal for dogs to have a secondary fear phase during their adolescence.
This is a really good article about them and how to deal with them.
Thank you so much. This sounds like him exactly! Great article too thank you.
We are first time dog owners so it’s all a learning curve!
Have his eyesight checked the next time you’re at the vet. I had this problem with a cat once