- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


The older, the more scared?

November 18th, 2006, 12:16 AM
I have a 22 month old lab that is just amazing. She's gentle, caring, calm when needs to be, affectionate. The list goes on and on. One thing I have noticed though is as she's gotten older, she's become more fearful of things such as.. foreign noises (e.g. leaf blowers), doors closing on her so she rushes out. Her reaction - doesn't bark or whine, just stops in her tracks and stares. When I try to continue walking or ignore the sound, she won't follow.

My husband thinks it's because she's more alert and aware of things thus, more cautious of her surroundings. She's well socialized - sees different people, smells, goes to the dog park regularly.

Is this just apart of growing up for a dog? There's nothing wrong with her health or behaviour - still happy as normal. :love: This is probably more curiousity of mine than anything.

Let me know what you think... thanks!

November 18th, 2006, 04:26 AM
This is quite interesting. Do you know that Oprah's pet dog is scared of people and has undergone a therapy? But it doesn't mean that your dog also has that problem. I hope you could find out soon why your lab is acting like that and I wish him well also.

November 18th, 2006, 10:02 AM
One thing I have noticed though is as she's gotten older, she's become more fearful of things such as.. foreign noises (e.g. leaf blowers), doors closing on her so she rushes out. Her reaction - doesn't bark or whine, just stops in her tracks and stares. When I try to continue walking or ignore the sound, she won't follow.

my dog took the CGC test, and part of that test is reaction to noises. for example, my trainer dropped a large stainless steel bowl onto the floor to test the dog's reactions. my dog was startled, but stood still and looked. this is a GOOD reaction. however, you should acknowledge the abrupt noise, praise softly for an alert, yet controled reaction, and then give a command to move on, such as "ok! let's go!"

you can practice this at home too - drop a steel bowl on the kitchen floor. tip a chair over. ring a loud bell out of the blue. turn the vacuum on and off. etc... sort of desensitize your dog to loud and abrupt noises.

November 18th, 2006, 10:48 AM
this is so funny reading this, because my 19 month old LabX is just starting to be leary of noises also! She's calm, cool, sits and watches fireworks with us, I run a day care and she's so gentle and loving with the kids, there are no "extra" noises, but suddenly she flinches, sneaks away from noises etc...I figured it was just her age!

November 18th, 2006, 11:48 AM
My lab Hunter is afraid of the weirdest things....
a laundry basket...(don't ask, but it works wonders in keeping him out of rooms at times, lol)
some loud noises, but not all, so it isn;t the loudness of the noise, it is the type of noise that he don't like.
He is afraid of a floor fan,
I know there is more, but i can't think of them right now.:shrug:

November 18th, 2006, 12:59 PM
Exposure to noise in a secure environment and in a happy situation will definitely help.

November 18th, 2006, 02:40 PM
Thanks for everyone's responses. I neglected to mention that it's not just "wierd noises"... it's objects as well. For instance, we recently bought a clothing steamers and a new office chair. Chloe was scared to go near the objects even though they did not exert any noise or made any physical movement.

As for exposing her to noises, I think she is - we live in a condo so she hears noises of people or things around us. When we take her for walks at night, we walk along major streets so she is exposed to the hussle and bussle of the city.

I'm glad to hear that it's not an isolated incident and that there are other dogs, specifically labs that act similarly. I'll chalk it up to Chloe growing up and becoming wiser. It will however, be interesting to see how to reacts when we move to our house next year. :D

Dog Dancer
November 20th, 2006, 06:01 PM
Laughing at the thought that it may be a Lab thing - Halo our labX is 5 now and still afraid of strange objects. Especially in the dark. Her hair stands up if she see's a garbage bag in an odd place at night. One day somebody left a jacket hanging on a door handle at a playground and she had just summoned up the nerve to stretch her nose out as far as she could to sniff at it when our other dog went up to sniff it. The coat moved and Halo must have gone two feet straight up into the air and four feet backwards. It was toooo funny. She's a big chicken! I go for a Lab thing.:D

November 28th, 2006, 11:04 AM
I had two dogs who in later life became 'frightened', not just of noises, but almost everything. Both of them would try and hide behind the T.V. or get into a corner of the room. They weren't frightened - they were sick. I took them to the vet and one was sufferring from ankylosing spondylosis (she was 10) and the other bone cancer (she was at least 10 - I don't know her exact age because Gretchen was a 'rescue'). I suppose any unusual behaviour should be considered as illness unless proven otherwise.

November 28th, 2006, 07:48 PM
Our GSDx is afraid of objects too. The craziest things. One night we rolled out the space heater. She had never seen it before and would bark and bark at it and wouldn't go NEAR it! She's like that with anything new in her environment. One of the things I read was to constantly switch things up. Introduce different things or even rearranging furniture a bit. Moving an end table, etc... Good luck!

November 29th, 2006, 12:23 AM
I have had similar things happen to my lab Nikki.

She is leery of the fire hydrant at the end of the street. The first time she noticed it, she barked at it. she is not a dog that barks often, so I was initially shocked! I just kept reassuring her in a positive voice (and tried REALLY HARD not to laugh my a** off!) that it was ok, then i went up to the fire hydrant and touched it, showing her it was ok. She no longer barks at it, but we have to stop and "investigate" every time we pass by (probably just other dog smells now though)... and it's just this ONE fire hydrant... no other fire hydrant bothers her... it's painted different (Yellow with blue on the top and nozzle thingies) so maybe that is it? who knows.

She was also afraid of bananas. Yep. Bananas. I had a great time with desensitizing her to that one (again trying not to laugh). I was just unloading the groceries when i pulled out the bunch of bananas and she just FLIPPED. I just kept showing them to her at random intervals throughout the evening (and i gave her a piece to eat as well) and now she has NO fear of bananas. She loves them!

Nikki has always been very nervous though. When I first got her she was just a bundle of nerves, shaking at everything that was new. I just kept being stubborn and introducing her to EVERYTHING, and make sure to reassure her that everything is fine. It works well for Nikki at least. Hope things get better with your puppy!!!