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Hi everybody!  It's been AGES since I was here, but it's been a hectic time.  Again, I need advice and suggestions.

Gizmo has grown up to be a wonderful lover-puppy.  He's smart and sweet and downright adorable.  The problem he has now is that he's extremely afraid of "things".  We were walking today (on leash for once) and there was a work truck in a driveway we were passing.  A man that he didn't know came out and he got spooked.  Then, that man made a noise by lifting a door on his truck.  Gizmo came undone!!!!  He pulled on the leash, almost slipping his collar over his head.  (I need to tighten that up a little).  He WOULD NOT walk near the truck.  Once we passed it, he was fine.

He was jumpy last night when we visited our son, Chad, at his house.  Gizmo has been there several times, but he was immediately afraid of the truck, car and big work trailer in the driveway.  Gizmo would not come near the open barn to see Chad.  Even when Chad walked out about 10 feet from the barn and vehicles, Gizmo would not come to him....and Gizmo ADORES Chad.  Gizmo sometimes would slink up to the barn and then turn and run away.  He wouldn't even let me come near him to leash him to go home.  (Chad lives in the country, so Gizmo gets to be off leash at his house).

He is afraid of outside noises when he's in the house.  He sometimes runs to his "safe place" in the house.

HOW can I help him get over his fears????  Is this normal?  Gizmo is almost 4 years old now.  He was always a little skiddish, but this is getting ridiculous!

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Comment by Pedro & Alessandra on April 3, 2015 at 6:55pm
Firstly, great to hear from you and our dear Gizzy, Jo. We've missed you.
However I will join in on the sympathy more than helpful advice but also if it's any comfort, 7 1/2 year old Pedro randomly and occasionally gets scared of certain things, noises, people too. No discernible pattern whatsoever, for example: teenage girls in dark hoodies, black garbage bags in the garage, buckets rolling on the street, loud wind storms and only today, a ladder used to install a ceiling lamp. He chose to go upstairs by himself (which he never does) while Daddy was installing the lamp and I was helping, he didn't come downstairs until we were done. All we do is tell him that it's okay and try to settle him down.
I understand your concern because of the chance of getting out of a collar or pulling the leash, but I'm hoping someone else will have more helpful advice.
In the meantime, hugs and loving paws!
Comment by DonMarie & Picco on April 2, 2015 at 9:54am

Looks like your getting more sympathy than advice but, sorry, not much help from me. Picco is brave around noises (fireworks? what fireworks? big trucks, motorcycles) but he's very cautious on garbage day (what are those big ugly things near the sidewalk? are they going to attack me? What's that rock doing on the sidewalk, that wasn't there before) and other things out of the ordinary. His weirdest quirk is floor patterns/shadows/surfaces. Sometimes he'll balk then I talk him through it with a hand on him; then next time "no problem"; now it's "no way"! I couldn't even get him to chase the ball across the wooden bridge that has been no problem in the past! Nothing has happened to scare him. In a ways it's a little funny to watch him but it is an embarrassment at times too!

Comment by Jo Bill on April 1, 2015 at 9:58pm

Gizmo just thinks all dogs are there just for him to play with.  LOL  Could be dangerous for him, so I have to watch him when we are out and about.

Comment by Lorie & Piper on April 1, 2015 at 9:50pm

as big as a scaredy-dog that piper is, there is absolutely no dog that she is afraid of...she has sent several pit bulls & a huge german shepherd packin...she had them runnin for their lives!!!!!   she is a funny girl (:

Comment by Jo Bill on April 1, 2015 at 9:48pm

Thanks, guys!  I think Piper and Gizmo are littermates!  Maybe it's the poodle in them.  Gizmo doesn't like men with hats and/or sun glasses, either.  He doesn't chase cars on the street, BUT he DOES chase cars when he is in the back of our SUV going for a ride.  He watches for cars coming towards us through the front windshield.  When they get closer, he lunges towards them as they go by.  You'd think he'd get tired of hitting his nose on the window.  LOL  It's pretty funny.  But, when cars go by when we are outside, he couldn't care less.

Comment by Dianne and Dulcie on April 1, 2015 at 9:38pm

Lorie, other dogs are Dulcie's favorite thing in the world!  I have never seen her shy away from another dog (even when they are snarling, unfortunately - she can't read negative behavior!)

Comment by Lorie & Piper on April 1, 2015 at 9:30pm

oh poor gizmo ):  he is def not alone...piper is spooked by pretty much everything except other dogs!!!  when i take her for walks, i have a collar on her and a harness (i connect the collar to the harness with a shoe lace) and then i connect the leash to her harness...piper can get out of a collar super quick & she can also get out of a harness just as quick...with the two together, it works.  things that spook her:  trucks, pick-ups, certain cars, lawn mowers, the tree trimming crew, thunder/lightening, loud noises, motorcycles, the garbage man, outside garbage cans that are not in their place cuz the wind has blown them over, flashlights, reflections on our walls/ceilings when the sun is shining, shadows, the fed-ex truck (she likes the UPS truck), schwanns home food delivery truck, etc.  she absolutely loves my 20 year old son, but when he wears boots, baseball hats, or camo clothes, it spooks her. she also doesn't like big bags.  she thrives on routine.  I think piper falls somewhere on the autism spectrum.    even with all her quirks, we couldn't love her any more!!!!!...she is our beautiful girl (:  Piper is almost 4 years old too (:

Comment by Dianne and Dulcie on April 1, 2015 at 9:08pm

Jo Bill, I am so glad to hear from you - have missed you on the site!  It is a peculiar thing, but Dulcie has become so much more loving at home and more fearful of strangers away from home.  I have seen her do the same panicky leash pulling when someone persists (like one of the young vets at the clinic). She is 3 going on 4. I wish she were afraid of cars.  She has learned to run toward them at the farm (like when the mailman comes) and I think I would rather have the phobia. Anyway, I will be waiting for answers with you - really don't want her to be so fearful of unknown people!

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