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Discussion Starter #1
My 11-week(ish) old Golden/Shepherd/Unknown mix puppy was scared half to death by a neighbor's huge beast of a dog (who was roaming free in his yard) when it charged at her (and me) barking ferociously. The owner came out of the garage and called it back at the last second, but my puppy was terrorized.

Now she is afraid of every single noise outside... birds, cars going by, people talking, leaves rustling. She was so great outside before this happened. She marveled at everything since this was her first time out in the world instead of in a cage in a shelter.

I'm working with her every day trying to get her to see things to enjoy out there, but she keeps her ears back and tail tucked and looks at me like I'm plotting against her or something.

Has anyone had a similar experience or does anyone know how long it may take her to recover or what I can do to help?
 

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My girl off the go was this nervous of her surroundings and I soon found she'd never been walked outdoors before or been near a busy street. The most she'd been outside was probably to go pee and then back in at her fosters.

With a normal dog I think you'd find games that she enjoys indoors and then transition them to a safe, calm place outdoors (like a backyard). If she's able to keep focus and continue playing relaxed in your backyard, you can move to leashing her and playing with her. Followed by taking her to the front yard on leash and playing on a longer lead. Front yards are generally busier, car sounds, people walk by, doors open and close, children biking by.
Build her confidence either via toys or food.

I had to solely use food. I also had to be very patient. Sometimes she'd be so flooded with sound (a car alarm and a screen door slamming at the same time) that she wouldn't be able to move. I'd call her name and attempt to get her attention with treats, but sometimes she needed a minute or two to collect herself before she could pay attention to me again. Which was fine, I didn't talk I just waited. When she paid attention to me again I'd reward that behavior and ask her to do something for me (sit). When she was capable of doing commands again for me, we would carry on.

It could also be a mixture of a fear period coupled with the bad experience. If you work to make the yard a positive happy experience every day she should come out of this fear period more relaxed in these surroundings. Also depending on how long you've had her, you may have to build up your relationship in general. Play games indoors, trick train easy tricks to build her confidence etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The really sad thing to me about this is how much she LOVED walks and being outside before this. I've only had her a week, and it only took one day of awkward walking on the leash before she was a great walker. Almost perfect, actually, except for her trying to eat bugs and sticks...I had to watch her like a hawk. Still, she obeyed "leave it!" right away. We live in a heavily wooded community, so our yard situation is unusual, but she does seem more at ease away from the driveway and road. I'll have to look into the trick training. Thanks!
 

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The dog scare happened three days ago (I've only had her a week) and the cause and effect of it was immediately noticeable. She tore the leash out of my hand and ran like the wind home and I've had to struggle to get her outside ever since. She absolutely loved walks before, and now it's an ordeal. :/
 

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I have worked with quite a few dogs that get scared by one incident. It is really had but how you react in any situation will affect how your dog response. Being calm and waiting the struggle out is probably best until your dog calms down. Don't try and give verbal reassurance or feed treats other wise you are rewarding the negative situation. If I were you I would walk in your garden to start with as your puppy needs to feel safe in their own space and 1 week really isn't long. My girl took nearly 3 months to properly settle in and we didn't have an incident so soon. Having a dog isn't about quick fixes it's about being consistent so they know what to expect.
 

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As DogtheGreat suggested, you're probably in a fear cycle, so you'll have to let time help, probably a month or so, and you'll have to do lots of socialization with lots of friendly dogs during that time, starting with small dogs that don't look like the beast. It might also be helpful if you could find a very well-socialized dog that looks like the beast, but understands how to handle fearful dogs.

Don't assume that your dog will just grow out of it. I believe that you have to actively and gently show her that most dogs etc. are very friendly...
 

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Sometimes dogs never fully "recover" from traumatizing events, especially during the stage of imprinting. Yet all hope is not lost at the tender age of 11 weeks it shouldn't be an issue as long as you don't reinforce the fear.

My 2 cents

Peace

Blacat
 
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