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I've had my dog for about four years now, and this is new behavior.

She's a dachshund and was rescued from being a breeder at a puppy mill. She had lived with a foster family for a few weeks when she was first brought to me, and she's my first dog, so it was a challenge.

When I first got her she was all skin and bones, and had never seen a carpet or flight of stairs before, and she would go into frequent panic attacks where she'd shake for 20 minutes at a stretch.

But I'm a very low key person and work from home so I'm always with her, and over the years she has calmed down and put on weight, and overall she's become a very normal and happy dog. Until recently I hadn't seen her panic in a very long time.

But recently, she suddenly has decided that she can't stand it when I try to read a book. I can do anything else and she'll do what she's always done, and just sit there beside me chewing on a toy or bone, or napping. Or if she's annoyed at me for being too fidgety she'll go into her kennel for a while, because I've made that a safe zone for her where she knows I'll never bother her.

But if I pick up a book and start to read, she immediately needs attention. If I give it to her for a while she'll settle down, but as soon as I pick the book up again she starts climbing all over me. And if I ignore her, she escalates the attention seeking until she's in a full blown panic, with red eyes and a fixed stare, panting hard.

So obviously I'll succomb and put the book down, and she'll settle, and everything will seem to be normal. But as soon as I pick up a book, the whole thing starts over again. If I put her in her kennel, she's fine and will take a nap, which is something I do from time to time if I feel like eating a meal with being stared at. But I don't like to have her in there for too long, and when I get into a book I can read for four hours at a stretch.
 

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That's an odd trigger for a panic attack but I guess who knows what is going through a little doggie brain.

If she is in her kennel and sees you reading a book, does she still react or can she continue to chill out?

If she is relaxed in her kennel, then honestly I wouldn't feel all that bad about letting her nap in there for a couple hours. Better that than being completely stressed out.

Have you tried sitting near her kennel and reading ? Maybe read out loud so she feels like she's getting attention but its not direct attention.

For dogs that are stressed by a few specific things like car rides, sometimes calming chews with Valerian root and St johns sort can help them through but its a lot easier to give a few chews a half hour before a car ride than a half hour before you read a book...
 
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