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Dog with Generalized Anxiety "Globally Fearful"

1107 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Tater33
We met with a behaviorist yesterday and boy I'm glad we booked the appointment a month ago. We got our border heeler at 11wks (sign said 8, kinda mad we missed that socialization period) from the 2nd shelter he had been in (not the nicest place either). He was in a shelter since 7wks. He's always been anxious for us. We were never able to crate him, he freaked out and escaped. We have an older dog who is not crated, so I think this only exacerbated the issue. He's fine left out, never been destructive. He's always been afraid of loud noises (thunderstorms, fireworks are to ne expected) but also new noises like trucks outside, snapping a paint stick...new stuff. Getting his harness on is a chore. Recently he wont walk or go in the front yard. The behaviorist describes him as globally fearful and having a bubble (honestly, hes the dog version of me). So, alas, she has recommended meds paired with behavior modification. He's never been aggressive or even growled with us or the dog. Until yesterday, the behaviorist knocked on a wall and he ran up to her and growled...going past the threshold quite quick. Today he growled at our other dog over a new food toy. I guess I'm just looking for stories from those who have been there and meds with training have helped. I have a message into the vet to discuss meds. Meeting with her was beneficial in learning his body language and that even taking a treat from us and us petting him there, he was nervous. I feel awful that we haven't done this sooner. Things have really escalted in the last month though. Just looking for some reassurance.
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HI...I really feel for you and your dog. I adopted my beagle / shar pei mix from kind of a shady rescue place (did not know it at the time). They told me she was rescued from a hoarding situation in a trailer with 30 other dogs. She was by far the smallest (35 Lbs.). They lied and told me she was potty trained (NOT) and loved to hike (has severe arthritis in her back legs) and loved people. HA. She was one big ball of anxiety. The first time I took her to a park, she would not get out of the car. I talked to a rehab vet who referred me to a Dr. Camille Ward out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. She immediately put Molly on prozac. She explained that I needed to work with her on creating nothing but positive experiences in her everyday life. Then we gradually reduced her meds until she was off them. While she is not 100% she is much better.
But, she is who she is. She will be forever wary of strangers, but with us she is a great little dog. I think the biggest take away from learning about her was consistency. She is much better with a consistent routine. She still has some food aggression (I have 3 cats) but if I time her food correctly it seems to help. Don't give up !! I know it can be both heartbreaking and frustrating. Sometimes when we go to the park, we just sit in the back of the car with the hatch up and she people / dog watches. Good luck!!
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