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Discussion Starter #1
Eva has started to show sudden fear without what I can see as a trigger. You know the kind of physical response many dogs show to fireworks? Panting, wide eyes, ears back, tail between legs, crouching, hiding in small area.
Well, out of the blue, Eva will suddenly show all that. Like she has heard or felt something that I have not.

I am at a loss as to how to calm her when I can't find a trigger.

I'm wondering if something like an ultrasonic pest deterrant or a power tool used by someone in the area might be a cause.
I don't know how I could stop that but maybe there is a sound to "white noise" over it?

To note, Eva has always been a scardey cat so its not a total personality change or anything, just that every other time I could pinpoint a trigger like fireworks, gunshots, heavy machinery but not lately.
 

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Oof, I'm really sorry you're dealing with this. It sucks when your dog is distressed and you can't find the cause.

Check all your fire alarm and carbon monoxide, since I've heard some of those can start to give off high-pitched noises when they're low on battery. I've also heard of those pest deterrent devices being an issue, or even high voltage wires near the house. Is there any pattern? Only certain times of day, or is it constant? I might start taking notes on when you see it to try to identify any kind of pattern or cycle.

Of course you know this, saying it for the lurkers, but a vet visit wouldn't go amiss if you can't figure this out, since underlying pain or medical issues can make a dog extra sensitive. We had to go to a chiropractor to figure out Frodo was experiencing soft tissue shoulder pain, since the vet couldn't find anything and he has weirdly extreme reactions to discomfort, including things that shouldn't be painful (eg a properly fitted harness that doesn't restrict the shoulders).
 

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If you have shared walls (apartment etc), make sure you check your neighbor's smoke detectors too.

A friend's dog was getting upset only at night (but was staying upset all night). I knew the dog basically had a panic attack when their smoke detector battery went off a few weeks prior. I suggested they look at the unit below them (which they knew but I didn't was empty due to renovations). They were able to get a construction worker to switch the battery (by providing the battery) because it was beeping when they went down. I think it only bothered her at night because they left the TV on all day and they were moving around so it covered up the noise enough. It was just when the TV went off & everyone laid down that it was a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Good suggestions on the fire and CO alarms, I checked and both are well within their 10 year sealed battery lifespan.

Its a stand alone house so probably not something INSIDE a neighbor's home.

The front porch was where I first noticed it and assumed that she was remembering some particularly startling fireworks from this June/July (yeah, it was like 4 weeks worth of the 4th) but then I installed a new screen/storm door and she's spooked inside the house when the door is open to the screen and slightly spooked if open to the glass but not screen.

Once though was with the regular exterior door shut completely so there was no visual of the porch at the time.

I wonder if it could really be just lingering fear from the holiday? Like doggie PTSD?
I did some counter conditioning on the porch with chicken gizzards a few times but didn't see any change.

I tried doing a voice recording of ambiant outside noise on my iPad to see if that picked up any peaks of sound on its chart (for something maybe I can't hear) but nothing seemed to show up.

I think the idea of taking notes for correlation/possible causation is a great plan. Will start that asap.

If I had a confident dog bcome fearful, I would jump faster to a vet visit. Eva's fearful of so many things (new things mainly and we've always had success working through the "changes are scary" factor; just wanna be clear that day to day she is fine) that her behavior is not unusual, only the lack of discernable trigger. We've built enough trust that she'd follow me into Mordor but at least in that case she'd be right to be scared.
 

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I figured you were on top of the vet stuff! Just said it in case someone with a similar issue comes across this.

It does sound like something's coming from outside. Normal built-in microphones might not be capable of picking up sound waves outside human hearing, but that was a good idea. It'd be interesting to test if you have a friend or family member who has higher end sound equipment you can borrow.

I do wonder if she's associating a different trigger with the fireworks? I remember Dr. McConnell talking about a dog in... I think it was The Other End of the Leash who behaved aggressively towards 'random' visitors to the home (but not the same ones every time), until she learned that all those 'random' visitors had eaten pizza at some point before coming over. Turns out the dog had been kicked by a pizza delivery driver in the past and had strongly associated the smell with the event. So maybe there's a smell or noise that wouldn't normally be scary that she now connects with fear thanks to an especially traumatic fireworks season.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The idea of a transference of a trigger is intriguing.

So I don't think it was the fireworks. Or a least they were not the start of it. I was scrolling back through photos in my phone and noticed a few pics from May where Eva was trying to climb into my lap even though the patio chairs don't accomodate that or shoving her head under my leg when I had my foot resting on my other knee. Two of her "I'm scared, save me hooman" actions.
 

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Our dog has been very skittish since the month+ of constant fireworks not long ago. It's been tough getting her to go out at night and every noise seems to scare her. We had her out tonight for her late night pee, and someone lit off city fireworks show type of fireworks, she couldn't drag us back to the house fast enough. Very loud. She's 5 years old.
Frustrating.
 
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