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My Puggle is 9 months old and a few times we've been cooking and the oven smokes up from time to time. When she smells smoke she starts behaving strangely sniffing, trying to go to the door to go out, and more recently hides under the table and will not come out. I think it's because she doesn't like the smell of the smoke, but it's not even smoky enough that it sets off the smoke alarm or anything like that. She starts acting strangely and hides and the eventually she'll start to get the chills and we can't calm her down. When we go near her she tries to run away and hide under the table. She's normally never like this and I don't know how to break her out of this habit. It's almost like she gets anxiety from the smoke. Poor thing! Any suggestions?
 

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SO strange. we have the EXACT same problem with our Wheaten except he hides in the closet. He is a little more than 2 years old. he mostly does it when we start a fire & the smoke backs up in the room. He was a stray before we got him so we figured maybe his house burnt down or had a fire when we was younger & that was the cause of his reaction. But now that I hear you have had the same problem, I am rethinking that. Our dog shakes & refuses to come out. Even if we pick him up & hold him, he is terrified.

Let me know if you find anything out. But good to know we are not alone!
 

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I don't think it's the chills.. it could just be shaking from anxiety/stress. I guess in my opinion there are two ways to approach this...
First you need to decide whether she is acting this way because the smoke makes her uncomfortable (I know I react to smoke more than my housemates.. my throat hurts, my eyes sting and I feel like I can't breathe) I don't have any experience with animals who are uncomfortable with smoke and fire but it seems like a reasonable thing for them to not like!! If this is the case then whenever it starts to get smoky just do the dog a favor and get it a kong stuffed with it's favorite treat, move it to an area in the house that isn't smoky and (ideally) kennel it or put it in a place she feels safe (strongly suggest using a kennel for this). Intervene before your dog starts reacting to the smoke if possible...

If you don't think that it actually makes the dog uncomfortable physically and it is just a behavior thing then you could try to desensitize her to the smoke smell. The best way to do that is to start really slow and reward her (with a really high value treat) whenever there is a smoke smell, BEFORE she starts shaking and hiding (otherwise you are reinforcing the negative behavior). Expose her to just a little bit of smoke (could you light a fire and then put it out soon after?) and start rewarding her before the smoke even has a chance to diffuse into the air...the thing is to keep the sessions really short in the beginning and then gradually increase the time that you would expose her to it. If she slips up and continues the behavior that means that you took it too fast.. you want to set her up to succeed, so GO REALLY SLOW.

The thing is that it might be hard to tell whether or not she acts this way because she is physically uncomfortable...it might be safest to just assume that it does, that is what I would do if my dogs acted this way.
Maybe someone else has a magic quick fix designed specifically for this problem.. my suggestions are based on just general training techniques. But I personally would just move the dog away from the smoke... make sure you do it BEFORE she starts acting weird so you don't reinforce the behavior.. you just need to learn to anticipate when she will act like that and intervene!
GOOD LUCK!!

justinp, i think that that is a fairly natural reaction even if they haven't had an experience in the past. Like an instinct.. smoke smells terrible and burns your throat and eyes.. it is toxic...so it seems reasonable that a dog would have an adverse reaction to it!
 

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This happened just now with our 4 year old dachshund. We turned on the heat for the first time and she started shivering and panting. We could smell the smoke from the system burning dust/lint. I can only assume this is the reason. I wrapped her in a blanket and am currently holding her. She has calmed down a lot but she will start sniffing the air every little bit. I feel so bad for her.
 

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12 year old thread.
 
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