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Hello, my husband and I rescued a 10 month old Samoyed 6 years ago. When we first took her in, we noticed anxiety and her fear of being left alone. We both took turns taking her to training classes and the trainer spotted her anxiety right away. She recommended special training and our samoyed responded well over time, but still exhibited the anxiety on occasion. It took consistent and diligent training on my part. We also had a trainer volunteer her time because she was curious about our issues with a samoyed. She recommended a special diet and the vet recommended Soliquin. As a whole, our girl responded to training, the supplements and we noticed improvement.
Last year, we took in an abandoned very mellow male husky. I don鈥檛 know if his presence has caused changes. Six years later, this goofball has developed a few quirky behaviors that is driving us a little crazy. BTW- she and her husky brother get walked regularly.
1. She wants to be inside all the time. Scratches at the door and is so worked up when we let her in.
2. She has developed a fear of skateboarders. We tried to introduce her to the boys that skateboard our street and she pooed herself. 馃槻 If she sees them go by, she will hide in a closet.
Im giving her therapy dose of soliquin and trying to use different training techniques. I also tried spraying her with a vinegar and water mix to deter her scratching at the door.
I鈥檓 at a loss with this goofball.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hello, my husband and I rescued a 10 month old Samoyed 6 years ago. When we first took her in, we noticed anxiety and her fear of being left alone. We both took turns taking her to training classes and the trainer spotted her anxiety right away. She recommended special training and our samoyed responded well over time, but still exhibited the anxiety on occasion. It took consistent and diligent training on my part. We also had a a trainer volunteer her time because she was curious about our issues with a samoyed. She recommended a special diet and the vet recommended Soliquin. As a whole, our girl responded to training, the supplements and we noticed improvement.
Last year, we took in an abandoned very mellow male husky. I don鈥檛 know if his presence has caused changes. Six years later, this goofball has developed a few quirky behaviors that is driving us a little crazy. BTW- she and her husky brother get walked regularly.
1. She wants to be inside all the time. Scratches at the door and is so worked up when we let her in.
2. She has developed a fear of skateboarders. We tried to introduce her to the boys that skateboard our street and she pooed herself. 馃槻 If she sees them go by, she will hide in a closet.
Im giving her therapy dose of soliquin and trying to use different training techniques. I also tried spraying her with a vinegar and water mix to deter her scratching at the door.
I鈥檓 at a loss with this goofball.
 

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I think you should contact your vet first and discuss these behavior changes with her. She may need an adjustment to her medication if she's beginning to show anxiety symptoms again. She may also have an underlying medical issue, so it's important to rule that out. But, it's not uncommon for dogs to need medication adjustments over the course of their lives.

Please don't spray her with vinegar water. She's likely afraid or nervous about something, and making her experience scarier won't help. If you're worried about her damaging the door, you can block access to it with an ex-pen or something similar. It doesn't have to be permanent, just until you get to the bottom of the behavior changes and understand how you need to proceed, either with a medication adjustment or training her to politely ask to be let in.

Figure out where her threshold is for the skateboarders. Once you can figure out where she is aware of the skateboarders but not hiding in fear, you can begin to counter condition by feeding her treats so she associates the skateboarders with good things. Slowly work up to being able to walk down the street while the skateboarders are about. Remember to work at the dog's pace. If she gets worried at any point, back up step.
 

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I agree with the above.

Also, are the skateboarders new to the neighborhood? Or did she suddenly develop a fear of them after years of no problem? If the former, then it's likely just her showing fear of something new. If the latter, it could be a sign of a health issue.

For the excitement when coming inside, teach her to sit as soon as she enters. Give her a treat when she does so and pet her as long as she sits calmly. If she bounces out of her sit, just put her back in it and give her a treat for doing so. Once she is calmly sitting for attention, release her from the sit.

For scratching at the door, you want to go back to the beginning and go out with her so she can get comfortable again. My policy with my dogs is that when they bark, scratch or sit at the door, they are tired of being outside and want to come back in - so I let them in. I don't wait until it becomes a frantic need to be inside. A quick scratch on the door is simply a knock. Same with a quick bark. I have found that when I am responsive to their knocks, they are less stressed and more willing to spend more time outside.
 

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It may be time to consider an anxiety medication alongside or instead of the supplement (depending on what the vet says about using them together). Modern anxiety meds like fluoxetine and trazodone don't sedate the dog or make them dopey, but do help them better manage stress and anxiety so that they can better learn how to cope with the world, just like how human anti-anxiety medications work.

While there are a lot of fear-based problems that can be improved by training/behavioral modification techniques alone, my personal feelings are that when a dog is experiencing anxiety in its own home/yard/on daily potty trips due to triggers beyond your control (like her hiding in the closet when skateboarders are outside), it's time to explore pharmaceutical help as well. Very often, this makes training easier and allows them to actually relax and recuperate faster after a scary encounter, rather than being constantly stressed and wound up.

I quite like this article if you want to learn more: Behavior Medication: First-Line Therapy Or Last Resort?. I know it seems like a big step, but I've known so many people who wish they'd tried anxiety medications sooner for their fearful dogs.
 
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