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Hey all! I’m hoping you can help me out.
Short story: my 2 year old staffy is insanely fearful of random objects, mostly any item that makes noise or that she just deems “sketchy” We’ve had her for about a year and her fear just keeps getting worse.
Examples of this would be the space heater (always side eyes it and shuffles past it super quick), the fridge, the entire kitchen in general, one time a towel that was on the floor (she would not leave the room because she had to walk past it)
It breaks my heart because she is truly genuinely scared to death when she encounters these items, which is most of the time. It seems like everything in our home terrifies her.
She also goes through cycles of what she thinks is scary – for months she was completely paralyzed with fear of feathers. If she encountered one on a walk she would absolutely break down. If there was a down jacket in the house, she would not be able to function. She has overcome this completely randomly and is now fine with feathers (out of nowhere).
Outside of the house, she is a completely different dog. She’s extremely confident, nothing is scary, everything is great.
Inside she is mostly fine but any noise and she goes scrambling. Dishes? Scramble. The cats are running around? SCRAMBLE. It’s constant, all day long she is scrambling. She also has insane attention to detail – she will notice a crack in the wall and lose her mind over it. Her attention to detail is absolutely ridiculous.
We had family over and she was just a mess with all the noise the kids were making. Her fear NEVER comes out in an aggressive or reactive way. She loves humans and animals, but as soon as they make too much noise she is outtta there.
We treat her like an absolute queen. She is well loved and well exercised. We both work from home so we are constantly with her. We go hiking frequently, we take many walks daily, and 1-2 times a day we take her to a massive field where we play ball and let her run her heart out. Again, completely different dog outside.
I know counter conditioning is what we need to do… but how??? How do I counter condition her with EVERYTHING? Any help would be greatly appreciated. We really want to help her understand that the world is not so scary, we just don’t know where to start.
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