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Categories: Soft Dogs and Weak Nerves

Q. My dog is terrified of the noise our new recliners make. I've tried everything I can think of, what would you suggest?
Hi,

My name is Lisa and I have been training dogs for about 40 years, I'm 48. This is an issue I can't figure out and of course it's my own dog. We bought our Mal 2 1/2 years ago. Great dog. very high drive, sweet temperament. Great at obedience and agility. Here is the crazy part. We bought new furniture 2 weeks ago, the day after I got home from the hospital having surgery (I was in hosp. for a week). We got a couch and 2 recliners. Dirk (our dog) is terrified of the noise the recliners make, and they are not loud at all. I've tried having him on lead beside me and ignoring it, playing ball with him from there. Having him come to me while sitting there to get a treat. He has improved a little. The shaking has stopped and I helped him get his tail from between his legs and that has improved but he doesn't even want to come inside and has been inside all his life. I am at a loss.He usually recovers very quickly, other than really bad thunderstorms. Any suggestions?

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,
Lisa

A. Have you had him examined by a vet? Is he sensitive to other sounds besides the recliners and thunderstorms?

If he checks out ok medically then I would probably keep him on leash all the time in the house but DO NOT make him sit by the furniture. Ignore any weird behavior at all and reward something he knows how to do (down, sit, tricks, etc). Don’t let him choose to avoid the house but don’t put him in close proximity to what is making him nervous. Maybe put a crate across the room for a while and just let him chill out in there while you go about your regular business in the room.

Sometimes by trying to work through some weird quirky behavior like this you can actually make it worse.

Cindy Rhodes
  
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