• Not unusual to be sensitive to selective things. My first boy was deathly afraid of the central vac. I cured that by feeding him in the opposite end of the house while it was running, then gradually moving it closer as his anxiety eased. Move the hose first, vacuum off, then after some time to get used to that, turn it on in the new position. Over the space of a few weeks we went from it literally scaring the shit out of him to him being able to eat his dinner with the hose coiled around his dish and the vacuum running. These things take time, and I never pushed him past his comfort level. If you take it a step too far, go back to the last known comfort zone (or further, if necessary) and eventually you will get there.

    I should add, I adopted him at just under 2 years of age, and he arrived with this phobia.


  • @sarahmiri - Usually the "fear" period is not at his age, but earlier...... It can't hurt to make sure that his hearing is normal... always good to scratch off any possibles...


  • @sarahmiri said in Scared of people / crowds:

    He does hear when I prepare his food even when doors are closed

    oh good... well, then. Perhaps helping him by describing what the noises are?
    "There's a noisy truck coming down the road", or "It's ok, it's just a motorcycle."
    -- I'm only thinking out loud.


  • I talk to him with a calm voice but it doesn't help. I think he needs to built up his selfesteem. Any tips?


  • You need to build up his confidence, @sarahmiri - This is not something he can easily do for himself. Don't push him out of his comfort zone at first, but then very gradually and if he gets things right, LOTS of praise and cuddles. Let him know how clever he is at each step and take things slowly. You will need to be patient, but do have his ears checked, sudden loud noises rather than something continuous could be upsetting him.


  • @sarahmiri said in Scared of people / crowds:

    I talk to him with a calm voice but it doesn't help. I think he needs to built up his selfesteem. Any tips?

    Calm is good. Also, radiate interest rather than alarm at anything that is happening around you. Here is a chance to hone your acting skills. Adopt the attitude that whatever is approaching or whatever you are approaching is a special treat, something enticing, not threatening. If you can make yourself "feel" that, your dog will pick up on your emotions and hopefully adopt the same attitude. OTOH, if you are apprehensive about anything, he will pick up on that too, so it's important to try to really feel positive instead of concerned.


  • I watched him closely today. It's always humans that scare him. When one appears he just looks (interesting enough to pull on the leash). When it's two or more in different directions he is overwhelmed and looks panicky from one to the other. Sometimes he walks a bow and sometimes he pulls to them. How should I behave when he panics?


  • If you are out with him, squat down beside him, talking to him calmly the while and hold him close. Cuddle him while reassuring him. Tell him there is nothing to worry about, Mom is with him. Stroke him, cuddle him, let him feel you are really close to him. Do NOT pick him up. Get down to his level.


  • @sarahmiri said in Scared of people / crowds:

    It's always humans that scare him.

    That's good, if he was only scared of Martians he'd be normal. 😉

    When it's two or more in different directions he is overwhelmed and looks panicky

    He might be confused about how he can protect you if danger is coming from two different places... (?)

    How should I behave when he panics?

    Stop walking, put your foot on the leash so his movement is limited, and tell him, "It's okay... I'm right here" until he calms down. You can pet him while you do it, you just want to reassure him that you can protect him, too. Let him know that you've got this and everything is ok.


  • Do you think it helps to carry him when he gets scared?


  • @sarahmiri - I would say no to carrying him.... don't pick him up, but get down to his level as Zande pointed out in her response.

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