2 Year old too scared to go outside garden!!

I am just new to this website and really need some advice. Recently we have had some type of guns shooting in nearby feilds (I guess to scare away the birds from eating the newly laid crops). The shots are not fired often just now and again.

Our 2 year old OES got really scared a couple of weeks ago during our normal walk around some fields and ran away, back home. Not normal behaviour at all. Like most OES if he doesn't see you he panics and tries to find you and never wanders far. Since then he has not wanted to go outside the garden gates. First of all, without thinking I decided to take him out in the car for a walk and he was OK with that depending on the distance away from our house. Now I have decided that I am not going to do this anymore as need to get him used to going on local walks again.

He is not food orientated, I have tried him playing with another dog to distract him and that has not worked (normally he would be going crazy playing with this dog!).

So now I have decided to not take him out for a walk so that he gets the message that he has to leave the garden to get out. We are 2 days into this and he is still far too scared to go out. What do I do? Any advice on this would be great as I am really concered as he is not his normal care free, happy go lucky character.

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Sorry that you're going through this. I don't have much advice for you, but I wanted to stop in and say Welcome to the forum and -- you'll get through this!
I had a Border Collie that had a problem bringing the cattle in after she had a frightening experience with a thunder storm. She never got over it. Every time she heard a noise that sounded like thunder she headed for the back door of the house.
Our Ausie had a similar problem but wanted to heard so bad she learned to except loud noises like thunder. She even started to go Grouse hunting with My older brother.
If you can make Him feel secure and keep him calm try taking him a short distance at a time (you may need a leash) to show him there is nothing to fear.
Good luck.
My boy is afraid of our back yard at nite! I am sure it was the bunny rabbits that scared him, and he ever got over the one scarey one..... 8O

He is fine when big, tough Dixie is with him, but on his own, forget it. He pokes his head out of the garage, looks around, comes back inside...etc.

My husband has to take him outside for his late night potty. :lol:

I would suggest to continue doing what you are doing...If he is normally food motivated, and refuses treats to go out, then he is too stressed...You can try better treats, and/or go out with him until he gets over it.

Dogs have very good memories for bad things. And he may remember that the garden is not good, but not remember why. You need to make good memories to overcome the bad ones. This will take time, but can be done.
Thanks for you help so far. I got him to the end of our very short street yesterday but he was not happy and needed loads of encouragement. So I guess I'll just keep trying a little bit further each time and eventually we should get walking around the local fields one day.
Hi Fuzzi

Has he got any friends he could walk with to give him a little more confidence????
Yes I tried him with another dog and he forgot about his fear briefly then headed stright back home.

I just don't know if not walking him until he overcomes his fear to step outside the garden gates is right? Is this being too cruel. I feel awful and am really missing our walks.
Hi I had a rough collie that used to do exactly what your dog is doing, sadly he never got over the fear of the sound of gun shots. (we lived in the country and so every sunday morning the farmers were out) We made the mistake of reacting to the sounds knowing that he would react, so you need to try to ignore the sounds yourself.

I have got a CD that plays all the frightening sounds to dogs I got it from pets at home or you can get them online. It's fireworks cars back firing etc etc. You play it really low at first and ignore the sound yourself but play wit the dog and do normal things with him. Over time increase the noise level but continue to do your thing with the dog. It really does work and can stop dogs from being as frightened of noises. The other week there was a firework display near to here and George never bothered with it!

Whilst the CD hasn't got gunshots on the fireworks may sound similar and may just get him used to the noise? I have heard of people buying calm or similar product that calms nervous dogs and putting cotton wool in dogs ears to muffle the sounds. You might even be able to get a CD made with the sounds on. It has t be played VERY low in the beginning and is a slow process but over time can help.

I had a problem with George a few weeks ago where he wouldn't go for a walk at all. I put him the car and took him away from the house for his walk and over a short time he got usd to it and now he goes anywhere either from the house or in the car!

Hope you can resolve this as I know how frustrating this can be!!
Good news this morning I went for a walk with my sister and Fuzzi was so excited running along beside her that he totally forgot his fear. I was so happy. I just hope he will do the same when it is just me and him.

Thanks for your advice and I'll look into getting the CD as it would be really helpfu to get him used to all those noises.
Thats great news. The CD I have got is from puppyschool.co.uk and does have guns on though possibly not the noise you want but it may still help!

Good luck :wink:
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