What oh what is a "fear period"? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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What oh what is a "fear period"?

I keep hearing about a so-called fear period. Lots of posts regarding this! What is the cause of it, when does it happen and why????
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 11:57 PM
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There are usually a couple of fear periods in a puppy's life. It's developmental, in the same way that infants or toddlers go through a "stranger danger" period. During fear periods, if a pup has a seriously negative experience, you have to work hard to undo that experience. You also need to be patient with a puppy who has seemed to regress; the regression may simply be that they have new fears that they didn't have previously.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 05:13 AM
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There are a few periods in a young puppies life where things that normally didn't bother him will suddenly cause a negative reaction. Fear of night, of shopping bags, of new furniture in the house, garbage can lids, a simple broom laid against the house where it wasn't before...and many others can suddenly scare the pup. You must treat each occurance as a normal thing, make no deal of it at all and allow the pup to go to the object and see/smell it then dimiss it to the pup. Act normal, no babying. Fear stages seem to pop up in the early months then again around 5-8 mo. Crazy, but just another stage you need to work through. If you don't get them past this, then some fears can continue through out the life of the dog.

There are many threads here with owners who face this and ask for advice. Look for them and read. They are worked through and some pups go through this more than others. This is just what human children go through, and we work through them the same.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 06:07 AM
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Some dogs do experience it worse than others...Tess had a distinct fear of the steam blowing holes in New York, and she didn't like the water valves coming out of the wall. The valves were easy to solve, the steam took a while. Liza didn't like the garbage cans in the morning, the shadows made them very large. That too was an easy fix. As far as I know, those were the only things my dogs picked up.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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Lol @ the trash can shadows
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Is the fear period attributed to all dogs or only GR? (Silly question, I knowww!)
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 07:33 AM
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Ours would be afraid of a big rock sticking out of the water. When she realized what it was, she actually looked embarassed.

The latest is: We had some repairs being done on the house. She was very friendly and wanting to play with the people. However, one gentleman she really barked at. I calmed her down and that was that. It was odd. She never reacted that way before. Then we were in the store and an employee was talking to her from a distance. She again started to really bark. Come to realize both men had beards. This gentleman came over and she was scared at first but he was great with her. She was fine after that.

It is funny to watch what they are aware of and not.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 08:15 AM
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Our last dog was afraid of cardboard boxes. When he was about 12 weeks old we got a new entertainment center and the empty box was leaning against a wall. My husband threw him a tennis ball and it accidentally hit the box and the box fell over and scared the crap out of him. He was scared of cardboard boxes forever! We could've literally fenced in our yard with cardboard boxes and he would've stayed put!! I knew nothing about fear period at that time but have been a little more cautious with our current dog!

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandemetz View Post
Is the fear period attributed to all dogs or only GR? (Silly question, I knowww!)
It's common to all breeds.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 08:55 AM
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my silly 2 yr old rott/shep mix was racing around the house when he was younger and slid into a tv tray table and it fell to the floor with a big bang...he's been afraid of the table ever since!
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