bodhigolden on Instagram
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Seattle, WA
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Is there a fear period around 4-5 mos. that I don't know about?
Hi everyone! Pretty straightforward question-is there a fear period around 4-5 months of age?
My pup Bodhi has always been pretty fearless and very confident. Nothing (besides riding in a vehicle day 1 with us and the waves at the beach crashing towards him) has ever made him the slightest bit nervous, even when he was a tiny guy at 7 weeks old. We have purposefully subjected him to every noise and possibly overwhelming situation we could think of to get him used to being in an urban environment that at times can be...unpredictable, loud, and even a little crazy-because we essentially want him to be bomb-proof, if you will. Living downtown, there has been a plethora of really loud, weird, and/or bustling whathaveyou to subject him to and he doesn't bat an eye. And then today came the window washers. And then the lamp.
We have window washers once a year clean the windows of our high rise, and those guys were out today. When I saw the guys lower themselves down to our windows, I showed Bodhi. I'd already pointed out their climbing ropes, as they were knocking against our windows. As soon as he saw the guys he immediately hid underneath me and peed himself in fear, and started shaking violently before running away to hide by my bed in the bedroom. I was floored. I thought he'd see the guys hanging there and think, "oh wow, new friends floating at the window!" and run over to say hi. Nope. I held him for awhile until he fell asleep. Let me also say that we have floor-ceiling windows and he watches people on the street below daily. Our neighbors window also looks into our den window and the neighbor often waves at him-so it's not strange for him to see a person outside the windows here at home.
I shrugged his scared behavior off completely as a random thing until tonight when I moved a floor lamp from our bedroom into our living room and he seemed to become a nervous wreck all of a sudden. He cried (not like him) until I came back into the bedroom and I brought the lamp back in but put it in a different spot. He eyeballed it and cowered like he was afraid of it. I put the lamp back where it was and didn't coddle him-I don't want him to think it was really something to be afraid of due to how I behaved, you know?
Obviously puppies can and will be afraid of random stuff. But twice in one day, and a dog that has never been afraid of really anything, ever? Is this a fear period? Just an off day?
Anyone have experience with this? And how should I behave when he's afraid of something random like a window washer or a moved lamp in the future? Any advice is much appreciated.