Is there a fear period around 4-5 mos. that I don't know about? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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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.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 05:54 AM
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The biggest, most intense fear period is around 16 weeks or so.
The best way to react is very matter of fact. " Silly boy, you're fine" and just move on. Be very careful not to inadvertently reward, and thus reinforce, the behavior with soothing and treats.



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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotel4dogs View Post
The biggest, most intense fear period is around 16 weeks or so.
The best way to react is very matter of fact. " Silly boy, you're fine" and just move on. Be very careful not to inadvertently reward, and thus reinforce, the behavior with soothing and treats.
Ahh. Well, that explains it, then. I knew about the one somewhere between 2-3 months, but didn't expect another.

Thanks for the response and advice how to handle any fear he has going forward.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 04:46 PM
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Here is some reading for you:

http://ice.ucdavis.edu/~robyn/Korina...velopment.html


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 04:48 PM
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Sounds like you are doing all the right things!! Good information for me to have in a few weeks.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:14 PM
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Agree, this is really helpful information to know. Has Bodhi been having any other fear episodes since you posted?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rosegold View Post
Agree, this is really helpful information to know. Has Bodhi been having any other fear episodes since you posted?
None whatsoever. Just that one day-I'm wondering if in his case the window washer just really freaked him out, and that's what led to him being weary about the lamp moving-I've moved it again and he had no response whatsoever.
We also had a carpet cleaner in after our washer leaked, and a huge dehumidifier and large, loud fan put in to dry out the carpet-things I'd imagine would give him pause in a fear period after his reaction to a simple moving of a lamp-he couldn't have cared less.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 11:31 PM
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We know of a puppy that remains unnamed, but he has been said to pee when he is asked to come for a walk. pee in the house, that is. before he walks. so, right when were ready to walk him, he pees. hes been holding it the whole time. but a few seconds before going outside, he pees as we watch.

this is really really really...............not nice

HLPE!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne Y. View Post
None whatsoever. Just that one day-I'm wondering if in his case the window washer just really freaked him out, and that's what led to him being weary about the lamp moving-I've moved it again and he had no response whatsoever.
We also had a carpet cleaner in after our washer leaked, and a huge dehumidifier and large, loud fan put in to dry out the carpet-things I'd imagine would give him pause in a fear period after his reaction to a simple moving of a lamp-he couldn't have cared less.
Strange, I'm glad for his sake that it only happened those couple times though. Maybe it could have been the height of the lamp? My cat has always been afraid of tall shadowy things above her, I think it's because they resemble owls and hawks that could prey on kittens.

We're bringing a 5 month old home this summer and so I hope that his introduction to our home doesn't coincide with his fear period. If you have any insight onto other 5-month old behavior, I'd be interested to know
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