Golden with fear of many types of engines - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Golden with fear of many types of engines

I'm a newbie here. I have an 8 year old golden who is very sweet but has always been fearful of lawn mowers, snowblowers and boats.
It seems to be worse as he gets older.
I don't coddle him, I try to ignore the behavior.
Anyone else deal with this? He really misses out on time with us because of his fears.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 09:36 PM
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First of all welcome!!
Oh man to have a golden that is afraid of boat noise is rough....the summers here are so short......
Is your goal to have him enjoy boat rides or just to be able to tolerate a boat passing by without bolting to find a hiding place?

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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He is okay with boats driving by. When we walk towards our boat he runs and hides in the garage of our camp. I have tried getting him on the boat when it isn't running, but he often bolts and won't come back to the lake front.
I can deal with him not riding(although I'd love for him to) I just worry about all these noises he is fearful of.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 11:34 PM
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Sometimes it can be the engine sound that we cant hear that they can. I dont know now to get over it except for trying treats maybe. Have you had him his whole life? If not there might have been someting in his previous life before coming to you. Hopefully one of the trainers might know.




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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 11:48 PM
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I don't know your guy's level of fear, but our lab WILL NOT get in our airplane without Muttmuffs - people use 'em for boats, 4th of July, etc. (the goldies are fine)

She will plank her rear down & not get near the plane until we show her her Muttmuffs. We have enough land that she just gets away when the mower starts up; however, she likes to ride on the quad.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 05:47 AM
 
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i have no ideas or suggestions other than buy her her own car.

maybe driving around will outweigh the noise fears.

seriously tho with the pup i exposed him to every noise i could and still do.
i made a joke of the noise and stroked him and played with him. he is pretty good now apart from a sudden loud noise will make him jump but not worry him too much.

except when lorries release the air from their brake tanks, that scares him a lot still.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 08:48 AM
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Magic is afraid of certain power tools, especially our nail gun. She is a quivering maniac until my husband is done. She also hates the sound of the low battery beep on the smoke detectors. I have had to get up many times in the middle of the night to fix those just so she will lay back down. She loves boating though. Goes crazy when she sees it.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your comments.
I have had him all his life. When we brought him home he was afraid of the sound of dog food in a metal dish. I brought him on the boat as a pup and he shook the whole time. When a truck near us released its airbrake, he peed all over our deck.
I was able to get him on a small boat with an outboard engine two summers ago. He really wants to go with us, he just can't overcome this fear of the boat.
I'm going to keep trying different things.
The muttmuffs sounded interesting..I may try those.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Casanova isn't afraid of tractors, but is afraid of lawnmowers. I just don't get it except that it is the engine noise.
I'll keep trying.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 12:11 PM
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Is there a game he particularly likes? Sometimes putting them in "working" mode at a safe distance from the negative stimulus can help break down the bad associations and build up good ones.

Find a distance from a scary engine that puts it in view but doesn't trigger a full on fear reaction (like running away). Play your games and have fun and food in that spot for a while. You want him to associate distant engine noises with his favorite things. Once he's excited and happy in that spot, move a little closer. The trick is to find a spot that allows him to notice the negative stimulus without triggering his fear. That spot gets closer and closer over time until you're at the bad spot.

It can take a long time with this method, but it's the most tried and true way I know to get a dog over deep-seated fears.
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