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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi fellow dog lovers!

I'm new to the GR Forum (thanks for the warm welcome into the community I've already received in the New Member thread!), but would love your thoughts and comments on my sweet Teddy's anxiety.

Teddy is a generally nervous dog, wary of noises and new experiences or objects. He's nearly 11 months old and was born in rescue and lived in a wonderful foster home the first part of his life. We adopted him when he was about 8 months and for the first couple weeks he had very difficult separation anxiety. He would try to destroy the kennel, drool excessively, and was unable to self-sooth.

We worked on crate training, de-sensitizing him to departure clues, practiced coming and going extensively (to show him we would return)and gave him a delicious Kong upon every departure. With routine and consistency he completely improved after just a few weeks. Now he goes right in the kennel, eats his Kong, and calms nicely (we watch him on remote cameras), which you know is HUGE (if you have ever experienced SA).

However, when we return, he seems anxious to me. We keep greetings low key, he goes right outside to potty, and then we get in a nice long walk (weather permitting) or play fetch inside and practice training to burn some mental energy. However, he is pants constantly (prior to exercise) and also yawns. If I move around the house, he follows and will lie down in one place, but the minute I'm up, he's up and panting again. On weekends, or when we are home for a stretch of time, I do not notice this anxious behavior. It's almost as though the anxiety continues on into the evening when we've returned, even though he seems fine now when we leave.

Since we adopted him, I've been working on generally building his confidence. We are in a basic class together, and I hope to get him into an intro to Rally course after that. And I'm trying to expose him to new places and things (I took him to a local pet boutique and he was so scared his legs shook and wanted to stand by the door). Could all of this be related to his second fear period? Is it because he has pent up energy in the evenings after being crated all day? He's not a high energy pup, but he's an adolescent. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Oh, and here's my sweet guy:

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