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I need some help regarding my male pup's fears. He seems to be afraid of everything, more so outside. When people come over, he gets excited, and tinkles too. He seems to find new things to be afraid of - today it was my husband outside in the garage. I put the pup out to go potty and to see my husband, who had just gotten home from work, and he was afraid! Now I go to put him out, and he doesn't want to go out, and if I get him out he just stands looking towards the garage. I'm really at a loss here - this is my 3rd golden, and I've never had any dog so afraid, especially a big one like he is.

Is there anyone out there, besides the Dog Whisperer, who can give me some advice on how to handle this? Also, due to some health issues, I havent taken him to any obedience classes.
 

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I'm no expert, but I seem to remember that dogs go through a second fear period when they're in their later first months. I know Flora gets easily spooked by things she's never seen before... my brother was carrying a suitbag over his shoulders a few days ago, and Flora got all ruffled and started woofing at him and dancing around the kitchen.

The leafblower was outside yesterday for the first time, and Flora got a little nervous around it as well.

When Flora encounters something that frightens her, I always approach the object in a very calm manner and touch it and inspect it, and encourage Flora to come and inspect it as well. Perhaps there was something your husband was carrying or something in the garage that spooked your pup?

The peeing thing is probably just from excitement. Puppies do that. :)
 

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No, he came out of the garage to see the pup, and the pup started barking at him, and came running back to the house, like he didnt know who he was? I do try to go out and be around him when there was something that scared him... ie the tarp cover for our grill. lol it took a while, but he did get over that. But it seems like one fear goes, and is replaced by something else.
 

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It's totally normal at that age. They tend to go through a phase just before they turn a year old where every little object, especially outdoors, spooks them and they are very unsure of some things. Tucker went through it between 9 and 11 months old. He was scared to death of a dirt pile that our neighbors had in their yard as well as garbage cans. He would also freeze and stare up at the sky whenever a plane came by. (We live near an airport.) They do grow out of it. Just don't react to the fear. The can make it worse. Reward him with a treat when he is calm and focuses on you instead of the object he is fearful of. It does get better!
 

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Brooks went through a time when he would get spooked when we were on walks about things he had never seen before (a snow man, blow up lawn decorations, a metal tiger statue). I would take him up to the thing. He would approach, run back, do some fear barking, etc. I continued to speak calmly and kept approaching the thing. Once he could sniff it and check it out, he got over it.
 

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It's hard to know what scares them (was your husband wearing a hat the pup had never seen before?), but a calm, "oh, isn't this an interesting thing" approach will help the youngster gain confidence. It's very likely an age-related stage, so just continue to expose him to lots of different people and experiences, don't coddle but don't force a confrontation with the scary object, either. Just for your info, it took my Finn one month to get over his terror of the garbage truck!
 

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I had an older GR rescue who was very afraid of the geat big world. In his case, I believe it was from his unknown previous owner. I have always adopted older dogs so I have no puppy experience, but I think the principles will apply.

If you had a ball cap on - okay, but don't take it off. Weren't wearing one- okay, but don't put one on. he was afraid of the camera so no good pics, dry cleaning, overpasses (made for an interesting drive). Just too many things. He got over most of them, so there is hope.

It seems like if you project confidence and lack of fear, he will understand that and take your lead. With time he will grow more confident and view the outside world as a fun place. It might help if you spend some time outdoors with his favorite toy.

LIttle boys piddle when they are unsure and insecure. He shoud grow out of that too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for your replies, I do hope that he will outgrow all of this - as much as I want to take him to a class, my health issues would make it difficult to do. It seems like he has really been afraid of things since this spring, and being outside more, and seeing things like 4 wheelers.. he is afraid of them, so I'm assuming he will also have some fear of the snow plow as well. I just wish I could understand why he is afraid like this, because he didnt have any kind of bad experience, and I have never coddled him. It would be alot easier to deal with if he were smaller, but he is a large golden, I'll bet close to 100 pounds.

Anyway, I am very attached to him, and I just want to see him less afraid of the world. Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated! Thank you again!
 

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Since you have health issues that would prevent taking your pup to a class, do you have someone else in the family, like your husband, or an older child, or even a teenager in the neighborhood, that could take him to class? Reason I ask is that all the behaviors you've mentioned point to a stronger need for socialization.

Being around other dogs, and new, welcoming people, will held build confidence much faster than you could on a one-on-one session with your pup. Also, your pup would be exposed to different sights and sounds, which also would help build confidence.

I agree with everyone who says that at 9 months, you are looking at a fear stage, which all dogs go through in some way or form; and also, like everyone has said, the worse thing you could do to a dog is coddle him or her because then the fear becomes ingrained, rather than overcome.

Even daily walks or games of fetch would be good to build confidence; if your pup is closing in on 100 lbs, well, he's about 25 lbs above the standard for a male--and he's still a pup--9 months old. How tall is he? The standard, the high end, is 24 ", with a one inch deviation. He's growing fast; I'd be worried about his hips, bones and general all-around conditioning. Is he getting daily exercise? That helps build a bond and confidence too.
 

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Timber is kind of afraid of the dark right now.
If he hears someone at the back door, instead of running to see who it is like he does in the daytime, he will peek around the kitchen door.
It's hilarious to watch - this 76 lb dog "sneaking" up to the kitchen, afraid to see who's there :)
 
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