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Marshall is seriously terrified of barking dogs. He hears a bark and he drags me home :( So today we went for a walk and to park across the road from the house (not directly but a house next to us is directly in front of a 40mph road). We were walking and stupid me decided we should play fetch. The park is not entirely fenced, there is a couple entrances without a gate. I nearly had a heart attack and it was entirely my fault. It was very early in the morning, we just got 2 inches of snow from last night. We started playing fetch (we were in the middle of the field). A dog barks from someones house at the other end of the park. Puppy freaks out and started running back home!!!!! Towards the road!!!! I tried to step on the leash (he was in the process of running towards me with the stick in his mouth and I was just about to make him sit and give him a treat!). Missed the leash and went running after him. He is now about 20 ft from the road and I was about 5 ft behind him. I called/screamed his name and waved the bag of treats in the air! He stopped and looked at me and I threw the treats on the ground and showed him a HANDFUL of treats! (Thank god there was a full bag and he looked at me and the other dog stopped barking). He ran towards me and gave me kisses! I am still a little shaken by this knowing fully that my stupidity almost killed him :(((

So my question is, will he ever outgrow this other dog barking fear? I know his recall is not great yet, but do you think this fear will always be a distraction? I know I will never ever take chances again.
 

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Oh my gosh my heart started racing while reading this!!!!! I can only imagine how shaken you are! What a good dog for stopping like that tho... Phew... I think the only thing you can do is desensitize him... Did something happen to make him fearful of barking dogs?
 

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He goes to daycare 2-3 times a week. When we are outside the daycare door we can hear dogs barking and he seems to be very excited about that. It is just when we are walking and when other dogs bark at him or if we hear dogs barking from someone's backyard or inside the house that scares him. Other non barking dogs he absolutely wants to play with. There are far fewer dogs that bark at him so this does not happen very often. Though we have a few neighbors who leave their dogs in the yard or have all day access to their yards and they bark every single time we walk by. Out of so many dogs we meet on our walks I have only seen him bark at one and it was a tiny 5 lb dog who wandered unleashed near us.
 

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Oh and to add I have no idea where the fear started from. Our neighbor 3 houses down got a dog a few weeks after we did. He barks at everything and it's almost like he senses us walk by and he barks and or he sees us by the window and barks. This was the first time I noticed him being scared of the barking. After that he is just scared of hearing other dogs bark, except the day care dogs. Maybe something happened at daycare? He always seems to fun there, there are a couple puppies he is best buddies and wrestle with all day.
 

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Is there any way you can introduce your pup to the neighbor down the street's dog? (in a calm setting of course, otherwise it would be counterproductive) and when he does react to a dog barking do your best to ignore it... If you try to comfort him etc he will see it as you agreeing with his perception of the situation as if saying "yes, you should be nervous right now".. It's something that will take time and patience to "cure"... I really hope you do tho :) Nobody wants their dog to have anxiety
 

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When Bayne was a puppy and we started our walks, there was a house with an invisible fence and 2 dogs, one large black dog and another small dog. They would run to the border of the yard barking, the first time this happened Bayne of course was scared and started to run the other way. I didn't allow him to run but stayed put he finally sat down and I let him look at the dogs for a couple of minutes and then walked the other way away from the dogs. Each day as we approached that house Bayne would be hesitant and I would just allow him to take it in. Let him size up the situation with the barking dogs and then just turn around and walk the other way. Finally, the day came when we just kept on walking by and Bayne just glanced over at the dogs and didn't hesitate whatsoever. The key is not to show your own hesitancy and let the puppy decide what he can handle. It takes lots of patience from our part.
 

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When Bayne was a puppy and we started our walks, there was a house with an invisible fence and 2 dogs, one large black dog and another small dog. They would run to the border of the yard barking, the first time this happened Bayne of course was scared and started to run the other way. I didn't allow him to run but stayed put he finally sat down and I let him look at the dogs for a couple of minutes and then walked the other way away from the dogs. Each day as we approached that house Bayne would be hesitant and I would just allow him to take it in. Let him size up the situation with the barking dogs and then just turn around and walk the other way. Finally, the day came when we just kept on walking by and Bayne just glanced over at the dogs and didn't hesitate whatsoever. The key is not to show your own hesitancy and let the puppy decide what he can handle. It takes lots of patience from our part.
YES! well done :) If you retreat from what scares your dog you are admitting that they should be fearful... You also don't want to shove it down their throat tho... Makes me smile to hear good training techniques :)
 

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Great advise! I will try this. I feel bad for him so I normally take him home. I had no idea this was making it worse. I will try him getting "used" to the barking. I don't know why but I sometimes I worry about the dogs in their barely 5 ft fence. I feel like even my 4 month old golden can jump that high. So this is weird that I am a little terrified of some of the bigger dogs that bark at us!! Should I be? I have this irrational fear that if we keep standing outside they can get up the fence and attack us? The poor anxious pup and her crazy mom :(
 

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Well, you never want to put you or your dog in danger, but at the same time your tension, fear and anxiety are traveling right down that leash and into your pup... Maybe take some walks by yourself and acclimate yourself to that house so you feel comfortable and then try it with your pup :)
 

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I think he will get used to other dogs barking as he gets older, especially if he is also being introduced to as many friendly dogs as you can find. I think it is best not to avoid situations where there are barking dogs and other things which spook them as puppies. We often go past one house where they have a dog who barks a lot out in the garden and Bonnie was very nervous at first and reluctant going past for a while. I think she would have bolted, given the chance, the first few times but now she just ignores it.
It was the same with heavy traffic and lorries on the roads at first, but gradually she learned to ignore them. There was even an old dead oak tree, which looked like an old man with its arms outstretched. She hated it and was frightened to go past. I spent about half an hour just watching it with her and walking her up and down past it. She soon forgot about it and ignored it.
 
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