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From: Miranda (
Subject:         Another frightened neurotic dog
Date: July 23, 2008 at 4:27 pm PST


I know there have been similar topics... but my dog can't go to obedience classes nor can a trainer come to us.

My female, desexed, pug x mini shnauzer is 4 years old. I've had her since she was a puppy. She had a very traumatic experience when whe was almost three months old and has never been the same since.

She is frightened of all people, except my partner and a few close friends, whom she adores. She's not interested in food, pats, or sweet talking when she's frightened... she runs and hides and is still shaken up a few days later - just from seeing the mailman! I walk her sometimes, but it's too traumatic for her. I can't take her to obedience classes because she learns nothing in that terrified state and is not interested in any reward of any kind. A trainer came to our house once and Stella wet herself in utter terror (when I finally got her from under the bed)as the trainer tried to give her a snack (whilst not looking at her and in a quiet room with just me, Stella and the trainer) - she was traumatised for days and actually got worse from the experience.

I'm okay with all this (although it must be awful for Stella)... but when she's outside in the yard she barks hysterically at people, the wind, any noise of any kind, and it's very, very annoying. I've tried all methods to stop her - I know she's barking from fear and perhaps trying to protect us from the big bad world. I would keep her inside but we have another extremely outgoing dog (female 1.5 years) who loves being outside so the doggie door needs to stay open.

Stella's not the smartest of dogs... in fact she is very 'simple'. She catches on to routines eventually and likes them... but doesn't respond to simple training (she is house-trained, thankfully).

I'm thinking of trying a citronella collar or medicating her... but not sure which is best for her.

Any advice would be helpful.

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