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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As you all know Loki has some quirks. At home he’s confident and playful. He loves the secure field and his body language suggests he’s relaxed. He has no separation anxiety and I can leave him no issues.

I’ve noticed on our walks he Is getting more anxious. He’s decided he now gets worried when birds are squawking or deer barking. We’ve had to cut walks short this week as he looks so worried keeps sitting, turning back.

He’s better on new walks as he’s sniffing so when we move he will probably be happier until the walks become familiar.

I do mix it up we have a choice of walks.

I take treats and toys. He can be briefly distracted. He’s better when we are running but I’m injured at the moment.

I should add I’m not anxious walking him we go early and have the place to ourselves. We avoid dog triggers well.

Do I try a calming collar ? Weighted rucksack?

We always play in the garden after morning walk and he immediately perks up. He’s on such high alert on walks.
 

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Look into my eyes....
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That’s interesting. One of my goldens was a nervous dog, looking back she was probably my anxious then I realised. She was noise phobic and it didn’t take her long to try and put two and two together. She noticed that heavy rain sometimes met thunderstorms, so if she heard a downpour she assumed a thunderstorm would happen and behaved accordingly. She also was anxious on some walks due to hearing something that scared her. To be honest it was something of a relief when she went deaf
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That’s interesting. One of my goldens was a nervous dog, looking back she was probably my anxious then I realised. She was noise phobic and it didn’t take her long to try and put two and two together. She noticed that heavy rain sometimes met thunderstorms, so if she heard a downpour she assumed a thunderstorm would happen and behaved accordingly. She also was anxious on some walks due to hearing something that scared her. To be honest it was something of a relief when she went deaf
I looked at him the other day and thought the same he seems more anxious than I realise. His brother and sister seem quite calm. I’m always tempted to blame me but I am pretty relaxed walking him. He will be the one unsettled by the move Sox just goes with life.
 

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I looked at him the other day and thought the same he seems more anxious than I realise. His brother and sister seem quite calm. I’m always tempted to blame me but I am pretty relaxed walking him. He will be the one unsettled by the move Sox just goes with life.
I didn’t know any of her siblings so nothing to compare. She was very friendly, no issues there, but nervy about all sorts of weird things.
When I first bought her home I realised she was unlikely to have been in a house and heard house things as she was so scared of absolutely everything. She hid in a corner and wouldn’t come out. Once settled in the house she then didn’t want to go outside, every little noise would send her running back indoors again. When she was able to go for walks she was scared silly and had to be persuaded to do every step. The next day she would be happy as Larry until she got to the spot where she stopped and went home the previous day. Immediately her whole demeanour changed and became frightened once more. The same thing would happen the next day and the next after that. Gradually she was able to do a whole walk once she had done it all before. Anywhere new however and we would go through the whole scenario again until she got to know that walk. It was incredible how she knew exactly how far she had gone the previous day and was happy til then.
She calmed down a lot when we got the second dog when she was 15 months as she let her take the lead over everything (except food).
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn’t know any of her siblings so nothing to compare. She was very friendly, no issues there, but nervy about all sorts of weird things.
When I first bought her home I realised she was unlikely to have been in a house and heard house things as she was so scared of absolutely everything. She hid in a corner and wouldn’t come out. Once settled in the house she then didn’t want to go outside, every little noise would send her running back indoors again. When she was able to go for walks she was scared silly and had to be persuaded to do every step. The next day she would be happy as Larry until she got to the spot where she stopped and went home the previous day. Immediately her whole demeanour changed and became frightened once more. The same thing would happen the next day and the next after that. Gradually she was able to do a whole walk once she had done it all before. Anywhere new however and we would go through the whole scenario again until she got to know that walk. It was incredible how she knew exactly how far she had gone the previous day and was happy til then.
She calmed down a lot when we got the second dog when she was 15 months as she let her take the lead over everything (except food).
If I could walk him with Sox he’d probably be better but even when my sister is here he can be nervy. He’s fine in the house but gets really upset by alarms and is scared of the oven.
 

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Has he ever tried anti anxiety medication? I know not everyone wants to go down that route, but it might just take the edge off for him if he is becoming anxious about things that you can't avoid, like bird noises, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Has he ever tried anti anxiety medication? I know not everyone wants to go down that route, but it might just take the edge off for him if he is becoming anxious about things that you can't avoid, like bird noises, etc.
No but it is something I’ve thought about I just wouldn’t want to change his little personality.
 

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Due to her poor eyesight, Georgina spent the first year of her life in a state of acute anxiety - I exaggerate not! She was so bad that an owl hooting in the middle of the night would wake her and send her into a panic. I couldn't take her for a walk because the slightest noise would cause her to bolt so any training we did was in the garden and house.

I found a snug fitting thundershirt helped, although in the present weather one would be very hot. I also gave her either the Dorwest Valerian and Skullcap tablets or when she was going to the vet which she hated, the stronger Dorwest Valerian Compound. Neither of them changed her personality, they just took the edge off her anxiety.

The other things that I found helped her was (wherever possible) to point out and show her whatever it was that was upsetting her. We overcame her fear of the ping of the microwave and the squeak of the washing machine by standing in front of the and verbally reassuring her, giving her a cuddle and high value treats.

Bird and other noises we gradually overcame by, would you believe it, singing nursery rhymes to her and holding her close to my side. I lost count of the hundreds of times I sang Georgy Porgy and Rock a by Baby to her. Sounds silly but it's amazing how much reassurance physical touch and tone of voice can make.

Fortunately once her eyesight was restored to normal all her anxiety disappeared, except for visits to the vets where she go into immediate meltdown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Due to her poor eyesight, Georgina spent the first year of her life in a state of acute anxiety - I exaggerate not! She was so bad that an owl hooting in the middle of the night would wake her and send her into a panic. I couldn't take her for a walk because the slightest noise would cause her to bolt so any training we did was in the garden and house.

I found a snug fitting thundershirt helped, although in the present weather one would be very hot. I also gave her either the Dorwest Valerian and Skullcap tablets or when she was going to the vet which she hated, the stronger Dorwest Valerian Compound. Neither of them changed her personality, they just took the edge off her anxiety.

The other things that I found helped her was (wherever possible) to point out and show her whatever it was that was upsetting her. We overcame her fear of the ping of the microwave and the squeak of the washing machine by standing in front of the and verbally reassuring her, giving her a cuddle and high value treats.

Bird and other noises we gradually overcame by, would you believe it, singing nursery rhymes to her and holding her close to my side. I lost count of the hundreds of times I sang Georgy Porgy and Rock a by Baby to her. Sounds silly but it's amazing how much reassurance physical touch and tone of voice can make.

Fortunately once her eyesight was restored to normal all her anxiety disappeared, except for visits to the vets where she go into immediate meltdown.
I do sing to him it does help. He loves the vets no issues there it’s just walks he looks so worried sometimes. If I keep it shorter he’s better. He likes sniffing around the cricket pitch. We found a lady sleeping there a few days ago and they scared each other.
 

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I do sing to him it does help. He loves the vets no issues there it’s just walks he looks so worried sometimes. If I keep it shorter he’s better. He likes sniffing around the cricket pitch. We found a lady sleeping there a few days ago and they scared each other.
Gwylim can sometimes get quite fearful on walks and I have to "jolly him along", which usually means quickening our speed and generally being silly with him by singing "we're off to see the wizard" or telling him we're going to march ..."one two, one two"
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gwylim can sometimes get quite fearful on walks and I have to "jolly him along", which usually means quickening our speed and generally being silly with him by singing "we're off to see the wizard" or telling him we're going to march ..."one two, one two"
Ha ha I sing ‘I am walking with Loki’ to the tune of Walking in Memphis. I just want him to enjoy himself more. Sox is so confident he struts down the road like he owns it.
 

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Never used a weighted rucksack or thundershirt, but was going to say about them being quite warm and that possibly contributing to feelings of anxiousness.

This is probably a really stupid question - what would he be like being walked in a more noisy area?

I ask because with Finn, he's less likely to react when there's a constant background hum. A sudden noise in a quiet area freaks him out.

Not sure what else to suggest. Sorry to hear it though, it can't be nice for either of you. Hope you recover from your injury soon
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Never used a weighted rucksack or thundershirt, but was going to say about them being quite warm and that possibly contributing to feelings of anxiousness.

This is probably a really stupid question - what would he be like being walked in a more noisy area?

I ask because with Finn, he's less likely to react when there's a constant background hum. A sudden noise in a quiet area freaks him out.

Not sure what else to suggest. Sorry to hear it though, it can't be nice for either of you. Hope you recover from your injury soon
I don’t really walk him in busy areas because of where we live he would probably be full of sniffs. When we have been-on holiday in busier areas sometimes he’s ok but does have a tendency to trigger stack.
 

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I think the more you can walk him with Sox the better, dogs really do feed off each other and Sox's calm presence should really help him.
Can trust Sox enough that if Loki kicks off you can temporarily drop Sox's leash and deal with Loki?
I've done that with numerous dogs over the years. I used to drop the older, seasoned dog's leash, use voice cues, and put my full attention on the idiot youngster.

Also don't discount your emotions either. You're good on walks but you've had a stressful few weeks with the house. Loki is bound to pick up on that and sometimes that stress pops out in other seemingly unrelated areas. Just like with us. For example if I'm stressed about work I might not lose it at work, I come home and lose it over something banal like dropping a dish and breaking it.

That's not to say you're to blame at all, you're allowed to have emotions! Just something to bear in mind if you have a very sensitive soul like Loki. Know that when there is upheaval he'll probably be weirder on walks and/or get an upset tummy.
 

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A bit out of the box, but would he go for a walk with somebody else?

I only ask because sometimes it’s an insight into whether you are (inadvertently) feeding into the anxiety.

Another thought is..I know you do, and have done, loads of work with Loki, but in these situations is it the right thing for him to be making the choices? Sometimes a better approach is just ‘stop being an @rse and let’s get on and get over it cos I say it’s ok’. Only you will know if that would work or not.

Probably if it was my dog I would be upping the training, and working on a moving forward command; sometimes dogs who are anxious or unsure how to behave in certain circumstances need a really strong leader to absolve them of responsibility.

Im in no way suggesting that you haven’t done so much, and come so far, with Loki. Just my thoughts.

cross posted
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks both I will reply properly tomorrow when I have had some sleep. @Linda Weasel
He’s pretty solid on 1,2,3 let’s go and I can get him around a walk I’m just aware he’s not enjoying it as much as he should. @O2.0 hes been like this a while so I’m not sure it’s the house move. It doesn’t make a great deal of difference when my sister walks him.

Can sox be sensible ? Um um ummm he seems to be getting more ridiculous as time goes on. Maybe I should try.
 

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If you stop and turn back does that reinforce him thinking that something is scary? I know ‘distance is your friend’ in most cases and there’s a very fine line there. Would a jolly hockey sticks approach work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you stop and turn back does that reinforce him thinking that something is scary? I know ‘distance is your friend’ in most cases and there’s a very fine line there. Would a jolly hockey sticks approach work?
Yes if we turn back he will hurry. There is a field with cows if they are to close he just won’t go past so I let him turn back.Jolly hockey sticks ?

Just taken him up the road for a wee here and he was full steam ahead. He is always more excited by a new walk.
 

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Yes if we turn back he will hurry. There is a field with cows if they are to close he just won’t go past so I let him turn back.Jolly hockey sticks ?

Just taken him up the road for a wee here and he was full steam ahead. He is always more excited by a new walk.
You could try Green Pantry 'calm and relax'. It's not expensive and I've had Shimmer on it for about 6 months now and it's definitely helped. She doesn't get anything like as stressed around other dogs or queuing at agility shows.
 

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No but it is something I’ve thought about I just wouldn’t want to change his little personality.
A low dose of something wouldnt change his personality. Might just take the edge off his anxiety so he could enjoy himself more. I think its worth a discussion with the vet. And it's not permanent, so if you find it doesn't work or you don't like it, you don't have to continue forever.

I'm aware he is a dog and I am a human, but I have anxiety and medication does help. The anxiety is still there, but helps it become manageable and you can face the situations that before you couldn't. So when people are suggesting getting him to carry on, etc. that's really tough if you are super anxious, but with something to help his anxieties, it might become something he can do. Does that make sense...?!
 
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