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Scared Border

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by William Haynes, Mar 21, 2021.


  1. William Haynes

    William Haynes PetForums Newbie

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    Hi

    I have a 2 year old female Border who's sociable, friendly, fearless and loves to play - until recently.

    A while ago my partner mentioned passing a Nepalese food store which seemed to scare the dog, she pulled away and would not stay on that side of the street, there was was nothing out of the ordinary to cause her to act this way, I took note of it but thought no more as she was fine thereafter.

    Yesterday I went into a separate Nepalese store without the dog, purchased a few items and went home, upon entering the house my dog literally went ballistic, hackles up, barking frantically, running away from me, whinging, she simply would not calm down.

    My partner mentioned what had happened previously and the only thing we could equate her reaction to was possibly the smell of the incense burning in the shops which is quite heavy.

    I know this sounds stupid but I took all of the items I brought from the shop, put them in a shed, washed my hands, changed my clothes, she calmed down only slightly and was still visibly on edge, almost scared.

    Interestingly, even though the items were put in new bags in the hope of reducing the scent (if that was the cause) and placed out of her sight in the shed she still focused on that, walking around the house restlessly, looking to the area where the shed is.

    Two days later and she is still the same way, which is completely different to her normal character.

    I have had dogs forever, various breeds and dealt with all forms of behaviour but this is my first Border, I am aware they are quite sensitive but this is beyond my experience, has anyone experienced anything like this with this breed or others or have any suggestions/solutions for this problem?
     
  2. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums VIP

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    Not that it makes much difference, but you say she’s a ‘Border’. Terrier? Or Collie?
    Anyway, I think your own answer is probably the best solution. If there’s nothing ‘bad’ (or incomprehensible to her) that’s happened near the Nepalese (and that she therefore associates with the smell), I think your best bet is the most likely - there’s something about the smell she doesn’t like. It could be simply that it’s like nothing she has ever come across, or just that she really doesn’t like it. The only real answer, I’m afraid, would seem to be to steer clear of Nepalese food.
     
    #2 Ian246, Mar 21, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
    Lurcherlad and Rafa like this.
  3. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    I agree with the above.

    Sometimes, we can't fathom why a dog has such a negative reaction to something they see, feel or smell.

    Something is having a profound effect on your bitch about the smell of this food. Get rid of it. Don't expose her to it.

    I have a JR bitch who seriously fears nothing, (and I mean nothing), however, she hates the sound of the church bells ringing. I don't walk her when the bells are ringing.
     
    Lurcherlad and SusieRainbow like this.
  4. William Haynes

    William Haynes PetForums Newbie

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    Hi

    She's a Border Terrier, I'm pretty sure it is the smell that has caused this reaction, this happened at my partners house and so I had hoped that all association with it would be left there once I returned home.

    All clothes had been washed and I actually left the items I brought at the shop with my partner but she is still skittish, it's as if it is an actual physical threat to her.

    She has always been incredibly sensitive but is not a needy dog nor suffers any form(s) of anxiety so to see her this way is concerning considering her personality is quite bullish and meets most situations head on.
     
  5. Beth78

    Beth78 PetForums VIP

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    My late Greyhound had this reaction to my Dads leather jacket, we tried to desensitize her to it with treats and it did get to the point where she could be in the same room as it on the floor, but as soon as it was moved she would freak out like before. It ended up in the loft and I think it's still there as removing the scary item was the only solution.

    My current dog wont go near black bin bags, don't know why, we just buy white bin bags now and she has no reaction to them.

    You might be right about the insence it must be a very offensive smell for a dogs sensitive nose.
     
  6. William Haynes

    William Haynes PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you, I'm pretty certain it was the smells from the shop which have caused her reaction, my concern is that she is still affected by it even though any association to it have been completely removed.
     
    Beth78 likes this.
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