Would this be something in the genetics? A dog who, even as a puppy has had a strange fear of plants(not every single time, but often; And especially if a little anxious) blowing in the wind, or of the way shadows and lights are casted when going through areas with trees and shrubs and so forth; It just seems like an incredibly strange fear. Especially out of a dog who literally many of the dogs up close in the pedigree are strong working dogs who have competed in the WUSV. From those who know more about genetics and breeding than I do, do you still get dogs who have issues like this even out of very sound parents at times?
I'd be taking the dog in to a veterinary opthamologist to rule out a vision problem.
The interesting thing is, when everything died come winter time, he was normal; Had zero issue when it came to the walks/fears. When late spring hit and all those things were getting in full bloom here, then it set off again. The typical area that we walk is heavily shaded with trees and bushes and so forth come summer time.
I should also mention it's not really a big deal when at the house with anything he is constantly used to being around. I do remember when things started growing up at first again at the house this spring, he acted a little weirded out by it at times; But now, at the house it's not an issue. In that environment though on the walk there is that fear at times however.
I once had a dog that became fearful when strong winds made trees and leaves whip back and forth strongly. He became quite nervous and wanted to go inside again. He would keep walking if we were on walks, but always with a concerned look, and quick looks over his shoulders.
This cropped up when he was about 6 yrs. old after a strong storm we had one day.
He was not a nervous dog generally. He was the life of the party dog...and everyone loved him. Incredible working drive. Would have worked until he fell over dead rather than quit the chase.
Luckily, he was such a ball/frisbee nut, huge prey drive...and I could go out and play with him in all kinds of windy weather, with the ball and games as distraction.
That did help a lot, and after a few months of going out on purpose in the wind...his fear seemed to get better and I almost want to say that it went away completely. Hope that helps.
By chance, did the puppy have an early traumatic experience knocking over a houseplant, a falling tree, branches/leaves from shrubbery being trimmed, flying leaves/branches in a storm, etc.?
I had a GSD that was afraid of trash can lids and wind-blown stuff, especially metal. She would also warn me if there was an actual tornado within a couple of miles of the house. Much better than the weather radio.
Her fear was definitely environmental/experiential. The person I got her from said her first night out in the kennel after being raised in his house, a tornado hit a metal building and a big piece of metal flew through her run, ending up in a ball in the back. She was (physically) unhurt.
In any case, she would work, but was skittish when stuff was flying or around trash can lids, no matter how much we worked on it. Seems I couldn't compete with the memory of the tornado when she was a tender young puppy.
JesseJones, I will say that mine is also extremely high in prey drive too; Even on the 4th when it sounded like world war 3 here he just kept playing with the ball and couldn't care less. I will say that this morning (we just got done) on our walk he wasn't as bad. I noticed a little paranoia at times though; Say, he'd see objects that were not normally there (like a Gatorade bottle beside the pavement; Or a limb with dead leaves at one point beside it), he would act a little paranoid looking over at it in a nervous way; I may stop, or if we walk past it, I may turn around and go back the other way till we pass it, and then go back, and by then it doesn't even exist anymore. But just random things he hasn't seen before. I think we experienced that three times (not bad on a two and a half mile walk); He was occasionally paranoid on the walk in general, but not like the last couple of times. I also changed up things a little bit. Normally we just go for the walk and while a structured walk is always expected, this time I would also do a lot of motivating/engaging things with him on the road, with all those trees and shrubs around us and he was super enthusiastic to do them (treat or no treat), do the various commands he knows, etc. Occasionally he would carry a stick around too (I know not to let him eat them; And I also know, that sounds so ironic).
GSCat, I am wondering this myself to be honest. I remember when I went to pick him out as a puppy; I did make my selection at 6 weeks, bear in mind; I do not know if anything had happened between the 6-9th week when I finally picked him up. I will state they lived in an area that, if I was a dog with fearfulness of things like this, that place would be the place to cause it. Trees, bushes, and plants galore. Literally all over the place, very country place. So it is absolutely possible, I would say maybe even probable. If we brought, say, a bite tug for example, this dog would work through just about any place and any situation; And then after something like that, he's always chill no matter what he's around. It makes me wonder, should I just start with something like that in these type environments? And then just press on from there with the walk and so forth?
Gsdguy, this sounds almost exactly like the " issues" you had with a dog years ago, I think he was Mambo/ Fatima zps son. Same description of ' fears'. You sold the dog from years ago to someone to be a stud dog. Is this, perhaps, a son from that other dog with environmental issues?
Because these things are usually genetic in nature. ( If he's not related, perhaps it's something you are doing without realizing it. Go with a Mali and see if you have better luck with environmental soundness...a good one is hard to corrupt, even inadvertently)
I always tell people when selecting two dogs for breeding; if there's anything you can't stand or tolerate about a dog, don't breed to it, because behaviors are passed on....diggers will produce diggers, garbage gut will produce garbage gut ( dogs that eat stuff that isn't food like rocks and sticks and cloth), etc.
Completely different lines this time, but it does remind me of that, however in a much smaller manner. I mean this is extremely far away from that level if that makes sense. My female I have here has no issue with anything like that. She's just a sweet, happy go lucky dog, good prey drive and loves to work. She's a little over two, mostly DDR and a little Czech lines. Something with the male I have here makes me wonder … While there are numerous highly titled working dogs in his pedigree close up … His sire is not titled, that really makes me wonder about things(There are certain reasons I state "that makes me wonder about things").
I missed part of your message there joanro; Honestly, those few fears were there when I got him. I chalked it up to "maybe it's a fear stage." Later when all plant life died in the winter, no issue. Now it's back, and he's got issues. But again, this is literally, absolutely nothing of the level or degree of that other dog. I would put that other dog on a level 9-10; This one on maybe a 2-3 in comparison. I had never seen fears so odd and high in a dog before that other one; And that other one also had them from the get go.
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