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When it comes to people or dogs, Poppy seems fine, happy enough to run over on her own to say hello (although with dogs she doesn't know she is very quick to roll on to her back).

My problem comes with other things, (unfamiliar livestock, traffic cones, watering cans, fishing rods, benches, unattended childless buggy etc) where Poppy's default position is hackles up and full on frantic barking until she realises it's not a threat. :-( It doesn't happen all the time, sometimes she just seems to notice something she hasn't before.

When we went camping, I managed to (probably temporarily) deal with her barking at horses, by coming across a few bomb-proof ponies. We stayed a good distance away at first so we didn't alarm the ponies and over the course of the week moved slightly closer as she stopped barking. Eventually she was touching noses with the ponies through the fence and rolled on her back to them!

The thing I wondered is what's the best thing to do when she's having her nervy barking episode? Today, for example, I walked passed a butchers which had an almost life-sized plastic pig, sheep and turkey outside it doors in the street. Poppy went bonkers (making a few people jump). I took her away (all the while her completely ignoring me and barking her head off) eventually made her sit and waited for her to calm down. She was shaking, so there was definitely an overdose of adrenalin. We didn't go near the plastic animals again as I didn't think it was fair on her or the people around. So I just wondered if anyone else has this problem? I thought I had her reasonably well socialised, but she seems to be frightened by things I hadn't anticipated (or even things that didn't bother her as a pup)
 

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Toby can be slightly nervy with unfamiliar people particularly large loud men. I tend to put myself between him and a potential 'threat' so then he doesn't feel he has to deal with it and relaxes more. I always praise him afterwards when he hasn't reacted.

HTH

Liz & Toby
 

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This scenario reminds me of Ripley. My mum has a ceramic pig in her garden its lifesize and she moved it to a different place in the garden and Ripley was absolutely petrified of it - hackles up, barking, crouching down and going bezerk. I stood back and left him to it. Roxy then went straight over to the pig as if to say duhhh its no threat and Ripley changed, sniffed it then walked off.
My two are the same with things that arent usually there- ie their was a black bin bag on the field, they approached it with caution, barking. Them plastic cones they both hate too but i just try and not make a big deal out of it and ignore the behaviour x
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the comments - maybe Poppy isn't so bonkers after all :wink: I was just a bit concerned today because to passers by the barking might have sounded quite aggressive. Normally these things happen where there are fewer people and I can do my jolly hockey sticks voice, tell her not to be silly and carry on. It's definitely nice to know I'm not alone though - sometimes it seems like Poppy is the only with strange quirks :?
 
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You're definitely not alone :wink: . All of mine have been spooked by something occasionally. I tend to just do the Jolly Hockey Stick thing and take them closer to it/go over to it myself, so they can see it isn't really a monster.

The last time it happened here was after the Big Blow a couple of weeks ago. One of my big plant pots had been blown from it's usual place, to the middle of the garden. Tidge went bonkers at it, charging up to it, slamming on the brakes before she got too close and shouting at it to leave her garden and never return. I stood laughing at her from the doorway and gradually, when it didn't move, she realised it was just a plant pot after all and she came in looking suitably embarrassed :lol: .

One of my Guide Dog pups did much the same thing to me, just before she went into training. As we walked past a shop window, there was a large toy cat which moved, sat there. It frightened the life out of her and she went straight into Defence Mode. I then spent the next 20 mins going up and down, up and down outside the same shop window with her, much to the amusement of all the shoppers, until she stopped shouting obscenities at the cat and realised it was a toy. She wasn't a nervy dog over all and she had been socialised to the hilt from 6 weeks old, it's just that some things surprise and panic them, until they've calmed down enough to stop and think about it.

It's all just part of the learning process 8)
 

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The first time Millie ever saw a balloon was when we tried to walk by a house with a party - they had tied balloons to the gatepost and they spooked her. I had to spend ages stroking the balloon, telling it what a lovely balloon it was, until eventually Mills came to investigate...then I looked up to find a few drunken people from the party watching me :oops: :oops: :oops:
They even made me take the balloon with me :lol: :lol:

Angela
 

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We once had our field mowed for hay. They baled it into rectangular bales and left them to collect. My lot went absolutely mental! :lol:
 

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I find a 'jolly hockysticks, all is fine' attitude helps, along with a little sausage to redirect her thoughts ;)

Tatze is spooked when something unexpected turns up on a walk she knows well. Signs, barriers etc.

'Come on girl, it's fine', bright tones, and I walk close to the fearful object, showing it doesn't bite :)
 

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Avoid big plastic robin in Padstow on holiday Ziggy did a wonderful hound of the Baskervilles bark at it - much to the crowds delight they wanted to video it - but having seen it off he would not oblidge with a repeat performance. (This happens everytime that we go there)
Rach
 

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Discussion Starter #12
blackcrow said:
Avoid big plastic robin in Padstow on holiday Ziggy did a wonderful hound of the Baskervilles bark at it - much to the crowds delight they wanted to video it - but having seen it off he would not oblidge with a repeat performance. (This happens everytime that we go there)
Rach
Thanks for the tip! We often go camping in Cornwall :D
 
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