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How to deal with a phobia
  • Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 10:44:05
  • I wonder if there is something about the smell of the sheepskin that triggers his fear response, not just the sight of it. Maybe if they didn't smell so much like sheepskin, he wouldn't have such a reaction.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
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  • sunyatasunyata
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    Post edited by INU RYUU at 2012-04-09 14:35:25
  • NekopanNekopan
    Posts: 403
    I would do desensitization/counter conditioning. Does he know "Look at that"? If not you could just bring it out and take him far enough away that it's not so scary. Give him lots of yummy treats, and when he's comfortable with being in the same room with it, move him closer. Slowly decrease the distance, and when he's right next to it, do some touch exercises or put the treats right on the sheepskin.

    This has worked well with my dog, who is afraid of everything "weird", including the vacuum cleaner, outside garbage bins, and balloons.
  • Post edited by shibamistress at 2012-04-10 12:57:52
  • lindsaytlindsayt
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  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    Keep in mind paired events (bath, sheepskin with revived scent from washing) and/with environment (evil room) + and or with particular event such as sound makes aversion response stronger. Works in reverse too for good things.

    Peeing is not uncommon if there is stress or overworking of the jacobson organ which picks up pheromones such as alarm signals and chemicals. You might try adding lots of dried herbs to the room....lavender, cat nip or other such items to over ride the memory center of the brain that has picked up the sheep skin smell. This might help so he doesn't feel a need to mark over the scents himself.

    There could very well be something on the skin or way it was processed that is a red alert scent wise that something is/was "wrong" according to the way toby views it. Washing often revives the lanolin so it's not a surprise about the pelt itself and or the binding of soap to lanolin can make for a funky reaction in dogs.

    In hindsight, if he liked his sheep "blankie" the way it was it would have been better not to wash it. I know this isn't much help : /

    The only other thing I can think of is have a urine sample taken to make sure there isn't a mild UT infection. If he has allergies that can act up during a high pollen burst due to the immuno system overworking.


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