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So I have a Border Collie / Australian Shepherd mix. On Thanksgiving (5 days ago) everything was normal, up until I was sitting in my room, and suddenly my dog (Abby) came running and jumped on my lap on my chair. I didn't think TOO much of it, except for the fact that she just kinda seemed strange, just not herself. It is not unusual for her to jump on my lap or anything of that sort, but... I could just tell something didn't seem right. She didn't appear to be too happy at the thought of leaving the chair.

Moving on, I noticed while we were eating dinner, she was nowhere in sight. Which for her, is also sorta unusual while people are eating. She isn't bad about begging at the table, but... she is normally around.

Again, I didn't think too much of it, just thought she wanted to be alone (she has a tendency to go to a room and lay down by herself a lot).

The next day, I noticed she was still in my room, and couldn't remember if she had left at all during the day/night before. Sure enough, I called her out, and she wouldn't budge. Nothing I could do, would get her to leave the room. So... I picked her up, and brought her outside. She seemed fine while in my room, and seemed just fine while outside. But then, the moment I went to take her back inside, she freaked out and ran back outside... and into our patio, laid on the chair, and wouldn't budge. She stayed there for a couple hours, until I again had to pick her up and bring her inside, where she ran straight to my room and laid down.

Again later, I picked her up and brought her into our living room (which appeared to be the only place she wasn't going willingly). Sure enough, she starts sniffing around the floor very strangely. At one point, sniffing one spot, and actually jumping back as if there was something there she was terrified of. She ran out of the living room, and again back into my room.

This has been going on for 4 days now. She absolutely WILL NOT go into our kitchen, or living room, unless she is picked up, and brought into those rooms.

We could not figure out what could have possibly happened to cause this. So... I started doing some searching on the internet to figure out what could possibly be going on. And sure enough, I start finding threads of some dogs being terrified of the smell of lamb cooking.

Once I saw those threads... I knew right away... Sure enough, on Thanksgiving, my brother had brought over lamb. NOBODY in the house, has EVER had lamb, and NEVER cooked any in the house. Until this Thanksgiving. It is the only thing I can possibly think of, that is causing her to be terrified of those 2 rooms. But now the question is... What can I do?

We have vacuumed, shampoo'd, and tried a deodorizer on the carpet, where she appears to be sniffing the most and running away from. But no improvement. Most threads I have found, people say their dog is over it within a day. This is 5 days now.

Any thoughts on what to do? Or anyone have any information on why this happens to some dogs?
 

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Hello timh2004, sorry to hear about your scared dog. try getting some lamb then cut it in a small piece. Eat the lamb right in front of your dog. Get another piece and let your dog sniff it. Next try to get your dog to eat it. I'm no pro dog trainer but if he sees that you like lamb and it doesn't hurt you he might try it. I really hope this works. If it doesn't, buy Urine Gone at the store and spray it EVERYWHERE. It is suppose to get rid of pee smells so dogs don't go there anymore. Good luck!
 

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With all due respect to pupluv, these sorts of fears dogs get are not usually subject to fixing by using "reason", as in "I like it, you should too!"

I would not push the issue at all, and would certainly not bring more lamb smell into the house. This may just take more time. Don't push her as making her do something that scares her will only make the whole phobia worse.

My advice would be to go about life as normal and not coax or pressure the dog. Give her choices of where to go so she is not forced to go to the locations which currently frighten her.

As the fear starts to abate, you can gradually work on "counter conditioning" her to the spaces she is uneasy with, by feeding treats.

Here is a helpful video.


Again, I'd wait a week at least to let the poor dog's fears calm a bit before working on the training. I've found that you cannot make progress with counter conditioning while the dog is still extremely nervous about something. In fact, you can make the fear worse if you push too soon, too fast.
 

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Thats the weirdest thing Ive ever hear! Kudos to you for finding out the problem. I would have never thougth it could be a smell that scared ur pup! I agree with Tess maybe just let ur pup get over it on her own. But I mean puplover52 doesnt have a bad idea either. I would try and let her get over it first tho.
 
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