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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I'm new to this forum and hope someone can help me.

I have traumatized my own dog. Unwittingly of course.

I have a 13 y/o husky that is still a goofy and energetic boy. But, he is scared of the attic fan. This past week, the temps got quite warm (80 degrees), but the nights were so cool. Perfect weather for the attic fan to quickly cool down the house and circulate some fresh air.

I had NO IDEA just how terrified my husky was of the attic fan.

I opened a few windows and cut on the fan. He ran downstairs and I heard him bark. I STUPIDLY thought that he would see that the noise was nothing to be afraid of, so I didn't let him out right away. Well, when I went downstairs, he had peed near the back door and wanted out. I let him out and later brought him back in the house and into my bedroom where the noise of the fan was barely audible (downstairs master). I only ran the fan for maybe an hour.

Well, now my dog is afraid of my HOUSE.

I have NOT cut the attic fan on again since he is soooooo terrified of it, but he goes out in the morning and won't even come in for meals. I literally had to encourage him with a treat to come near the back door yesterday to get him to come in for even one meal. Once I got him in the house, I basically can't let him out again or he will not come back in.

It has been nearly a week, and his fear is getting worse, not better.

I know I have to somehow teach him that the house is safe and create new, positive experiences in the house. BUT, how do you teach a dog not to fear the entire HOUSE?????

I'm really heartbroken that I traumatized the sweetest dog I've ever had. I want to fix this, but I live alone and the only thing I can think of is to put him on a leash, and gradually move him closer to the house with something yummy as a treat. Once he gets into the house, he's OK going into my bedroom, but will NOT come back upstairs.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am heartbroken that I've done this to my own dog.:(
 

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I am very interested in an answer to your question two huskies. We've had a rescue dog for four year. They thought she was one at the time. She was afraid of doors and loud noises but not thunder. She is lap dog size but we have just recently gotten her to sit in our laps and even enjoy it. Although we smother her with love she is very stand off-ish and her fear of things has grown. Some of the things are the TV remote, paper, my purse, the garden hose and the last two days the leash she goes for a walk with. She always carried the leash in her mouth in anticipation of the walk. It sounds like we're terrible owners but we love her very much and have tried to be sensitive. I'd love to know what's wrong or what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply, ttdish. I'm sorry for the fear you're experiencing with your dog as well. One thing I've read is that if we try to comfort them DURING their fear response, it only reinforces it. Perhaps you can try some positive reward training with your dog trying to de-sensitize her to the things she fears.

Well, it seems that I have done one thing that has improved his overall fear of THE HOUSE. I had kept one window open (in my upstairs office) and I shut that today. He will now come willingly into the house, but still won't come upstairs.
I'm going to try working with him with tiny bits of hotdogs as rewards for coming near the steps. Then, try to get him to the landing; then up a stair or two, and so on, until he will finally come back upstairs again.

I do NOT know how he could tell that window was open because it is not visible from the backyard. BUT, he bounded into the house about 45 minutes after I shut that window, and has shown zero fear about coming back into the house. He's not willing to come upstairs, tho.

I'm sure he associates open windows with that evil attic fan, as I opened a few windows right before I cut on the fan. Guess I won't be opening any more windows.
 
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