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Hello, I have a 16 week lab/pit mix puppy and he is such a sweet dog. He just loves to play and love on us all day long. He is a house dog and normally, he eats his food in our back hallway/mud room. However, a few weeks ago, While he was eating (and possibly exploring) a folding chair fell and literally (and figuratively) scared the crap out of him. Now he is afraid to stay in that area and refuses to eat his food in that area. I assume that it has a lot to do with that incident. Does anyone have any advice or tips that may help him get over this fear and get back to his regular eating routine? Thanks
 

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Read this web page and ask yourself if this sounds like your dog.

https://pets.webmd.com/dogs-emotional-problems#1

In my experience when something happens like this, it's our initial reaction that makes things worse and our continuing attention/affection giving with bad timing that keeps them anxious. The dog can definitely be desensitized to the chair/area if it's problem.

You might also make good progress by simply ignoring him when he ventures into that area of the house. If you get all hyper and alert when he goes in there then the dog will pick up on that like a huge radar and think, "WHAT'S WRONG... SOMETHING IS WRONG" and get all anxious about it too.

In reality a bit of both may be necessary if the behaviour is fairly anchored but a trainer can show you how to help your dog get over it.

For the short term, put his bowl outside of the dog's emotional "hot zone" and move it a few cm closer to where to want to have it every day. If you reach a point where he won't go to his bowl to eat then back it up a bit and repeat the last few steps. Be VERY patient. This should return him to a normal eating schedule.
 
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