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I have had this puppy for 2 months now, so she must be close to 6 months old now. She is very anxious and fearful of most anything new or unknown to her: men, women, kids, dogs, a gallon of water sitting on the floor, clapping sounds, name it! I have been told that she had hardly seen any humans in the fist months of her life, and that is probably the reason for this.
She is the sweetest dog I have known, really cuddly and all with us, but that anxiety thing is really a major bummer. Any advice other than medication? Any good book on that subject? Thanks in advance!
 

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We had a dog like that for 15 years. A lovely dog deep down but scared of so manybthings, which turned into fear aggression at times. We hired a behaviorist which helped a bit but it never went away. We did a lot of management to be honest, gates, putting him away during parties, using a Gentle Leader on walks. Looking back, I think it was mostly his poor early socialization (came from a puppy mill :( Where did you get her and where was she before you? Might be some answers there
I would ask your vet for either a recommendation for a behaviorist to help you and/or meds. I kind of regret not using meds, but we got into a groove of managing his issues.
 

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This may be a good website to begin with:
Care for Reactive Dogs

There are a lot of books out there regarding fearful dogs. Debbie Jacobs, Grisha Stewart, Patricia McConnell all have good ones, just to name a few. Do a quick google search and you'll find hundreds!

I would encourage you to keep an open mind about medication, though. My reactive dog is on meds and, while we still have a ways to go, he has been helped considerably by them. Some dogs are just anxious and need a little extra help, it's nothing to be worried over.
 

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The first months of a puppy's life she needs to meet so much as possible since this is the time in her life when she's not afraid and embraces everything. It goes back to their wild life, the first months the puppies were safe enough because they were close to the den and their mom was watching them, keeping them safe.

It does not mean that it's too late now - only that it's harder and take some work. I've had dogs for all my life and we once adopted a young scared dog. To help him handle this, I took him walking in many different places, so he would see many different things. When he started to avoid something, I walked away from what scared him, talking to him, calming him and when he become a bit calmer, I would praise him and give him a treat and slowly go as near as I could without him getting scared.

It came to a point when other dogs (which scared him a lot in the beginning) made him anticipating a treat and as he focused on this, he forgot his anxiety and ended up accepting other dogs.

It did not go this well with everything, but it helped a lot. But it also took a lot of work, but he was worth it :)

I hope you find a way with you young dog!
 
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