My 4 year old Goldendoodle, Oliver, has episodes of EXTREME fear lately. So much so that he will not go outside- not out the front door or out the back pool cage door. He cowers and reacts to any noise ( like a leaf blowing by) and yanks the leash and runs back to the house. When this happens no amount of coaxing can get him to go outside. 

We just lost his brother to cancer 6 weeks ago. Could this have anything to do with it? He is driving me crazy. When he gets scared and yanks the leash to get back in the house he pulls me off my feet. He actually pulled me down in the driveway and broke my right arm in two places.

HELP! I want my brave boy back.

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  • I'm very sorry for the loss of your other dog. Had Oliver lived with him all of his life? It is possible that the current fear reactions are related to the loss of his brother. Did Oliver ever go outdoors without him, go on walks without him, etc? 

  • I have a 4 -year -old Goldendoodle, and we walk the same trail most days and she is still afraid of everyone we walk past. If she is approached by anyone she growls fiercely. She is afraid of garbage cans, the leaf blower or anything new. Yet she can be very bossy to us! Any suggestions?

    • I think this is a different issue from the OP's, her dog has just started having these fear issues whereas it sounds like your dog's have been ongoing. To me it sounds like she may not have been well socialized as a puppy, but this should probably go in a separate conversation, as we don't want to "hi-jack" Joy's discussion. 

  • Since this is new, I would consult with your vet and have him make sure his reactions are not from a physical cause. Vision comes to mind. And your vet may have some suggestions for you. 

    Maybe take baby steps with him? Just sit nonchalantly with him where something fearful is occuring and let him absorb that nothing bad is happening.  Don't reassure him with baby talk; let him see that you are confident and unafraid.  For example, sit in the door way where he is afraid to go out, and watch whatever there is.  Maybe throw a treat a little way out, and work up to him being brave enough to go get it.  Just an example but be creative.

  • We nearly lost a golden retriever to grief when her Husky friend died at the vet's and I did not have the sense to go get her and let her visit his body.  This behavior could absolutely be from losing her best canine friend.  So it can be just as sad for her as I know it is for you.  I agree with Nancy.  Go slowly - start a completely new routine and pretend she is just adventuring out into the world as a puppy. Guessing it will go much faster than anxious puppy.  Perhaps you know someone with dog to visit with at a neutral park?  We got our retreiver, Sunny, over the hump by accident when a friend with a young (5?) Down's boy visited and played ball with her for over two hours.  Do not know who was happier.  She started eating again and became her old self.  We also adopted a puppy in about 3 months and that was her pride and joy, she had a new friend to raise.  Hugs to all and goood luck.





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