Panic Attack Question


If we unavoidably & unexpectedly fine ourselves in an extremely noisy crowded place and Willow goes into a full flipped-out-panic as happened yesterday, should I pick her up and carry her out or force/drag her through to the other side?


 If there was on other option what would you do.

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  • Hi, Patti... I would like to suggest a wonderful book to you.... " Control Unleashed "  - Author's website ---- -- book itself. Whole book is about reactive dogs and how we can teach them to relax and feel secure in the environment that makes them nervous.... Wonderful author..... I read it over and over, little sections at time before bed.

    My Charlie is a nervous and fearful dog. She is hard wired that way...... Just like people, they have different temperment. But, I feel it is very important that I teach her to be more relaxed and feel secure.....We did many many levels of obedience, and it is truly helpful. However, this book is gear toward to the reactive dogs, and not just an obidience book. You may find it to be helpful.

    Leslie McDevitt: Control Unleashed®: Home Page
    Leslie McDevitt, author of
    • Thank you so much, I will look at the book.
    • Thank you for posting this, Kyoko.  I have been having such trouble getting out and continuing training due to my own personal health circumstances.  I have just ordered this book in hopes of being able to help me to help my Melody!  Having Morgan certainly helps bring her out.  I am looking for things I can do from my own home.  Perfect timing for this recommendation.  I hope Charlie is doing better....!?  :0)
    • Thank you for asking.... This author has a Yahoo group, as well.

      Also the following website is interesting, too....

      I like the BAT - Behavior Adjustment Training - It seems logical. Charlie and I left the old dog school for various reasons, and taking a break for a little bit from Rally classes ans Agility. I am trying to concentrate on her confidence, since the school was more focused on competitions and Rally skills and did not rreally work on her behaviors. We are now back on 4 miles walk and going to the school bus stop in AM. We got the ususal group of 4th grader girls who is interested in hearing about how we are working on her fear issues. Girls stood about 1 1/2 ft away from Charlie this morning, which was great!! ( They were told just stand there and ignore her....)

  • You have all been so very wonderful in helping me sort this out. Thank you friends.


  • When Gracie was less than a year old we went to a dog event at a large public park.  She was fine until the live band started.  Then she was terrified.  I walked to the opposite end of the park and sat on a curb with her away from the crowds.  I just acted normal and let her calm herself.  Luckily we had the luxury of finding this secluded spot.  I tried to speak normally to her but not really touch her.  We sat quite awhile.  Eventuially we walked back into the crowds and she was ok although I stayed far away from the stage as possible.

    Gracie is still leary of sounds sometimes.  Firecrackers send her into true panic, shaking, heart beating wildly, etc.  Just last week a home near our favorite dogpark was replacing a fence.  It scared her although not to the full firecracker level of fear, The nailgun sounded a little like firecrackers.  I did the same thing.  I let her hide under the bench we were sitting on and calm herself.  The next day when we visited she was able to listen to the nailgun, then decide it was not really fearsome as it had been.


    So all in all it is just perserverance, keep going, don't let her feel your fear for her and keep  exposing her.  I don't think Gracie will ever be able to ignore firecrackers, but she is adjustiong to other uncomfortable noises.

  • Patti, you did the best you could at the time and got Willow out of the situation as fast as you could. Now that you know there is an issue you can start some training to help her learn to deal with these types of situations. Quincy used to get a little anxious when he was a puppy and he was surrounded by his "fans", he wouldn't get over excited, he would just back away from the situation. He once backed right out of his collar luckily there was a park bench nearby and we gave the "up" command and he jumped right up on the bench and stayed there. He was only a few months old at that time. Now that he is older we can pretty much take him anywhere and he doesn't react. We kept exposing him to lots of situations and never made a big deal of anything. Don't avoid taking her places or she will hold on to that behaviour. Having a command that you can use is key, maybe make it a command that you only use in certain situations and practice it until you have absolute faith that she will obey. For example, Quincy thinks that sometimes "come" is negotiable while "here" is not and he will always obey this command. The funny thing is we discovered this by accident and didn't actually teach him. High value treats and lots of practice. Quincy loves Craisins and will pretty much do anything to get some.
    • Willow pulled out of her collar and ran into a parking lot. I stayed clam while my heart was jumping out of me chest and call her name.  THANK GOD she came right back to me.  She wears a halter now.

      She loves treats, however when stressed she pays no attention to them.


      We are not going to give up on our little girl, someday, someway she will be just fine.

    • Oh Patti, Willow is so lucky to have you as her mama.  You do have alot of friends and allies here with so much experience. 

      Molly scared me the other day when she got excited & got away from us.  Unlike Willow she did not come right back when called so now I am freaked out about taking her out of the house.

      I think she senses my fears now so it makes it all worse.


    • You've got to get a halter on Molly. Just start off around the house with the halter really loose.
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