Someone e-mailed me with a problem they're having with their dog, and I thought I'd post it here and see what you all could offer. I told the person I would be doing this and they are okay with it. The dog is strictly a pet.
I have a 6 year old Dobe with hypothyroidism. he is on tablets and his levels are stable. He is on a dry mix diet(autaki summer years) he eats the mix with water measured to the right amount split between x3 a day. He is never on his own during the day as goes to work with my boyfriend. My boyfriend has had him from 7weeks old i think but i met him at 6months old. He has regular walks but we cannot let him off the lead due to his increasing fears and anxiety (he bolts when scared). He walks on an extender lead of 5 meters due to bolting when he saw a windsurfer on the beach and nearly got run over. Recently he has been pulling when I cough! Unusual, I know. He is a loving dog with lovely manner but he is also scared of every thing from buses,the sea, boats, windsurfers,mini trains (just the noise sets him off), thunder, fireworks, flags etc. He is great with other dogs and children but some other dogs don't like him. We have tried many ways to calm him but he is fighting them and finds something else to be scared of. Can you help? He is so calm at home. He is neutered. He has been socialised to all the things that he is now, I think, frightened of. He never used to have a problem! It has been more apparent in the last year. He is obedient in the house and we did have a behaviourist in to see him at 1 year old as he was nipping ankles but that has since stopped. He is a very loyal dog, just with a few issues. My partner says he took him to obedience classes as a pup but he was too interested in everything else around him and it wasn't very successful. We have done our own training from home and continuously try on the lead but when he is frightened or spooked he will not even take his favourite treats or toys to distract him he spits them out which is very unusual cause he is usually a gannet and eats anything and everything. I have tried taking him away from the thing that frightens him but he still continues to pull hard slightly crouched until we get down the road from the house. I am really unsure where to go next. Today he walked well on short lead until I coughed and then he pulled again. We are ignoring him so he has nothing to react against but that doesnt seem to make a difference. He did settle down again quickely though (until another cough anyway). I do praise him when he is walking well and silent when he is not. I am not sure this is right. I hope you can shed some light on the subject, it would be so nice for all of us to enjoy our long walks again. Thankyou