My dog is extremely anti-social and scared of literally everything. Is there anything I can do to ease her anxiety?

I have scoured this website and several others. I realize that the anxious dog syndrome is by no means a rarity. I also realize that this question has been asked and answered time and time again. My case is a bit different though.

The details of Toki's unfortunate behavior are extensive, but can be summed up quite simply. She is scared of everything. This is not an over arcing exaggeration for the sake of dramatic impact. She is scared of me, of flies, of wind, of food bowls, of water (in her water bowl), of everything that moves (living or inanimate), of the sound of her own farts... everything. One time a box fell off of my desk and it literally scared the poop out of her. If she is caught off guard she will even yelp, nothing will have touched her but she makes a noise that could only come from a dog that has just broken several bones. I know that patience and love are the hallmark remedies, but it has been 3 years and her behavior has changed little in the interim. Any thoughts?

Asked by Toki on Jun 16th 2011 in Fears & Phobias
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Also the book "Scaredy Dog" by Ali Brown.

Kolbe answered on 6/16/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Jax (earned her wings 5/30/12)

If you ask your question on the behavior portion of this forum, people will be better able to help you. This section, questions & answers only allows us to answer once. In the forums, we can answer back and forth. What is her history? How old was she when you got her? What have you tried? Is she food motivated? If not, then what does she like? Do you take her for walks? Doe she have any doggy friends? Those are some things to mention when you repost your question. I got Jax at 4 months old from a terrible place. She was the same way. The only difference from your dog is, she was much younger. It took the whole ten years of her life to get her 90% trusting of people and not afraid of anything else. It does take a lot of work, day in and day out. You can try the book "The Cautious Canine". It helped me w/Jax. It's a thin book, but very helpful. Good Luck!

Jax (earned her wings 5/30/12) answered on 6/16/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


This is beyond the normal scope. Have you looked for a professional Behaviorist to come evaluate and give you some suggestions?

This dog must have been a hoarders, mill, or feral dog or horribly abused to be this afraid.

If you can. Get in touch with Randy Grim. He rescues feral dogs all the time and rehabs for living with people. He published at least 2 books, the most recent was "Don't Dump The Dog".

If you find an email for him, he may have suggestions.

Medication, therapy and training are all available, but only a behaviorist can tell you which to use on this dog.

Good luck.

Snickers answered on 6/17/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Bruno CGC

This is what doggy Prozac was invented for... Combine it with behavioral therapy, and I hope you will see improvement. Dogster Asher (you will find them in the Behavior and Training forum mostly) has worked extensively with fearful dogs, including one so bad he pooped whenever someone touched him, so there IS hope!

A certified veterinary behaviorist (the equivalent of a human psychiatrist, they can prescribe drugs as well as advice) would be a very good idea to consult here.

Bruno CGC answered on 6/17/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer