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Old October 29th, 2017, 11:18 PM
Valeartiste Valeartiste is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
Exclamation Noise Anxiety-Laughing Guests

Hi there!

Iím a new member seeking help with my 1.5 year old rescue, Gracie. She seems to be a greyhound schnauzer mix and has been with us for just over a year. She is a genius of a dog with tricks, but her high energy seems to translate into anxiety.

She will whine excessively after seeing a dog/person theough the window, which we donít know how to correct. But that isnít the bigger issue, what I need help with is her meeting new people. She is very friendly and social, and it almost always only takes her a few minutes to warm up to a new guest. But when I decide to take her to a family gathering, itís different.

Early this year, 5 months after her adoption, I took her to a gathering at my aunts house. My goal was to socialize her and not leave her at home all alone for hours. The problem wasnít with my family, they hadnít met Gracie before but she warmed up to all of them quickly and they were considerate of her. But the family of my cousins wife werenít respectful at all and it caused problems.

They were very loud, laughing and clapping hysterically at times, and I noticed it was making Gracie anxious. She started barking anytime they started laughing, and at one point one of the women was standing and started clapping and Gracie jumped on her. Gracie did not lunge, I was right beside her and saw that she wasnít being aggressive at all, but more of a helpless gesture.

After seeing how uncomfortable Gracie was, I removed her from the area after the women ignored my plea to quiet down. I decided not to take her to large gatherings after this, but she does well with smaller ones. Itís just that now if thereís any loud sounds like laughing or clapping being made by several people at once, she will get anxious and eventually bark (when I say bark, itís never a bark at a person, but more in the general direction and she looks around a lot).

I want to take her to the Christmas gathering this year, but I want to do as much as I can to prepare her. Loudness canít be avoided with such a large group (family of 20-25), so I want to know what else I could do. Iím not really able to desensitize because i donít have access to a group of strangers to help. I know that exercise could help in calming her before the gathering, but not sure to what extent. What other methods could help? I donít want to avoid taking her forever.

Finallly, I would just like to clarify that my concern is not for any family friends, but more for Gracie. She is not aggressive at all in her nature, and to me itís clearly to do with fear of sudden loud noises. I donít want her fear to escalate and for ignorant guests to think her barking is aggression.

Thank you so much to any advice that could be given! ❤️

Valentina
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anxiety, barking, guests, noise sensitive, rescue

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