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Extremely Nervous, Shy, Anxious, Fearful Pup
Hello all! My fiance and I have a 3.5 month old Mini Aussie who we brought home at 8 weeks and 3 days old. When we first picked him up to bring him home, he ran to hide under a table, and then tried to burrow into the couch while signing paperwork.
He's made HUGE progress, and we love him to death, but it's heartbreaking to watch him struggle so much because of his fearful, anxious personality. The vet has given him a clean bill of health to rule out any physiological issues, and we've been taking him to puppy preschool classes for 3 weeks.
We take him in the car several times a week to go to the local (not dog) park, dog friendly stores, and even to get ice cream. He is TERRIFIED of other dogs and has not had any bad experiences. The sound of a barking dog who's not in sight scares him to the point he wants to go running back to the door if we're in the backyard. We've worked on introducing him to male and female dogs, all of whom are small breed adults and puppies, and some are very gentle and leave him alone. However, he still shakes like a leaf and tries to hide or jump into a lap if allowed.
I've read so many books, watched so many videos, and talked to so many people for suggestions. Please help!