Rescue Nervous/Excited With Loud Noises/Voices, Pees And Paces

I have an older Aussie that I loved so much that I decided to get another through a rescue. The rescue Aussie is younger and having some anxiety issues especially with loud noises or voices. My husband and I are pretty quiet people, but sometimes our guests and family visit who are louder.

Any time anyone raises their voice, my rescue Aussie freaks out by pacing and running through the house, sometimes barking and peeing a trail as he goes. My older Aussie is quiet and doesn't do this. He gets lots of exercise (a mile walk and 1-2 20 min sessions of fetch or Frisbee every day, plus training commands every other day, lots of toys and chews around the house, and he plays with my older Aussie).

I've tried redirecting him with training commands, taking him out for more exercise, firm "no", a spray bottle (his response to that is to pee, then start running again), and even a time out in a quiet room. I'm trying to desensitize him, but there's been little progress with that. Suggestions?

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by: jcrply

I'm not a trainer nor any kind of expert, but I do foster rescue dogs. I would recommend that you not punish a dog for being anxious. Counter-conditioning might work (socializing the dog). You could help him to deal with people talking and making noises by having the radio on all day for a while. NPR (National Public Radio) is a good choice. They do lots of talking and a bit of music. You could gradually increase the volume and randomly change the volume. Take your walks where there will be people. If there is a town within easy driving distance, take him there and walk in the downtown area. At first, walk so that your dog is not really close to other people, but gradually get closer and then gradually go to areas where there are more people including children. It can be a long process and will take patience.
When friends and family come to visit, at first your dog may feel safer if he gets to spend part of that time in his crate if that is his safe den in another room. After the guests have been there for a while, you could open the door so that he has the choice of coming out if he wants to. Until he is socialized, the guests should ignore him and let him be the one to approach... eventually. Your guests should not try to interact with the dog and not look him in the eye. Hopefully he will get to the point where he will feel comfortable enough to walk around and near them and maybe even approach them. But it's going to take a while.

by: Becky T

n anxious dog will not respond to any form of punishment. He is too upset.. Follow her ideas. She really sounds like she knows what she is talking about and is a very caring and aware owner. It will take some time but will definitely be worth the extra effort.

nervous, excited separation anxiety
by: Hugh

My Mini-Aussie is 2 and weighs about 25#. She was bred on a horse farm in the country and really needed socializing when we got her. For example she was afraid of a fire plug the first time she saw one.

Even when we got her she exhibited very nervous and excited behavior when we came home. Seemed to get worse as she aged. Crate didn't seem to help!
Our Vet told us just to ignore her completely until she calms down and then pay attention to her.
It has worked beautifully and we are still working on it.

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