All of a sudden, she isn’t the dog I’ve known for the last six months. Gracie went with me to the bank today, a place she’s been many times, but today the floor terrified her. The carpet was okay, but the tile sections found her flat on her belly, legs splayed and immovable. Gracie, who usually runs up to people – known and unknown – cowered under a desk close to my legs. She did finally come out for some pets, but her belly was lower to the ground than usual. Yesterday, when she helped me walk a client’s shy dog (which she did wonderfully) she reacted with fear to the client’s floor, which she’d also been on before without any concern.
I don’t know how I missed this piece of wisdom after all these years of pet sitting, but Gracie is going through the second puppy fear phase. Her breeder called Gracie a “textbook case,” right on target at 9 months. Hopefully she passes through it quickly.
In the meantime, the advice is not to coddle her, but just be matter of fact about things. Not to force her, but not to seem too worried either. If I’m confident and comfortable, she’ll see that and she’ll be back to normal at some point, hopefully soon.
Saturday she starts her three weeks of two classes back to back – Rally followed immediately by Nosework 2. She absolutely loves both, so hopefully the classes will be fun and snap her out of her fear a bit. She’s an absolute wiz at Rally and our instructor (Gracie’s breeder) has already said she hopes we will compete someday. Perhaps we will. For now, we’ll just have some fun – or I hope she will! I’ll try to get a video of her running the course this weekend if she’s up to it.