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Dr. Dan M.
Dr. Dan M., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1541
Experience:  10 years experience in Small Animal veterinary practice
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My 8 month old pup got run over by a cyclist a couple of months

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My 8 month old pup got run over by a cyclist a couple of months ago. Since then her walks have become a trauma for her she's become very nervous when out and her confidence has go down. What can I do to help her.

I am sorry Bonnie has had such a trauma and hopefully with time and confidence things will improve. It is not surprising she has an aversion now to bikes.

It is natural to reassure her when in the situation with a cyclist, but sometimes this can compound her reasoning that something is wrong as it is generating extra unusual attention.

I would aim to build up her confidence and realisation that bikes aren't a danger. So gradual exposure to bikes in different situations, which will hopefully increase her tolerance. When in the situation with a cyclist or bike and her behaviour is good then reward this positively with praise or a treat and the association with the bike will become pleasant.

I would start slowly, exposing her to a stationary bike, get her used to this and relaxed around it. Then if possible a bike being pushed by someone in foot, start with the bike at a distance, don't make it an event, jus have it as something in the background. Each time get the bike walked nearer and nearer at a rate corresponding to her behaviour. Once she is settled with it being walked close by, then try with someone slowly cycling at a distance and build this up as before.

It will take a good chunk of time, patience and persistence but is definitely worth tackling, at this age she is still malleable and will hopefully respond to it.

Good luck and best wishes

Dan Makin
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