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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28341
Experience:  25 years of experience in large and small animal medicine.
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I have a 6 year old male, castrated, newfoundland. He is very

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I have a 6 year old male, castrated, newfoundland. He is very well behaved and socialised with other dogs, cats and small children. He has been going out in a van 4 times a week with a dog walker who he loves dearly. I am disabled and can only take him for short walks locally as I don't drive.
He goes swimming and long woodland walks with his walker and other dogs and nothing different has happened. He is well and eating, sleeping and toileting normally. 2 weeks ago he was reluctant to get into the van but eventually went. Since then it has gone down hill. We have tried treats, helping him in, using a ramp, cheese (his favourite) etc but he is now refusing to get into the van, either the back or side door, with me in it, her in it, other dogs there, on his own etc etc. We have run out of ideas. Have you any please?
Good Morning and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question. This is a common trait in some dogs. They develop fears that cause extreme anxiety similar to those anxieties of humans. The only way to get him over this is "Desensitization" which means constant exposure until your guy realizes that these fears will not hurt him. You may never know what has caused these fears but working your guy past this is the goal. To do this, first avoid these while making your dog comfortable in his situation. You may need help in doing this since when you try, as you have experienced, he is too afraid to understand. Purchase a DAP Collar at the pet store. This is a canine pheromone that acts as a calming agent and will decrease anxiety available at the pet store.Thundershirts are useful since this is one of the most common fears causing extreme anxiety and can be very effective. If this is not enough, your vet will have medication to help him past this. Take your guy to your vet for an exam to be sure there is not a medical cause for this and ask about anti anxiety medication such as Fluoxetine or Buspirone. Then expose him to the things he fears over and over, constantly talking in a soft voice and giving treats when he does something positive. This LINK may help. Does that make sense to you? Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please REPLY so I can clarify for you. Sincerely, ***** *****
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Thank you so much for your kind rating. It is very much appreciated! Even though you have rated, we can still communicate. If you have other questions, please Reply. I am always happy to help. I hope your guy van get past this soon! Have a wonderful day!