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I've been learning about the two fear imprint phases for puppies. The first one is between 8-11 weeks while the second one is between 6-14 months. I didn't know about fear phases with my first two poodles. They grew up well socialized with no apparent trauma.

Now that I know about them. It made me curious if any of you have seen your puppy experience a fear phase? Was it obvious? I'm also learning not to coddle a puppy if they are in fear, but let them work through the situation in a safe way. I've read that since we give praise and love for things we accept, when we coddle them in a fear situation, the puppy can see it as our acceptance of their fear. I don't know if I said that right. It's taken me awhile to get my head around that one. I think I am starting to understand.

Any recommendations on what you do if your puppy is experiencing fear of new situations that could cause long term trauma? I want to socialize my puppy and don't want to be too overprotective during her most developmental months. I do want to be supportive in a way she understands.
 

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I have not experienced it with my spoos but I know jester's mom had that happen with her Dobbie's.

You are correct in saying that you should not coddle a fearful dog. It reinforces their fear as being correct behavior. If you watch Caesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer, he says that all the time. It is our instinct to try to comfort our animal but they view it quite differently than we do. Hugging and praise mean to them that they are doing the correct thing, whatever that may be. So if you coddle them while they are displaying fear, then they interpret that to mean that it is OK to be fearful.
 

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I`m not sure moose had a fear phase... but he's "afraid" of a lot of things and it's pretty darn funny... baggys, plastic sounds, etc.. He does grow out of things like he was afraid of the tape measure now he's not and will lick it, but plastic trash bags he hasn't grown out of yet. He was barking at one the other day on the porch blowing in the wind, and growling at it like it was an intruder!

He's pretty timid and aware of new things too and does not get comfortable fast which is one thing we do like... always curious about strangers.

Interesting about the fear and saying its ok and cuddling them.. that makes sense I hadn't thought of that.
 

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I`m not sure moose had a fear phase... but he's "afraid" of a lot of things and it's pretty darn funny... baggys, plastic sounds, etc.. He does grow out of things like he was afraid of the tape measure now he's not and will lick it, but plastic trash bags he hasn't grown out of yet. He was barking at one the other day on the porch blowing in the wind, and growling at it like it was an intruder!

He's pretty timid and aware of new things too and does not get comfortable fast which is one thing we do like... always curious about strangers.

Interesting about the fear and saying its ok and cuddling them.. that makes sense I hadn't thought of that.
OMG! I started giggling as you describe his behavior. To see the world through a puppies eyes. Only he looks so tall in his pictures. He lives up to his name in height. Maybe that is why it seems funny. I figured he would look down on so many things and feel the master of his domain. I'm sure he will grow out of his fear for plastic bags just like he did the tape measure.

He is such a gorgeous dark brown.
 

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Dutch is scared of baggies too!! Another thing he is scared of is a tree carved into a man, and also statues of lions etc! It is so funny, but I would prefer him to be more confident.
 

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Thanks Aiden.

I enjoyed that article. It gave me peace knowing that my instincts will guide me if/when a situation arises. I do think each dog and each circumstance is different. I also see that the common thread between her and Cesar is to handle the situation with confidence and let them know you are there.

Reassurance can go along way and I see it given differently than fun play cuddles. If someone started laughing when I said that I was scared, it would make me more scared. Mostly because they didn't take my point seriously or didn't understand my fear. Yet, if they acknowledged my fear and helped me address it, I would be thankful and feel strong in my masters presence. I know that could be perceived as "projecting". However, I do think that is how a bond is between a dog and his master. You learn to rely on one another.

What a beautiful farm! Waaaay too much work for me. It looks so peaceful and calm.
 
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