Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ebon and his Fear of Random Inanimate Objects

So, I took Ebon outside to go to the bathroom earlier today and he ended up catching sight of a pipecleaner and doing a ridiculous sideways leap of fear. Afterwards, I encouraged him to check it out and showed him it wasn't dangerous. Here he is, being scared of a pipecleaner. Please ignore my high-pitched talking-to-the-dog voice.

I believe it is actually an aquarium hose and fitting cleaner than was placed on the back porch when the aquarium broke (it's a long story). Ebon has seen it before, but it was blown to its new location by all of the storms we've had recently. Interestingly, it's the only thing that has been blown around that he's reacted to.

Ebon and Albus in mirror poses
I don't know if I have mentioned this before on the blog, but Ebon has a tendency to be a bit timid and fearful. He's had similar moments with such things as a flight of stairs, a dead bird, a live snake, and an empty bag that the wind blew at him among other things. Whenever he has these moments (except for things like the snake) I try my best to work with him to show him that it's not dangerous. His courage is much better than it used to be since when he was two he would have hid behind me and not even tried to investigate things further. It's all because I have never babied him about his fears. I don't force him to try and face them either. I will approach the object, call him, ask him "What is it?" Then I'll encourage him to approach and let him sniff it and nose if he so chooses. If he doesn't approach it at first, I'll pick it up if it's not disgusting, show it to him, then put it down again. He trusts me, and it seems that if I'm willing to touch it he sees it as being much less scary than before. It doesn't always work, but I have cured him of his fear of stairs and several other things.

Of the three non-human mammals in the house, Ebon's fearfulness is in the middle. Albus is scared of almost nothing and Ginny is scared of practically everything. Here's some common doggy fears that Ebon has never been afraid of: gunfire, fireworks, thunderstorms, vacuums, other dogs, and strange people.

Why did I have to have the odd one? ...Just kidding!

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