A Dog’s Fears

Work today went by fast. The highlight came early on when I taught a functional training class.


I’ve loved subbing for the instructor who usually teaches the class while she has been out for the past few weeks and I’m hoping I can regularly teach a similar class when the group exercise schedule permanently changes at our gym at the end of August.


Lunch today was enjoyed in the break room.

tuna salad lunch

I packed tuna salad that I ate wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with sugar snap peas and a banana on the side.

Once work was done for the day, I drove to Great Clips to put my coupon to good use and got a trim.

great clips coupon

It was nothing fancy, but my ends needed it!

By the time I made it home, the daily summer thunderstorm rolled in, so a psychotic Sadie greeted me. She recently developed a fear of thunder that never plagued her as a puppy. Her body shakes and she crawls all over me, panting like crazy when it thunders. She used to only get like this when we crossed bridges (weird, I know), so Ryan and I are quite confused. Why, at the age of five, is she now scared of thunder?

Her Thundershirt seems to help a little, but I’m hoping this fear of thunder thing is something Sadie will grow out of sometime soon. Seeing her all spastic breaks my heart!

Other things that make Sadie freak out:

  • The floating toy in our pool (aka “Bob Barker”)
  • The man that runs around our neighborhood in a yellow t-shirt and Vibrams
  • Skateboards 
  • The smoke alarm
  • The bathtub

Question of the Afternoon

  • Pet owners: What freaks out your pet?


  1. Cassie F. says

    Rachel, my Vizsla is also afraid of every new thing we bring home for at least 10 minutes as well!

    He is also afraid of the oven, he will not go anywhere near the kitchen if I am cooking something. He will sit as far away in the livingroom, where he can still see me, and will sit there watching me and trembling, so weird.

    He also every once in a while will notice that the ceiling fan has two pulls on it to turn on the fan and the light, and will get fixated on growling and barking at them…

    and lastly his other big fear is of the garbage cans on the sidewalk on garbage day. He will bolt the other direction as soon as we get close to one. We now avoid the sidewalks on garbage day!


  2. Kristin says

    I have had the exact same problem with my dog. She used to be cool as a cucumber during storms but around age 8 they started to freak her out. I’ve tried everything from the the Thundershirt to Rescue Remedy. The vet has told me that it is really common for dogs to develop new anxieties as they get older. Still breaks my heart to see her shaking like a leaf at every clap of thunder. And fireworks…..for fireworks we have to bust out the doggie xanax. 😉


  3. Julie says

    My dog, Lucca, is afraid of water. To the point that you have to drag him out to pee in the rain and he walks around puddles and won’t go into wet grass. He also hates lound noises (like if something drops on the floor) and yelling ( I feel bad for him during football season bc I am a hardcore Redskins fan and scream like crazy)


  4. Karen B says

    Aww poor thing! My boyfriend and I just adopted our dog Cody a month ago and we are finding that he is scared of most loud noises. He hates the fire alarm and the vacuum. The first time I vacuumed, I looked all over the apartment for him and finally found him hiding far under the bed behind all of our suitcases. That has become his little hideaway anytime I vacuum (if I can’t do it while he is out of the house). We haven’t had a thunderstorm yet so it will be interesting to see how he reacts!


  5. Kelsie says

    If you continue to comfort her and give her attention during her freak outs, she’s going to connect the 2 and keep doing it. I was told by a dog trainer to never comfort a dog during or right after a breakdown. They will just keep doing it if you give them some kind of attention.


  6. Steph says

    In addition to being afraid of the typical thunder and loud noises, my silky terrier Sophie has a fear of balloons! My husband gave me flowers which had balloons attached and our dog completely lost it when the balloon was in the same room as her. We ended up hiding the balloon in the closet!


  7. Kimberly says

    My pit/vizsla mix Harrison is afraid of tall men, people wearing hats and hoodies, and the broom. Actually, I think he USED to be scared of the broom but now just pretends to be scared so he can get as close as possible to the broom and then dash away.


  8. Dani says

    My dog is terrified of any sort of construction sign (‘sidewalk closed’ or even an orange cone). He will practically drag me in the street to avoid going anywhere near them! He is also super afraid of anything with wheels OTHER than cars. He freaks when he sees a bike, skateboard or stroller, even when they’re not moving!

    I laughed out loud at the man running in vibrams. HAH! Does he know that your dog is afraid of him specifically?


  9. Jennifer says

    My 90 pound Doberman is afraid of feet! He hates to be touched with feet. If you accidentally brush him with your foot he gets all jumpy. I think perhaps he was kicked as a puppy or something, kind of sad.


  10. Julie Miller says

    My dog, Paka, is terrified of fireworks (thunder isn’t a problem as we live in California and rarely have any). Once during the 4th of July fireworks, he tried to climb on shoulders in the hot tub and fell in. It was pretty funny.


  11. Brittany @ proteinandpumps says

    Everything BUT thunder freaks my oldest dog out. He is nervous 24/7. Poor guy.


  12. Jill says

    Our dog, a chubby, wrinkly English Bulldog, is afraid of loud noises, specifically opening up a new trash bag for the trash can. I think the motion of us shaking out the bag to open it plus the noise just really freaks her out! We try to open them in the laundry room with the door shut so she doesn’t see/hear it.


  13. says

    Lucy, my poodle hates clothes. She freaks when I put them on here. I remember she used to prance around for the first few years showing off her clothes. Then all of a sudden, she hated them.


  14. says

    My dog Murphy FREAKS out when I blow on something. Think blowing make-up off a brush, dust off a picture frame, etc. He hides! It’s so crazy! Also any high pitched beeping and/or smoke alarms. Silly kid.


  15. Katie says

    I love this question! My dog doesn’t like people riding by in bicycles. And she doesn’t like loud car noises like a motorcycle or the UPS truck if it goes by us on a walk. She’ll try to run after it like she’s big enough to do something about it! She also hates storm drains but she’s a rescue with a few scars on her legs so we wonder if something happened to her before that involved one.


  16. Lisa R. says

    Haha, I love this post. My boxer mix is terrified of bubble wrap and it’s actually really funny. Just one pop of the bubble wrap and he runs as far away as possible. Even if you don’t pop it and get it close to him he freaks out. I think we learned this when we got all our wedding gifts in the mail. One other thing he’s afraid of is flies. He loves to try and catch the fly with his mouth but then when the fly turns and starts to go after him he bolts and hides in the closet.


  17. says

    My German Shepherd/Chow mix is petrified of the vacuum cleaner. He is also scared of small children and bicycles. The vacuum causes him to shake pretty bad where the small children and bicycles cause him to bark and hide behind me.


  18. says

    My beagle mix is scared of the box fan (doesn’t matter if it’s on or off), the chlorinating turtle that floats in the pool, rolling trashcans or most things on wheels and aluminum foil. She’s a nut!


  19. Heather T says

    My dog Kyleigh is five and she’s also terrified of thunder. Every time we have a storm she hides in the closet! She’s also scared of the bathtub, windshield wipers, the fire alarm and she will disappear if you even touch the vacuum. But above anything else…her worst enemy is the elevator!


  20. says

    My older dog is afraid of the vacuum, thunder, fireworks, the noise the neighbor makes rolling his lawn mower into the shed (sounds like thunder), bicycles…and fireflys. Fireflys only b/c he saw a firefly at the same time he heard a firework, and now, somehow thinks they are related. For thunder and fireworks, we use the thunder jacket and xanax if it is really bad. The vet told me that his anxiety will get worse as he gets older, and to try to treat before hand. He also mentioned that he had a client whose dog barreled past someone, right out a door, during a thunderstorm.

    I do remember the dog trainer telling me not to comfort him when he gets like this, and to try doing fun things during storms. Also, to try giving treats. He won’t even eat when it happens, so treats are out. Fun times!


  21. Michelle says

    Lol I set the smoke alarm off once while I was cooking, so now basically every time I even go near the stove my dog runs off and hides in the corner.


  22. says

    My dog gets SO scared of fireworks! He got so freaked out this past fourth of July when people were setting off fireworks in our neighborhood that he is still scared to walk around the neighborhood at night. :(


  23. says

    Bauer-my olde english bulldog, is petrified of thunder as well. He hides in the closet when he hears it.
    Mulder-my chocolate lab mix is a bit skiddish to begin with so he gets a little nervous around new men, especially those with facial hair. But the funniest thing is that he is afraid of the “raspberry noises” people make.


  24. Kat says

    My dog is afraid of bouncing balls and of watching people exercise. If you do situps or pushups in front of him, he starts to bark and bite at your clothes. It’s quite a site considering he is only 9 pounds. We like to joke that he is more of a book nerd than a jock. :)


  25. Katie says

    My 90 pound black lab mix is afraid of fireworks and storms of any kind. When the wind blows he starts getting anxious it’s gotten worse with age he’s 10. This summer has been the worst he actually makes himself sick because of storms. The only comfort he finds is being out IN the storm, wether it be rain, wind, thunder&lightning, hail or fireworks he’s calm IN the storm. I love my crazy dog…


  26. Sarah says

    The vacuum, bicycles, motorcycles. He’ll bark at pretty much any noise outside, but I think that’s more him being “protective” rather than being scared. Also, he hates baths and is not a huge fan of swimming (but he’ll do it if you go in with him).


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