Sorry this is a long one........
Hi there, we've had our lovely dog (Australian silky X) for a about 5 years. She was a rescue dog and came with some issues.
She is timid, but very loving & friendly to both us, our friends and strangers. She is scared of most things, loud noises, yelling, bangs around the house (ie. if you drop something), chopping food on the chopping board, shaking the washing before you hang it on the line, thunder, lightning, heavy rain, flashes on the TV (she thinks its lightning), the flash on the camera (and now just the look of a camera as she knows it has a flash on it), fireworks, looking at a hammer (as she associated it with loud noises)....this list goes on and on. I wouldn't say she is a nervous wreck but just VERY cautious.
Some years ago my partner and I had a verbal argument and because the door was closed to the room the dog couldn't get out of the house. Since then she has always been scared of yelling, parties with loud people etc.
Over the last year my partner and I have started a business from home which is great as the dog has company all day. However working with your partner we sometimes have discussions of how to run the business or don't see eye to eye on a decision. I wouldn't say we fight but just trying to get your point across you may slightly raise your voice or say it in a different tone and she picks up on it and freaks out. Our dog has slowly began to not like us being together. She is even scared of swear words, even if you say it in a normal tone. She is also now scared of a deep breath and sigh if something or when you 'tut' or huff at something. She is VERY sensitive and picks up on everything!
She is normally fine when its me and the dog or him and the dog but during working hours 9-5 she doesn't want to be near us and will sleep outside all day long until it gets dark and one of us brings her in.
We then will all sit on the couch and watch TV together at the end of the day and she will be fine. Its like she knows that we've finished work and she can relax with us.
We often take her to my parents house for a retreat as she LOVES them and their dog and lived with them for 1.5 years while I was overseas. They have a 'normal' routine, get up the same time, eat the same time each day, walk twice a day, treats, pats, trips in the car, all the good thing she loves. Its very much routine for them however I don't have much of a routine except feed her at the same time each day, and walk her a couple of times a week. A dog behaviorist told me that routine isn't good for them anyway so our lifestyle shouldn't bother her. Mum said to me that when she is at their house she listens out for cars in case its mine and is always very very happy to see us.
We denote days to her which was call "Smidge Day Sunday........or Monday etc" and we do fun things for her all day. Take her to the beach, park, for a run, a drive in the car, just general things she likes to do, play chasey etc.
On New Year we went away camping and took the dog. There was someone nearby who had fireworks which she is scared of. We locked her inside and put some music on to drown out the noise however it didn't work and she was still very scared. A couple of hours later (2am) she started to settle down.
Its now been 9 days since then and she still seems a little freaked out, and seems to hate me and my partner even more. Staying outside all day (in 41 C weather), and evening, and when you walk up to her she cowards down, looks frightened, and hides to be away from us. We have never been mean or rough with her or tease her, we don't hit her or rarely tell her off as she never does anything wrong (she is very well behaved). When we bring her in she just wants to go outside and be by herself.
We've tried letting her be alone, comforting her, do something fun to take her mind off of it, taking her to my parents for 2 nights. They said she was absolutely fine and couldn't see anything wrong but as soon as we got back to our house today she is the same.
Why does she hate us so much and how do we make it better for her?
I am sorry for such a long question however needed to tell you the background.
Thanks and hope someone can offer some solutions