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Just a couple days ago, I got a pool table in my basement game room. Yesterday was the first time I was able to play but when I picked up the pool cue (stick), Oreo freaked out. He jumped off the couch and ran away from me. He refused to come when I called and ran outside to his kennel. He only came back when I put the cue down and called him in. But as soon I picked it back up, he tucked tail and cowered on the couch before running back outside again (more like slinked back outside).



He's usually a bit scared of new things but will adjust quickly once he's had a sniff. But with the cue, he just would not come back! I'm livid right now; not at him but at the thought that someone might have beaten him in the past to create such a strong fear response. I suppose he'll have to adjust slowly to me holding a cue.



If anyone can offer tips on getting him past this reaction, I'd be grateful. In any event, I just needed to vent. Thanks.
 

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We've had things like that happen with our rescue Moose and completely understand your anger - we don't really have any suggestion about how to get him past it other than that he will have to adjust slowly as you say.

With Moose it is sticks and dental floss... the sticks I can understand (sad as it is to think someone probably beat him with something like that) but does his fear of dental floss mean someone did something awful to him with fishing line?! I get angry just thinking about it...
 

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Our 2 have no reason to be afraid of anything. But they are deathly afraid of golf clubs and fishing poles. They have never been hit or beaten by anything. But if you walk past either one of them with a golf club or a fishing pole they will run in fear. We just try to keep these items away from the doggies. But, maybe if you continue to expose him to the que and let him sniff it and let him see over time that it isn't anything dangerous he will be ok with it eventually.
 

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Our first beagle Cleo was afraid of the garden hose. Tucker is afraid of the vancum, but I think that is just the noise.
 

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Toby is afraid of random things! He has no reason, either! Poor little thing, though. That must have been tough to see. I have no advice, but I hope it gets better!
 

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I remember growing up, we had a rescue that we knew had been abused and beaten with random items and would react exactly how you describe Oreo acting. I recall that when we would find him acting like that to something, my parents would lay whatever the object was on the floor and just walk away from it. Eventually he would approach it, sniff it, maybe paw at it, whatever. Once he realized that it would not hurt him, he was usually fine with it. I don't know if it will work with Oreo or not, but it's worth a try.
 

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Vinny is deathly afraid of a bamboo stick that I pulled out of a tree I planted. As it was laying on the ground next to my foot, Vinny would come up and sniff it then take off running, turn around and bark at it. I decided to have some fun by making the stick move with my foot when he approached. This got him all wound up, running all over the yard with a crazed mad-man stare and bark. He kept coming back and each slight movement brought the same reaction from him.

After a bit, we brought some water outside for him. When I called him over, he tucked tail and slinked over to me. I picked him and loved on him. When I put him down he took off like nothing happened.

However, to this day he hates the stick, won't go near it. I keep it to fend off the occasional snake that wonders in the yard.

Who knows why our buddies react the way they do.
 

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We once met a guy coming back from hockey practice while we were at the park. I tell you, I've never seen Chloe howl like that at a person before. After the initial shock (mine), laughing and realising what the whole thing is about, I advised the guy to put the stick next to him, and sit on the bench.
Chloe, after 2-3 more minutes of howling, decided to downgraded to a quiet growl, and I think it was one millimeter at a time, approached the guy. It took about 10 minutes for her to actually let him touch her, but it worked.
During the enire thing, I praised her a lot and was standing by the guy, so that she would realise that he is safe to be around.

Maybe you can try and rub some canned dog food or peanut butter on the cue and try to lure him to sniff and lick it. Don't hold it in your hand, though. Leave it on the floor with you in the room to supervise. Ignore the cue and Oreo and let time do its thing.... worth a try.
 

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The first year or so after we got Tinker he would flinch anytime my wife or I raised our hand (to scratch my head or rub my eye, etc) and then he would shake a bit. Belle also hated anyone wearing a hoodie (back in 2000 not too many yoots were wearing them) and she would howl and get all bunged up. She grew out of that too. She also barks, howls, cries, and generaly has a cow over my 1/16th scale remote control King Tiger tank! Oh she must have a deep distrust of R/C owners or something... Alas, she stands her ground though, and bays like a banshee, but when it slowly moves forward, she gives ground, mostly keeping about one foot or two from it. I go up and pet the tank and she'll get closer, but then I send a signal to make the turret spin a few inches and she goes right back to howling at it!
 
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