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Hello everyone!

Celia is my family's 7 1/2 year old basset hound. When she was younger, she was incredibly active and the most lovable dog to people and other dogs alike. In the past couple of years, her behavior has changed dramatically. She is scared of almost anything--thunder, changes in weather, airplanes, and unknown things. She constantly shakes, pants, and follows someone around. Also, her temperment has taken a turn for the worse. If she's sleeping and is woken up suddenly, she barks/howls and snaps at whatever woke her up. If she is being scratched on the sides of her body or stomach, she'll also snap at the person. Can this be attributed to old age or is there something else going on?
 

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Can this be attributed to old age or is there something else going on?
Not part of the normal aging process it could be CDS - Canine Dysfunction Syndrome

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in Dogs (CDS) Or Dog Alzheimer's

That said shy and fearful behavior usually get worse over time not better and if may be they are manifesting themselves more strongly now than earlier. for working with the shy/fearful dog the Fearful Dog website is a good place to start

Shy-K9s yahoo group
for the discussion of shy, fearful and/or fear-aggressive dogs and positive solutions to their problems. We do not discuss traditional training, nor do we support the "dominance" approach to training. Topics that come up frequently are genetic factors, fear periods, the pros and cons of various training and management methods (in general as well as in the context of specific cases), identifying and interpreting behaviors, understanding thresholds and their significance to rehabilitation, building confidence and resilience, the fallacy that "comforting" shy dogs reinforces fear and the fallout of punishment as a teaching tool.
 

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Celia isn't 'old' at only 7.5 years... she could live that length of time again...
I hope you get to the bottom of her current situation and she gets over it!
 

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Dogs who show some fear at loud sounds like thunder usually grow more and more fearful of noises over time. But I agree with the others, 7.5 years is not old and it sounds like something else is going on.
 

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Thank you everyone for your replies! Thanks for the links; they're very informative. I know 7 isn't an old age for a basset--she just looks and acts a lot older :) I'll definitely go to the vet to get to the bottom of it!
 

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Daisy is scared of everything too. I bought something at the vitamin store called Rescue Remedy. I give her only 2 or 3 drops and she calms down within a few minutes. It is by a company called Bach. It is a Natural Stress relief liquid. It is in a small yellow box... it runs about $16.00.
 

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Belle has changed over the years but nothing really dramatic. Not sure of her age because she was a rescue dog....to my best knowledge she is now 6. At first she went up to anyone all wiggles and wags....kids were like a magnet to her. Now she tends to size adults up before going over to them and some times shies away from some people. She is much more aloof. But I just considered this to being more mature.....and wiser. I think her judgement of people sharper....or maybe she has just become more like me. Kids are still a magnet.
 

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Certainly, see your vet. In addition to other tests, if it were my dog, I'd have them do a thyroid function test. Good luck--please tell us what you find out.
 
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