William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Penny

Penny

Penny is a 8 year old female spayed lab mix who began to display fearful behaviors in response to various stimuli. In the past year she had moved into a new home with her owner and was exposed to an environment with very active and loud children. Penny would tremble and hide in response to the children running up and down the stairs, playing ball or yelling. The children will often have a large group of friends come over to play. During these times, Penny would be found hiding in a closet trembling. She would stay there until the house was calm again. The owner was very concerned for Penny and nothing she had tried thus so far had helped. She brought Penny in to see Dr. Malamed at the UC Davis Behavior Service to see if there was anything else that could be done before considering the use of anti-anxiety medications. The motivation for the behavior was identified and a behavior modification plan was instituted to try to build Penny's confidence and change her negative emotional response into positive one. After working extensively with Penny at home, the owner reports that Penny is much more tolerant of the children and for the first time she will simply fall asleep rather than running to the closet to hide when they are running around noisily. The owner is now in the process of desensitizing Penny to other previously fearful stimuli such as ice cubes and fly swatters!!