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Question for you Tia: Do they all go through this "Fear Stage" ?
I am not Tia but I will answer anyways. I do not think that EVERY dog goes through a fear stage. I think there are some real good dogs out there who just have that balls to the wall attitude from birth and from day one just reek of confidence (man I need to find myself another one of those dogs!) . That being said, I do think its pretty rare for a dog to NEVER spook off of anything in their life but I do not think that every dog goes through an actual fear stage where they are being spooked frequently in a period of a few months. Despite the poor breeding practices out there today there are still some rock solid dogs out there.

I have heard of dogs who were basically chain dogs for over 2 yrs that were then taken and put in new homes where they were exposed to many things they had never been exposed to and did FINE. I think that is good genetics at work. A good, strong dog doesn't require a ton of socialization and exposure to things in order to handle that. Perhaps a mediocre or weak dogs does but a strong dog does not.

Rosco is almost 5 yrs old and never went through what I would consider a fear stage but he has spooked off of a few things in his life. I could probably count those things on one hand and all of the things he did spook from he recovered from quickly. I think one of the most important ways to determine the severity of nerve problems is by judging the recovery rate. If a dog gets scared of something and runs and hides and won't come out within a few minutes time, I think you have a big problem but if it will spook, run off, but then return quickly, I wouldn't conisder the problem to be as severe. Mind you, the ideal dog wouldn't spook at all but those dogs are the gems and aren't that easy to find.
 
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