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Scared of everything

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Hey Everybody,

It has been a while and Dora is now 8 months and she is big and beautiful. She is still blonde/golden but now has silver down her back and her ears are a brown/rusty color! I have a question about her tempermant that has been going on for a while. Dora is scared of everything. I thought it would pass but it is really getting crazy. Anything different scares her to the point of her not going out. Like we got a grill and put it on our deck and when we would walk out it would rattle she would almost kill me trying to either get inside or down the steps away from "it". She has never been near it when it was hot. It is just the sounds. If the water guy leaves the 5 gallon jugs on the deck she won't go outside. If someone (even a little kid) knocks on the door she hides in her crate. She is terrified of bad weather, sounds and anything. I left her "poop" shovel next to the tree and she wouldn't go near it. I had to take her inside, move it, and then bring her back out. I have tried to comfort her, ignore her, show her, and nothing works. It is driving me crazy to have a dog that is scared of everything!! Is there anything else I can do, or is this going to be part of her tempermant?
Also any tips on getting her to stop pulling us up and down the stairs of the deck would be great too. She pulled my son down on his elbows and now he won't take her outside anymore.
Beth and Dora
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Thanks Linda and Kelly. I am really going to work with her on the steps thing. It is dangerous for both of us if we fall. Last thing I need with 3 kids is a broke ankle or leg!!
That website was really interesting. I looked through a lot of the different stages. The only thing I can think of is when we got Dora she was about 10 weeks and she was really sick and came from some bad conditions. We spent a lot of time and vet visits getting her back healthy. I was told by the pet store that all the pups that came from that particular breeder were all really sick and withdrawn. But that was so many months ago. I have tried really hard to keep the kids from being rough with her. And I haven't had to spank her in forever. She got it with the newspaper for getting into the trash. Even then it wasn't a big deal she had a bananna peel and a hot dog on her bed!! She was so busy going back and forth and putting it on her bed, she never got to eat anything!!
I will keep working with her. I just want her to be comfortable and have a good time. Not to be scared of things that can't hurt her. Thanks again for your help!
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Thank you for the link to the article. I don't have any problems with Dora being defensive at all. She is very sweet and loving. Even if she has something that she is not suppose to, I can say drop it and she will give it to me with out any fight or aggression. I have a gate that keeps the dog and the kids seperate from each other unless I let the gate down and supervise everyone. She loves my 3 year old as his job is giving treats and filling up her food bowl. She has never been aggressive or mean to anyone or even another dog. She is just very timid and shy and startled easy. I was just looking for some hints to help her understand that certain objects can not hurt her. I have NEVER spanked Dora for any house training mistakes and she was completely house broken at 3.5 months even over night. I have spanked her not with my hand but with the paper (that sounded worse than it felt) for the trash incident which was at least 2 months ago, and she has never messed with it again. I just don't want people to think that I would hurt Dora in anyway. I love her and she is part of my family. That is why I don't want her to be scared of the shovel!! I care about how she feels.
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