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> 3 – Fear of Novel Objects

3. Fear of Novel Objects

Definition: Fearful, avoidant or suspicious of unfamiliar objects, which could be anything, but common examples are plastic bags, statues, yard equipment, balloons, etc.

AbsentVery MildMildModerateSevere

No startle response, fear or apprehension

Readily approaches and investigates

Maintains Work

Very mild signs of concern or startle.

Signs may include:

  1. very slight slowing down or speeding up
  2. slight tense body language with almost immediate return to normal
  3. no concern if exposure is repeated and will generally investigate object once over initial concerns

Maintains work

Mild signs of concern or startle

Signs may include:

  1. mild to moderate slowing down or speeding up
  2. mild to moderate tense body language with rapid return to normal
  3. mild reluctance to approach and investigate but will do with encouragement. Improves with subsequent exposures

Maintains work

Moderate signs of concern or startle

Signs may include:

  1. moderate slowing down or speeding up and/or tense body language
  2. may move away slightly
  3. mild to strong reluctance to approach object despite encouragement
  4. may release emotional energy by increased activity

Interferes with ability to maintain work without encouragement, and slow to habituate, needing up to 1 minute despite support

Severe concern or fear reaction

Signs may include:

  1. moderate to severe slowing down or speeding up, and/or very tense body language
  2. may exhibit strong coping strategy of moving away
  3. Strong reluctance to approach object despite encouragement
  4. may release emotion energy by increased activity

Interferes with ability to maintain work despite encouragement and slow to habituate needing over 1 minute despite support

Video ExamplesAbsentVery MildMildModerateSevere
GDBart Adult Dog Test
  1. NovelObjFearABS Oliver
  2. NovObjABS Cahill
Walk & Talks
Puppy Test
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