Hi, I'm Mike and have a 3 and a half year old female Rottweiler-(hound) mix named Callie. I adopted her when she was 10 months old and she was a pretty nervous dog then also.

Her tail is often down between her legs when I walk her (I think she's after a squirrel or bird). She freaks out when I kill a bug, hammer a nail, vacuum, etc. She paces a lot, usually around the coffee table and in the car though I don't think she's "afraid" of anything, and is generally really high strung. I'm trying to re-train her to go to her crate to may be help ease her anxiety but for some reason, she freaks out pretty bad when I try to get her in.
I think there might a few things that could be affecting her. I adopted her in Leesburg, Va (rural area) and was living in a Washington D.C. suburb. A year and a half after I adopted her, I moved to where I live presently in the city of Pittsburgh. I've never taken her to obedience school, which I think I'm going to try, and am also thinking of adopting another dog to help calm her down- an older male dog. A friend of mine suggested that and she told me that it's working out well.
Anyone have any suggestions? (Sorry about the long post)
Hi, I'm Mike ...(snip)... I live presently in the city of Pittsburgh. I've never taken her to obedience school, which I think I'm going to try,... >

Hi Mike,
I live near Pittsburgh, and would recommend Misty Pines Dog Park http://www.mistypinesdogpark.com in Wexford for obedience training. I am not affiliated with Misty Pines in any way; I am just a satisfied customer. Best wishes to you and Callie.
Sheri
Hi, I'm Mike and have a 3 and a half year old female Rottweiler-(hound) mix named Callie. I adopted her ... help ease her anxiety but for some reason, she freaks out pretty bad when I try to get her in.

If she's having real problems with the crate, then you can just try penning her in a small area, maybe with the crate in a corner, so if she wants, she can retreat into the crate when she feels like it. Sometimes the older dogs can have a harder time adjusting to being in a crate. I would keep working on getting her used to being in a crate in case she ever does need to be in one. Try feeding her and giving her treats only when she is in the crate. Moving the crate to your bedside can also help.
I've never taken her to obedience school, which I think I'm going to try, and am also thinking of adopting ... down- an older male dog. A friend of mine suggested that and she told me that it's working out well.

Obedience classes are a good idea, but if you're expecting classes to solve the behavioral difficulties, that may not be sufficient. Talk to the instructors. They may give some private lessons on how to deal with the difficulties, incorporating the lessons into the classes. At the very least, they can give you some specific suggestions based on your dog and situation.
I would be a little leery of advising you to get another dog before you've done some more work with the original dog. Sometimes, it can help, but just as often, if not more so, it doesn't help and can sometimes, make things more difficult.
Ludwig Smith
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Hi, I'm Mike and have a 3 and a half year old female Rottweiler-(hound) mix named Callie. I adopted her ... coffee table and in the car though I don't think she's "afraid" of anything, and is generally really high strung.

I wouldn't be too sure that she doesn't have a fear-based/nervous disorder. Her behavior certainly isn't normal of most dogs
I'm trying to re-train her to go to her crate to may be help ease her anxiety but for some reason, she freaks out pretty bad when I try to get her in.

IMO this is a very bad idea. If the crate causes her anxiety then using it will only force her to into a panic attack (for lack of a better term). This problem may or may not be related to the other behaviors. Confinement anxiety isn't really that uncommon and forcing a dog with this problem to be confined only compounds the problem.
I think there might a few things that could be affecting her. I adopted her in Leesburg, Va (rural area) ... down- an older male dog. A friend of mine suggested that and she told me that it's working out well.

A companion dog might help but if her problems are genetic or well-ingrained then a companion dog won't fix her. She may learn some new habits, may learn to feel less anxious in certain circumstances, all from observing the other dog, but there's no guarantee. I would think that a male who is a natural leader, without being aggressively dominant, would be the way to go in terms of personality. You'll certainly want to have her interact freely with some other dogs first to make sure that being with another dog is something she'd enjoy rather than something that intimidates her or causes another nervous/anxious reaction.

Tara
Hi, I'm Mike and have a 3 and a half year old female Rottweiler-(hound) mix named Callie. I adopted her ... help ease her anxiety but for some reason, she freaks out pretty bad when I try to get her in.

If she doesn't like the crate don't use it.
Get her a nice dogbed and when she paces too much, lead her to the bed and ask her to lie down.
Work on getting her to settle down and relax. I don't know if it will work with your dog but I have managed to get a couple of dogs that were pacers to sort of "give up" and relax.
I sat by their side while they were lying in "their spot", tried to calm them down (petting, talking softly), showed them I wanted them to lie all the way down, head too. Then slowly less physical contact, less talking and just stayed there. Every time they showed signs of getting up, I showed them I wanted them to stay down, and started over. The dogs finally "gave up", gave a deep sigh and relaxed - if your dog seems to get more stressed if you try something like this, then don't do it.
I think there might a few things that could be affecting her. I adopted her in Leesburg, Va (rural area) ... suggested that and she told me that it's working out well. Anyone have any suggestions? (Sorry about the long post)

Obedience school could be great, but remember that sometimes the homework is more important than the work you do during the classes. Especially if your dog gets nervous about having all those other dogs and people around her. A trainer once said to me that during classes she trains the owners - the dogs get the real training at home =).
Rosa
Hi Mike,
I adopted a dog that is of nervous disposition lat year but he isn't quite as bad as your dog.
Sometimes dogs are born with nervous dispositions but the way they are brought up can make them better or worse. Dibby whines and yawns and licks a lot, though he has improved , it's hard for him to break the habit.Dogs take their cue from their leader , which is you, so how you react is important. if you act confidently then it will give her confidence. Don't try to make her settle in a crate if she doesn't want to , it will just make her more anxious. Leave the crate door open or have a bed or blanket where she can settle when she chooses. Its best to ignore her when she paces , any attention could make her more nervous and make her wonder why you're looking at her .

When you do things like hammering or vacumning and your dog reacts , don't try to reassure her by stroking, fussing or baby talking her , as it will confirm to her there's something to be scared off. With hair dryers and vacumne cleaners , you can leave them out and put treats nearer and nearer to them until she is confident . When you start them up , keep throwing the treats around and don't look at her directly. When she's less afraid , you can start cutting down on the treats .

This worked with Dibby. When I dry my hair now, he's sitting in my lap waiting for his treat When there are noises like fireworks I sing and talk in a happy voice to show there's nothing to be scared off.
I think it would be best to build up her confidence at home before you go to a training class or at least go to a small one . She might find it too over whelming.
Alison