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Old 02-09-2013, 07:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 6 Month Old GSD is Cowering

Hi everyone,
We recently started taking our 6 month old do a local doggie day care. He just started his 2nd month. He had been getting home care ( by me) previously. The dog is very smart and very confident. This past week I noticed that when I raised my hand to get him to sit, he cowered. And what I mean by this, is that he ducked and acted afraid. This was very disturbing to watch. Then I raised my hand as if though I was going to strike him, and sure enough he cowered.

Let me also add, that when I asked the doggie day care facility, they said that they do not use physical punishment on any of the dogs. They do however "roll" the dogs to get them under control if/when needed.

A few questions:

1. Is this an indication that someone has be "hitting" him?

2. Can this behavior be corrected or is the damage already done?

3. Is the "roll" maneuver enough to make a dog cower?

4. Am I over thinking this?

According to the facility, my dog is very well behaved and a good player. They did mention that he tries to take on the alpha roll, but I don't see what that has to do with him cowering.

Any suggestions or thoughts?
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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before starting your 2nd month of training and socializing
what did you do prior to this?

stop raising your hand as if you want to hit
your dog.

forget about rolling your dog. that's a bad, bad move.

Quote:
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Hi everyone,
We recently started taking our 6 month old do a local doggie day care. He just started his 2nd month. He had been getting home care ( by me) previously. The dog is very smart and very confident. This past week I noticed that when I raised my hand to get him to sit, he cowered. And what I mean by this, is that he ducked and acted afraid. This was very disturbing to watch. Then I raised my hand as if though I was going to strike him, and sure enough he cowered.

Let me also add, that when I asked the doggie day care facility, they said that they do not use physical punishment on any of the dogs. They do however "roll" the dogs to get them under control if/when needed.

A few questions:

1. Is this an indication that someone has be "hitting" him?

2. Can this behavior be corrected or is the damage already done?

3. Is the "roll" maneuver enough to make a dog cower?

4. Am I over thinking this?

According to the facility, my dog is very well behaved and a good player. They did mention that he tries to take on the alpha roll, but I don't see what that has to do with him cowering.

Any suggestions or thoughts?
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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immediately stop sending him to daycare, the help there is lying and they are hitting your dog. dogs dont just cower when someone raises their hand unless they have been hit. if someone rolled my dog i would beat the crap out of them..... never let anyone roll or hit your dog.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd also be suspicious that someone there has hit your dog, or maybe another dog.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am also suspicious that someone is hitting your dog. Your dog should not cower at you if you have never hit it. It learned to cower from someone.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would bet some serious money that it is because they are alpha rolling your dog. This is an outdated technique that serves absolutely no purpose EXCEPT to force dogs to submit to people. Get your dog out of that daycare and tell them why you are pulling him.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I, too, think he'd be cowering just from being "rolled".
Don't send him back there. AND yes, tell them why. Although chances are they won't believe you, because rollers are "stuck" in their ways, and they tend to think it works.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
stop raising your hand as if you want to hit
your dog.
I think you are reading too much into this portion of my post. I only did it to see what my dog would do. I told my neighbor who has two dogs about my dilemma, and he asked me to come over. He raised his hand at both dogs and neither flinched. To further test the theory, we walked to another neighbors house and did the same thing. The dog did not cower. My neighbors obviously do not hit their dogs and so the dogs had no idea what the raised hand meant.

When I have my dog sit, I make a fist and roll it over his head. I have been doing this since he was 9 weeks old without him ever flinching and now he does.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I will pull him from the daycare facility. Does anyone know if he will eventually stop cowering? Is there a way to undue the damage? Again I find this very disturbing. Even as a very young pup, he had a lot of confidence. He still does when he is around other dogs and people, and I don't want him to lose that.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That is the problem with day care for dogs. You don't really know who is handling your dog.

If they alpha rolled your dog they may have hit him too. I'm not against the alpha roll myself but it should only be used by the owner handler in extreme circumstances. but hey lets not turn it into a alpha roll thread.

To stop the dog cowering you need to rebuild it's confidence. You can pretend to hit him but not follow through so he starts to learn the hand doesn't hit. I would use aggressive movements and get the dog used to that. He will look at you and start to realize you are not trying to hurt him. When the dog looks cool feed him some treats. I would also get him used to stamping around him on walks or whatever. Turn his fear into fun basically. Go slowly so as to not reinforce the cowering.
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