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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-06-2014 02:38 AM
boomer11 i'd also wager the pup was shy from the get go. good nerves to me is a pup that is bold and confident from the beginning (8 weeks). you dont need to encourage it to do things. it should be getting into so many things you have to discourage it from being so naughty.
03-06-2014 12:48 AM
mchcthrn If it was really a dramatic change like that, maybe it's medical? Has she been to the vet recently? Could it be growing pains or teething or something like that that caused her to be a bit off?

If this pattern continues though, with no medical cause, it probably is genetics/socialization.

Are you sure as a younger pup that she wasn't slow to warm up in new situations, or to new dogs, or people? Often the signs get more pronounced as they age, but you can usually see it, even in young pups, it is just more subtle.
03-05-2014 11:56 PM
LokiTheLady
Quote:
Originally Posted by mchcthrn View Post
I would say this has to have a genetic component. You can continue to work with her; however, she will most likely never be easy going in all situations. Aside from genetics, the critical socialization window closes at 12 weeks. If she didn't have appropriate exposure from 4 to 12 weeks and/or if she is genetically fearful, you will likely be dealing with a slightly sensitive/fearful dog for the rest of her life. Fear of noises and fear of people and fear of dogs can all be completely separate things. The good news is that slightly fearful dogs can do just fine in environments they are familiar with and with people and dogs they know. The bad new is that, if not properly managed, fear can lead to fear aggression.

Manage her carefully, use lots of positive reinforcement training to build her confidence, find the best trainer you can, and with lots of hard work and some luck, you'll end up with a decent dog.
I've never actually had this issue with her. I got Loki at nine weeks, and immediately began to socialize her. She was comfortable after a bit of treat/play, and from then on she was a champ. She was excited to meet new dogs, to explore the parks and areas I brought her, and Petco was one of her favorite places. She had proper socialization guided by the trainer I was working with up until about two weeks ago, when he moved away. She had no issues up until yesterday, when I took her to the dog park.

It's why I named the thread a complete turn around, because Loki loved going to the dog park and meeting other dogs and owners. It's why I was wondering if it was genetics, that perhaps they kicked in somehow?
03-05-2014 11:49 PM
mchcthrn I would say this has to have a genetic component. You can continue to work with her; however, she will most likely never be easy going in all situations. Aside from genetics, the critical socialization window closes at 12 weeks. If she didn't have appropriate exposure from 4 to 12 weeks and/or if she is genetically fearful, you will likely be dealing with a slightly sensitive/fearful dog for the rest of her life. Fear of noises and fear of people and fear of dogs can all be completely separate things. The good news is that slightly fearful dogs can do just fine in environments they are familiar with and with people and dogs they know. The bad new is that, if not properly managed, fear can lead to fear aggression.

Manage her carefully, use lots of positive reinforcement training to build her confidence, find the best trainer you can, and with lots of hard work and some luck, you'll end up with a decent dog.
03-05-2014 11:40 PM
boomer11 honestly your definition of good nerves could be completely different from mine. but i'd be careful of how much and how fast you expose her to stuff. it's easy to overwhelm a dog that is already nervous.

if she recovers quickly from stuff then thats good. if she barks at stuff all the time thats bad. if tail is between legs then thats super bad.
03-05-2014 11:37 PM
LokiTheLady Alright. Thank you guys for your input. I think I'll avoid the dog park/Petco for now, and just keep her on the outskirts of the places I take her, so she's not overwhelmed. At the first sign of discomfort, I'll engage her in play farther away, treat her on a good moment, and take her on home.
03-05-2014 11:23 PM
Cassidy's Mom A startle reflex wouldn't concern me as long as the recovery is quick. She's only 5 months old so she's still young. A willingness to investigate new things, and recovering quickly after a sudden loud noise are good.
03-05-2014 11:19 PM
LokiTheLady
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomer11 View Post
most definitely genetics 110%. stable dogs dont need to be socialized to be stable. they are born that way.

my friend has a golden that sounds like your pup. in training the trainer tried to come up to her and she cowered and hid under a chair. once she saw someone riding a bike and immediately took off running the other way and there was no way of calling her back. scared of random things like a football. submissive peeing. just skittish by nature. my friend has slowly worked with her and now shes ok and can go places and more confident but she'll never be what i'd consider a stable dog.

she will never be a confident stable dog but right now you need to train her so that she isnt fear aggressive. i had a pup that was barking at a plastic bag blowing in the wind. i thought it was cute. well it was weak nerves and he grew up to be fear aggressive which is time consuming and a money pit trying to fix it
Can genetics be directed at just certain things? I've only dealt with adult rescue dogs before, so everything puppy is new to me. However, Loki is GREAT with unexpected things. First week we brought her home, the shelf in the pans cabinet broke, and she was standing right next to it. The loud sounds spooked her, she stumbled back, but there was no barking/whining/fearful actions after a ten second delay. Her ears were up, tail raised(in what I now know as her interested pose) and she was eying the cabinet with curiosity.

It spooked her for a bit, but she bounced back right away. Another thing--I had her out on a long lead while I was shoveling the drive way. Neighbor came out(close together houses), his door banged and she quickly alerted to the noise and him. He started to shovel, but she wasn't fearful/aggressive. Her ears were up, tail engaged, and she just watched him. I saw no fearful responses, and just her name called her back to me when she went to investigate, and she stayed by my side, but she did watch him for a little bit.

Perhaps I misconstrued that as her just being curious, and maybe she was fearful, but she showed no immediate signs or body language that she was anxious or fearful of the door closing, or my neighbor. In fact, it only took her a little bit of time to lose interest and start climbing our snow piles and rolling in them.
03-05-2014 11:16 PM
sehrgutcsg I am very protective of my puppy when walking her in the neighborhood. Never dog parks, no interactions with strange dogs she doesn't know. A girl walked up yesterday and I nailed her. She walked up like she was going to introduce her dog to the pup. I had three thing's going on or more at the moment. One, was a guy we were talking about raw food, the wife hand's me the cell with the plumber on the line, told the plumber I could speak with him in 45 min., not now. The girl continues up without one word, I said, "don't be stupid." Rough yes, rude yes, brash yes. I don't want my girl to have a bad experience with a animal she doesn't know !!! I am daddy. I protected her from whatever.. I don't know the girl, the dog, nothing. Now, stay away, you have no clue if the dog is $2000.00, $5000.00 or $150- ? Every time she get's startled, I need to comfort her and reassure her this is life as a dog and it's okay.

I need to go now the wife is
refereeing a Jack on his back and an aggressive female GSD..

Be aware !
03-05-2014 11:11 PM
boomer11 most definitely genetics 110%. stable dogs dont need to be socialized to be stable. they are born that way.

my friend has a golden that sounds like your pup. in training the trainer tried to come up to her and she cowered and hid under a chair. once she saw someone riding a bike and immediately took off running the other way and there was no way of calling her back. scared of random things like a football. submissive peeing. just skittish by nature. my friend has slowly worked with her and now shes ok and can go places and more confident but she'll never be what i'd consider a stable dog.

she will never be a confident stable dog but right now you need to train her so that she isnt fear aggressive. i had a pup that was barking at a plastic bag blowing in the wind. i thought it was cute. well it was weak nerves and he grew up to be fear aggressive which is time consuming and a money pit trying to fix it

btw its not your fault. you didnt mess her up.
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