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dogdone336 11-08-2012 10:37 PM

Fearful Puppy?
 
Hello i have a 3 month pup he's a little afraid of random things like the blender, juicer and even me moving the garbage can outside :confused:

also he is very VERY friendly with people (and friendly dogs) outside the house, loves to meet them, but barks and barks and hides when someone comes in the house (for 5-10 minutes he barks). i just ignore it and act like nothings happening. is this a fear stage or just something that could be in his genes??

can someone give me some guidance to get him more confident and not afraid of all of these things? hes in puppy classes and we do have a trainer come once a week, but i wanted to get more options and see if theres anything that i can get to work.

also just to let you know hes not crate trained, but our trainer suggested we get a crate so we ordered one and are gonna be working on that right when we get it!!

Jag 11-09-2012 02:35 AM

Could be genetics, sure. Did the breeder introduce sudden, loud noises when the pup was still there?

I would NOT allow the pup to hide. I had a male that was like this in the beginning. I socialized the heck out of him, and made him stay at my side. I acted like nothing was wrong. I didn't acknowledge his fear at all. Keep on using loud things, dropping random things, etc. Don't look at him, coddle him, or act like anything is wrong. Maybe he'll get past it. When he runs from something, does he come back to check it out? If they 'recover' then it's OK. If they don't come back to check it out... then that's an issue.

Please talk to your trainers about ways to build his confidence. Work on building a good bond with your pup. The more he trusts you and is bonded to you, the better chance of him handling things that are new and potentially scary to him. If this is really concerning to you, then maybe return the pup to the breeder and try a better breeder. How were the parents? Moms can pass on bad reactions to things if they are a reactive dog. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of people end up with fearful pups. Where did you get the pup from?

dogdone336 11-09-2012 09:52 AM

he wasn't with a breeder, i got him from people that couldnt take care of him anymore. iv had him for about 2 weeks now and only found out a few days ago that hes afraid of this stuff

so lets say im working on running the blender, should i tie him up to me and run it so he doesn't hide while i act like nothings happening? or should i run it from a distance while its running and hes tied to me or on a leash? i think i read somewhere about playing tug with him which he LOVEs to do. he recovers sometimes, which is when i praise him. ive been working on running the dremel around him at a low speed so **** get used to that, which he has been doing good with. its not all loud sounds, too, sometimes ill randomly drop stuff and hes perfectly ok.

i have been talking to them and working with him, but i just wanted to get more options. i definitely wouldnt reutrn him or take him to a new home, i love him to death and hes so amazing other than the random bits of fear.

Lilie 11-09-2012 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dogdone336 (Post 2625287)
so lets say im working on running the blender, should i tie him up to me and run it so he doesn't hide while i act like nothings happening?

I'm not a big believer in acting as though nothing is happening. His reaction is happening, and it isn't a reaction that you want. So you work with his reaction to the blender and not the blender itself.

Find out where his threshold his. Does he react the moment you pull the blender out? Does he react when you turn the blender on?

Take your time, do not rush him. Don't expect immediate results. Give him a chance to find his comfort level.

Take the blender out and set it on the counter. Talk to your dog, sing to your dog keep it light and fun. Give him treats, play with a squeaker toy. Find out what makes your dog happy. Just do it for a few minutes and then put the blender away. No biggie.

If he reacts to the blender just being out - say really reacts and runs out of the room and hides, take the blender and set in in the middle of your family room. Leave it. Ignore it. Walk around it. Clean around it. Play around it. Let him investigate it on his own. Sing his praises when ever you can. Treat him when he passes it. (Carry treats on you 24/7 so you can catch the action.)

You're building confidence, not punishing his reaction.

If it's just the sound of the blender (at this point, he'll learn the blender makes the sound and might be afraid of the blender as well) then play and sing and make him happy, then flip the blender on still singing and getting him excited and treating then flip it off quickly, treating and playing and being silly. Increase the amount of time the dog is around the blender.

You're building confidence.

Remember, he doesn't have to stay right on top of the blender (or what ever he is reacting to) he just has to not react. If you turn the blender on in the kitchen and he calmly walks into the living room, that's ok.

When you have company over, keep him on a leash. Praise, treat, play while the company is there. Don't allow him to run off (his reaction) but don't force him to greet the people. Teach him to kennel to give him a chance to feel safe.

Jag 11-09-2012 04:46 PM

Grim was unsure of the vacuum. When my wife was running it, he was skulking around like it was going to bite him. I went up near the vacuum and called him to me. When he took a step towards it, I praised, and he kept coming forward. I touched it, reached out to him. He was 'over it' in about 2 minutes. Yes, you can introduce things like that... slowly and get the pup past the reaction. Me? I'd turn the blender on and start playing with the pup or doing some very simple obedience with treats. I'd keep on until the dog relaxed. No allowing running and hiding, though. Everyone has their own way of dealing with these issues. Once the dog trusts YOU, then you should be able to move a dog past many of these fears of other things simply by being with the pup and offering distractions and ignoring that they're afraid. The end result is what everyone wants... the pup looks to YOU for direction when uncertain about something. Guess I'm not the ideal person for a fearful pup, because I just absolutely won't coddle them. When they see their human being confident and unafraid, and not allowing them to fold over silly things... I think that alone builds confidence. I also did this with a yard sign at night at my MIL's house (Grim was in a place he'd never been before). I refused to allow him to have any fearful behaviors toward it as there was nothing to fear. On the next sign (about a minute later) Grim went up to it and pushed it with his nose, as if to say "I'm not afraid of that!"

Not knowing your dog's history makes things much more complicated. However, simple household noises causing such a dramatic reaction? I'd be concerned about the pup's overall temperament unless you can get him over it fairly easily. You can also tether the dog to you and let him sniff, touch, etc. the 'offending' object. When the dog relaxes, give a high value treat. Turn it on. Etc. I wouldn't go so slowly as to leave it out in sight, etc. but that's just a difference in styles. Not that going slower won't work.

Lilie 11-09-2012 05:52 PM

I think sometimes when you have a 'new' dog, taking your time and going slow helps you build a relationship with your dog.

Jag 11-09-2012 10:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lilie (Post 2625628)
I think sometimes when you have a 'new' dog, taking your time and going slow helps you build a relationship with your dog.

I agree. Your dog or puppy has to trust you and your judgement. Going very slowly can help build that. Sorry, I'm pulled mentally in about 10 directions today, shouldn't even be answering stuff like this. :o

llombardo 11-09-2012 10:17 PM

My dog was unsure about the vacuum. It was the only thing she reacted to and we have conquered it. She was mortified when I vacuumed the golden(he loves the vacuum). At first she ran to the door and peed, I was not happy about that. At first I ignored her but I watched when the reaction would come. It wasn't so much the noise but the noise and the movement together. I started out by just turning the vacuum on and leaving it in the middle of the room. Of course she was curious enough to check it out. Then I would move it a little bit at a time. After a while she wouldn't freak out, but she would avoid it. Now she walks with me while I vacuum and she doesn't move to quick when I tell her to move so I can vacuum the area she's in:rolleyes: Anyone is going to jump if the noise is unexpected. So if this happens I would bring the dog to the noise, let the dog smell it and see for itself its not bad.


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