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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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A bit concerned...

I know some puppies tend to be shy, but J's behavior to new people and dogs isn't very good.
With most people he backs off and tries avoiding their hands, even if they move slow, he will rarely sniff or show anything but nervousness if they hold their hand out for him.

With dogs he barks, barks, barks with his hair right up and goes to greet if they aren't active, if they hold still he will go say hi, if not he hides behind me until he has decided that the dog means him no harm, then he will play.
*I am only allowing him with dogs I KNOW don't have a dog aggressive bone in their body and are UTD on shots.

Not sure what's going on here, I've had him meeting new people since he got here.


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 08:25 PM
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Re: A bit concerned...

I think every puppy goes through this at some point.

Stark all of a sudden started being shy with other dogs and kids last week for a few days, even though there was no incident that was bad or even slightly 'off'. It went away with more socialization.

I noticed what was happening and so we went out more, talked to more people, greeted other dogs (that I know, but in different areas) and worked on different environments, sounds, etc. and now he is fine again.

Today he had a playdate with three other dogs besides Senna (my sister's who lives with me) and was fine, they were large (lab and a golden) and VERY hyper and he got right in there, a little hesitant at first but then was chasing after them for the stick we were throwing - poor little guy's legs aren't long enough yet to keep up with the big dogs.. Haha.

I think just being out more could help you, it did us.. hope this helps.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 08:52 PM
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Re: A bit concerned...

Fear stages happen during the 7-12 weeks and your pup may be going thru it more pronounced. I would still do safe socializing and be sure the dogs that yours are playing with are not overwhelming yours(which you are doing). I was lucky that Karlo's breeder exposed the litter to so much, this link she explains it: [email protected] 6 weeks , so he showed no fear whatsoever in all situations. We went to the schutzhund club, parades, youth group meetings and a few parties in that time frame. Did some organized puppy playtime, too. He just finished his first set of obedience classes.
This link is interesting: http://www.vonfalconer.com/puppy.html

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 08:52 PM
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Re: A bit concerned...

How old is J now? around 3 months? It is possible he could be going through a fear period right now. Here are some links to description development stages. Though these are guides and the time frames are not exact science, see if you can find descriptions here that sound like what you may be currently seeing in J

Development Stages

First Night to a Year

ETA: Second link is same as Jane's

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 09:02 PM
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Re: A bit concerned...

I was going to post the first one, couldn't find it right away for edit time!! Thanks

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 09:07 PM
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Re: A bit concerned...

Actually not ALL dogs go through this. Many dogs do but dogs with truly rock solid nerves and solid temperament in my experience do not really go through this "stage" as most people refer to it. The most recent example for me is Jethro but he is not the only one I have had. He has not ever shown hesitance with human or dog. ONCE he backed off a little from something that was out of place on the deck but he was 10 weeks old and literally recovered on his own in seconds and went to explore the "new" bucket.

Many dogs do react this way and are able to eventually work through it to lead fairly normal pet lives. Others this is the beginning of a life of anxiety. But it can take tons of proactive work, positive associations with people and dogs. I would start now with books/videos on canine body language and read up on "shy" behavior and confidence building. Turid Rugaas' Calming Signals is a great place to start so you can begin to read him showing signs of stress. By the time he is hiding behind you or running away he is way beyond the early subtle signs that he is stressed. You will need to learn to recognize the EARLY signs so you can set him up for success.


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 09:46 PM
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Re: A bit concerned...

Is he only 9 weeks old? That's REALLY young to be super concerned. Some breeders don't even give up the puppies until around 10 weeks old. I'd just keep up SAFE socialization in controlled situations. Don't want to overwhelm the puppy.

Lot's of exercise and time with you and the family mixed with some socialization. And if it's too much for strangers to all be touching and petting, just have him exposed to people and they don't have to touch him until he's calmer.




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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 06:38 AM
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Re: A bit concerned...

i agree that most dogs with rock solid nerves don't show fear or shyness from a young age. sure there might be some things they are unsure of early, if its something new and different, but will recover and move on.
there are fear stages, but in my experience fear stages in stronger nerved dogs come and go faster. in other words weaker nerved dogs tend to stay in the fear stages longer and more often, or stay that way from day one.
lots of work on the owners part with a pup like this, building confidence with lots of OB classes, going everywhere and being exposed slowly to things, trying to keep all encounters positive, getting involved with an activity such as agility, tracking, etc, to build the confidence level, etc. there might always be a degree of fear/shyness if you have a pup thats extreme in that way, you will most likely have to stay on tops of things for the life of the dog. but, if your willing to put the time in, your dog will have the tools to deal with most things.

i would just have new people ignore him, not touch him, or make eye contact with him, let him go to them, and after a few minutes once he smells them, they could give him a treat, but not make contact. a slow process, but you should see results if your persistant.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: A bit concerned...

Thank you guys

I have never thought I overwhelmed him, never forced him to do anything, I let HIM approach other dogs, and thankfully the owners I know make their dogs sit/stay down/stay until he's ready to investigate.

On familiar ground (home) he's fine with people. Even when we had two uniformed police come over on the 4th, though one was extremely scared of him and Sparkles, thank God Dutch wasn't out.

I'm going to take it slow.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 09:15 AM
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Re: A bit concerned...

Quote:
Quote:I'm going to take it slow.
Think that's the way to go. Don't avoid taking him out and about. You have to continue to expose him to stuff. But just having him out may be enough at this point, he may not want to interact with everyone this week.... but just having him calm and watching is fine.




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