Overcoming Fear OF - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Overcoming Fear OF

Nimai is a nervous 11 month old neutered male.
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He is fearful of garden hoses, and taking a bath. I am not confident at all that he will get over it little by little and be less afraid. Giving bribes, treats and being excited and positive gets me no-where.

What is the best method to introduce him to water?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 10:16 PM
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Throw him in? Kidding...sort of. Some dogs just plain don't like water and won't ever like it. Some have this initial fear and once they realize it's fun, they are fine. I had a dog like the latter and found that the more of a big deal I made about it, the worse it was. Best thing was to just toss the dog in without making a big fuss, and go in with a toy, play around, show the dog it's fun, and two days later the dog was dock jumping better than my dock jumping titled dog. Really depends on the dog though. My dog is not timid about anything else, very confident, sometimes pushy, loves to try everything kind of dog. Just hesitated with water for whatever reason. You could literally see it on his face after I tossed him in and he realized he was not going to die and it was fun. He was running in it, drinking it, barking at it, jumping off the dock.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 10:22 PM
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The "throw him in" option really isn't the worst idea, but it really depends on the dog.

For example, my Lucy was scared to death of the treadmill at one point. She hated the noise and would never get near it even when the thing was off. So one day I just picked her up and plopped her right on it at a slow speed and held her collar while she walked.

She actually picked it up right away and loves it on rainy days. Sometimes I'll just see her standing on it while it's off waiting for me to turn the thing on.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 10:56 PM
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What's he do if you lay a hose in the yard and turn it on? Is he interested at all? Does he run and hide, if it is just laying there?

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 10:59 PM
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You have to make water the coolest thing EVER!!!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 08:43 AM
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get one of the plastic pools for him, at first he'll think it's a big water dish, get him excitced about playing with his favorite toy, then toss it in the pool, put it in the center so he at least has to put a paw in

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 08:47 AM
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I always start pups out on a plastic kiddie pool. After they begin to get used to that and will play or jump in and out we head for the beach on a calm day and let them play in the calm water on a loose lead. I can hardly keep Raina out of the water. She is a such a water baby she will even spill her water dish on purpose so she can lay in the spilled water. She never even wants to come in out of the rain.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Aloha, all. It is not so much that I want him to get into water, but more how to approach other fears (for me and him). We talked about him being a nervous dog but once he encounters something he is not nervous, but bossy.

He hates the garden hose and if he sees me approaching the hose he runs under my desk.
When I had to give him a bath for his ticks, he was obedient, but we had to lift him into a shallow tub to get him wet and he was shaking like crazy and even the water was warm.

He will not get on my elevator to go down to the yard and out for walks. (this is the main thing now I need him to do, - getting exercise to strengthen his legs)

I) also was thinking: 1) repeat the activity (water or elevator) and let him watch and he will get used to it and become unafraid and do it. -- or --

2) Make him do it, the throw him in the water approach or make him get on the elevator and eventually he will get used to it.

I just don't what to choose the wrong way and make matters worse.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Aloha, OK "throw him in worked out GREAT". Actually it is having him come down on the elevator with me. He was totally afraid of it! And it is not a real elevator, just a platform on a forklift that is about 4x4 feet that I roll my wheelchair onto to go up and down to the second floor where the office and living quarters are.

Day one it was a big time tug of war with the lease and I barely won as he is STRONG.

Next time it was a tug of war still pretty intense.

Next time he came on peacefully as long as I had a leash

Today, he runs/limps to the elevator and waits for me to hurry up so we can go for a walk.

Whoo Hoo


Last edited by adas; 12-15-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 06:31 AM
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My puppy was afraid of the stairs, but I needed him to overcome that since we need to walk on stairs daily, and I can't carry him through them anymore coz he became heavier.

At first, he wouldn't go down stairs even if treats were there. And then there were a few times I've finally lured him to go downstairs, but then he suddenly won't go down nor near anymore. So I've had to force him to deal with it.
I've picked him up and put him in the middle of the stairs, and he kinda freezed! I gave him a treat before going to the stairs, and on the stairs he dropped that from inside of his mouth, which kinda surprised me. So to avoid overflowing him with this, I've put him on the first degrees instead. By time, after forcing his paws on the first degrees a few times (pushing him to the stairs slowly and waiting for his reaction), he finally overcame his fear, and now he just goes up and down without problem.

I guess that when treats doesn't work, forcing him to face it a bit without overflowing him can work. There's no need to use much word motivation, as acting like if the situation is just normal is better.
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