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Discussion Starter #1
I know there is a similar post to this one and I did read through it, I thought I would start my own because while the situations may be similar, there are probably other factors that come in to play with my dog that probably don't with the other posters and I didn't want to hijack their thread.

When we first went out to visit Bruce at kennel he was a different dog. He was the first to come up to me, sit on my feet and ask for a good pet. He was the bottom of the pack (about 15 dogs), most likely because he was the youngest and most submissive of them all. He was a leftover pup from a litter last summer, about 7 months old when we first went to look at him. He didn't display and shy, nervous or avoiding traits and was actually pretty independent and outgoing while would visit but would back down if challenged by another dog (there was growling over food while we were there a couple of times, Bruce always just left the situation and went to a different area).

Sadie, our oldest dachshund, is pretty dominant and extremely stubborn. When we add a new dog to our family, we generally have to chose submissive males, otherwise we end up with fights, crating and rotating, high tension, etc. The only exception to this was our old pit bull Josh, she was an intact female but just went along with whatever was happening (couldn't spay her for health reasons, she was 7 when we got her).

Back to the point, Bruce seemed like his personality and temperament would fit in pretty well with the pack, with minimal disagreements between the animals. And he did, however, since bringing him home almost a month ago now, he has been extremely shy. If there is more than one person over, he will run upstairs and hide in the bedroom or bathroom - literally darting away from anyone but myself or Mike. He does not growl, show his teeth or bark. We actually haven't heard him make any noises except the grunting he does while having a BM. He has started to stand at the top of the stairs and look down when people are over, if it's someone other than myself, he'll run back into the bedroom. Is this some sort of progress?

If it is just one person over, he will stay downstairs if that's where he was but will just lay on his bed and pant constantly. His ears are back slightly and you can tell he's tense, but his tail is not between his legs and he will lay down on his side and fall asleep about 90% of the time.

I should also mention that he was raised on a farm with access to land, cows, etc almost constantly and was moved into the downtown area of the city. It's not exceptionally loud, but he would definitely shy away from a lot of the noises at first. He is now fine when I'm walking him, unless a stranger approaches and then he will go behind me and sit down. We were thinking of bringing along treats and have people that we know offer them to him, but there aren't any treats (or toys) that he seems to really like. The only thing he seems to enjoy at all are Benny Bullies and even then I usually have to physically toss it in his mouth for him to take it. Everything else he just spits out.

I have dealt with fearful, shy, timid dogs before, but I could always find a motivator for them, whether it was food, treats, toys or affection/attention. Bruce doesn't seem to care about anything and I'm at a loss with figuring out what to do to motivate him and praise him for proper interactions/behaviour.

The shyness and avoiding people is the only real problem that we've had with him, other than the odd housebreaking accident. He walks perfectly on a leash until someone approaches, he has fit in with our dogs very well, isn't bothered by the cats, doesn't beg, jump up, etc.

With Fynn, who was also pretty shy when we got him, we worked on building up his confidence with games like tug. We tried it with Bruce and it was a miserable failure - give him the toy, he just drops it.

I realize this is something that we will be dealing with for quite some time, but as I mentioned before, I'm not really sure what else we can do to help him along. Any ideas or suggestions? If you need more info just ask and I'll answer the best I can. We do have 2 other dogs and 2 cats.
 

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I seems to me that Fynn is going thru a big adjustment - from rural to city life with so many people and it is only a month. He is still settling in. I would let him take his time and observe people - if he wants to meet the guests, fine, if not, I would let him be. I would make sure he has a safe area,his crate with the door left open, or another room where he can go when other people make him feel nervous. For the walks, maybe you can walk him with one of your other dogs, that would make him feel more safe. If walking alone, I would leave a distance between other people, curve around them, and then shorten the distance as he gets more relaxed.
 

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yes, i would give it some time let him get adjusted.........thye are all different so you will have to figure out his threshold as you go along and try not to over whelm him.

there is a fine line with people coming and him running to the other room, at some point he's going to have to deal with it, but you have to slowly figure out what will make the situation better for him. you also don't want running to hide to become a learned behavior. once you figure out what works for him around people, toy, real yummie treats etc i would leash him maybe at a distance and distract with something he really likes, make it fun, praise him etc. sounds like its just that, being Shy more than something that will turn into Fear aggression, unless of course he was cornered, really threatened, etc. sometimes dogs like this feel more threatened in a small area, and are better outside in a bigger area when working with people etc. if he has a favorite toy one person at a time playing with him outside may help, or just giving yummie treats outside, etc. how about a tug? have you really gotten him excited with something like that. thats a personal interaction which can change their mode of worrying about things around them if they are really into it. took me a while to teach tug to my fear/shy guy, but now he's crazy about it and he will play with anyone who will play with him.
 

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shy-k9s : shy-k9s I would join this group.

It doesn't sound like he's used to the people world at all - everything is new to him. Think of the movie Nell, but from a kennel. Understimulated, undersocialized, underexposed, and in need of a snail's pace in terms of all of these things again. Basically, he's constantly over his threshold. Across a Threshold - Whole Dog Journal Article

Definitely do check out that group! Thanks for being patient with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm just getting ready for work, I'll check those sites out when I get there.

Last night there was a band practice here again, along with an audio tech recording it and a videographer doing something. Two other dogs as well, a beagle mix and a husky, they come over quite a bit so Bruce is used to them and doesn't seem to mind them. He downstairs when I got home from work, but at that point there were only two people other people here and Bruce knew them. When the rest of the people came (two that he knows, two that he doesn't) he went back upstairs. Our bedroom is his safe room, everyone knows not to go in there at all, but especially if he's in there. We did have an incident last week of someone not obeying our rules, this guy cornered Bruce in the bathroom trying to pet him and Bruce peed. I kicked the guy out right away and told him he's not allowed back over until he respects the rules of our house. I went through with him how dangerous what he did could have been - he could have been bitten or worse by putting both himself and Bruce in that position. He apologized quite a bit and seemed genuine about it, we'll see next time he's over (I will be here).

Anyways, I had to take all the dogs to work last night (just a pop in) to get weights and have blood drawn for heartworm and POHS tests. I do the POHS on Sadie every year because she's had so many medical issues, Fynn I do every other year and we decided to do Bruce this year just to have a baseline. He was great going through all the people as we were leaving home to go (on leash) and great at work. We did muzzle him for the blood draw at my request, I was holding him and didn't know how he would react. The muzzle actually seemed to calm him and he almost fell asleep while we were taking the blood. After he's neutered, he's going to be a blood donor at the emergency clinic but that's another story.

Anyways, we got home and I let him off leash, he ran straight to his bed in the living room but laid there and watched everything going on, falling asleep after about an hour. At no point while he was on the bed were his ears down. One of the girls had a BLT, so I had her give him a little bit of bacon (the only thing we've found that he actually likes) and he shoved his head in her hand for pets. I was surprised at the improvement.

We do walk him about 80% of the time with the other two dogs. It does seem to help a bit. We basically walk up a fairly busy street to the park, through the park and back home. The park is pretty busy in the summer with festivals and people just hanging out. It's even like that now, but they are generally off the path. So far he's been dealing with that well. If I stop to talk to someone, I make him sit and he seems to calm down by the time I'm done talking. I don't mean that he's trying to get away the entire time, just that he seems a bit uncomfortable with it for the first few minutes but stays sitting.

I had thought we would see more improvement by this point but didn't want to push it. It seems from his behaviour yesterday that he's coming around more. Of course right after I post something about it, lol.

Mike also said that he took him out with our friend's husky yesterday while they were postering (they have a show next week) and he did really well. They went in a few dog friendly stores and he was really good, then over to the friend's house for a little bit after. Mike was really impressed, which is good because he was starting to question whether getting Bruce was a good idea. I do most of the training, walking and exercising with the dogs, he does about 75% of the feeding, so I don't think he was seeing what I was in terms of improvement which made me second guess the improvements that I saw.
 

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Thank for the update. Fynn is really making great progress. What I would do if someone doesn't follow your instructions and Fynn gets scared and pees, is to hand the person the cleaning items :) I would also stress that in my instructions.
 

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I thought I'd update... we aren't seeing any improvement at all. To be honest, I think he's regressed. I'll try to keep this somewhat short, if you need more info just let me know!

We were going to the dog park every day, in the evening when it's not too busy, for about an hour to an hour and a half (from about 7:15-9:00 pm). We became one of the regulars and all the dogs and people that go there at that time know us. Bruce was getting along with all of them great, he would actually run and play a bit. With the owners, he wasn't running away from them and would actually trot past them within a foot or two. At the times we would go, there would be maybe 4-5 other dogs and 6-7 people, by the time we'd leave it would just be Bruce and I and a gentleman with his Lab/Rott mix.

Last week right when we got there Bruce ran in and started to have a BM, which is normal. The rest of the dogs/people were at the other end of the park and his back was to them. Just as he was finishing, one of the dogs ran up to him and surprised him, he yelped but nothing came of it. A worker was there moving woodchips from the large dog part to the small part (it gets really muddy), he heard the yelp and thought that it was Bruce starting a fight with the other dog (a husky). By this time we had joined the group and everything was going well. The worker had entered the big dog part and was starting to load up his wheelbarrow with chips again when he saw Bruce and the husky chasing each other. Neither dog was being dominant or submissive, they were running back and forth about 15 feet from us (we all talk but are all watching our dogs). Because of where we were all standing and where the pile of chips was, the worker was about 5 feet closer than we were and the dogs would run within about 5 feet of him. All of a sudden he started yelling at the dogs to split them up and chased Bruce away saying that he was being dominant. This completely freaked Bruce out and he ran towards the wooded area which was about 20 feet from where we were. The owner of the husky went over to speak to the worker to explain that the dogs were not being dominant or submissive to each other, we had them under voice control and were watching them. After the incident I no longer had voice control over Bruce, he would not come at all. I decided to stay a bit longer rather than remove him right there - my theory was that if I removed him from the situation where he had been freaked out, he would associate the park with being freaked out and potentially react when we went there. We stayed for about 45 minutes longer and he had settled down and was again listening to me, I did not allow him to play for the rest of the time we were there though.

The next day we went back and everything was fine, he was listening, playing and acting like his regular self. The day after (Saturday) we went but unfortunately there aren't really any slow times on weekends. When we went there were about 15 other dogs in the big dog section, a few of the people from the week nights were there as well. I had him walk beside me for a couple of laps and was then going to let him play with a few dogs we knew before another shepherd (also intact) came up to Bruce and started trying to mount him. I called Bruce away, he came, but the shepherd kept following us. After about 5 minutes of trying to get the shepherd to leave us alone, I decided to just leave.

Fast forward to Sunday night, my boyfriend is sick and I don't feel like making dinner. He really wanted pizza and I had to walk Bruce anyways, so I decided to walk him down to Little Cesars. It was getting dark, but I have walked him in the dark before with no problems. This time, every single little noise had him turning his head, pulling and spinning around. This was not a new area of town or a way that he had not walked before, he is very familiar with this area. Anyways, he was clearly very uncomfortable when I tied him up outside - thankfully, no one on the street and I could see him from inside. I was in and out in less than 2 minutes. He behaved the same way the entire way home, a bit worse, but I think that may have been partly due to my increasing frustration at that point. He did respond well to a quick leash pop (on a flat nylon collar).

Unfortunately, since then I have not had a chance to walk him myself. I had decided to cut out the dog park for the most part and only go there 2-3 times a week and work on his leash behaviour every day when on a walk. Monday, my boyfriend walked him. Tuesday and Wednesday he didn't get a walk at all, I got home very late from work Tuesday and didn't feel well, Wednesday the weather was not cooperating and I still didn't feel well. I am going to take him out when I get home today (in about an hour and a half actually) and see how he does.

At home he's gotten worse as well. We practice NILIF with all of our dogs, Bruce is very good at following the commands before he is given anything but it's when we're just relaxing that's the problem. He spends about 95% of his day upstairs in our bedroom with the cats. He comes downstairs to eat and drink (he'll stay upstairs to drink if Mike forgets to put down the toilet seat). He just sleeps on the bed or stares out the window. I can be downstairs, call him and he'll come but after I'm done whatever I was doing with him he goes right back upstairs. I'm wondering if I should put the baby gate up infront of the stairs again (we used to do it with our small dogs while we were trainging them not to go up there unless we were there), that way he would be forced to stay downstairs, but that just increases his level of anxiety and causes him to pace - unless I tell him to go to his bad, then he'll lay there and pant.

We had very good success a few weeks ago with a couple of friends giving him treats, he was actually relaxed and would take them gently from their hands. I'm trying to figure out when everything negative started and the only thing I can kind of relate it to is when the man chased him away at the park.

I'm honestly getting frustrated, I know that is only going to make things worse so I'm trying to be calm when I'm around him but I'm sure he can sense my frustration. I'm also getting worried that if he decides to take off when I'm walking him, I won't be able to hold/control him. I'm 93lbs and he's nearly 80 and growing. So far, I have been able to hold him if he spooks. I've spoken with a few trainers that have met Bruce when I've had him at work with me - one said keep working with positive reinforcement, one said try a choke, another said a prong, yet another said to send him off to be trained. I have worked with a prong with all of my other dogs (two dachshunds, border collie mix, bulldogs, pit bull, bouvier, golden mix, etc) and generally use positive reinforcement with it (treat when doing what is asked, correction when not) but I'm not sure with Bruce. The last thing I want to do is put a prong on him and have him react stronger because of it.

Thoughts? Ideas? Is blocking off his access to his "safe space" (upstairs) when it's just my boyfriend and I there a good idea? We wouldn't do it when there are people over just yet, but I feel like he needs to learn how to deal with these things, he can't be afraid in his own home and needs to be comfortable. He just always seems on edge, but has never shown any type of reaction other than to shy away (and he peed himself once when someone cornered him and we weren't around).
 

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Bruce does remind me a lot of my husky who I adopted when she was 2 yrsd old- she just wasn't into following me around the house like my aussie did and my gsd does. She would go off in a corner and nap. I did try to change that, but she clearly wasn't happy so I learned to accept that and give her space and time alone. So, I wouldn't block off Bruce's safe place because that will only increase his anxiety. I suggest you check out the link that Jean had in her post. For the walking, my Sting outweighs me - he is 130 lbs. and I am a 100 lbs. I use the front buckle harness - the Walk In Snyc harness and the leash - there is also a training method for the walking. Here is a link: Walk In Sync - The Easiest and Most Humane Way to Walk and Train Your Dog : Home I would also yawn when Bruce is anxious that is a calming signal. Here is a link: Turid Rugaas - Calming Signals Community
 

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its going to take MONTHS for him to settle in.. stop doing so much with him and let him just RELAX....the more you try to get him out and about the more he will regress... some dogs need more time then others to destress in a new home.. you are doing too much tooo fast too soon with him.... do NOT block his safe zone, that will make him regress even more. if he doesnt like crowds dont take him to crowds, if he doesnt like alot of people let him stay upstairs when people are over.. instead of flooding him with stuff let him be....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bruce does remind me a lot of my husky who I adopted when she was 2 yrsd old- she just wasn't into following me around the house like my aussie did and my gsd does. She would go off in a corner and nap. I did try to change that, but she clearly wasn't happy so I learned to accept that and give her space and time alone. So, I wouldn't block off Bruce's safe place because that will only increase his anxiety. I suggest you check out the link that Jean had in her post. For the walking, my Sting outweighs me - he is 130 lbs. and I am a 100 lbs. I use the front buckle harness - the Walk In Snyc harness and the leash - there is also a training method for the walking. Here is a link: Walk In Sync - The Easiest and Most Humane Way to Walk and Train Your Dog : Home I would also yawn when Bruce is anxious that is a calming signal. Here is a link: Turid Rugaas - Calming Signals Community
Bruce does usually follow me around when I'm upstairs, from bedroom to bedroom (upstairs we have 4 bedrooms; our room, guest room, music room and art room, and then the bathroom). He's like my shadow up there and to some extent downstairs, when he comes down which is generally to go to the bathroom and to eat/drink. I don't mind him staying up there if he's overwhelmed when people are over, but he's not coming down when he has to poop and will go on the floor in the hall - he does not do this with pee, he will come down and ask to go outside. We put him outside, then clean it up and clean it with enzymatic cleaner, but he'll still go. Maybe I'll try gating off the part of the hallway where he's been going and see if that makes a difference with that aspect. We've tried crating him, it really did not go well at all - we started slow and tried to work up, but he just ended up hurting himself. Since he doesn't get into anything while we're gone, we decided to just leave him out. We also tried locking him in a room with his bed and a stuffed kong, again starting slowly and trying to work up, but he ripped up the carpet and nearly destroyed the door (this was during a 15 minute trip to the store, he had been fine in the room if we were home). That wasn't too bad because we found out we had hardwood under the carpet, lol.

its going to take MONTHS for him to settle in.. stop doing so much with him and let him just RELAX....the more you try to get him out and about the more he will regress... some dogs need more time then others to destress in a new home.. you are doing too much tooo fast too soon with him.... do NOT block his safe zone, that will make him regress even more. if he doesnt like crowds dont take him to crowds, if he doesnt like alot of people let him stay upstairs when people are over.. instead of flooding him with stuff let him be....
I haven't blocked off his safe zone, I was just asking if it may help and wasn't going to do it when we had people over, just when we were home with him.

I would love to just not take him into crowds/busy places but we live right downtown. It's always busy, unless I want to walk him at 4 am which we aren't willing to do with our work schedules. So it's either walk him during the day when the crowds are at least somewhat sane, or at night when all of the drunk college/university students are out. I choose to walk him with the semi-sane people to avoid the yelling, grabbing, etc that comes with the intoxication. If I don't walk him, he starts to get destructive and as I mentioned above, crating isn't really an option with him.

With all of that being said, he has started to come around a bit since I have posted this. Looking back, I don't think that we're doing anything different other than actually walking him instead of taking him to the park as much, which could explain the difference. It could also be that my boyfriend has been more diligent with keeping the toilet lid down so he has to come downstairs when he's thirsty. He's been spending more time with us if no one is over, usually laying in the dining room (right behind the living room) or the kitchen. He's also starting to play with the other dogs if they aren't being loud (Sadie tends to get a bit growly/barky when she plays with Fynn). We also had a couple and their dog over last night that we're friends with, the female comes over and cleans once or twice a week and brings her dog, so he's very familiar with them. He was downstairs when they came over and stayed down until another friend came over a few hours later. He laid down, stopped panting and eventually fell asleep until the other friend came.

So it looks like he's starting to come around more, now we just have to figure out how to get him to poop outside more often!
 

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Thanks for the update and that it is going well except for the pooping inside. Since the walks are helping and seem to calm him, perhaps if he could be walked on a regular schedule and given time to potty that may help. Since he is sometimes afraid to come down stairs maybe he is holding it too long and that causes the accidents.
 

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Thanks for the update and that it is going well except for the pooping inside. Since the walks are helping and seem to calm him, perhaps if he could be walked on a regular schedule and given time to potty that may help. Since he is sometimes afraid to come down stairs maybe he is holding it too long and that causes the accidents.
That's what I'm thinking, he's holding it too long and then just has to go. Again though, it does seem to be improving a bit. At least the poops are solid and easy to pick up.

We try to keep as much of a schedule as possible but neither my boyfriend or myself have set schedules for work. We're doing the best we can and are usually able to keep things within an hour or so of the "norm". It's always a toss up as to whether he's going to go on a walk or not. When we first got him, he absolutely would not go on leash at all - pee or poop. Now he will poop occasionally, but still not pee. At the time, we didn't have a fenced in yard and could only get him to go by letting him outside loose. Thankfully, he never strayed more than 3-5 feet from me and would go quickly. Since then,the yard has been fenced but I still actually go out with them. It stopped the pee accidents, which was great. The poop we're still working on. We've tried taking him out every 15 minutes, 1/2 hour after he eats, etc - all the usual housebreaking techniques but he just keeps holding it until you think that he just doesn't have to go, or until you go to bed, then he'll go. When we were still attempting the crate/room, he didn't poop for three days. I actually thought he was blocked and took him to the vet, we did xrays and after doing a second set a few hours after the first (to see if the gas had moved in his colon), he pooped in the run he was in. I was thinking of putting a pee pad down where he normally goes up there and then moving it a bit every day until it's outside. I had to do that with my first dachshund because she was paper trained. I guess it would be paper training him, then retraining him to go outside. Just thinking outloud, lol. I think I'm going to block off the rest of the hall (he'll still be able to stay upstairs in the bedroom and bathroom, but the area he poops in will be blocked off) and see if he continues to go inside or goes outside. If he goes outside, I'll get some different cleaner through work and rent a steam cleaner to make sure it's all gone. If he goes inside, I'll try the paper training thing.
 

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That explains a lot - he is afraid to go when someone is watching him because he is afraid he will be punished. Your plan to first block off that area, and then if that does not work to use the pee pad is good and I would try that. You could also try when you find the accident, is to in a calm manner get the dog - put his leash on - go to the area - scoop it up - take dog and mess to backyard - drop mess in backyard where you want him to potty and say "go here" - but since he was probably abused, you would have to be calm and not scold him but look at it as a training exercise. Also since your yard is now fenced, when you go out with him, try turning your back or pretend to do something else, or look at something else, so you aren't watching him. If you can leave him out there alone after you have walked him and give him some water when you return that may work also. When you are at home with him, you could attach his leash to you, and have him follow you around - so you can catch any accidents. I have read posts in the past that do with rescue dogs having this problem, so you may also want to search the forum.
 

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We have poop outside! Doing a bit of a happy dance here, lol.

We have a friend's cat staying with us for a month, he was dropped off last night (long story short - friend had to move immediately and was going to have to surrender him to a shelter if he couldn't find someone to watch him for a month). Anyways, because he was staying over, I blocked the end of the hall where Bruce had been pooping because I was setting the cat up in the closet there and wanted an area where the cat could go but the dogs couldn't. Bruce spent much of this morning on the first floor with us and we were able to actually see what he was doing. I saw him getting ready to poop in the kitchen, said "Bruce, go outside" in a calm voice and opened the back door for him. He went outside and pooped right away, I praised like crazy and he was a happy boy, so it seems like this is working. He also seems to be calmer today as well, could be wishful thinking, but he hasn't been panting as much and his ears haven't been back.

I don't think that he was ever abused, but he did live with a large pack and had free access to outside whenever he wanted through a dog door. I have found that if I close the door to the back yard and watch him through the edge of the window, he goes (pee) faster.
 

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Wonderful news! Great how you took kitty in and by making arrangements - found the solution. Well since he had a dog door, he probably forget how to potty on schedule if he ever had to learn in the first place. Could be all that panting was him holding it and hiding upstairs was just to find a place to go. You all sure deserve to celebrate :)
 

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Since we've had him he's always panted a lot, we think it was because he was nervous/on edge. It has decreased significantly though, so that's promising.

My boyfriend had band practice here tonight, so lots of people over. Bruce stayed upstairs while they were here (I think, I was at work and didn't get home until about 1/2 hour before everyone left). No accidents up there, I think their practice was at 5 and they all left around 10:30. I went up to go to the bathroom, he was reluctant to come downstairs when I came down so I tried the yawn thing and it worked pretty well. He responded by doing a big stretch and then coming downstairs. He went outside and peed immediately and was praised heavily. I'm about to start some bread, he loves being in the kitchen with me (usually lays right in the middle of course, lol), so I'm sure he'll be down for the rest of the night now until we go to bed.
 

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My husky panted a lot, sometimes it was because she was too warm :), when she was nervous, but also when she had to go out. It is a sign of distress, but can mean different things. A band practice can get real loud, my neighbor used to have practice in his basement and I could hear it in my house. Great the yawning worked. If you are home when they are practicing, if you yawn that will Bruce. Yes, my Sting loves to be in the kitchen also when I am cooking and right in the middle of the floor, if anything drops, it is his ! Glad to hear that Bruce is settling in and getting used to his new potty routine.
 

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Just wanted to add, that maybe it would help if Bruce could be outside when the band is practicing, especially when you are not home. It can get loud for us humans and a dog's hearing is so much more sensitive.
 

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It seems to be about 50/50 whether I'm home or not when they're practicing. If I am, I've been having all the dogs upstairs in the bedroom with me while they practice, you can barely hear it up there - only a bit of drums and bass if it's plugged in. They're a folk band, so not too loud. I'll get the boyfriend to put him outside with Fynn next time they have practice and see if that helps.

Two of the band members stopped by today, they are getting their record. It was interesting - we were on the porch when the first person (larger man) came by, Bruce was on a long chain and was just sitting beside me. He did not start panting or try to get away from the man, he was calm and laid down. When the girl came over, he started to get a bit fidgetty so I put him inside when I went in to get coffee. This is the girl that comes over quite often and cleans for us, he's used to her and stays downstairs when she's over either by herself or with her boyfriend. This time he wanted to go upstairs, so I let him. After the man left, Bruce came back downstairs and was fine until I had to leave for work - I don't know if he stayed downstairs after that or not.

We had one poop accident in the dining room today - but completely our fault. We had been on the porch for most of the day - normally we have Bruce out there with us because he LOVES it, but today we decided to let one of the other dogs out with us. I lost track of time and obviously wasn't watching him, came inside and there was a big poop on the floor. I just put Bruce outside, cleaned it up and let him back in. Tomorrow will be better and I'll have to set alarms on my phone or something so that I don't forget to let him out if he's not out with us.
 

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Bruce is sure doing a lot better on socialization thanks to you taking it slow with him. The potty schedule is a big adjustment, I don't know how it would work with your other pets, but maybe a dog door would make life easier all around since your backyard is fenced in.
 
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