Need help
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Thread: Need help

  1. #1
    Dio's mama is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultNeed help

    So, I've had Lita, my rescue, for 3 weeks now. When she first arrived, I noticed some fears in her, like the bear cutouts along our neighbor's fence, other dogs... But tonight! Oh. My. God. She freaked at cats, dogs, roller blades, skateboards, bikes...

    I tried to get her to stay around the stuff and see if she would eventually calm down. I made her sit and resit. After an hour of getting bitten by mozzies and getting scratched and embarrassed by this dog, I decided that we had had enough and we went home. We have started our basic obedience training, but I think that I'll talk to the trainer to see if there's anything I can try to get her over these fears. It is making walking her a horrible experience!

    And I feel terrible for Dio. He has to be left home or taken on separate walks since she consumes so much of my attention. Any ideas or tips that could help me?
    Gabrielle
    Dio (Best Bud since July 18th, 2009)
    Kaity (Sweetheart since April 29th, 2012)

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  3. #2
    murphsmom is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds like she was not socialized well. I'm no expert, but a trainer once told me, "Remember that if you pet a dog when they are acting scared, you are only telling them it's o.k. to be scared." He recommended ignoring the behavior or walking up to the object, crouching down, and laying a hand on it. This may eventually give the dog enough courage to get close to it. It's all about exposure and letting them get used to seeing these things. Poor puppy and poor you! Hang in there. =)


    MurphySullyHogan

  4. #3
    Dio's mama is offline Senior Member
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    Ya, sounds like good advice, but if I get too close, she'll bite whatever is scaring her... I think that I'll have to as DH to help me with this. If he holds her and then I pet/use whatever is scaring her, might work. Dunno, I'll talk to our trainer tonight to see if there's someone else or another tactic that could work.

    Thanks for your post!
    Gabrielle
    Dio (Best Bud since July 18th, 2009)
    Kaity (Sweetheart since April 29th, 2012)

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  6. #4
    BlackLabbie's Avatar
    BlackLabbie is offline Senior Member
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    To me, and I'm not trainer or expert, it sounds like she's new and fearful and nervous, nothing is comfortable- yet. I would try my hand at desensitizing and counter conditioning using clicker training. Google it- there's lot's of good articles. I would NOT use any sort of physical corrections on this type of dog, nor would I flood her (making her "face her fear").
    -Stephanie
    "Apollo", CGC- black Labrador Retriever
    "Molson"- buff American Cocker Spaniel
    "Patty"- black American Cocker Spaniel
    "Pepper" Najaco's Northeast Storm- black Labrador Retriever 5/11/92-9/18/05

    http://blacklabbie.blogspot.com/

  7. #5
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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    Do you know anything at all about her background? How old is she?
    You may have to take very small baby steps. It may be that her comfort zone is just your yard for now. Work on gaining her trust there first before moving any further. Anne

  8. #6
    Dio's mama is offline Senior Member
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    She's a year and 3 months, and we don't know much about her past. The rescue organization we got her from found her at a pound known for taking in reserve dogs. We're the first house she's ever lived in. She's doing well in the house, not chewing things that she's not supposed to and loves all people that visit. She HATES animals on tv, goes nuts, and then it transfers to outside.
    Sigh... watching the Dog Whisperer is a real pain now. I have to umbilical her to me so that she doesn't attack the dogs on tv and then she seems to hyperventilate.
    We'll see what our trainer says tonight.
    Gabrielle
    Dio (Best Bud since July 18th, 2009)
    Kaity (Sweetheart since April 29th, 2012)

  9. #7
    BlackLabbie's Avatar
    BlackLabbie is offline Senior Member
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    You've only owned her for 3- SHORT- weeks, so, you're sort of in the "honeymoon phase" of owning a new dog. Give her time and be patient, but limit her boundaries. DON'T give her too much freedom too soon- it can be over whelming. NILIF (google it) would be ideal.
    -Stephanie
    "Apollo", CGC- black Labrador Retriever
    "Molson"- buff American Cocker Spaniel
    "Patty"- black American Cocker Spaniel
    "Pepper" Najaco's Northeast Storm- black Labrador Retriever 5/11/92-9/18/05

    http://blacklabbie.blogspot.com/

  10. #8
    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    When I have a dog that has a fear of something (a dog in for training or even something particularly strange for one of mine), I try get the dog to focus on me (sometimes starting at quite a distance from the feared object) and reward (with an especially delicious food). Then take a step closer, and reward.

    For example, when Kodi was about 6 months old, we were in an obedience class. (Our club holds our classes at the county fair grounds, so anyone can come and watch). Anyway, a lady in a wheelchair approached the door. The wheelchair was large, as was the lady, who was also very misshapen, had limbs sticking out at odd angles and had a breathing apparatus that made noises.

    Well, Kodi thought aliens had descended and were going to devour this little Labrador. She barked, postured and growled (and she was a good 60 feet away). While my instructors told me to get Kodi out of sight of the lady, but I took the opposite approach. Step by step, I approached the lady (and God bless her she saw what I was doing and helped). At first I had to take a step and turn Kodi away from the lady before she would return her focus to me (giving my "ready" command, which means look at my eyes).

    It took nearly 15 minutes before I could get close to the lady and have Kodi's attention on me. Then I heeled Kodi around the lady, made Kodi sit and then lay down and all the while, the lady spoke softly to Kodi and to me. The lady and I could then hold a conversation with Kodi relaxed, or focused on me. After another 10 minutes or so the lady started to offer Kodi yummy treats. It took nearly 1/2 hour for just one case of "fear" but it worked marvelously. I thanked the lady profusely for helping and being so patient. She said that she loved dogs and liked helping a dog over come a fear. (and sadly that it was not the first time a dog reacted to her appearance like that. She appreciated someone taking the time to help their dog, and not turn in the other direction)


    Karen and the gang
    BBI Kodi's Journey To Anotch (Journey)
    BBI Kodi's Blackpowder Striker (Flint)

  11. #9
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    Karen's advice is excellent, and the only thing I would add is that 30 minutes is a SHORT time for such good results. I've had a hound foster for over a year now, and it's taken months to work through some of his extreme fears. Your pup may be closer to Kodi and bounce through her fears quickly, or she may take longer - but let HER set the tone and pace and tell you when she's ready to progress.

    Good reading:

    Cautious Canine (McConnell)
    Scaredy Dog (can't recall author .. nicole wilde? )

  12. #10
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    The only thing I would like to add to the very good advice you have gotten is to realize that this may be a very slow process. Not all of this kind of behavior is based in lack of socialization - some dogs have temperament issues they are born with.

    Any progress on her part (worked towards very slowly) is a huge gain. Forcing her to be near the thing she is acting out towards is not the way to go - you have to work up to reducing her sensitivity.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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