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Discussion Starter #1
Apollo was beaten as a very young puppy by his former owner, a man. As a result he is squeemish around males. Apollo hasn't been that scared of Sam, but out of the blue he is acting TERRIFIED of Sam. I don't get it. Sam is ALWAYS calm and gentle with Apollo. What can we do to get Apollo to calm down? I don't get why this happened all of a sudden.

Today Sam tried to walk apollo and it took sam and hour to finally get ahold of him (apollo kept running away from sam all over the apartment peeing on himself and rolling in the urine). Sam is ALWAYS the 'treat giver' and the 'praise giver'. We try to get apollo to associate males with positive things. Sam also feeds apollo.

Today, Sam tried to give Apollo a soup bone and Apollo wouldn't take it. Why is this happening? I feel bad that apollo doesn't feel safe around sam. I also feel bad for sam. Apollo was supposed to be sam's dog. But now he's my dog because he's horrified of sam.

What can we do to make apollo feel more comfortable? help!
 

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I can't be of much help, sorry. But a situation such as this will take time. Don't expect miracles over night. One step at a time and hang in there. Perphaps a 1 on1 professional trainer/behavioralist can help with some unique techniques you are not currently doing? It sounds like a really tough situation. I hope Apollo will learn to trust Sam in time. Also, don't forget to to tell Sam not to get too discouraged; it'll work out in the end. Apollo sounds like a fun dog!
 

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Thanks. We've taught Apollo how not to chew up the house and we've housebroken him. Im sure we will be able to fix this problem as well. It will just take time, like you said.
 

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im not really an expert, but now i have my Baby Alfa, i always want to embrace her or just be near her as long as my time permits so that i can make her feel that i'm always there by her side. what im thinking right now is that maybe if sam would/could give apollo like a "personal" touch or an embrace once in a while, i think apollo will definitely feel that affection once more given by sam. from your story, it seems that apollo is undergoing a traumatic phase caused by his past. an embrace would never hurt, right? :)
 

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I saw a vid clip of Sam brushing/combing Apollo and he seemed very relaxed.
 

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I can't give you any advice in addition to what you are already doing, but what I will say is give him time. Apollo won't ever "get over" the past but he WILL get better with time. You, Sam, your house, your other pets, it is all still very new to him. He'll get there in the end. ;)
 

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Sam probably did something....obviously unintentional....that scared Apollo. Maybe dropped something and made a loud noise? Maybe a sudden movement? He probably didn't even realize that it scared Apollo....it was so unintentional that he didn't even notice. I'm sure Apollo will come around again in time. Apollo sounds like he a great dog and worth the extra effort to get over this.
 

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Duke is my first experience with a non-puppy rescue. I don't know about what happened to him in the past, but I do know that old phobias haunt him and can pop up anytime unexpectedly. When they to, I do not baby him or pay attention to him when he is scared.
When Apollo is afraid of Sam, Sam should not force the issue (walk). Just ignore Apollo and be calm about it. You leash him and walk him, and see how it goes if Sam walks along with you, but do not baby Apollo when he is scared.
 

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alfa_17 said:
im not really an expert, but now i have my Baby Alfa, i always want to embrace her or just be near her as long as my time permits so that i can make her feel that i'm always there by her side. what im thinking right now is that maybe if sam would/could give apollo like a "personal" touch or an embrace once in a while, i think apollo will definitely feel that affection once more given by sam. from your story, it seems that apollo is undergoing a traumatic phase caused by his past. an embrace would never hurt, right? :)
actually while the intentions are good here, this wouldn't be the best thing in this situation. I believe its from the "Other end of the Leash" book, but embracing(hugs) are a human form of affection, but putting arms around a dog are in fact a sign of dominance. The author points out that most dogs come to accept this since it comes with affection from their human owners, but it's not something that's natural for them, so probably not the best to do with a unbalanced dog at this point.

I'd actually think probably avoiding prolonged eye contact for Sam with Apollo is good as well. (sign of aggression/dominance) and spend alot of time the 3 of you together in a room, but without forced interaction between sam and apollo.
 

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I agree -- no hugging or affection when the dog is in a fearful state of mind. When he is relaxed, fine, but never ever console a dog in distress. By doing that you are telling him that there is something to be afraid of. As hard as it may be, you must ignore the behavior.
 

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I used to have a lab mix many years ago. She acted very much the way you describe.

What I did was come down to her eye level and speak in a very soft, kind manner. I would quietly play with her sqeeky toys, without neccessarily inviting her, but instead I would wait for her to decide she wanted to play too.
If she were to pull away in fear while walking, I would come down to her level, and softly offer her a treat in exchange for her trust.

In a short period, she was fine. Whether or not it had anything to do with my approach, I can't answer.

Also...How old is Sam? Is he an adult?
 

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Recently, when Stella began to have a fear towards men (I think stemming from the pool we had put in last summer and all the men in the back yard), I hired a male behaviorist to come to the house. I wanted to see how far her fears would take her. What I found so interesting, that when he came in my house, he totally ignored her and let HER come to him. When she eventually did, he slowly and calming just handed her pieces of cheese off of a cheese stick. He then, sat on my floor for a good 45 minutest, just doing that. When she was ready, she approached, he rewarded. By the end, Stella was his best friend (who wouldn't be?!?!).

My point it, I think Sam might want to start there. Every day, a little at a time. Re-introduce themselves to each other from the beginning.

Good luck - poor pup...something spooked him.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
zoesmom said:
I saw a vid clip of Sam brushing/combing Apollo and he seemed very relaxed.
Yes. Apollo was doing very well with Sam but its seemed to worsen all of a sudden. Perhaps you guys are right. Maybe sam did drop something and it scared apollo. He's acting alot better today.

I am hoping that with time and patience we will be able to help Apollo out. Like Trickster said, I know he'll never "get over" being beaten as a puppy (if you were a puppy and someone beat you, how on earth would YOU "get over" that?) but we can manage his problems and I'm sure Apollo will come around to Sam soon. I feel bad for Sam. Apollo was *supposed* to be Sam's dog. I'm sure we'll find a good dog for Sam one day (but not for a WHILE) lol.

On a side note, one of the cats was rubbing ALL OVER apollo yesterday like, my puppy. lol I thought that was cute that all the animals love Apollo.
 

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Brenda gave some very good advice, plus you have the added bonus of it coming from a behaviorist as well! I also agree with everyone who has posted who says don't rush it. If Apollo is freaking out, Sam should not be chasing him all over the apartment trying to show him he really doesn't mean harm. That for me, would be like showing me a snake, having me freak out, then chasing me all over going "look, he's really cool! He doesn't bite". Uh uh. Sorry but you can take that snake and shove it, ya know what I mean?

Sam and you, are going to need to practice patience with Apollo. If he's freaking, leave him be. Let him approach you. It may have been the way Sam stood up, that triggered a memory in Apollo, or a slight movement. Then with Sam chasing him all over, it just re-affirmed to Apollo that scary things happen when whatever it was that occurred, occurs.

You guys have a fragile dog there, one who can't be expected to be 100% trusting of you guys right off. He's still getting used to the fact that not everyone beats him, housebreaking, crates, not chewing, etc. You guys have to go slow.
 
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