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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
this morning I woke up to the sound of Apollo yelping and screaming all the way up to the house. Sam had taken him on his morning walk and wasn't doing anything to Apollo, but Pollo was still freaking out. Apollo NEVER acts like this when its just me and him or when Its me, sam, and apollo. He ONLY freaks out when its just him and sam. I know apollo is traumatized cuz he was beaten by a man, but why on earth is apollo ok with sam when I am near by, but terrified of sam when I'm not around. When its all three of us, apollo LOVES sam, he plays with him and wags his tail, but when its just sam trying to take him for a walk, apollo screams like he's being murdered, pees all over himself and tries to slip his collar. We have him on a choke chain now, he's backed out of his collar far to many times and run like a bat out of hell! What on earth do I do? I can't always be around to walk apollo, sometimes Sam has to do that and we can't have apollo freakin out like this. Its only a matter of time before someone reports us to animal control cuz they think we are hurting our dog. Help!
 

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Re: What on earth?!?!??!

I have no solution, but I know the problem. My Duke will freak out over apparently nothing - there must be something I don't see that sets him off. I stopped taking him for walks because he was so afraid. I just let him in the fenced yard to exercise where he feels very secure. He too was an escape artist whenever I put a harness or collar on him, so I put both on him and connect the harness to the collar.
I hope in time Apollo will learn to tame his fears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: What on earth?!?!??!

Apollo was beaten as a pup (not by me, of course.) and he's terrified of lots of things. Apollo was supposed to be Sam's dog. I feel bad for sam because his dog is terrified of him. Apollo has become "my" dog now. I don't understand why apollo is fine with Sam when I am around, but when its just Sam and apollo, he FREAKS OUT. Its like a total 180. When I am there apollo adores sam, when I am not there apollo runs like a bat out of hell. wtf?
 

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My last lab was beaten and starved by a man. I live alone so there wasn't too much of a problem but I did hire a trainer who worked with abused large dogs which helped Tucson get used to the men who were around. After the training she basically followed my lead. If I let a man in the house she was fine with him but if someone tried to come in uninvited she would attack.
 

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Hmm...

Just a thought, but do you run and comfort him when he starts to act like that?
Sometimes that's people's first reaction when it sounds like their baby is hurting, but you're actually reinforcing the behaviour!

I think that it would be beneficial (at least for awhile) for Sam to be the only one to walk Apollo, the only one to feed him, pet him, give him treats. whether you're there or not. That way Apollo will learn that all good things come from Sam, and will hopefully eventually become more comfortable with him. The obedience training is a good idea too, although maybe a private trainer, as that behaviour might be a little disconcerting to the rest of the dogs/owners!

Hope that helps! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Baloo317 said:
Hmm...

Just a thought, but do you run and comfort him when he starts to act like that?
Sometimes that's people's first reaction when it sounds like their baby is hurting, but you're actually reinforcing the behaviour!

I think that it would be beneficial (at least for awhile) for Sam to be the only one to walk Apollo, the only one to feed him, pet him, give him treats. whether you're there or not. That way Apollo will learn that all good things come from Sam, and will hopefully eventually become more comfortable with him. The obedience training is a good idea too, although maybe a private trainer, as that behaviour might be a little disconcerting to the rest of the dogs/owners!

Hope that helps! :)
Thanks for the suggestions. Sam and I NEVER comfort Apollo when he freaks out, we ONLY reward calm, composed behavior. As for Sam being the only one to feed, walk, pet apollo we are one step ahead of ya. We already do that. One thing that we haven't tried is enrolling sam and apollo in an obedience course together. Once we move back to St. Louis, we will certainly have to try that.

anyone have a clue why apollo is TOTALLY fine with Sam when I am around, but why he is scared of sam when I'm not around???
 

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...I don't understand why apollo is fine with Sam when I am around, but when its just Sam and apollo, he FREAKS OUT...
I'm thinking maybe Apollo sees you as his security blanket. As long as you are there, nothing will happen to him.

...Just a thought, but do you run and comfort him when he starts to act like that?...
Oh, good question! As hard as it is, you both need to ignore him when he's spazzing out like that. Just stand still. When he calms down (he will, eventually), Sam should tell him in a very calm voice that he's a good boy, and give him a small piece of cookie.

...I think that it would be beneficial (at least for awhile) for Sam to be the only one to walk Apollo, the only one to feed him, pet him, give him treats. whether you're there or not. That way Apollo will learn that all good things come from Sam, and will hopefully eventually become more comfortable with him...
Exactly what I was going to suggest. Apollo needs to learn to trust Sam. There's no better way then for Sam to take care of him.

The obedience training is a good idea too, although maybe a private trainer, as that behaviour might be a little disconcerting to the rest of the dogs/owners!
Another vote for the two of them to take obedience classes together. If you can't find a private trainer, look for a very small class. Maybe 4 or 5 students tops.

It'll take time to build up Apollo's trust in Sam, but I'm sure it will happen. Just take things slowly! :)
 

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Buddy was also very scared of men when we got him the only way we knew for Buddy to bond with my SU was by him walking him every day w/o me and it worked he loves his Daddy in your case that doesnt seem to be working how long have you had Apollo?? maybe someone else will have some other tips for you :)
 

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Awwww poor pollo... I feel so badly for him and for Sam also.

Ok this example might be a little too far off but i'll share it anyway.
When we went to China to adopt our daughter....many of the babies were afraid of their Daddys. They had lived their whole young lives inside an orphanage run by all women. Then all of the sudden these MEN...and Caucasian men at that, are handling them and hugging, kissing and wanting to love them and they FREAKED out. Screaming, crying...wanted nothing to do with their daddys. So the one day we were told to meet in the lobby at 10am..for a shopping trip. So the whole group got there and Norman, the head of the adoption org...said " Ok Moms...pass the babies to Daddy and get on the bus. Men...youre staying here with me. These babies need to see that their daddys arent going to hurt them, and that can only be done with the Moms out of the way"...omg the cacophony that followed still rings in my ears lol. Katie was fine...thankfully she was very comfortable with her Dad and big brother but many of the other babies were NOT ok. We pulled away and they were hysterically crying. Grown men stood there helpless... Norman had them all come to the park area in the hotel and sit with the babies and play and talk to them...feed and change them the rest of the day. When we returned hours later, most of the babies were comfortable with Dad by then. A few took a bit longer but they did adjust.

Apollo has to see that Sam won't hurt him and feel safe with him. If classes would be a non-stressful environment for Apollo, then by all means i think classes are a great idea. They just need time and lots of it.
Sam is going to have to un do weeks of abuse and gain his trust. It will come because he adores Apollo and eventually Apollo will feel that. Also, the way to a Lab's heart goes directly through his stomach. Have Sam pass out the real high value GOOD stuff to Apollo. Make sure he is the one feeding Apollo.
Once a dog has begun to react with fear, correcting the original trigger of the behavior is not always enough to change the dog's habit of reacting that way. The earlier you intervene, the better your chances of relieving the fear. Recovery is faster when you start rehabilitating the fear sooner. Because Apolo WAS abused...his fears will run deeper than just a fear of say Big hats that another puppy picks up. Youre lucky he isnt showing any fear/aggression yet. And you dont want it to get to that point.

Here is one good article from the SPCA
http://www.spca.bc.ca/Animalbehaviour/fear.asp
http://www.legacy.com/Newsday/Pets/PetsLinkView.aspx?LinkId=444&GroupId=205
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh my gosh, thank you SO much Weheartlabs! I will certainly read those links. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.
 
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