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New Puppy Scared of Everything

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Roxie, NPC

I'm a poodle! - Got a problem- with that??
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 23, '09 5:03am PST 
Hi there, I am coming here for help for my sister and her new puppy. Daisy is a 4 month old lab/ rottie/ shepherd mix (we think). She was adopted from another home where a woman had several children. My sister has 2 boys. Daisy is wonderful with my sister's kids but pretty much everyone she meets whether it is in the house or out on the street she is very scared of. She barks at the person, hides behind my sister and has even barred her teeth and snapped at people who try to pet her. I had her over at my house for socialization she played with my 2 dogs fine and once she warmed up to us...she was also fine. My dogs were never like this so I am not sure how to help her. I told her she has to introduce the dog to as many people as possible and let the pooch know people are OK. She says people are scared of her..,.. and I just worry about when the dog is fully grown and 50 pounds ... even more people will be scared. Any suggestions on getting this new pup over her fear of people?
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Cracker

Dog About- Rosedale

moderator
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 23, '09 5:14am PST 
Hi.
I recommend moving very slowly yet consistently forward with the socialization. The fact that people are frightened of her doesn't help but if you find through careful observation where Roxi's threshold is..(ten feet? five feet?) without the fearful behaviour that is where you should start. No one needs to pet her or talk to her at this point.

Try to get someone, a neighbour or friend to help you in the beginning. Have them approach (no eye contact) while you stand with Roxi. They should approach slowly, watch R. for when she starts to get "worried" and ask them to stop moving forward. Where they are is her threshold. Have them move back a foot or two. Reward any calm behaviour. If you can get her to look at you for eye contact here for reassurance this helps as well.

The rewards you need to use are very high value, but very small..maybe pieces of chicken or hot dogs..and have lots so you can continually feed them while she is calm. Have the person assisting walk away. Stop the feeding. Repeat.

This is just the first step in desensitizing Roxi to people. It needs to be adjusted as she goes. Please do not force her to interact with anyone, as this can not only make it worse at this point but could cause a bite.

Use this for now and get yourself a good positive trainer or behaviourist in to do the rest of the work with you. She will be a big dog and it is imperative she be helped to be a SAFE dog.
Roxie, NPC

I'm a poodle! - Got a problem- with that??
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 23, '09 2:39pm PST 
Just to clarify it's not my dog we are talking about. Her dog Daisy (my dogs were socalized as pups and are great with both people and other pups) is the one we are talking about here. 4 months old.

I have recommended puppy classes to my sister but her budget does not allow it right now (although I did warn her on the expenses she might have to undertake when she got the dog.. but I was talking to a person who was made deaf from the cuteness of a puppy).

Could use some more suggestions or ideas ... things that worked for you.
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Cracker

Dog About- Rosedale

moderator
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 23, '09 7:37pm PST 
Oops, sorry Roxie. I knew it was not your puppy but obviously got started and then couldn't remember the names correctly.

The info I gave you is what I did for Cracker when she showed fear early on so yes it worked for me but she still has moments of fear with certain men. Just so ya know it's a long road.

The book Fraidy Dog by Ali Brown comes highly recommended. She may not be able to afford classes but the more info she is armed with the better the chances for the puppy.
Roxie, NPC

I'm a poodle! - Got a problem- with that??
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 23, '09 8:05pm PST 
Thanks for all your advice Cracker! I appreciate it and I will look into those things for sure.
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