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Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Default Question about scared dog


    0 Not allowed!
    My daughter has a Shepard/pitt mix small to med size, two years old. She use to take her everywhere with her and they would go shooting and do all kinds of things. The dog was fine even on the 4th of July. Sometime in the last year or so she has become scared of everything! Any loud noise, anything different. She gets so scared that she hides' under my chair and shakes when someone is shooting a paintball gun outside. Does anyone know of any tricks to get her back to the dog she use to be? As far as we know nothing happened to her, the only different thing is my grand daughter. ??? It is so strange. I would love to see her back to normal because this is crazy. You can make a sound in a paper towel holder and she will run and hide. Anyone else have a dog like this?

  2. #2

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    1 Not allowed!
    Something has spurred her to fear. Any number of things can do it. The absolute best thing you can do is NOT to coddle her when she's scared. Show her confidence and reassurance when she doesn't show fear. I've gun broken many many dogs. I very firmly believe it is heavily dependent on the trainer being confident enough to make the dog confident. And reinforcing the behavior by reassuring or comforting her when she's shaking like a leaf only compounds the situation as she's taught to be afraid.

    When I had my sisters pitt/mastiff/lab for a year he was absolutely terrified of everything from lawn mowers and thunder to camp fires and guns. I received him two weeks before hunting season opened (only hound training open). Within four weeks the dog would sit in the truck windows down for shooting practice, hung out at the camp fire at night and decided he'd catch thunder and beat it up rather than cower from it. By the end of hunting season he would easily sit on a leash out of the truck during target practice and didn't bat an eye at anything else.

    You have to expose them to it and they WILL be uncomfortable. But your confidence and happiness about the situation will give them the confidence they need to overcome fear in their own.

    That said I adopted an abused pitt/aussie cross last year who required baby talk voices for nearly a week after we brought her home or she was so terrified she'd wet herself. We're now a year later conquering thunder and pop guns... She still gets scared but she doesn't run, she always comes to me and gets behind me and I give her a quick good girl or a pat on the head. My son has an unlimited supply of caps for the cap gun and she's getting less aware of it. In the next couple weeks we'll give her, her first go with a leash in the truck and a 22 lr and 9mm handgun if she doesn't run.

  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    Oh, it's my fault!! lol She gets scared and I let her hide under my chair and telling her " It's okay" No more just pretend I don't notice ? Like give her a pat and walk away?

  4. #4

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    1 Not allowed!
    She should be welcome to hide under the chair! But after a moment I get up give a quick pat or good girl and do something else after a bit she'll likely come to you again. When she comes back to you it's another good girl and go about your business. :) she'll see you as safe and after a while so long as you're around she will feel more and more comfortable with the things making her nervous.

    It can be a long process if it's very occasional that she gets scared, that's where you exposing her intentionally would come in. But of she's scared of all the loud noise in the neighborhood everyday it shouldn't take long. Couple weeks or a month when it's nearly daily exposures. You can do the same with a kennel/crate, making that her safe place. When she's nervous or scared lead her in with a good girl and let her be in her quiet alone space. When you train yourself as the safe zone then the dog comes to you for reassurance, when you train the crate as the safe zone the dog eventually will go there for comfort... I have friends that train for a crate as they don't like "velcro" dogs lol I fear with all the time I've spent in the sticks I'd lose a spooked dog to a hidey hole somewhere so I train I'm the safe place. But regardless the method is the same, I seem to get them over fears much more quickly and I think it's because they see I'm not worried and each time they get nervous and respond they know they can find me and that I'll be there. Crate trained dogs have to have a crate packed for them.

    My new dog is both, she came from the pound and was initially more comfortable in the crate. She now comes and sits by me, but if I'm worked up about something or if my son as several friends over (rambunctious 7-10 year olds) she goes to the crate. My old dog comes the me mostly when the young one annoys her and everything else is old hat and no fear to her.

    Plus it's easy to train when all you have to do is remain calm and go about your day with the occasional good girl and ear scratch as she follows you around the house. Once she's not scared you can work out where she can and can't go. My dogs aren't allowed in the kitchen unless going in or out the doggy door to the yard, new dog as she learned followed constantly, then was told to stay on the mats (so I didn't step on her all the time lol) and now if she spooks and I'm in the kitchen she sits at the door or under the table on the only mat she has left in there.

    Just have to think of what behavior you want... If you want to coddle a scaredy dog then do, that's what you will get lol. Want a confident dog that looks at you for direction instead of panics make yourself safe by being confident and safe. Don't want velcro teach them to the crate for safety. All personal preference :)


    Just don't make anything that scares her a big deal :) unless you want it a big deal of course. :)
    Last edited by sfsamm; 08-21-2017 at 06:29 AM.

  5. #5

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    1 Not allowed!
    Animal behavior professional for a long time here. Do not be afraid to comfort your dog. Reassure her that she's all right. You can't reward an emotion. You can make her more fearful only by adding more/another fearful stimulus. Distraction can also help. For instance, some dogs enjoy a massage. (Don't force, of course.) Others do well to be engaged with a favorite toy or a chew.

    Please do not forcibly expose your dog to what she fears. This is caused flooding and it's poor, risky, inhumane, outdated practice (see below where I describe hypersensitivity for one such risk).

    Has she been vet checked lately? Any new changes in behavior like this need to have medical causes ruled out.

    There could be many catalysts here. She may have looked fine but possibly wasn't. Those earlier experiences could have hypersensitized her to noise. Something about your grand daughter may have set off a noise phobia (maybe something to do with a specific pitch or tone, similar to what she may have picked up on from her crying). She may have equated loud noises with a negative experience that she perceived that happened during or around the time that a loud noise also occurred (dogs are superstitious learners). She may have general anxiety. Etc.

    After seeing your vet for a health check with possible blood panel, I would hire a qualified behavior professional to conduct what's called Desensitization and Counterconditioning.

    I would recommend https://academyfordogtrainers.com/find-a-trainer or https://iaabc.org/consultants. They practice up to date, best practice methods.

    (Do be sure to research before you pick one. Check their reviews.)

    If that's not enough, and psychotropics would be of benefit, I would recommend http://www.dacvb.org/about/member-directory/.

    These are highly trained and educated veterinarians who've additionally completed a a specialty in behavior. This is much different than your general practice vet. Some of whom unfortunately are not caught up or very knowledgeable in behavior.

    You could try Desensitization and Counterconditioning yourself, but it's technical and important to get right. If you're still interested in DIY, I can point you in the direction of some helpful resources. But please be advised that if your dog had such a low tolerance that you're not able to make much improvement, it can mean that either something isn't correct, or a neural chemical imbalance (yes, psychiatric issues are very physical) needs to be corrected.

    Please excuse my tone, I reread and it doesn't quite sound as I intended. My iPad is acting up and I think some of my frustration is leaking onto here!
    Last edited by CaptMicha; 09-04-2017 at 02:26 PM.

  6. #6

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptMicha View Post
    Please excuse my tone, I reread and it doesn't quite sound as I intended. My iPad is acting up and I think some of my frustration is leaking onto here!
    lol, no problem. I have just been casual with her, "Hey baby what's up?" small pat and back to my business. She seems to be getting a little better and we do limit or prepare her for things we know she is terrified of, anything else we just let go. She did have a vet check and is very healthy. Also recently spayed. I think maybe my daughter being away at the hospital to have grand daughter and then coming home and being so busy may have had something to do with it. She was with her 24 / 7 before baby. (I tried to tell her) but the dog does love her baby and waits for her to come home when she goes anywhere I am not sure if the fear has something to do with that either. Thank you very much for the advice I have been reading all and implementing some. :) Years ago I had two large Rotts, they had a trained pro test their temperament (I had little ones 2,4 and 6) wanted to be sure I was not going to have a problem, never did, best dogs ever.
    Thanks again,
    Karen

  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptMicha View Post
    After seeing your vet for a health check with possible blood panel, I would hire a qualified behavior professional to conduct what's called Desensitization and Counterconditioning.

    I would recommend https://academyfordogtrainers.com/find-a-trainer or https://iaabc.org/consultants. They practice up to date, best practice methods.

    (Do be sure to research before you pick one. Check their reviews.)
    Unfortunately, one can't always trust glowing reviews. Hubby and I have both found that some four- or five-star services we've used based upon those reviews didn't live up to them and definitely didn't deserve them. We've been disappointed too many times to blindly trust stellar reviews. Please be very, very careful. Even word of mouth can't always be trusted, as some references that are given may be shills -- people hired and paid to promote the service by pretending to be customers or former customers and giving glowing accounts that aren't true. Go with your gut! Contact the service directly and talk to several people operating within it, including the owner, manager(s) and some of the employees, and get a feel for how they respond to your questions and concerns. What is their overall attitude? Do they dodge your questions, or give you straightforward answers that directly address them? Do they do so willingly and cheerfully? Is the information they give consistent, or does one person say one thing, another something different and another something different, yet? Do they tend to blow you off, or are they genuinely concerned about the well-being of your pet? Reviews can help, up to a point. But don't rely entirely upon them. Just a word to the wise, here ...
    20 gal. high: planted; 7 white cloud minnows, several RCS, 2 blue shrimp, 5 Amano shrimp, several snails; Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 6 rosy barbs, 6 yellow glofish, 3 red glofish, 3 zebra danios, 5 white cloud minnows, 3 dojo loaches, 6 crimson spot rainbow fish, 12 large Amano Shrimp, several snails; AC110.

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    That's very true. I know of professionals who do this.

    My advice is to sit in on a session or class with the trainer workout your dog. Ask what happens when your dog gets it right and what happens when they get it wrong.

    Do they give you clear, easy to understand answers?

    Or do they use euphemisms and oftuscate? For instance, instead of an electric shock collar, do they call it a freedom call that "taps your dog on the shoulder"?

    Do their answers make sense to you? For instance, when the dog gets it right, we reward with a treat he likes or a toy. When the dog gets it wrong, we remove the payoff and try again.

    Or do they insist that the dog works for a pretty bland and unmotivating pat on the head and approval? (Dogs want the goods. They're not abstract thinkers who will work out of appreciation of you keeping them in home and health.)

    Are they kind and gentle? Or are they cranking and yanking on the leashes?

    Do they think that they're a "pack leader" and try to dominate your dog?

    Best find someone else who's operating off of modern, scientific principles. Not a television show or experience only. Without education of the theories and science involved, you can keep repeating the same mistakes over and again without being the wiser.

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