Attached to my room?

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Attached to my room?

This is a discussion on Attached to my room? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; So, new pup that's 7 months. It's day two and I've spent a lot of time with him keeping him company and relaxed. He's already ...

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Old 09-21-2009, 09:40 PM
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Attached to my room?

So, new pup that's 7 months. It's day two and I've spent a lot of time with him keeping him company and relaxed. He's already crate trained which is a plus for me so he sleeps in my room in his crate. Today he played with me instead of just cuddling so I think that's good progress for him settling in.

The problem is is that he's still very scared of the rest of my family and heavily clings to me. He's growled and barked at members, especially the boys that come into my room. However I am impressed by his vocal cords as he sounds like a full blooded German Shepherd. I actually don't like people in my room anyway but I might go away for three months next year pending so I can't have him too possessive of the space and only want to be walked by me.

I made some progress with my mother instructing her to get on her knees so not to tower over him which intimidates him. He at least doesn't flee when she enters the room now and sniffs her from afar. I tried the same with my brother but he still flatten his ears to the side and growled a little under his breath. He almost bolted out the door as it was closing when my brother met us in the foyer after out walk. I had him though, but I'm sure it still got a little hurt from the door closing slowly. My dad is a huge muscular guy and his presence is intimidating... I witnessed him shivering in nervousness.
If I'm not around, he stays next to my bed and doesn't go past the doorway as if it were a barrier.

So I kinda was wondering best ways to get him to relax around my family and ultimately listen to them as he does with me?
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:27 PM
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So, new pup that's 7 months. It's day two and I've spent a lot of time with him keeping him company and relaxed. He's already crate trained which is a plus for me so he sleeps in my room in his crate. Today he played with me instead of just cuddling so I think that's good progress for him settling in.

The problem is is that he's still very scared of the rest of my family and heavily clings to me. He's growled and barked at members, especially the boys that come into my room. However I am impressed by his vocal cords as he sounds like a full blooded German Shepherd. I actually don't like people in my room anyway but I might go away for three months next year pending so I can't have him too possessive of the space and only want to be walked by me.

I made some progress with my mother instructing her to get on her knees so not to tower over him which intimidates him. He at least doesn't flee when she enters the room now and sniffs her from afar. I tried the same with my brother but he still flatten his ears to the side and growled a little under his breath. He almost bolted out the door as it was closing when my brother met us in the foyer after out walk. I had him though, but I'm sure it still got a little hurt from the door closing slowly. My dad is a huge muscular guy and his presence is intimidating... I witnessed him shivering in nervousness.
If I'm not around, he stays next to my bed and doesn't go past the doorway as if it were a barrier.

So I kinda was wondering best ways to get him to relax around my family and ultimately listen to them as he does with me?
so i've been deeling with this exact thing with my dog since i got him. he is a rescue too and was only a few months older than your dog when i got him. it is a lot of work! we are still trying to get him used to my roommate who he sees almost everyday. you are doing well to start off, and you are on the right track asking people to appear less intimidating to him. try having people turn sideways to him when they are standing and remind everyone not to stare him in the eye, that can be very threatening to a dog. plenty of exercise is good too so that you know he isn't restless with excess energy, but neither of these things are the solution. what you need to do is called "counter conditioning" basically that is a complicated term that means teaching your dog that what he is afraid of actually = good stuff instead. it involves lots of tasty/good stuff happening whenever anyone is around that he showed signs of fear of (the growling and all the things you described are all signs that your dog is afraid) whenever your dad is in the room, the dog gets chicken or ham or whatever. have your family practice coming and going from your room, calmly tossing a treat to the dog each time....your brother can also give him treats. if he is too afraid to eat the treats have them stand just a bit further away and toss them, and make sure they are yummy! i also recommend taking treats with you anywhere you take your dog, people will try to approach him, if you can give him a treat each time (or have those people give him treats, tossing them if they have to) he will associate them with good stuff. you cannot do this too much! oh and you should try hanging out with the dog in other rooms in the house too so that he can be more comfortable in them.

if you wanna read more about it, you can buy "the cautious canine" by patricia mcconnell...it only costs $6-$7 on amazon.....

does that make sense?



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Old 09-22-2009, 11:19 AM
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I heard of an exercise that can be done with pups to help them meet people and learn that it's a good thing. You can do this with your family at home, and with other people you know in different places. It's really just like what Fawkese explained.

You get some people to sit in a circle (sitting is very non threatening) and each person takes a turn calling the dog/pup to them and cuddling, cooing and giving treats. They learn quickly that other people are good ...and have cookies

Keep us posted on your progress! Sounds like your doing great already
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:32 PM
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He sounds like he missed the critical socialization period as a little guy...so you have to play catch up

The counterconditioning methods Fawkese recomends DO work. Keep in mind that if your dog is that fearful it could take up to a year for him to be "normal"

also use the highest value treat you can find...Chicken usually works

good luck and we are here if you have more questions.



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Old 09-22-2009, 01:14 PM
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Thanks a lot greatly ^_^
Definitely, I'll start to try to associate their presence with good treats. He won't allow them to feed him but me so I'll work on that. I've heard a lot of good things about clicker training so I may buy a clicker kit this week too but may not start immediately.

Yesterday, I worked a little between my brother and Strider, letting my brother walk him under my super vision. He wildly jerks around when alone with my brother. At first, Strider still wouldn't allow my brother to walk him so I took the leash and realized he wouldn't walk even with me unless he could see my brother. So I had my brother walk ahead of us for a while. Soon we switched so I was in front and my brother behind. However my brother still had problems because Strider was pulling to walk beside me. So I had to take the leash again. He did at least last for a little while.

When my brother comes home, I think I'll have some hot dogs ready besides his health treats. We'll see what happens.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:59 PM
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Thanks a lot greatly ^_^
Definitely, I'll start to try to associate their presence with good treats. He won't allow them to feed him but me so I'll work on that. I've heard a lot of good things about clicker training so I may buy a clicker kit this week too but may not start immediately.

Yesterday, I worked a little between my brother and Strider, letting my brother walk him under my super vision. He wildly jerks around when alone with my brother. At first, Strider still wouldn't allow my brother to walk him so I took the leash and realized he wouldn't walk even with me unless he could see my brother. So I had my brother walk ahead of us for a while. Soon we switched so I was in front and my brother behind. However my brother still had problems because Strider was pulling to walk beside me. So I had to take the leash again. He did at least last for a little while.

When my brother comes home, I think I'll have some hot dogs ready besides his health treats. We'll see what happens.
so, have them toss the treats to the dog from a distance that he will eat them. then take a small step forward. it works for you to give him treats at first, but eventually you want him to take them from your family too. also, have them otherwise ignore the dog. i have found that my dog, clover, is much more comfortable with people who aren't trying to get his attention, when people try to get a dogs attention they often are doing things that the dog finds threatening w/o realizing it ie staring at him or moving too quickly etc.

with the walking, i wouldn't have your brother hold the leash at all until the dog is more comfortable with him.....imo it could really do harm to your leash training and/or possibly increase the dog's fear of your brother (you are putting the dog in a position where he is trying really hard to tell you he is uncomfortable but he has no way to escape what he is afraid of) maybe for a while, just have your brother accompany you on your walks. make sure he stays where the dog can keep an eye on him, and have your brother carry some treats and toss them to the dog from time to time. once strider is taking treats from your brother you can try walking on either side of strider and see how he reacts. the walks are a good thing, imo, clover is less fearfull of all of the people who have accompanied us on walks.

oh, one more thing i forgot to mention NEVER correct/punish your dog for this behavior....he is scared and to correct him for this will only increase his fear....i know that you didn't mention correcting him so i am assuming that you haven't done that...but it is important so i wanted to make sure i mentioned it....

btw you are doing really well. i had a really hard time with this with my dog....i had never experienced anything like this before and even though i had an idea of what to do, i was always soo frustrated that i couldn't just "fix" him.... now we have made soooo much progress it is as if he is a different dog (he still has issues but we are working through them, daily) keep it up and you guys are gonna be great before you even know it.



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Old 09-22-2009, 03:09 PM
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Ah I wish I got your post sooner XD
I hadn't punished him for this before but just now I patted him on the chest to deter the loud bark.
My brother just got home and I didn't realize it at first but he had approached my room upon the dog barking. I was on the phone with my mother as the dog slept next to my bed and he startled us. Immediately I told mom I had to go and told my brother to get a hot dog. Despite the small portions that he definitely liked, he still barked at my brother. I wasn't sure on how to tell him the correct behavior I wanted.
I was shout "Hey" which got his attention on me and run my fingers through his pelt which calmed him down a bit. However even the small movements my brother made, made him go crazy. I handed the hot dogs to my bro to feed to him and Strider had no problem eating them out of his hand. I had remembered you saying to have the person sideways to him and instructed TJ to do so but I think I did it wrong and I found Strider getting more nervous and pressing himself against me.
Realizing the problem I probably created, I told my brother to slowly leave the room. He did with Strider barking behind him. I soon after closed the door just so he didn't see my father and brother walking around the house and stop barking. Already he's curled back up comfortably. He's still barking but not as ferociously.
My dad earlier tried the "I'm dominant male" approach by picking up his toy and ball in front of him and I told him to leave because it only upsetted him and I don't want a dog that listens only because he's scared. Besides, Strider doesn't care for the toys anyway.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:33 PM
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Ah I wish I got your post sooner XD
I hadn't punished him for this before but just now I patted him on the chest to deter the loud bark.
My brother just got home and I didn't realize it at first but he had approached my room upon the dog barking. I was on the phone with my mother as the dog slept next to my bed and he startled us. Immediately I told mom I had to go and told my brother to get a hot dog. Despite the small portions that he definitely liked, he still barked at my brother. I wasn't sure on how to tell him the correct behavior I wanted.
I was shout "Hey" which got his attention on me and run my fingers through his pelt which calmed him down a bit. However even the small movements my brother made, made him go crazy. I handed the hot dogs to my bro to feed to him and Strider had no problem eating them out of his hand. I had remembered you saying to have the person sideways to him and instructed TJ to do so but I think I did it wrong and I found Strider getting more nervous and pressing himself against me.
Realizing the problem I probably created, I told my brother to slowly leave the room. He did with Strider barking behind him. I soon after closed the door just so he didn't see my father and brother walking around the house and stop barking. Already he's curled back up comfortably. He's still barking but not as ferociously.
My dad earlier tried the "I'm dominant male" approach by picking up his toy and ball in front of him and I told him to leave because it only upsetted him and I don't want a dog that listens only because he's scared. Besides, Strider doesn't care for the toys anyway.
you're ok...this stuff takes time....just be patient (with yourself, your family and your dog)its only been about 3 days now? its okay for him to press against you, my dog does that too, i think it helps him to know the "i've got his back" so he is less nervous. if strider is eating the treats...it's working.........if he weren't eating them, it wouldn't be working and you would have to ask whomever to back up a bit. if you think he is too nervous, you can feed the treats. i would try to avoid the dog barking at people as they leave your room. that will reinforce his behavior a bit (ie if i do this the scary thing goes away)
how large is your bedroom? is your brother standing in the doorway, could it appear to the dog that he is blocking the doorway? you may want to walk with him into another room and give him treats while he just watches everybody. oh and try to keep treats with you all the time so you can jump on every opportunity.....oh and you really aren't going to be asking strider for any behavior...just associating all of these things that he thinks are scary with good stuff so he isn't afraid anymore. google "counter conditioning" maybe if you read about it more, it will help you
don't beat yourself up about patting him on the chest. distracting him from barking is okay....some people believe that what your dog is doing is misbehaving and that punishing him will solve the problem...it really only exacerbates it.....like i said, you are doing just fine. take it slowly....don't rush yourself....



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Old 09-22-2009, 07:49 PM
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your doing good so far...this takes a long time to fix sadly.

Also, if you can...feed him when he is looking at your brother but not reacting. Cut up little pea sized pieces of your hotdog and give him one a second..treat...treat...treat....

Once you get good at this the dog will have learned the game and will look at your bro, then back at you for a treat we call that the "look at that" game.



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Old 09-22-2009, 10:20 PM
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i would try to avoid the dog barking at people as they leave your room. that will reinforce his behavior a bit (ie if i do this the scary thing goes away)
Yeah, that was why actually I had patting his chest. Last thing I wanted was for him to start thinking his bark made things go away. -_- He actually barked at someone on our walk tonight. I wasn't happy. Quickly got him to heel and continue walking.

My bed room isn't very large. Especially since my mom moved my bed to the middle of the room so I'm not trapped against the wall in case of another attack. So there is like 3 feet x 10 feet around space to the door and the rest of the U is 1.5 feet space because of my dresser and TV table. I have a long twin bed that's a good 3 feet tall. There isn't much in this room because I avoided it for a whole year yet it's still cramped. Feels like the dog has more space then me LOL My room is directly next to the bathroom so I get heavy traffic in the hallway.

I just worry because at least my mother is trying and succeeding with him. He actually showed his belly to her tonight. but the boys are somewhat avoiding and my dad is getting impatient with me and him fricken already. As mom said it's all about him regardless of anyone else and I have to act like the quiet little girl and not tell him what to do. It's like what Cesar says versus what Victoria says ya know? It's like, he's my dog! Dad likes to think he's all that and a bag of chips. Mom also says Dad just misses Princess who showered us with love. Dad thinks Strider is acting like this because he was abused. I know he wasn't. His life was strict and was with one family for 5 months. Not much could have happened before that really... So I know I may seem impatient but it's for his own safety and frankly I greatly suspect my dad was the reason to the destruction of my first dog and five years later I still haven't forgiven him. (Yet another reason to move out )

I like the idea of look at that game. I think he'd like that X3
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