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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2 weeks ago we adopted a rescue chorkie, Levi. He is between 1 and 2. Before he was rescued he had been in the house of dog hoarder, but not a horrible situation like you see on TV. She did keep them fed and somewhat clean. He has been in a foster mom's home for 6 months. He is very timid, but has warmed up to me very well and had seemed to be ok with my husband up until a couple of days ago. Now he runs away from Mark and sometimes even growls at him. Before he would jump up on the couch for Mark to pet him and as long as Mark didn't make any sudden moves Levi was fine. Very strange, yesterday, Levi had an accident in the house and before my husband even knew about it Levi had somehow managed to squeeze himself into a tiny spot on the bottom shelf of the bookshelf in our dining room. (Took my husband 5 minutes of searching to even find him.) Like I said before, Mark hadn't even found the accident yet and Levi had already hidden. So Mark cleaned up the mess and gently pulled Levi out of the hiding spot, then took him outside. When they came back in, Levi again went and hid, squeezing himself underneath a very short step stool in our bathroom and then he growled at Mark when Mark came into the bathroom, so he just left Levi there until I got home and I coaxed him out.

It's just so weird. We knew that Levi was not used to men. The hoarder was a woman with no males in the house and so was the foster mom. But why would Levi all the sudden after two weeks start to have problems with my husband. He's fine with Mark when I'm home will even sit on the couch with him, but when I'm gone Levi goes and hides. We've tried to think of anything Mark has done that might of scared him, but can't think of anything. Mark has never even scolded him for anything. This is especially difficult because my husband works from home and since we are still potty training, he is the one responsible for taking Levi out while I'm at work. Mark doesn't want to chase Levi all around the house just to take him outside, but we don't see an alternative.
 

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First of all, you have a cross of two breeds tend to gravitate toward one owner.

How is your relationship with the dog? How do you interact with her?
 

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Keep him on leash and have your husband keep him with him at all times while you are gone. He can tether him to his chair or his person so he can watch him closely for signs of him needing to go out to potty plus there won't be a chase.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well the first week we had him, I did the umbilical cord thing. Where I had him attached to me with a 6 foot leash and he did really well. Then as he progressed with his housetraining I let him off the leash, but he still follows me around quite a bit. He is definitely a snuggle bug, loves to be loved on. He wasn't crate trained, but it only took me 3 days to get him to sleep in his crate at night without a fuss and now he goes in by himself when I go to bed. He doesn't really play, like he doesn't know how, but I read on several sights that hoarded dogs often don't know how to play with humans. He will come to me when he's called, for the most part. And he wags his tail and seems happy to see me when I come home from work. I am his main caregiver, even though he's with Mark during the day. I did read on some of the other threads that I need to start having Mark feed him and treat him. The thing is Levi is not much of an eater. Treats don't really seem to interest him. He will eat one eventually, but they don't seem to be a motivating thing. Praise and petting seem to be what he enjoys the most. Mark doesn't mind him being "my" dog, but we need Levi to not be afraid of him and to allow Mark to take him outside and take care of him when I'm not around.
 

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Possible "new dog" syndrome; I'm just making that term up, but dogs in new homes can be feeling incredibly tense and "out of sorts" because everything around them is foreign and unpredictable.
Sometimes, just giving them space and letting them settle will help.
My guy, Sonic, was terrified of kitchens when we got him. He got over it, but even then, suddenly, he'd run away from my husband & be afraid of him in the kitchen for a few days again. It just goes away.
I'm guessing your dog has been punished previously for peeing indoors, so even though your husband was gentle, you dog was expecting the worst.
2 weeks is not very long for a new dog with a sketchy past--he's probably not feeling, or acting himself yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dawnben, I think we are going to start with that tomorrow. Husband just called and said that Levi was fine, laying in his bed, but then he got up and started sniffing around, so Mark went to the door and said, "Levi, outside" and then Levi went and hid behind a chair in a corner. Mark is just ignoring him and hoping he wont' go potty in the house. My husband loves animals and I've never seen a dog not take to him.
 

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Dawnben, I think we are going to start with that tomorrow. Husband just called and said that Levi was fine, laying in his bed, but then he got up and started sniffing around, so Mark went to the door and said, "Levi, outside" and then Levi went and hid behind a chair in a corner. Mark is just ignoring him and hoping he wont' go potty in the house. My husband loves animals and I've never seen a dog not take to him.
I would have him start to feed him even if he is not a food hound anything that contributes to his survival will bond them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Hey Folks, I found this protocol on another site. Would like to know what ya'll think about it.


"Dog Afraid of Member of Family


We have discussed unsocialized timid dogs here before. My most recent placement is 15 months old. He had never seen any people but his breeders until he came into rescue (at age 11 months) and is afraid of strangers. He spent several months with me and made great strides. I have now placed him and within a couple of days he had bonded to the wife, but two weeks later was still afraid of the husband.

The husband is a very nice guy, but the wife is much more active - runs with the dogs, works out in the yard with the dogs for company, etc. The husband works all day and really only wants to sit and watch TV when he gets home. It is okay with him if the dogs are closer to the wife -- he just didn't want to feel that the dog was terrified of him. Now that the dog had settled in, I put together a list of instructions to try to speed up the bonding process with the husband.

Wife to wear one of husband's shirts at night, he puts it on in the morning and when he gets home in the afternoon.

Wife is to have the minimum of contact with the dog - no eye contact, no petting, no feeding. Dog is to rely on the husband for all good things: food, treats, fun and exercise. Husband has to walk the dog twice a day.

Food -- Carry high value treats at all times and reward for any tiny sign of progress (i.e., just not slinking away is a sign of progress).

Meals Step 1 - Husband sits in a chair and the food (with treats) is scattered around his chair - no eye contact - reading paper, watching TV, whatever. The other dog in the family and Nicky are allowed to compete for the food for a couple of meals (no food agression problems by either dog).

Meals Step 2 - Husband does the same while the wife has the other dog out of the house. When the dog is approaching close to the chair, move to Step 3.

Meals Step 3 - Husband holds food in hand while reading paper, watching TV, etc. Dog is on 6 foot leash, but husband is not to do anything active .. just hold the food. If the dog won't eat, put the food away until the next meal.

Meals Step 4 - Once the dog is eating from his hand without any resistance, start making him "sit" before he gets his food (this is the one command he really knows solidly) and after a few days, start training some other simple commands - lie down, stay, etc. No more free food.

Meals Step 5 - the husband and wife can alternate feeding the dog and practice calling the dog back and forth between them for bites of food to enforce "come."

Crate - Husband is the one who lets the dog out of the crate - no fuss, but still .. the person who grants his freedom.

Leash -- the dog is attached to the husband by a 6 foot leash all the time the husband is home. Husband is not to try to pet or even look at the dog until the dog interacts on his own, just have him with him wherever he goes, until the dog starts soliciting attention. (However, offering a treat now and then without looking at the dog, is allowed.)

I am very relieved to report that one week after the new regimen, things have improved a lot. You can see his tail again (previously tucked so far under his belly, you wouldn't know he had a tail). He now hangs around with the husband even off leash (previously taking one look at him and heading in the opposite direction.) The husband has him sit for his food and treats and he is now able to have him sit, stay, back away and then call him to come for a treat and he eagerly comes running to sit for his treat (the magic of food). Husband gave him a bath last night (he loves baths .. and especially being towel dried).

I have been particularly on pins and needles with this one because the wife is a co-worker. There is nothing like coming to the office every day wondering what the progress report will be (or, lack of progress report)."

Not sure how I feel about the bit on me ignoring Levi while this bonding with husband goes on. Plus still not sure about the food as reward thing. I'm afraid Levi would just not eat. He didn't eat anything the first 2 days we had him, until I figured out he liked peanut butter and I started mixing a little PB with warm water and putting on his kibble. Then he would eat if hand fed him. He's just now starting to eat well.
 

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The tethering and treating is a good suggestion............cut his normal feed by about 20% and use really high value foods such as bits of chicken or steak as treats ....put in a little edge of hunger and he'll soon get it! Dogs are opportunistic eaters!
You don't need to starve them, just leave room in their little tummies!
The ignoring, I think is to give the dog the opportunity to solicit attention in his own time and in his own comfort zone.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, anyone whose had experience with the counter conditioning---how do you make it work for a dog who isn't treat motivated. I've read several threads that have a situation with the dog not liking the husband and they mention the CC stuff, but Levi will not accept any kind of treat from my husband, even if he drops it on the floor and walks away. Levi won't touch it if my husband has laid hands on it.
 

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Oh my, treats treats treats...

The more I read these forums, the more I shake my head... So many thread, new puppy, what do I need. Answers? Crate, treats, toys etc.

Ask yourself - what do you want from your dog? Do you want a dog that is a family pet - a dog that you can take anywhere and be won't be an arsehole? Do you want a dog that is trained in some sort of sport? Do you want a hunting dog? There's many questions to be asked - but the general answer is - a balanced dog that can be taken anywhere.

Op, first of all, back off the dog. Stop loving the dog, give the dog a chance to get used to it's environment and people in the environment - or you're going to end up with a dog that's yours and yours alone that will defend you in too many ways. The dog needs to know it's place in the home, if you elevate said dog beyond your husband - you're in for issues.

Quick and easy thing to try. Sit on the couch and invite the dog to your lap - now invite your husband to sit beside you - he ignores the dog for now. Watch the dog - what's the reaction? Will your dog be aggressive toward your husband? Unsure of your husband? Now have him give you a kiss, what's the dogs reaction?

Put the dog on the floor, both of you ignore the dog and carry on as if the dog wasn't there. What is the reaction of the dog?

You have a dog that will gravitate to one person - if that happens, then you're in for a world of hurt down the road. If the dog gets into a comfort zone with you...?
 

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I don't know if this will help - but four months ago I rescued a little dog that spent her whole life (3.5 years) locked in a government pound in Romania. When I got her she was really petrified of people. She was fine with myself and my partner, but terrified of anyone else. My dad accidentally scared her at the start, and after that point my dog would growl and bark at him and show her teeth. It was really upsetting, and I thought at the time it was going to be a major problem. We took her to see a behaviourist - it took the behaviourist 45 minutes before my dog would even go close to her. Anyway 4 months on and my dog is fine with people, and absolutely loves my dad to bits! I was told that people should be introduced calmly, and the dog should not be forced to interact - the dog should be allowed to 'make friends' on their own terms. The person should not look the dog directly in the eye, or make sudden movements, and should offer some really high value treats (like nice meat, not dry kibble or dog biscuits). If the dog won't come close, they can begin by just sitting down and gently throwing the bits of meat over to the dog, again no sudden movements and little eye contact (a long 10m training line may be handy). This might take time, but eventually the dog will learn that good things come from this person, and they don't need to fear them. I would say it took a couple of months for my dog to adjust to my dad/ people in general, and I would say four months down the line she is pretty much fine (although is a bit jumpy if people drop things around her or if kids come running up boisterously). But nearly there.
 

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Also - I've just remembered we were told to stop feeding using a bowl. We have been hand feeding instead, the dog has to do something (e.g. sit, or lay down etc) for every handful. This has helped build both trust and obedience. Perhaps your husband can hand feed the meals, if your dog feels comfortable with that. I'm not sure tethering will be a great option (as it's forcing the dog to be in a situation it may be uncomfortable with). Also, your husband may be accidentally scaring the dog if he is the one telling it to get outside when it needs to go to the toilet. Even if he is trying to do it gently, just the fact he is towering over it may make a nervous dog scared. I've listen to my partner interact with my dog, he doesn't mean to sound scary but just the fact he has such a booming voice makes his commands sometimes sound a bit stern, while I try to keep the tone of my voice a bit more high pitched and praising. Just an observation.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh my, treats treats treats...

The more I read these forums, the more I shake my head... So many thread, new puppy, what do I need. Answers? Crate, treats, toys etc.

Ask yourself - what do you want from your dog? Do you want a dog that is a family pet - a dog that you can take anywhere and be won't be an arsehole? Do you want a dog that is trained in some sort of sport? Do you want a hunting dog? There's many questions to be asked - but the general answer is - a balanced dog that can be taken anywhere.

Op, first of all, back off the dog. Stop loving the dog, give the dog a chance to get used to it's environment and people in the environment - or you're going to end up with a dog that's yours and yours alone that will defend you in too many ways. The dog needs to know it's place in the home, if you elevate said dog beyond your husband - you're in for issues.

Quick and easy thing to try. Sit on the couch and invite the dog to your lap - now invite your husband to sit beside you - he ignores the dog for now. Watch the dog - what's the reaction? Will your dog be aggressive toward your husband? Unsure of your husband? Now have him give you a kiss, what's the dogs reaction?

Put the dog on the floor, both of you ignore the dog and carry on as if the dog wasn't there. What is the reaction of the dog?

You have a dog that will gravitate to one person - if that happens, then you're in for a world of hurt down the road. If the dog gets into a comfort zone with you...?
Hi Jagger, Levi doesn't have any issues with my husband when I'm home. He doesn't follow Mark around like he does me (if I'm sitting down Levi wants to be right next to me, but I don't always let him. Many times I make him get in his bed that sits next to my chair so he doesn't think he's in charge), but he'll sit on the couch with both of us and doesn't seem to mind if Mark pets him as long as I'm there. It's when I'm gone that Levi has problems with Mark. We don't treat a lot, besides Levi won't take a treat if Mark has touched it, even if it's just dropped on the floor and Mark walks away. Mark did start doing the feeding though. We made sure that Levi saw Mark prepare the food and sit it on the floor and Levi is eating it.

We really just want a good family dog that we can both enjoy. I agree with you that I don't want Levi to be too protective of me or afraid of everyone else. I would never elevate him above my husband, I make him get down if he crowds me when I'm sitting with Mark, or if shows the slightest hint of trying to be in charge. I've taken him to see both my parents and my in-laws in the last week (with instructions to them to ignore Levi) and he seems to be scared of men more than women. He even went up to my mom and pawed her to be petted.

So anyway, I understand what you're saying and I've trained a timid/small dog before, so I understand how they can end up being little terrors if you let them. I had a friend, year ago, who had a Yorkie, that would bark and nip at her husband if he tried to sit next to her (bad case of small dog syndrome, but they thought it was funny:eek:) and that is definitely NOT what a want.

I've often thought that a lot of training advice depends too much on treats and I would prefer to train without them and Levi's making that pretty easy, since he's not big on them even coming from me.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm not sure tethering will be a great option (as it's forcing the dog to be in a situation it may be uncomfortable with). Also, your husband may be accidentally scaring the dog if he is the one telling it to get outside when it needs to go to the toilet. Even if he is trying to do it gently, just the fact he is towering over it may make a nervous dog scared. I've listen to my partner interact with my dog, he doesn't mean to sound scary but just the fact he has such a booming voice makes his commands sometimes sound a bit stern, while I try to keep the tone of my voice a bit more high pitched and praising. Just an observation.
Hi Winnipeg, we are trying the tethering today. I just called Mark to see how Levi's doing and Mark said he's seems to be fine. He's just sitting under Mark's desk while he works. Mark has taken him outside once and Levi didn't do anything, but he didn't fight Mark either. I can see how Mark could inadvertently scare Levi. Mark is a big guy and he also has a very deep voice. I will mention to him about trying to use a higher tone of voice. Mark is doing the ignoring thing, just letting Levi follow him around, but not interacting with him outside of that.

We might try the hand-feeding later. Right now Levi won't eat even if I pay attention to him. We have to put the food down and then ignore him or he won't touch the food and since he's such a little guy (8 1/2lbs) I worry about him getting hypoglycemic if he doesn't eat.
 

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We really just want a good family dog that we can both enjoy.
That's what most people want, that's all I want. In 40 years of dog ownership etc, I've never used treats - I look at the ingredients of the average store bought bag and shake my head.

Something that gets lost in all of these positive training techniques is simple - YOU are the highest value treat your dog will ever have. The dog had basically adopted you as the owner from the sounds of it - now it's up to you to elevate your husband.

Sounds like things are going better already :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
update on Levi

Thought I'd give ya'll an update. We've done the umbilical cord thing with Levi for the past 2 days, attaching him to my husband while I'm at work. Made a baby step. Yesterday instead of sitting on the floor looking away from my husband, Levi actually jumped up on the couch and sat with Mark. :thumbsup: Of course later Mark had to go to a meeting and he crated Levi while he was gone. When Mark came home Levi would not come out of the crate, so Mark just left him alone and Levi came out when I got home. I know it's not much, but I figure at this point any progress is good progress.
 

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I would encourage your husband to keep up the good work it sounds like the tethering is working. Baby steps are good. Its great that he is not pushing you want the dog to make the move towards your husband that is progress.
 
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