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I've had my new puppy for 2 months now. She's almost 4 months. She's actually a pretty good puppy overall, but she's starting to be reactive to any noise and bark/growl at anything that startles her. She used to not get startled and I'm so worried she's going to be a reactive dog. She also hates being petted a majority of the time. I know that she's a puppy and all she wants to do is play, sleep and eat and she'll hopefully learn to like being petted later, but I never expected this. Other than that, she has no major issues. She's house trained and sleeps 9 hours straight every night. She's not food or toy aggressive. She's very good at clicker training and she sits when she wants something or before walking through a door. I've taken her all over the place with me so she's used to new things, but she's pretty independent at home, she's not glued to me, only when she wants to play. She goes in the car all the time, is crate trained. She goes to puppy daycare 2 days a week. I know most other posters who have new puppy anxiety have had the puppy for only a couple of days, but mine is starting after 2 months. I had a previous dog who was amazing and never barked and never reacted to anything. I'm so nervous this puppy will have problems. I'm so anxious and sometimes I can't figure out what she wants. She doesn't seem to like me which I know will take time, but it's overwhelming. I am so relieved on the days she's at the puppy daycare, but it's getting to the point where I dread the days she's with me. Has anyone experienced this? Did their puppies turn into good dogs? Any tips for the reactivity? Thanks!
 

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It is possible that your puppy is starting on a fear period, which would explain why all of a sudden sounds are startling her.

If it is just a fear phase, I would say distracting her when she is fixating on something, just before growling, is a good idea. Also, I suggest to not push her to go towards whatever is startling her, it is okay to just walk away with her in another direction. One game I play with new things, which helps a lot with my puppy, is the 'look at that' game. Whenever she looks at something, that you see makes her tense (even mildly so), use your clicker, then reward. Do not do this when she starts growling or barking, but rather prevent this. So you need to pay close attention to her body language and get her at the earliest point of fixating/noticing the scary thing.

For sounds specifically, you can work on desensitizing her to sounds. There are many clips on youtube specifically for dog socialization, but you can also use other youtube sound clips even if they are not labeled as dog training aids. Play the sounds at a VERY low volume. So low, that she does not react to it at all. Let it play for about 2 minutes, that is enough. Repeat this every day. Gradually increase the volume. It is okay to leave the volume the same for an entire week at a time. Better to go too slow than too fast. Remember, the goal is for her NOT to react to it. It is okay if she turns her ears towards the sound, but she should not be tense at all.

What do you mean with she does not like you?

Also, it is okay to feel overwhelmed. I think almost everyone goes through that at some point when they have a puppy. Don't be hard on yourself!
 

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Great advice from Project Click.

Could just be a phase your dog is going through. Or it's personality. My dog is very curious about new things. No fear. Though, when he was 8-9 weeks old and he first saw a baby stroller he barked at it. Backed away from it. But eventually he saw more and more of them. Figured there was nothing wrong with them. And just ignored them when walking past one.

Being overwhelmed in puppyhood. Happens even to experienced dog owners as all dogs are different. And, usually it's been over a decade since we had our last puppies. For me I had 2 dogs. Both lived past 16 years. And back when they were puppies they used to live with my family when I lived at home with my parents. 2nd dog first half of it's life.

Key is to never give up. Makes no sense to.

I live in a condo. Had a neighbour who had a 3 month old puppy. But haven't seen them walk it but once. When I bumped into them heading to the elevator. This was early this month. Since then I've never seen them. Not sure if they gave up on keeping their dog. Though I hear a dog bark in the unit next to theirs.

Being as their dog was 3 months...they could have gotten overwhelmed poddy training it. Because it didn't do both outside soon enough perhaps. Kept doing most of it's business indoors? I say this because I never saw them walk their dog. And I'm out side regularly 4x a day. Work at home as a IT consultant.

When I walk my dog past their suite their dog never barks. Which tells me it might no longer be there. Usually a dog will bark when they hear another dog walk by. :)

What ever the hurdle...please tough it out. Might just pass.
 

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My dog isn't really reactive, but he does get way overly excited about crossing other dogs and people. I've been rewarding him with a click and treat every time he passes by a distraction without reacting, like when he just keeps sniffing the grass and walks right by someone. I've also been rewarding him for focusing on me when we walk, with the hope that eventually he'll learn good things come from focusing on me rather than getting distracted/excited by other things. This could help your dog from getting stressed by so many things, too.
 

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lunabc, I think is still too soon to expect adult behavior from a 4 month old puppy. Puppies and dogs show affection in different ways. It probably took more than a year, probably closer to two years, before our Samantha completely 'dedicated' herself to us. She still has her aloof moments, but its clear that she belongs to my wife and me. Two months is a short time, your puppy is still trying to figure out what happened, and how she fits in. Your previous dog was your previous dog, and this dog is not the same dog. They are all different, and wonderful in their own individual ways. Give her time, just like kids they go through phases.
 
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