Dog Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
422 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Bella is a little over 4 months old. I got her when she was 9 weeks old.. I have been trying to take her on a walk to help release energy but she will only walk around yard and around the driveway that goes around our house. If a dog barks no matter the size she starts running towards the door. If I even try to leave the yard she pulls in the opposite direction(back towards the house) Even tried a retractable leash she runs around until I start getting her to leave the yard she just won't she is not happy unless she is in our yard. I want to start walking to lose weight but I want to be able to take Bella with me but I can't get her to leave the yard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,437 Posts
Don't force the issue. Stop trying to make her walk if she's fearful of leaving the yard. She's right near the end of the socialization window. Did she get any positive socialization from age 10 weeks up till now? Was she enrolled in a puppy socialization class? Have you ever socialized a puppy and do you understand what it entails?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
422 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
yes i started socializing her since the day I got her. She has always been fearful and yes I have socialized dog's before. Bella is just the first one that I've had trouble with she growls and barks at almost every single person that comes in the house. but never lunges or snaps just fearful acting this started about a month ago. I wasted no time starting to socialize her. She is just so fearful and no I havent enrolled her in a puppy class haven't been able to afford it I've been putting all the money into her vet care/vaccinations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,319 Posts
I think some counter conditioning might be in order. Be aware that this will take a long time to change the dogs emotional response and every dog is different. This is what I did to help Kuma change his mind about meeting dogs. (He used to attack without warning when the other dog came in close enough for him to attack.) I don't know if it was because he was fearful or aggressive, but counter condition work for him.

We have a sticky on counter conditioning which should help you out. I believe they are under the training and behavior thread.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,911 Posts
I'm honestly not sure what else members can tell you or give you that will help that they haven't already in your past threads about this.... You've been posting about her fearfulness most of the time you've had Bella.

Because she is so afraid of leaving your yard as well as afraid of many people, it's very unlikely you have been able to actually socialize your puppy. There's so much more to socialization than a puppy playing with dogs and meeting people... It's exposure to the world... sights, sounds, smells, locations, etc. In addition, iirc you had fear based issues with a past dog that you ended up rehoming....

In my opinion because of the above and the lack of progress, it is time to seek professional help. I know I've said it before, but it sounds like Bella is going to need a pretty intensive behavior modification plan (and now) in order to really address this. If you don't find the help Bella needs and you continue on your current path, I just don't see it getting any better...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
422 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
As in socialization I have been doing all those things, The other do had severe fear aggression and would bite bella just growls and runs she does better with women but theres stills some women she growls at just not as bad as men.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
422 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
My other dog her mother was extremely human aggressive also which contributed to her behavior As for professional help the nearest trainer is about 45 minutes away and I don't have a car to get her there. She can't be entered in anything at petsmart until she has had all her vaccinations and she still have another to go before I can take her there for training
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,911 Posts
As in socialization I have been doing all those things, The other do had severe fear aggression and would bite bella just growls and runs she does better with women but theres stills some women she growls at just not as bad as men.
Can you elaborate on what you've done as far as socialization?

And what are you doing to help Bella feel more comfortable with these new situations, people, etc.?
Simple exposure isn't enough with a shy or fearful puppy....
I've seen ''socialization'' quickly cross over to flooding with shy and fearful pups. You need to be ensuring her comfort at all times (not allowing people to force themselves on her, not forcing her to do things, be using rewards and training games to boost confidence and reward bravery, etc.)

My other dog her mother was extremely human aggressive also which contributed to her behavior As for professional help the nearest trainer is about 45 minutes away and I don't have a car to get her there. She can't be entered in anything at petsmart until she has had all her vaccinations and she still have another to go before I can take her there for training
I wouldn't count on petsmart training for anything other than very basic obedience and even then I'm not sure I would be comfy taking a shy or fearful pup....
Chain store classes and trainers are so hit or miss...
Plus basic obedience classes tend to not address training and exercises specifically directed towards fear and reactivity.

Honestly If the trainer who is 45 minutes away is good and experienced with fear, I would do what I need to do to get Bella there or the trainer to me. You're likely to need several private lessons to get things under control, get a clear plan set in motion, and see progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
I know you said Bella has a sensitive tummy (or something like that) and you can't give her treats, but there has to be something you can give her, such as plain cooked chicken cut into tiny pieces. You really need to break out the good stuff for helping her overcome her fears.

Here's how we're introducing our puppy to walks:

Our puppy turned 11 weeks old yesterday, and he got to go out for his first walk. We carried him to a quiet field and put him on the ground and rewarded EVERYTHING he did with (tiny) pieces of ham...sniffing, walking, bounding, sitting. Things he picked up were swapped for treats and if he chewed the lead (which happened once) I made the noise we use for a positive interrupter and rewarded when he dropped it.

And a brief guide of how we've dealt with socialisation - how does this compare to what you have done?

From when he was 8 weeks old we have been carrying him about all over the place. We started with the easy stuff - just a walk around the village. Any time he saw people he got ham, any time cars drove past he got ham (he was scared of the road at first). Then we started meeting people; he got gentle fuss and lots of ham.

He's met kids (if they are young and prone to overly fuss him, I tell them to hold their hand flat palm-up and they can offer him a treat), adults, chickens, he's been into the pet shop and a pub. We walked to the supermarket and stood outside the automatic door, so he got to watch lots of people walk by and some said hello to him. We took him to the train station but rushed it; since then we have stayed in the ticket office where the trains are quieter and further away, and fed him (you guessed it) ham. When we went to the pet shop yesterday we had to walk along a busy main road. He doesn't care about cars at all anymore, the only thing that concerns him were very large, noisy lorries passing by. He got LOTS of ham when they passed, and he still wasn't actually scared - if he had been we would have backed off and taken him somewhere quieter.

Starting either tomorrow or next week he begins either a puppy socialisation / party type thing at our vets (ringing up today to ask about structure and when it's on) or puppy training / socialising classes. Now he's (almost) fully vaccinated we're also gonna begin getting him used to buses. He's been in a friend's car a few times and does great, he was even following cues for sit, lie down and touch :)

So you see, we've tried to keep everything as positive as possible. He's not a hugely overconfident puppy either, not like Zoey was...Zoey was fearless, she would be right up there jumping at people and wanting to be into everything. Although Raiden hasn't shown much fear (nervous in the pub, but got used to it within a few minutes, and didn't like the train station so we quickly left), we have been more gentle in socialising him.

Oh - the one thing Rey has been scared of was the vet, I presume because the vet was a **** and didn't even speak to him when examining him, then Raiden had his first vaccination and it terrified him. Upon our next visit we swapped to a different vet and asked for a note to be put on the system to treat our puppy gently - this vet turned out to be awesome and has since treated Raiden and Zoey wonderfully. Even so Rey was scared of the surgery and kept his body low on the examination table. I fed him ham, happy talked him, got out a brand new toy I'd brought along to play with, and rewarded every time he interacted with the vet. Within minutes his confidence had shot up and he was loving on the vet and doing tricks on the table. I let him stick his head *in* my treat bag as he was injected :p and the vet massaged his neck when the needle came out. We praised him like crazy, fed him treats and played with the toy. No reaction, and he held a sit on the scales to be weighed like a pro. The vet cuddled him and carried him about a bit, then we left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
The fact that Bella is so fearful isn't great in a puppy - she needs a lot of help in learning the world is okay, otherwise she's gonna go down the same route as your last dog. I would definitely be seeking out an experienced and gentle professional to help. Sure "bella just growls" for now, but this could easily develop into biting when she gets older.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
422 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The only time she growls is when people come into our house. Never out in public outside she does just fine and out in public. I have been working with her allowing her to go to them as she pleases and sniff them. She does fine unless they try to interact with her If they ignore her she is just fine. She has gotten better with some fear before I couldn't keep her outside for more then a few minutes at a time without her wanting to come back in, Now I can keep her outside as long as I want as long as I stay in our yard. I have no idea why she is so fearful, I have been socializing her and her sister who was never socialized isn't fearful at all. I already said I cannot get to a trainer it is 45 minutes away and I do not have the car or transportation which is why I rehomed my last dog because I couldn't get her to a professional trainer. I am trying to find out why she is fearful on my own since I have no way to get her to a trainer.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
422 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
just taking out around exposing her to other animals, people and many different situations. Pretty much what I did for my first dog and she ended up being the sweetest dog loved everyone, loved the vet without any problems so I figured I would repeat what I did for her.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,911 Posts
Bryansgirl said:
The only time she growls is when people come into our house. Never out in public outside she does just fine and out in public. I have been working with her allowing her to go to them as she pleases and sniff them. She does fine unless they try to interact with her If they ignore her she is just fine. She has gotten better with some fear before I couldn't keep her outside for more then a few minutes at a time without her wanting to come back in, Now I can keep her outside as long as I want as long as I stay in our yard. I have no idea why she is so fearful, I have been socializing her and her sister who was never socialized isn't fearful at all. I already said I cannot get to a trainer it is 45 minutes away and I do not have the car or transportation which is why I rehomed my last dog because I couldn't get her to a professional trainer. I am trying to find out why she is fearful on my own since I have no way to get her to a trainer.
You really should try to stop comparing Bella to her sister (dog are individuals and you have to work with the dog you have in front of you). And while we can make guesses as to the why, at the end of the day Bella is fearful and the training she needs is going to be the same regardless of the why. ;)

I'm glad you've seen a little improvement. Though I'm a bit confused...
I remember you saying Bella had snapped at a little girl and also growled at a vet tech? So it does sound like you have had issues out and about? Or am I mistaken?

Also, are you familiar with shutdown or learned helplessness? As she is so afraid of leaving the yard, you may need to consider if Bella's is shutdown (thus appears ok) during outings.


Bryansgirl said:
just taking out around exposing her to other animals, people and many different situations. Pretty much what I did for my first dog and she ended up being the sweetest dog loved everyone, loved the vet without any problems so I figured I would repeat what I did for her.
What are you doing to help Bella feel more comfortable with these new situations, people, etc.? What training methods, games, and exercises are you using with Bella in situations she may be uncomfortable? Are you using food rewards?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
422 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
She did snap at a little boy but only because the boy picked her up way to soon and she panicked when we took her to the vet she did fine with the 15- 20 people in the lobby and 2 vet techs and the vet herself there was only one vet tech she growled at, other then that she does good out in public. I can take her to a neighbors house and she does fine with them no growling or anything just acts skiddish but that's it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,437 Posts
If her mother was fear aggressive, you may be dealing with a genetic component as well as a lack of proper early socialization. Just taking a puppy out and about and exposing them to other people and dogs isn't necessarily good socialization.

You should take the time to do some reading on desensitization and counter conditioning. I believe that's been suggested to you previously. Look at fearfuldogs.com.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,437 Posts
Earlier in this thread, you posted that this dog's mother was human aggressive. Most aggression is fear based. Whether it is genetic or not, the way to deal with a fearful dog is the same. The correct terms are desensitization and counter conditioning.

We slowly and gradually expose the dog to what it fears. We do this systematically and at a level that doesn't overwhelm the dog. The goal is to help the dog associate the fearful thing with something the dog loves. Most of the time food is used. You can use a toy or praise but it's not always as effective. Patience is the key. That website I suggested yesterday is a very good one and I think it will help you learn how to help your pup.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
422 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
not this dogs mother, I said my other dogs mother was human aggressive which caused my other dog to have severe fear aggression to the point of biting without warning, so I rehomed her to someone that could get her to a professional trainer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,906 Posts
IMO, if she's acting skittish she's not fine, she's just not at the point of growling yet.

Your goal is to get her as happy and confident as possible. This starts at home and branches out from there, to neighbors' homes and eventually to more public places.

Treat that skittishness as seriously as the growling, because it, too, is a symptom of the anxiety you want to alleviate.

As others have said, this means proper socialization - not just sticking her in a situation, but rather teaching her how to navigate that situation. Teach her that she doesn't have to interact with these people if she doesn't want to - that if she's uncomfortable, it is VERY rewarding to just come back to you (both in terms of food rewards and in the sense that you can leave or move away). Reward bravery heavily, but watch her body language - if she "stares down" the trigger or seems to be going over threshold, call her back to you and reward for coming without going off. And, of course, look heavily into counter conditioning.

The reason why she's afraid isn't really too important, and you may never know. My current reactive dog likely has genetic issues based on his background and lineage, but when I first met him I'd have never guessed he was fearful - he was bold and spunky until about 30 minutes into the car ride home. Several years ago I had a fearful dog that was timid when I first saw her (I should have known better) but the rest of her family was bold as brass. My terrier mix now was bold as a pup, went through a reactive period at one year, and then found her confidence again. So who knows why it happens or what your dog will be like a year from now...you just have to deal with and help the dog in front of you.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top