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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!
So i have a problem...
You see, i own an 11 Month Old West Highland White Terrier Puppy that i adopted back in August.This issue has been bothering me for quite a while, i just couldn't find a good dog forum to post my question! My puppy had been abused in his previous home, and would get beatings if he did something his cruel owner did not want him to do :dog-cry: But now that i've adopted him, whenever he gets scolded, he'll crouch down and start walking very slowly with his head down, i guess because he thinks i'm going to hit him! And then if i try to pet him, he hides in a small corner and starts whimpering. I feel horrible and i want him to know what i will never hurt him, but i don't know how! Help! Thanks so much!!!
 

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That's terrible but it explains his behavior. By scolding, what do you mean. Can you describe how you address him when he does not so great things?
 

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You can give up the scoldings.
Instead, teach your puppy what you WANT him to do.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to reprimand a dog, in order to teach good manners, and your pup, due to his history, really needs you to STOP scoldings. He needs months to recover from the abuse and to begin to thoroughly trust humans again.

When he is doing something you don't want him to do, give him a cue for a desired behavior instead.

For example, if he's jumping up, or getting something, call him to you and ask for a "sit".

First of course, you need to teach the cue for "come" and "sit." This can be don in an entirely POSITIVE way.

Here is a place to start.
Clicker Dog Training - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's terrible but it explains his behavior. By scolding, what do you mean. Can you describe how you address him when he does not so great things?
It's just kind of saying "No!" In a loud voice, but not yelling. Also, when i do this, he closes his eyes tightly. It makes me feel really bad for scolding in the first place :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can give up the scoldings.
Instead, teach your puppy what you WANT him to do.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to reprimand a dog, in order to teach good manners, and your pup, due to his history, really needs you to STOP scoldings. He needs months to recover from the abuse and to begin to thoroughly trust humans again.

When he is doing something you don't want him to do, give him a cue for a desired behavior instead.

For example, if he's jumping up, or getting something, call him to you and ask for a "sit".

First of course, you need to teach the cue for "come" and "sit." This can be don in an entirely POSITIVE way.

Here is a place to start.
Clicker Dog Training - YouTube
Thank you so much!!
 

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Awww.. makes me so angry that anyone would hit a puppy..or any animal really. ANYWAY..before I go on a rant..

I would focus on what Tess. Focus on what he does good. If he's laying down quietly, not begging for food, playing, sitting, anything really. Praise him. It will take some time for him to learn he can trust you but it's very doable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Awww.. makes me so angry that anyone would hit a puppy..or any animal really. ANYWAY..before I go on a rant..

I would focus on what Tess. Focus on what he does good. If he's laying down quietly, not begging for food, playing, sitting, anything really. Praise him. It will take some time for him to learn he can trust you but it's very doable.
Yeah, it makes me really upset too :( But thanks for all the help! It was really appreciated.
 

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The squinting and cowering are all ways your dog is saying "PLEASE don't hurt me!!!!

You feel bad because indeed the puppy is in GREAT emotional distress when he is acting this way.

So the thing for people to realize is that just because we humans don't think we are being harsh, it is the dog's perception that counts.

If he looks miserable, he is miserable.

I think you know that now, and can find other ways of working with him. The wonderful thing about dogs like yours (and I have one too!) is that they present an opportunity for us to learn so much about dogs in general, as their sensitivities are so revealing.

Good luck with this guy. He is so fortunate to have you as his human! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The squinting and cowering are all ways your dog is saying "PLEASE don't hurt me!!!!

You feel bad because indeed the puppy is in GREAT emotional distress when he is acting this way.

So the thing for people to realize is that just because we humans don't think we are being harsh, it is the dog's perception that counts.

If he looks miserable, he is miserable.

I think you know that now, and can find other ways of working with him. The wonderful thing about dogs like yours (and I have one too!) is that they present an opportunity for us to learn so much about dogs in general, as their sensitivities are so revealing.

Good luck with this guy. He is so fortunate to have you as his human! :)
Thank you so much! I just started training him to sit the other day and he is doing a great job! He really is a good dog. I couldn't thank you more for the advice, he seems like he's doing a little better already! :)
 

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Hi!
Look at the calming signals video by kikopup on utube or here, DF. It will teach you how to pick up on his behaviors...I used it a lot with our feral little houla and I learned a whole lot from watching it!!!! Like when a dog looks away, "bows" yawns, etc.
If you want to fast track his bonding and confidence...and other DF posters might disagree, and that's ok, have your dog sleep with you. Our little Addison grew SO much more secure with me when she could snuggle and see that I wouldn't hurt her...She started at the end of the bed and then gradually crept up over the nights to my pillow....but she was potty trained, lol.
 

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Sleeping with the humans works wonders! I second that idea!
 
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Oh WHEW! Thanks Tess! I thought DF was going to absolutely jump on me for that one about sleeping with your dog....for whatever reason though it does work wonderfully to get the pup trusting. Our dogs get VERY upset if I don't kiss them in the morning first thing, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Glad you are finding some encouragement! The great thing about dogs is that when we do start to figure them out, they respond!

Emily Larlham is my hero (linked you earlier to her website... kikopup) Her videos are awesome.

Here also is a book that can help you help your dog. Its a quick and entertaining read, and gives you a great grounding on training principles.
Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training: Karen Pryor: 9781860542381: Amazon.com: Books
Thank you so much...i need to check that out! :) Little Link seems to be improving his behaviours. I stopped the scolding and he almost knows how to sit :) i am so proud of him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi!
Look at the calming signals video by kikopup on utube or here, DF. It will teach you how to pick up on his behaviors...I used it a lot with our feral little houla and I learned a whole lot from watching it!!!! Like when a dog looks away, "bows" yawns, etc.
If you want to fast track his bonding and confidence...and other DF posters might disagree, and that's ok, have your dog sleep with you. Our little Addison grew SO much more secure with me when she could snuggle and see that I wouldn't hurt her...She started at the end of the bed and then gradually crept up over the nights to my pillow....but she was potty trained, lol.
Thanks so much! He isn't housebroken yet (still using puppy pads) but as of now, he is sleeping in his crate which is large and holds a small water bowl, a bed, a blanket, and 2 toys. The crate is in my room, right next to my bed, and he comes out first thing in the morning and doesn't go back in until bed time. Once he gets potty-trained, i think i will consider letting him sleep on my bed, but until then i don't want to risk him doing his business on the bed or around the house. Although, i don't think it's a bad idea :) Thank you!
 

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lol. I would hate to wake up in a wet spot....! So glad you have the crate in your bedroom!
 

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This may not be an option depending on the layout of your bedroom, but something Susan Garrett has talked about doing with her pups is having their crate propped up on a chair or night table and pushed right up to your bed, so even though they are crated and not actually in your bed, they are still only sleeping a foot or two away from you.
 

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That's a great idea! Very clever and the pup will feel really secure by seeing you.
 

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Great idea regarding putting the crate at bed level but keep in mind that if he panicks or something during the night he can knock the crate down and possibly hurt or scare himself. Just make sure it's resting on something secure.
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Great idea regarding putting the crate at bed level but keep in mind that if he panicks or something during the night he can knock the crate down and possibly hurt or scare himself. Just make sure it's resting on something secure.
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Good point. When I did it with Mo, I used a chair so that one side of the crate was against the wall, and the other side was against the back of the chair.

He sleeps in my bed now that he is house-trained, but when he had to sleep in his crate, I think it made a big difference that he could see me, smell me, hear me, and that I could put my fingers through the door of the crate for a few minutes as he was falling asleep to soothe him.
 
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