Dog Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! I have a 1.5 year old Puerto Rican street dog named Rico. He was found in a box when he was around 4 weeks old, and almost didn't survive. It was a long road getting him to be a basic functional dog with regards to housetraining and basic commands/tricks, but he's come a long way.

His main issue is he's very fearful outside of the home on walks around the neighborhood, and also of random new things to the outdoor environment. We have a dog park right across from our backyard, and he does perfectly fine there. I've taken him to the beach and he did okay. Nervous, but no major freakouts. He was doing great on walks, even though he was still scared he was calm, walked by my side, and didn't panic. Until one night we walked by a bush that was full of tiny coqui frogs that are CRAZY LOUD and started chirping right as we walked by. He lost it and about jumped out of his skin trying to get away. The same thing happened during the daytime when we walked by a kid with a ball. Rico started doing a kind of scream-cry, tried to climb up a brick wall, and nervous pooped. Now he's terrified to even walk out the door.

One of his other quirks is panic barking at the new things in his outdoor environment, such as a garden hose appearing at the house next door, or a plastic bag floating past the backyard. He barked at the garden hose every time he went out for 3 days, until it was moved. I want him to be more comfortable and confident, especially since we will be leaving the island next year and he will have to fly. (any tips on that would be appreciated too!) I've tried finding trainers or classes, and haven't had much luck here. Any tips or resources I can work on with him? Thanks so much!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Oh my. I cannot imagine what flying and a change in environment would do to this dog based on what you described. Is he a fear biter? If not ask your vet for meds for traveling and settling into the new place. I usually recommend fluoxetine(prozac) for separation anxiety, but you should definitely talk to your vet as they may have something else they want to use for this type of anxiety. I really think meds will help him though, if not long term, definitely for the transition. They would probably even help him now if you're willing to go that route, though I feel you may need something more powerful like a benzo for the actual flying. I think it would be cruel not to ease his anxiety w something, at least while traveling and settling in, if he's as bad as you say and such tiny changes in his environment like a new garden hose send him into a panic. Best of luck.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,437 Posts
A great resource is Debbie Jacob's web site and her book. Fearfuldogs.com


If you're on Facebook, Debbie has a fantastic group called, you guessed it, fearful dogs. I hope you take a look at it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
First off, HUGE kudos to you for rescuing a stray street dog and also for your past and certainly upcoming work that you'll be putting in with Rico to help him recover physically and now mentally!

While reading your post, I too believe that some anti-anxiety meds are in order, to at least take the edge off while you work with him. Since you have some months to work with him before you have to board an airplane, you can do some quick reading up on the best tips and methods to help him feel more reassured in his surroundings.

I couldn't find any stickies in the forums on this subject, but here's a search for threads discussing fearful dogs. My forum buddy Grabby also has tipped me off to a most excellent blog on fearful dogs here. You might want to peruse that blog from it's origins, unless Grabby has some more specific dates that may help... And lastly is fearfuldogs.com by Debbie Jacobs, trained in the esteemed Jean Donaldson's methods. This site seems to have a horde of info including whether medication is necessary.

I don't have a fearful dog myself, but I do have a somewhat nervous one, and some training principles definitely have some crossover. With Rico's more extreme case, you certainly have some work cut out for you. My heart goes out to the poor fella, and I hope you'll stick around and keep us up to date on your progress with him!

EDIT: Hah! There's Grabby now! :wave: Beat me by two minutes... I spent too long on the links. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Is he a fear biter? If not ask your vet for meds for traveling and settling into the new place. I usually recommend fluoxetine(prozac) for separation anxiety, but you should definitely talk to your vet as they may have something else they want to use for this type of anxiety.
Thanks so much! He's not a fear biter at all, luckily. He just shuts down and starts crying and scrambling to get away from whatever his latest scare is. I'll definitely get him some meds to get him through the flight and the transition after. The hardest part is we won't know where we're headed until only a few months before we leave in May sometime, and we don't know how long we'll be in a hotel, when we'll find a place to live (really hope we can easily find a place for 3 dogs, especially since one is a senior :confused:) , and how long it'll take for our house stuff to arrive. We are planning on hunting for the shortest flight for him and our other 2 dogs, since when we came here, Ginger, the dog we brought with us, was stuck in the kennel for 14 hours due to flight delays. Shes 13 now and I don't think she can handle that again anyway, so we'll fly to wherever the shortest flight for them goes and just drive to our final place. My husband has joked about having me certified as Rico's emotional support human. :D
A great resource is Debbie Jacob's web site and her book. Fearfuldogs.com

If you're on Facebook, Debbie has a fantastic group called, you guessed it, fearful dogs. I hope you take a look at it.
Great! I just sent a request to join the group, and I'm taking a look at her book too!

I don't have a fearful dog myself, but I do have a somewhat nervous one, and some training principles definitely have some crossover. With Rico's more extreme case, you certainly have some work cut out for you. My heart goes out to the poor fella, and I hope you'll stick around and keep us up to date on your progress with him!
I'll definitely check those out! The FB group seems like it'll be a huge help too. He's been a challenge for sure, but he's also what I'm most proud of for him getting to where he's at now from where he was. The first time I was able to go upstairs and do laundry and he wandered outside on his own and sat in the back yard to relax was one of my proudest moments. :D I know he has a long way to go still, but he's incredibly intelligent yet street dumb, if that makes sense! His latest trick he learned is to tell time for 10 minutes, since I always make him let me sleep for 10 more minutes in the morning. And he wakes me up exactly 10 minutes later! He's kept my husband from being late for work a couple times when the wakeup alarm didn't go off. He's also a very polite little guy, and everyone loves him for that. He's such a sweet dude, he just needs to find his chill.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mhop

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,415 Posts
Definitely good advice you have been given, can't add to that other than to also say thank you for helping this beautiful dog :huddle:
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top