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so my dog, clover, is about 1yo, a rescue and some sort of mix of breeds. He is super dog friendly, likes kids (will whine to greet them, but not as much as with dogs) and usually likes women, but very reserved with men. I have had him for a little over 2 mos. I believe he must have been abused in his past, of course I don’t know, but he has flinched (better put has flying across the room/yard) from feet and hands when tossing something over-hand. He has separation anxiety…I can’t leave the room without him getting upset. I have been dealing with all of these things, slowly, by training and a lot of socialization. People who met him during his first weeks with me are now astounded by how much more secure he seems. I am very lucky to know people who are willing to take the time to care about him in his insecurities…I have tried to make interactions with people positive for him and most people are so happy to help out with the rescue effort.
Last night, I think I probably pushed him a bit to hard with the socialization. I have taken him to the beach and to outdoor concerts, places where there are people and noises. He has so far done amazingly well and seems to enjoy the outings. He will most often lay next to me on my blanket, with a chewie or play with other dogs and he greets people, doesn’t show signs of distress. Last night I decided to take him with me to a friend’s b-day party. We bar-b-qued outside, then moved into the house to play some card games. Clover was very well behaved, watchful, but stayed on the towel I brought for him to lie on, and seemed happy to accept petting from people that he had only just met. He even tried to follow my friend's bf around playfully. He did do a warning bark and growl when new people showed up, but stopped when I said “it’s okay” “enough” (i'm trying these as cues to stop barking). Then he greeted the new comers when I told him the cue for that “say hi”. When we went inside the boys started playing with a balance board (a wooden board on a cylinder that you have to stand on) clover was really upset by this. I think it was a combo of the noise that the board made and the movement that was threatening to him. We took some time to let him sniff the board and the boys, he calmed down, but began to bark and even growl a bit when they tried again so we put the board away (there was already a lot going on for him) by this time most of the people had left. I stayed and chatted for a bit more then realized that I had stayed very late and left. I think this was a bit much for poor clover, he is used to going to bed on time, and I know I shouldn’t have stayed so long….it was really out of routine. Any thoughts on this?

The part I really need advice about happened today and I think is in part to do with Clover being pushed too hard last night. My roommate and Clover have been having a hard time getting to know one another. She has a very different schedule than I do, and doesn’t get to spend much time with him. There has been marked improvement, and Clover now greets her and walks up to her for petting and things like that. Before, he would hide from her and bark when she came home from work, and he wouldn’t approach her without a lot of encouragement. Today, I followed my usual routine of feeding the dog (he is outside during the day) and then leaving for work. My roommate gets up later than I do. For some reason, she opened the back door (she goes in and out of the back yard when Clover is back there, we were hoping to sort of get him used to her this way) and the dog ran into the house. He wouldn’t respond when she told him “out” and when she reached for his collar he growled and snapped at her then ran into his kennel, in my bedroom. She closed my bedroom door to avoid any further issues and called me then left for work. When I went home, Clover didn’t seem to be in distress. My assessment of the situation, based on what my roommate told me, is that Clover’s response was a fear response and not aggressive. I am open to the possibility though that he simply doesn’t see her as any sort of leader and that he simply had decided to be in the house (again this is out of character because he is so much more anxious when left in the house, he barks his head off and shreds things…we are working on it though). Either way, my “plan” is the same. I would like to have my roommate participate in some of Clover’s training sessions focusing on the cues for “in” and “out” of the house, and practice walking him with myself and my sister (Clover gets along well with her). I am hoping this will help him to see her as a leader and to trust her more. I do not want to do anything that will push him or her into a bad situation, but I also want to deal with this ASAP to avoid a recurrence.



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so my dog, clover, is about 1yo, a rescue and some sort of mix of breeds. He is super dog friendly, likes kids (will whine to greet them, but not as much as with dogs) and usually likes women, but very reserved with men. I have had him for a little over 2 mos. I believe he must have been abused in his past, of course I don’t know, but he has flinched (better put has flying across the room/yard) from feet and hands when tossing something over-hand. He has separation anxiety…I can’t leave the room without him getting upset. I have been dealing with all of these things, slowly, by training and a lot of socialization. People who met him during his first weeks with me are now astounded by how much more secure he seems. I am very lucky to know people who are willing to take the time to care about him in his insecurities…I have tried to make interactions with people positive for him and most people are so happy to help out with the rescue effort.
Last night, I think I probably pushed him a bit to hard with the socialization. I have taken him to the beach and to outdoor concerts, places where there are people and noises. He has so far done amazingly well and seems to enjoy the outings. He will most often lay next to me on my blanket, with a chewie or play with other dogs and he greets people, doesn’t show signs of distress. Last night I decided to take him with me to a friend’s b-day party. We bar-b-qued outside, then moved into the house to play some card games. Clover was very well behaved, watchful, but stayed on the towel I brought for him to lie on, and seemed happy to accept petting from people that he had only just met. He even tried to follow my friend's bf around playfully. He did do a warning bark and growl when new people showed up, but stopped when I said “it’s okay” “enough” (i'm trying these as cues to stop barking). Then he greeted the new comers when I told him the cue for that “say hi”. When we went inside the boys started playing with a balance board (a wooden board on a cylinder that you have to stand on) clover was really upset by this. I think it was a combo of the noise that the board made and the movement that was threatening to him. We took some time to let him sniff the board and the boys, he calmed down, but began to bark and even growl a bit when they tried again so we put the board away (there was already a lot going on for him) by this time most of the people had left. I stayed and chatted for a bit more then realized that I had stayed very late and left. I think this was a bit much for poor clover, he is used to going to bed on time, and I know I shouldn’t have stayed so long….it was really out of routine. Any thoughts on this?

The part I really need advice about happened today and I think is in part to do with Clover being pushed too hard last night. My roommate and Clover have been having a hard time getting to know one another. She has a very different schedule than I do, and doesn’t get to spend much time with him. There has been marked improvement, and Clover now greets her and walks up to her for petting and things like that. Before, he would hide from her and bark when she came home from work, and he wouldn’t approach her without a lot of encouragement. Today, I followed my usual routine of feeding the dog (he is outside during the day) and then leaving for work. My roommate gets up later than I do. For some reason, she opened the back door (she goes in and out of the back yard when Clover is back there, we were hoping to sort of get him used to her this way) and the dog ran into the house. He wouldn’t respond when she told him “out” and when she reached for his collar he growled and snapped at her then ran into his kennel, in my bedroom. She closed my bedroom door to avoid any further issues and called me then left for work. When I went home, Clover didn’t seem to be in distress. My assessment of the situation, based on what my roommate told me, is that Clover’s response was a fear response and not aggressive. I am open to the possibility though that he simply doesn’t see her as any sort of leader and that he simply had decided to be in the house (again this is out of character because he is so much more anxious when left in the house, he barks his head off and shreds things…we are working on it though). Either way, my “plan” is the same. I would like to have my roommate participate in some of Clover’s training sessions focusing on the cues for “in” and “out” of the house, and practice walking him with myself and my sister (Clover gets along well with her). I am hoping this will help him to see her as a leader and to trust her more. I do not want to do anything that will push him or her into a bad situation, but I also want to deal with this ASAP to avoid a recurrence.
In the dogs defense...your roommate should have not reached for his neck. This is a threat and dogs who have any type of fear towards people he/she does not know will snap. Could there have been something outside that scared him? If my dogs are outside and thunder rumbles or someone is making loud noises outside they sometimes react scared and want back in like someone is sitting there with an axe coming at them. Insecurity can be due to many things outside even if they are used to it outside. I would tell the roommate to NOT reach for the dog again, maybe try and coax him out with a gentle voice, if she has no time then putting your dog in your room is the best way to go.
 

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Wonderful and awful all at one....wonderful cause I know the answer (ooh oh me me!) and awful that you had to go through this

Clovers response was normal and perfectly waranted. It was a fear based response IMO.

Snapping is GOOD. You want a dog that snaps and doesn't bite. That means the bite inhibition is there. Also you want a dog that growls. Don't scold the growl (not that you were) correcting a growl is like taking the ticker off a time bomb. This is why alot of people who get mauled by dogs "didn't see it coming" or the dog "gave no warning" these are dogs that learned that giving warning is BAD so they skip it and go straight to the biting.

There is also another factor...you right about the party before being a factor....its like the bad day at work...you smile all day at all the big things and then finally on the way home you notice a small ding in your car door and you explode!!! Dogs get this way too...the stressors that are minor build up until the dog has had enough.

Start having everyone new feed Clover...HIGH VALUE FOOD... If they can't get close, have them toss it at him.....take chicken or cheese or whatever with you when you go out...if som'one asks to pet the dog tell them they have to give him a treat first...i've never run into a person who wasn't willing to do this. This teaches the dog that strangers are awesome. Use this for anything that makes him uneasy...noises make food rain from the sky and scary men now carry bacon. Kiwi was terrified of men and Chili was terrified of everything...until I started doing this.

Also you definetly want to countercondition the collar grab....act like your going to grab his collar (but dont') and then click/treat...when you reach for him and him responce is good move on to grabbing the collar and click/treat...eventually lead the dog around by the collar and click/treat....feed meals by hand with one hand holding the collar the whole time... they call this reframing the picture...collar grabs are now associated with happy things.

Is your roomate willing to hand feed the dog...kibble by kibble? This makes a HUGE difference.

In early socialization I simply take the dog to the place and desensitize them to the sounds and sights first....with no interactions...this way theres no pressure. After a month or so of that I add interactions at the dogs pace....is the dog clicker savy yet? Theres a great game called "look at that" where you click for looking at triggers, but not reacting...amazing game.

hmm...thats all I can think of for now... lolz



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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
In the dogs defense...your roommate should have not reached for his neck. This is a threat and dogs who have any type of fear towards people he/she does not know will snap. Could there have been something outside that scared him? If my dogs are outside and thunder rumbles or someone is making loud noises outside they sometimes react scared and want back in like someone is sitting there with an axe coming at them. Insecurity can be due to many things outside even if they are used to it outside. I would tell the roommate to NOT reach for the dog again, maybe try and coax him out with a gentle voice, if she has no time then putting your dog in your room is the best way to go.
we aren't mad at clover for what happened, i'm more mad at myself for not being a bit more prepared for it. once again i think i am moving too fast for him...sigh....but thank you for pointing that out, a lot of people would say that he is a bad dog, but we know different:)
there could have been something outside that scared him. he has a very nice dog house that he spends a decent amount of time in and if scared will hide out in there, learned that during a week of thunder storms. not that it couldn't have been something scary outside...for sure. i definately will work with her on just trying to coax him outside, if this happens again or just leaving him in the house until we all (especially clover!) feel comfortable with their interactions. it seems so far that i atleast guessed correctly at what he was doing, that is a relief in itself, i was a little afraid i had been reading him wrong....
thank you again!!!!



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wonderful and awful all at one....wonderful cause I know the answer (ooh oh me me!) and awful that you had to go through this

Clovers response was normal and perfectly waranted. It was a fear based response IMO.

Snapping is GOOD. You want a dog that snaps and doesn't bite. That means the bite inhibition is there. Also you want a dog that growls. Don't scold the growl (not that you were) correcting a growl is like taking the ticker off a time bomb. This is why alot of people who get mauled by dogs "didn't see it coming" or the dog "gave no warning" these are dogs that learned that giving warning is BAD so they skip it and go straight to the biting.

There is also another factor...you right about the party before being a factor....its like the bad day at work...you smile all day at all the big things and then finally on the way home you notice a small ding in your car door and you explode!!! Dogs get this way too...the stressors that are minor build up until the dog has had enough.

Start having everyone new feed Clover...HIGH VALUE FOOD... If they can't get close, have them toss it at him.....take chicken or cheese or whatever with you when you go out...if som'one asks to pet the dog tell them they have to give him a treat first...i've never run into a person who wasn't willing to do this. This teaches the dog that strangers are awesome. Use this for anything that makes him uneasy...noises make food rain from the sky and scary men now carry bacon. Kiwi was terrified of men and Chili was terrified of everything...until I started doing this.

Also you definetly want to countercondition the collar grab....act like your going to grab his collar (but dont') and then click/treat...when you reach for him and him responce is good move on to grabbing the collar and click/treat...eventually lead the dog around by the collar and click/treat....feed meals by hand with one hand holding the collar the whole time... they call this reframing the picture...collar grabs are now associated with happy things.

Is your roomate willing to hand feed the dog...kibble by kibble? This makes a HUGE difference.

In early socialization I simply take the dog to the place and desensitize them to the sounds and sights first....with no interactions...this way theres no pressure. After a month or so of that I add interactions at the dogs pace....is the dog clicker savy yet? Theres a great game called "look at that" where you click for looking at triggers, but not reacting...amazing game.

hmm...thats all I can think of for now... lolz
THANK YOU!:) i was really needing a bit of reassurance here, and you definately gave it.
i was discussing this with my sister, and i said "i don't think dogs try to bite people, if they want to bite you, they do." it feels good to know that atleast i am moving in the right direction, however slowly!

i had been doing the treat thing with strangers, but i have slacked because he had been doing so well, there i go moving to fast again:eek: i definately should not have stayed at the party for so long either...do you think this will change or that i may have to accept the choice of shortening visits/not bring the dog indefinately?

i'm going to discuss this with my roommate tonight, i'll have her read what you wrote, i'm sure it will reassure her also. as i said, i'm lucky to have good people on clover's side here, after she called me she sent a text "don't worry, i know that clover is a good dog, i'm not mad at him or you" i know she is willing to do some stuff, but really the time thing is hard for her. should i do the collar grab training by myself first, or work with her at the same time? its hard for me to deal with this behavior because it doesn't happen that often when i am there, usually we greet and treat and then maybe do a behavior ( he'll give a high 5 for a treat, even to a stranger) what do you think about having her do a few sessions if "in" and "out" training with him, while i'm there to sort of give him an idea of what she was asking, should wait on that?

these are the questions i can think of now...sorry i'm just gonna blurb them as i think of them....

should i have my roommate ask him to do stuff he knows well or just give him treats?
when i take him out and he is nervous, what would you say is his threshold? i mean, i do try to give him treats and stuff, but isn't there a chance that i am reinforcing his discomfort or the growling, or should i just not worry about that?
when i have taken him to the outdoor concerts, he has been in big crowds of people, many of them drunk, and not been nearly as upset as he was at a small party, part of this i think is because i was out so late at this party and the concerts are much earlier. i have taken him to friends/family's homes and stayed over, been up late there, but he wasn't upset there either. i just got back from a stay over with a friend that was dog focused, she has 3 at her house and all of the dogs got along very well, especially clover and her 1yo irish wolfhound/pyranees mix (he is absolutely gorgeous btw!) clover was very happy there, loves my friend (he is like that with many women) and fit in really well. i wasn't even including this in his possible stressors...what do you think?
finally, yes, clover is clicker savy, i was already clicker training my cats lol, so of course the dog got it right off. that is one reason why i think he learned to do the tricks he knows so quickly, we were just starting to work on the back paw thing that you'd told me about:rolleyes:anyway, can you give me more description on the "look at that" game?

i think that is all i can think of at the moment, i'm sure i'll have more questions for you. thank you again for the advice!

gosh, can i go on and on.....sorry:eyeroll:



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THANK YOU!:) i was really needing a bit of reassurance here, and you definately gave it.
i was discussing this with my sister, and i said "i don't think dogs try to bite people, if they want to bite you, they do." it feels good to know that atleast i am moving in the right direction, however slowly!
Exactly... they are so fast when they do it too. No dog misses...if a bite is intended a bite happens... since they have no hands and can't speak english that was just his way of saying "scaaaary! Go away!" To me an aggressive animal aproaches you and doesn't back off...very few dogs are really like that. Rare as all get out.

i had been doing the treat thing with strangers, but i have slacked because he had been doing so well, there i go moving to fast again:eek:
I'd keep at it until you've owned him at least 6 months. At six months a rescue dog really starts to TRUST you. Until then they may really like you, but only time brings trust.

Or until the point where you can really really tell hes expecting treats...then you know he "gets it".


i definately should not have stayed at the party for so long either...do you think this will change or that i may have to accept the choice of shortening visits/not bring the dog indefinately?!


Since I' haven't seen your dog its hard to say, but when you train anything the rule is "reinforce more often as the distraction increases"

In any given day the average dog will work for up to 80ish reinforcers...when I go to som'where new with a really nervous dog I might reinforce 5-10 times a minute...and during an interaction with a person I might funnel treats constantly...like one a second.

YOur dog doesn't sound like a nervous wreck like som' of mine were, but you get the idea...

how long was your visit? I'd say that the lower key the situation the longer you could stay...a party full of people might overwhelm a dog in less than two hours...

i'm going to discuss this with my roommate tonight, i'll have her read what you wrote, i'm sure it will reassure her also. as i said, i'm lucky to have good people on clover's side here, after she called me she sent a text "don't worry, i know that clover is a good dog, i'm not mad at him or you" i know she is willing to do some stuff, but really the time thing is hard for her.!
Your roommate is awesome and spot on. :)

should i do the collar grab training by myself first, or work with her at the same time? its hard for me to deal with this behavior because it doesn't happen that often when i am there, usually we greet and treat and then maybe do a behavior ( he'll give a high 5 for a treat, even to a stranger) what do you think about having her do a few sessions if "in" and "out" training with him, while i'm there to sort of give him an idea of what she was asking, should wait on that?!
I'd try just you doing the collar grabs first just so you get an idea on how comfortable the dog is with the game...Som' dogs need baby baby steps with it and others you can just jump to grabing the collar and yanking them around...I'd say just use your judgement.

Practicing In and Out is basically a pressureless game, I see no issue with the roomate doing it, or even a complete stranger...just a hint...If you say "in" and your in the doorway...turn your body away and don't look at him.... facing a dog is body language for "stop right there, don't come to me!" Whenever you call him to you... turn away~! Watch people calling their dogs, if the dog ignores them or runs away look at the persons body language...guaranteed they are straight on facing the dog...or moving toward the dog...lol

these are the questions i can think of now...sorry i'm just gonna blurb them as i think of them....

should i have my roommate ask him to do stuff he knows well or just give him treats?
when i take him out and he is nervous, what would you say is his threshold? i mean, i do try to give him treats and stuff, but isn't there a chance that i am reinforcing his discomfort or the growling, or should i just not worry about that?!
The beauty is you can't reinforce anger or fear with positive things... Once the association is made the fear or anger goes away...lets say your afraid of snakes...if I give you a million dollars to just LOOK at a snake...over and over your fear will go away. Its the way the brain is programmed, it can't be helped. :)

watch this vid...it shows what I mean perfectly. YouTube - Jack Russell Terrier (JRT) Aggression When Blowing in Face | AskDrYin.com

the end is amazing ;)



when i have taken him to the outdoor concerts, he has been in big crowds of people, many of them drunk, and not been nearly as upset as he was at a small party, part of this i think is because i was out so late at this party and the concerts are much earlier. i have taken him to friends/family's homes and stayed over, been up late there, but he wasn't upset there either. i just got back from a stay over with a friend that was dog focused, she has 3 at her house and all of the dogs got along very well, especially clover and her 1yo irish wolfhound/pyranees mix (he is absolutely gorgeous btw!) clover was very happy there, loves my friend (he is like that with many women) and fit in really well. i wasn't even including this in his possible stressors...what do you think?
Even if you like people (or whatever) it can still be stressing... Stimulation is more tiring than exercise...its possible he has just had too much of a good thing.


finally, yes, clover is clicker savy, i was already clicker training my cats lol, so of course the dog got it right off. that is one reason why i think he learned to do the tricks he knows so quickly, we were just starting to work on the back paw thing that you'd told me about:rolleyes:anyway, can you give me more description on the "look at that" game?
Yay clickers!

Basically the dog looks at a potential trigger (person, dog, direction of a sound) and you click/treat. Eventually you add a cue "look at that!" and click/treat....

Chili was a TERROR...you know those barky lunging types...like 5 sessions of this game and he no longer barks and now approaches people on his own!! He wags his tail out in public and is a little saint. Yay!

YouTube - Yoshi Plays Look At That (using a clicker)


yoshi (the corgi)used to be VERY reactive.

i think that is all i can think of at the moment, i'm sure i'll have more questions for you. thank you again for the advice!

gosh, can i go on and on.....sorry:eyeroll:
Sigh I think I got it all...lolz



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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thank you again, very helpful info...i'll be checking out the videos asap (cant do it @ work)
now i get to help clover trust people, and he gets to help me learn to be patient....
have a great day....



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thank you again, very helpful info...i'll be checking out the videos asap (cant do it @ work)
now i get to help clover trust people, and he gets to help me learn to be patient....
have a great day....
This is what all of my dogs have done for me. They all have their own little issues (all were rescued) so it makes me feel great to know I can help them and they can help me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
sorry, long winded again.....

So just an update, Clover and I hadn't seen the roommate much at all, like I said her work schedule is just so different from mine. Anyway, the last two days, I spent some time really observing Clover's behavior with strangers. If someone approaches and reaches a hand to the top of his head, he tolerates it, but his head drops. If they give him treats first he actually is much more accepting of the hand on the head. I’ve re-instated the treat thing whenever I take him anywhere so I think that will help him break through with new people.
With the people that know clover, who are more likely to be around him w/o treats, at least some of the time, I have asked to give him many more. I keep a bucket of yummy stuff in the fridge. I have also shown them less threatening ways to pet him so that he really gets that these people, especially, are the good ones.
I got to really talk to the roommate last night about what had happened with the dog, apparently he ran into the bathroom so he was cornered when she reached for him, and he actually scooted away from her, then “mouthed” her, didn’t bite, when she had his collar, then growled and slunk away into his kennel in my bedroom. She realized then that she had done the wrong thing and was very open to my talking her through the other options. We discussed body language, how to pet him and how to “treat” him. I also asked her to give Clover treats when her bf comes over (Clover has never really warmed up to the bf at all, I think because he walks in at random times and startles him), right away when we hear the his car pull up, as he is walking in, and then to pass the treats to the bf when he comes in so that he can start giving him treats before Clover even has a chance to get upset. We tried it out last night, and for the first time, Clover didn’t even flinch, or cower, or bark, or growl when the bf came in…yeah! Before, we would just have the bf come in, slowly, then get the treats and give Clover a few, but this was like treat over-load during the whole experience, what a difference. I think it helps too that she is the one giving him all the goodies, and I am there, but not really participating (unless I need to step in for some reason)
Roommate is now doing the beginnings of clicker training with him whenever she can, click then treat, click then treat, click then treat. We also worked on the “in” and “out” training. I am hoping that as time passes this will shorten the time he takes to associate her with the training process, etc. I didn’t start working on the collar training that Crios suggested, he will allow both me or my sister grab his collar and doesn’t show any signs of fear…so it I’m going to focus on the “treat greeting” thing first and the collar thing later.
Here’s the big question…
His behavior is very very different when I am around. He will look at me and as if asking what to do when there is a new person around and he doesn’t cower much, unless they are moving really quick, or loudly or something. When my sister is with him and I am not, he is less confident of strangers, cowers a bit more, but will go to my sister when he feels insecure…. Should I have my roommate avoid him when I am not there… at least for a while? She asked if it would be a good idea just to go out into the yard with him and maybe toss him a few treats every day. Do you think this is sort of setting them up for another negative situation, or a good idea? I’m torn about it, last night, he ran up to her and greeted her, tail wagging and licking her as if they were long lost friends, but when she is the only person home with him, it’s a different story. My roommate would like to be able to take him for a walk/jog in the morning before she goes to work….sigh….one day we’ll get there



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Sounds like hes doing much better already...

yeah, most dogs don't really like being pet on the head...in fact a lot of dogs, no matter how friendly, don't enjoy petting at all...som' will just tolerate it.

As long as theres not another incident where Clover is cornered and unsure...I don't see a reason for the roommate to have to avoid the dog. Your roommate seems to realize the mistake and I doubt the situation will happen again...

That said, do whatever your comfortable with for now. You know him better than I do :)



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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sounds like hes doing much better already...

yeah, most dogs don't really like being pet on the head...in fact a lot of dogs, no matter how friendly, don't enjoy petting at all...som' will just tolerate it.

As long as theres not another incident where Clover is cornered and unsure...I don't see a reason for the roommate to have to avoid the dog. Your roommate seems to realize the mistake and I doubt the situation will happen again...

That said, do whatever your comfortable with for now. You know him better than I do :)

it's so hard to get people to understand that! but yeah we'll keep working on everything....btw this is my first rescue and even though i thought i did research, i realize now that you just can't be prepared for it until you do it...i'm very lucky to be learning so much:eyeroll:



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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it's so hard to get people to understand that! but yeah we'll keep working on everything....btw this is my first rescue and even though i thought i did research, i realize now that you just can't be prepared for it until you do it...i'm very lucky to be learning so much:eyeroll:
Dogs to me are like children, you can prepare only so much. I think you are do a wonderful job and you have given great advice.

As for the head petting, my dogs LOVE physical attention from me but do not care much for other people loving on them LOL. I have met few dogs who want that kind of attention from other people besides their owners (minus my parents dogs', they love people HAHA)
 

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i just wanted to give you a emote /high five its great to see the progress and the time you are spending with clover.
 
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