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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there.

On December 2015 it's going to be a year since I adopted my first ever dog after wanting one for so long.

At the beginning he would never leave my side and he didn't care much for the rest of the family. About a month afterwards he only started caring about my mom and he actually started fearing me.

Before you ask - no, I have never mistreated my dog. I never hit him. There was one night when I was walking him and it was pretty late already so I didn't bring the leash with me but somehow my neighbor was walking his dog as well.

My dog started running towards my neighbor's dog and they started showing teeth so I immediately called him. He came to me and after we took like 4 steps in the opposite direction my dog turns around and starts sprinting towards him to bite him. Not in a super vicious "I'm gonna kill you" way but... I ran towards him and called him again and after he came near me I GENTLY grabbed his collar so we could get a safe distance. At this point, he starts acting like I am going to murder and torture him. After we turned around the corner I let him go and he was really "shocked" and fearful towards me. I was opening the apartment's building door so he could come in and he just didn't want to come. He was clearly very unsure and scared.

This is the ONLY thing that I can come up with that might have triggered this on going attitude towards me. This was about 7 months ago. When I'm alone at home with him he is chilled around me. Sometimes he just hangs in another room alone.

When my mom comes home I simply just stop existing. Sometimes my mom is playing with him (this is very hard to do since he is very fearful and starts submissively peeing as soon as he feels the minimum amount of discomfort) and as he hears me coming he immediately stops playing and just lies there. He simply WON'T play around me.

Just about 20 minutes ago I was in the kitchen and he was staring at me from the kitchen's door and I grabbed a piece of cloth to get a mosquito and he storms off to the bathroom and as soon as I went to check on him he startes peeing ALL OVER my house.

I just ignored it and went cleaning it up. After I got it done I grabbed some treats and went to the living room so we could train a bit hoping to calm him down and he again he starts peeing everything. I seriously loved my dog and I treated him like f*cking royalty since day 1 but I just feel like he is just an ungrateful little ****.

I really can't pinpoint the problem and I can't figure out what I should be doing since he's behavior seems to be totally random. It's not like he fears an object and I can clicker train him out of it.

OH, I almost forgot... This happens pretty much EVERY NIGHT I stay up late - I go to the kitchen late at night to grab something to eat and as I'm preparing some food he comes from my mom's bedroom and goes peeking at the door. As soon as I acknowledge his presence he just STORMS OFF back to my mom's bedroom. The other night I figured I would just throw him a piece of meat to reward him for coming close to me and he got so scared by my arm movement for tossing the piece of meat that he starts slipping and gliding trying to runaway to "safety".

This dog is seriously convincing me I have brutally beaten him and tortured him while I was sleep walking or something...
 

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Some people, especially (because of social upbringing and physical apearance) men, can seem just scary to nervous dogs, because they have a dominant bodylanguage or because they're just really big from the dogs point of view.
don't hate your dog, because it's scared. it doesn't do that because it want to be mean to you...it's just nervous.
If you get angry, it'll probably get even more scared

instead, try to make yourself small and approachable.
sit down on the floor, don't bow over them, don't make sudden movements, stay quiet and speak with a soft voice.
don't use a leash for now.
stay in the house or a fenced area and try to interact with the dog without scaring it.
 

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You describe the dog as "very fearful and starts submissively peeing as soon as he feels the minimum amount of discomfort."

For a very soft or fearful dog, even a gentle collar grab can be a really traumatizing experience. My guess is that the situation with the other dog you describe was a minor interaction from your perspective but a really scary interaction from his. So you've got some work to undo that.

He's not being an ungrateful little so-and-so. He's scared of you. You need to stop trying to make him trust/like you and just BE trustworthy/likable. You might not think you're being scary but for a dog THIS soft and fearful even eye contact can be scary - it's his perspective that matters and determines what is scary, not yours, and you need to let go of attaching your human feelings onto the situation (ungrateful, hurt feelings etc). Essentially you need to counter condition him to yourself.

I would personally just completely ignore the dog for now other than dropping really tasty treats. Not tossing, not coaxing. Literally just drop them on the floor; at first he's likely to not approach for them - I'd just walk away. Eventually he should realize it's not a trick and there are no strings attached and should start approaching while you're still standing there. Then I might lay down on the floor with a good book or phone and a bowl of treats, and just toss one occasionally without looking at him. Just treats, no pressure. Once he starts to be relaxed around him you can start looking at him, saying a few soft words, etc.

You need to take baby steps. Remind yourself that he is scared, not being intentionally hurtful or spiteful or ungrateful. I think this is doable but you have to let go of human ego and go very, very slowly. A dog like this will shut down fast with too much pressure and it's very hard for them to let go of scary experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much for your replies and your time. Just now I am home alone with my dog and I was in bed watching a movie and as usual he lays near the bedside and I invited him to come to my bed. He jumped and stayed here beside me with no problems whatsoever. I tried petting a bit and I immediately stop as soon as he starts licking his lips and yawning. He looked a bit stressed so I just instantly stopped. So as you can see it's not like he is fearful of me in every situation. It's very weird indeed.

I will try ignoring him and just dropping treats and maybe not even talk to him at all or making too much eye contact. I will turn myself into some sort of food dispenser I guess :rolleyes:

I will keep some updates here if that's okay.
 

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This is really late (I got bored and decided to browse the forums).

I just want to comment on your dog being ungrateful. Remember that whenever your dog misbehaves, don't take it personaly. Keep in mind that dogs have no concept of right and wrong. They don't do anything with any sort of malice, they just react and do what their instincts tell them to do. True, dogs are sentient beings capable of feeling love, friendship, sadness etc, but they don't have the cognitive functions to be ungrateful or judgmental.

Keep using the treats and take it one step at a time. Eventually, your dog will be conditioned to associate you with positivity. In the meantime, be as calm and benevolent as possible.

Since this is a really late reply, how are you doing now?
 

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Thank you so much for your replies and your time. Just now I am home alone with my dog and I was in bed watching a movie and as usual he lays near the bedside and I invited him to come to my bed. He jumped and stayed here beside me with no problems whatsoever. I tried petting a bit and I immediately stop as soon as he starts licking his lips and yawning. He looked a bit stressed so I just instantly stopped. So as you can see it's not like he is fearful of me in every situation. It's very weird indeed.

I will try ignoring him and just dropping treats and maybe not even talk to him at all or making too much eye contact. I will turn myself into some sort of food dispenser I guess :rolleyes:

I will keep some updates here if that's okay.

That sounds better already! The others gave great advice, the key is to give the dog time. :)
 

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I get it. I have a dog with issues and I hated her for the first year. I secretly hoped she would escape and never come back. Now, we have a completely different relationship. It took Prozac for her and me giving up on a relationship with her. I tried and tried for the first 4-5 months. Obsessed over trying to connect. Finally, I realized that was part of the issue. I ignored her completely and she came around. Now she is awesome
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