Filtering by Tag: fear
Socializing a puppy or dog is not about quantity. It’s about quality. The more positive new experiences the dog has, the more increased their confidence. Dogs that are naturally optimists are easier to socialize. Dogs that are naturally pessimists (fearful, timid) require controlled safe experiences with the new things in their world.
Make sure all experiences are safe and positive for the puppy/dog.
Each encounter should include treats and lots of praise.
Slow down and add distance if your puppy/dog is scared!
Puppies less than 5 months old or who are timid should never be in the dog park.
Just because you have a puppy, it doesn't mean other people get to pet it without you deciding first that the puppy feels safe. Read their body language to know whether the puppy wants to interact.
If the puppy/dog doesn’t approach that is a body language signal that they don’t feel safe. People should ignore the puppy if they do not approach on their own. Ask them to toss a treat to your puppy not hand it to them. If a puppy doesn’t eat the treat that is a sure sign that they are scared.
Make all socialization activities short for puppies.
Always end with the puppy/dog wanting more and feeling positive and happy.
Avoid any social environment that you have no control over. Social gatherings should be small and subdued.
Only expose your dog/puppy to other dogs/puppies that you know to be emotionally stable. The other dog’s owner may not realize that their dog is not friendly.
Children and puppies should never be left unsupervised. This is especially true for other people's children.
Don't let people or kids gang up on your puppy. One person interacting at a time.
If you meet another puppy on a walk, the interaction should be very short and then walk away. No playing on leash. The puppies could get tangled up and panic. If the puppies get along agree to meet in someone’s fenced yard.
FEAR IS THE FOUNDATION OF ALL AGGRESSION. WHAT YOUR PUPPY BECOMES FEARFUL OF, THEY WILL BECOME AGGRESSIVE TOWARDS.
Little Dogs and Fear Based Behavior
Last summer I was called to the home of an elderly woman who had a 5 year old Toy Breed dog, named Willie. Willie growled, and snapped at people who tried to touch him when he was in the owner's arms.
When I arrived, the owner was holding the dog who was barking and the owner was trying to hold his mouth shut. The dog was showing a long list of "distance increasing" body language signals: Freezing, lip curling, lip licking, hard eyes, wrinkled brow, turning away, glancing sideways, growling. It was sad to see how desperate Willy was to keep me at a distance.
"He's protecting me", the woman chuckled. “Perhaps”, I agreed, “but, he's also protecting himself.” To me his message was pretty clear:
"This is what I do to keep scary people away from me. Please don't come any closer".
The following is a list of Do's and Don'ts for any dog with Fear Based Aggressive Behavior.
When a dog is being held he has no escape route. He needs to be able to move away to a safe distance. Do not pick him up.
Visitors should ignore him, even if he's barking, leave the entry hall and go directly to the living room.
Visitors must not approach him. Allow him to approach when he feels there's no risk.
Visitors may toss treats to him away from their bodies.
Never force him to make contact with anyone.
Keep a soft harness on the dog. When you need to control his behavior, such as when you go to the door, put his leash on him.
Put a valuable busy chew toy in his bed so he has a rewarding reason to stay there.
The training goal is to change the way he feels about visitors and to work on interrupting his behavior, asking for a more controlled behavior like Sit and Come and then keeping him busy while the humans socialize.
Don't wait until your dog bites someone. Get professional help.
In the wild, it pays to blend in. It can be dangerous to stand out. That's how your timid dog thinks. Watch the body language, it tells all.
These dogs cannot be wheedled or coaxed into accepting or trusting, even from a dog lover. You cannot force them to "get over it." And you must never punish them for refusing to cooperate or trying to protect themselves. A bite is the result of a half a dozen earlier warnings that went unheeded.
Don't let visitors approach, pet or pick up these dogs, no matter how dog-devoted they are.
Gate off the entry hall so your timid dog won't escape as people are entering your home. Thanksgiving shouldn't end with the tragedy of losing your dog.
Put your dog in a safe place during the holiday dinner hubbub. Leave them with an Everlasting Treat Ball, Bully Stick or other engaging Chew Item and give them the gift of peace of mind.
Owners often believe that everything a dog does is associated with the owner.
"She did it because she was mad at me".
Here are some more likely motivations, with just a touch of humor.
Chewing On Their Owner's Things
67% of dogs said they did it because it felt good.
33% said it was because they were stressed and anxious.
89% said they did it because they were bored.
45% said they did it because it was left on the floor or coffee table.
17% said they did it because the cat told them to
96% of dogs said they bark because they're supposed to.
28% said they bark because they are anxious, nervous or frightened.
54% said they bark because that guy looked scary.
22% said it feels good.
36% said because you thought it was cute when they were a puppy.
90% said they bark because it works.
17% said they bark because the cat told them to.
81% of dogs said they ignore you because you talk too much.
86% said they ignore you because you confuse them.
77% said they ignore you because you always call them when they're really busy.
68% said you sound like you're "mad" and they don't trust "mad".
90% said they don't come to you when you call because there's nothing rewarding about coming when you tell them to.
17% said the cat told them not to listen.