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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, Brie will be 5 months old on October 28 and although the last two months are kind of a blur due to little sleep and constant motion, she is a joy! We have gone one month with no accidents, she now runs to the door when she has to go out :bounce: . She will sit, stay and lay down on command and comes each and every time I call her, even at the dog park!!! We even corrected the growling issue this week (thanks to BW) and her nipping is down to a minimum.
Our biggest issue is that she is extremely fearful when we go for walks. I have been taking her around our complex to familiarize her with everyday noises and after two months she still seems terrified of her surroundings. She tries to bolt for home each time and nothing I do seems to work. We go 5 to 6 times a day, and I try to do a little farther each time with no success. I hate to see her so afraid and am really at a loss as to where to go from here. Has this happened to anyone else and is there anything I can do to get her over this hump? I am really getting concerned and wondered if I should raise the issue at her next vet visit.
Lora&Tippi...and now Brie

"I've been slimed!"
 

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You are farther ahead and than we are (although we are only at four months). We wouldn't dream of going to a dog park (which doesn't exist in Wyoming) because Blue is afraid of other dogs. We are working on play dates with our friends dogs and he is going to day care.

We did take him for a walk around the neighborhood once and he about pulled my shoulder out of the socket because of all the smells!! He didn't run for home, but he sure was leading the way!!

Good luck!!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
 

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Quote:Originally posted by Lora&Tippi:
Well, Brie will be 5 months old on October 28 and although the last two months are kind of a blur due to little sleep and constant motion, she is a joy! We have gone one month with no accidents, she now runs to the door when she has to go out :bounce: . She will sit, stay and lay down on command and comes each and every time I call her, even at the dog park!!! We even corrected the growling issue this week (thanks to BW) and her nipping is down to a minimum.
Our biggest issue is that she is extremely fearful when we go for walks. I have been taking her around our complex to familiarize her with everyday noises and after two months she still seems terrified of her surroundings. She tries to bolt for home each time and nothing I do seems to work. We go 5 to 6 times a day, and I try to do a little farther each time with no success. I hate to see her so afraid and am really at a loss as to where to go from here. Has this happened to anyone else and is there anything I can do to get her over this hump? I am really getting concerned and wondered if I should raise the issue at her next vet visit.
Lora&Tippi...and now Brie

"I've been slimed!"
How old was Brie when you bought her home and what socialisation did you do with her? I know a lot of people keep their dogs completely isolated until their vaccinations are completed.

Has she ever had any negative experiences when out walking?

As it has been stated, her confidence should grow as she gets older. However, the age she is now is a very important period in her development. She needs to be socialised with lots of different places, smells, experiences people and dogs. But - and a big but - these experiences need to be positive. For example I didn't take my beagle out to the dog park because I did not want her socialising with dogs I didn't know - there are too many poorly socialised/behaved dogs out there! Instead I organised play dates with dogs I knew so that she would only have positive experiences with other dogs.

My husky had bad experiences with other dogs when he was a pup and it has caused a big problem with his behaviour towards other dogs which is why I was very careful with Daisy.

When a pup is still young it is really important they get lots of positive socialisation. Don't force her into a situation she is fearful of, work towards it and reward her when her behaviour is positive /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
 

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Well we certainly have experience with a terrified timid beagle (Popcorn) - but the only advice I can really give you is to be patient, celebrate the small steps forward, and try not to get too discouraged by all of the steps backward (and if Brie is anything like Popcorn, there will unfortunately be lots of those).

I echo what Smeagle said about exposing her to new experiences but that those new experiences need to be positive for them to contribute to her gaining confidence. But sometimes despite your best efforts they will not be positive - and then there will inevitably be backsliding, but hopefully when you look back after a longer period of time you will see overall forward movement notwithstanding the setbacks.

An example from last night - there is construction all over our neighbourhood for a new subway being built in Vancouver, and last night when we went out for our pre-dinner pee I discovered that a big new construction fence had appeared during the day yesterday that effectively blocked off 85% of the park across the street which is one of only three areas in the neighbourhood where Popcorn consistently feels comfortable enough to relax to do her business. Needless to say this development had her visibly reeling - and I was pretty sure that we were going to have to go to one of the other two spots (neither of which are as convenient) because she was going to be unable to perform in the park - possibly until construction is finished in 2009!.

But, to my surprise and amazement (she wouldn't have been able to do this even six months ago) - she WAS able to relax enough to pee in the small area that was left in the park, AND when we got back to the building she WAGGED HER TAIL in the elevator (she has rarely, if ever, wagged her tail outside of the safety zone of our apartment) - it was almost as if she was as proud of herself as I was of her... Anyone else without a timid dog would have thought I was insane for being happy about these two perfectly ordinary events - but I was on top of the world!

Good luck with Brie - hopefully she will eventually understand that she is safe in the big scary world outside... but even if she continues to struggle with this issue it can be managed with lots and lots (and lots) of patience and understanding.
 

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Quote:Originally posted by BookerMoose:
I echo what Smeagle said about exposing her to new experiences but that those new experiences need to be positive for them to contribute to her gaining confidence. But sometimes despite your best efforts they will not be positive - and then there will inevitably be backsliding, but hopefully when you look back after a longer period of time you will see overall forward movement notwithstanding the setbacks.
That's right - and the issues that arise from a dog not getting any or very limited socialisation can create a timid, and in some cases, aggressive dog.

A well socialised and balanced dog will face negative experiences and hopefully come out on top - or is at least more likely to have a solid, well balanced temperment that can withstand a bad incident (or be less effected by it than a poorly socialised doggy).

Hope that makes sense /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for all the encouragement! I just need to be alot more patient. Unfortunately we have come to find out that the breeder that we got Brie from separated her from her mom way too soon (6 weeks!!) She had good references, but it seems that in comparing notes with her littermate's moms and dads, that they are all going through pretty much the same thing. One even wanted to give their puppy back because they couldn't handle the extreme fearfulness. When I initially called about Brie the breeder led me to believe that her husband had just that week taken Brie's mom and dad back to South Carolina and since at that time Brie was 12 weeks I was satisfied that she had been given enough quality time with her mom. I have had skittish puppies over the years, just not one as fearful as Brie and as we have been exposing her to many new things over the last two months, I just thought that by now she would be more confident. After reading all of your posts I have come to realize that she has made tremendous progress in so many things, I guess I was just too close to the situation to see it. Thanks again for your help!!
To Marley's Mom re: the growling and nipping: We kept her off of the bed for a couple days and then gave it another try. This time when it was time for her to go to her crate, I called her name and when she wakes up I slip her leash on and lead her off of the bed. No growling or nipping and she actually trots right over and into her crate with no fuss. In fact this morning I put her on the bed for some extra sleep time and she began to get fussy so I told her it was nap time(our name for crate time) and she got off of the bed without the leash and went right to her crate :thumbup: . I have begun to mark these successes on our kitchen calendar as a reminder of her progress /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif We are finally going to take our first pictures of her to be developed and will post them soon.
Lora&Tippi...and now Brie
...I've been slimed...
 

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Quote:Originally posted by Lora&Tippi:
Thanks everyone for all the encouragement! I just need to be alot more patient. Unfortunately we have come to find out that the breeder that we got Brie from separated her from her mom way too soon (6 weeks!!) She had good references, but it seems that in comparing notes with her littermate's moms and dads, that they are all going through pretty much the same thing. One even wanted to give their puppy back because they couldn't handle the extreme fearfulness. When I initially called about Brie the breeder led me to believe that her husband had just that week taken Brie's mom and dad back to South Carolina and since at that time Brie was 12 weeks I was satisfied that she had been given enough quality time with her mom. I have had skittish puppies over the years, just not one as fearful as Brie and as we have been exposing her to many new things over the last two months, I just thought that by now she would be more confident. After reading all of your posts I have come to realize that she has made tremendous progress in so many things, I guess I was just too close to the situation to see it. Thanks again for your help!!
To Marley's Mom re: the growling and nipping: We kept her off of the bed for a couple days and then gave it another try. This time when it was time for her to go to her crate, I called her name and when she wakes up I slip her leash on and lead her off of the bed. No growling or nipping and she actually trots right over and into her crate with no fuss. In fact this morning I put her on the bed for some extra sleep time and she began to get fussy so I told her it was nap time(our name for crate time) and she got off of the bed without the leash and went right to her crate :thumbup: . I have begun to mark these successes on our kitchen calendar as a reminder of her progress /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif We are finally going to take our first pictures of her to be developed and will post them soon.
Lora&Tippi...and now Brie
...I've been slimed...
Awww that's a lovely idea! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Unfortunately many backyard breeders don't know much about breeding, genetics or how to handle puppies re: socialisation and handling. I always recommend people refer to an AKC registered breeder who will give you pedigree papers with your puppy and that they are not only registered breeders but ethical breeders.

In Australia we have an amazing organisation called the Master Dog Breeders and Associates who interview breeders before allowing them to join. It makes it much easier to pick the ethical registered breeders from the rest (although I find most do the right thing).

I like to buy my puppies from people who have a love of the breed and a lot of knowledge and experience in breeding/raising a litter.

Having said that getting a pup from a good breeder is just the start. Even if you get a puppy from a less than savoury person/place, you can turn them around with the right training and socialisation /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif You sound like you are doing a great job, keep it up!
 
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