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fear?

ditchy
April 23rd, 2008, 04:19 AM
hi all this is the first time ive ever posted on here,but imj a bit concerned about our ten week old lab sam . he is lovely with the family and people he has met a few times but with strangers he is terrified .he growls if he is in my arms but if he is on the bottom he growls,barks then runs and hides or crawls on his belly poor little thing i just dont know what i should do for the best . he gets his second needle on thursday so we are going to take him to puppy classes next week do you think this may help him?as i say he is doing really well in every other aspect and is fantastic with children its just adult strangers i would be really gratefull of any advice thanks:fingerscr:confused::sad:

clm
April 23rd, 2008, 06:44 AM
Yes the puppy classes will help. It's all socialization. He's just a little baby yet.

Cindy

jealma
April 23rd, 2008, 09:50 AM
Abby does that too. I think it's just a lack of social skills at this point. What I have been doing is going and picking her up, bringing her back to the new person and she than seems to be quite willing to make up with them. I think it's just fear of the I don't know you thing.

This is what I"m doing. I"m not sure it's the right thing, but so far it seems she is getting less upset about someone new in the house.

Ford Girl
April 23rd, 2008, 12:26 PM
The rule we were told to follow before they are all vacinated up and can go to puppy school and play with other dogs....is to meet 100 people in 1 month. These people can be the same people over again, but in different situations. These experiences should be short, pleasent and positive. When these people come in to your home, have them ignore the dog completely, take a seat and settle in, once your dog know they are not there to harm him, he should relax a bit. He should be the one to seek affection. With puppies people tend to rush forward and be all ooooo aaaaaa puppppyyyyy...this could be scarey for them for sure. We took our pup to places like Zellars on seniors day, sat outside the front entrance and met the folks coming and going, this way they get use to people, traffic, walkers, strollers, wheel chairs, noises...they more you expose them to in small positive doeses the better adjusted they are...the very first puppy kindergarden we took introduced them to bikes, walkers, loud kids, babies, strange men...really good for them, especially for pups that lack confidence. (Mine was opposite - a little daredevil, not scared of a thing!)

Having them on a leash in the house for the first few weeks helps them view you as a leader, and will stop the pup from running away and hiding...you could try that, teather him to you when you know guests are coming, still have you guests ignore him, you greet your guests, then proceed to settle in for a visit...ignore the dog, don't baby talk him or coax him while he's scared. If he is made to stick close to you, and you - his leader isn't scared or forcing him to face his fears, he will se the situation is nothing to fear at all. This will also help you get a good start on manners. :)

Dogs read people by smell - so your guests should give the puppy ample opportunity to smell them before the touch or talk to the dog...standing at the door while you say hello - if the pups on leash and unable to run, I would venture to guess he will start sniffing your guests to see who's new in the zoo...

I don't really think picking them up is the right thing to do, altho it's our first instict isn't it? :angel: At the puppy play groups and school owners are not allowed to pick up or baby talk their dogs, if the dog hides between your legs, you ignore it. Picking it up is a reward for their scared behavior and just reinforces it. This is where a short in house leash would work, it would be more natural for you to lead him to the appropiate place then to pick up and carry them. Then it's more of a "follow me"...helps build trust.

It does come down to socialization, he is very young yet, lots of time to be all rambuncious and crazy when meeting and greeting guests - thats when you'll be asking us how to get him to settle at the front door!! LOL!!

Pictures please! :lovestruck:

ditchy
April 23rd, 2008, 04:12 PM
thankyou very much i did feel like i was kind of forcing him to overcome his fears you have made me feel a whole lot better as i was worried no one else had this problem lol :laughing: you have given me hope and i think puppy classes are going to be the way forward :)

Ford Girl
April 23rd, 2008, 04:45 PM
thankyou very much i did feel like i was kind of forcing him to overcome his fears you have made me feel a whole lot better as i was worried no one else had this problem lol :laughing: you have given me hope and i think puppy classes are going to be the way forward :)

You are very welcome, we have all been there, all had struggles - not sure what to do or if our reaction is even right...

You don't need to force him to face his fears, if he can have positive experiences with you - his leader he will learn to not fear people but to trust them. Alot of it is how you handle it, your friends and visitors play a big role in this, get them on your side, explain why you don't want them rushing your pup, and tell them how you want them to respond/act each time they come in.

Classes are great also cuz they get to play at the end of it all, tire them out, socialize....and you get to see 7 other very cute pups!!! ;)