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Oy, fearful Agression.. I really really Need help :'(

babymomma
March 29th, 2009, 02:01 PM
I am at my wits end. I Really need help, Any help or advice is appreciated.

I need to Build keelys confidance with other people, and i am not sure how to do it:shrug: She is fine with Family and such, but with other people. Shes terribly afraid, alothough she doesnt really have a reason to be afraid.

For example, on walks, when a person is in their yard, walking towards us, walking behind us etc, She freaks out. She Perks her ears up, Barks, growls And lunges at people. I cant do anything to get her to stop, I try putting her in the sit stay position, And plan on rewarding her when she ignore the person. But she wont listen to me. She keeps barking, growling, And keeping a very close eye on them.She watches them like a hawk. I try Keeping her behind me, so she isnt in front and "in control" But that doesnt work. I try giving her a quick correction, to turn her attention away from the person, But that also does not work, at all.

If i stop the person, and stand up next to them, she will tuck her tail and hide behind my legs. Sometimes she will start shaking uncontrolably, and sometimes she will let out a random bark or growl.. Alothough she has yet to show a sign of trying to nip at them or bite them.. She tries to avoid looking at them, she tries to avoid touching them in any way.

She does this in the car, if we are parked and mom is gone into the store, and somebody walks out of the store/into the store, or walks towards the car, she does the same thing.

I know that it is fear.

I just dont know what to do:shrug: I should mention that i would Definatly consult a professional, but their is not a trainer to be found in central newfoundland. I have searched google, and have asked the local vets, but they havent heard of one.

For anybody that does not know us, Keely is a Yorkshire terrier, She is my first dog, and i am 16 years old, And have been doing a pretty good job at being a first time "mommy' but with this, Im at a loss :(

Thanks in advance to anybody who responds..

Any questions or if you need more info on anything. Please feel free to ask

14+kitties
March 30th, 2009, 07:13 AM
bump bump
Surely there is someone here who can help babymomma with this??

LavenderRott
March 30th, 2009, 08:46 AM
Treats, treats and more treats!!!

Use treats to redirect her attention to you when you see someone coming your way. Talk gently to her and treat her as strangers walk by. Keep treats by the door for new people entering the house to give her.

When you are home, work on teaching her "watch me". Put her in a sit and tell her "watch me". The instant she looks at your face - praise and treat!

Try this for a couple of days and see how it works. :thumbs up

Bailey_
March 30th, 2009, 11:49 AM
http://www.companiondogtrainers.ca/index.html

:thumbs up

babymomma
March 30th, 2009, 03:41 PM
bump bump
Surely there is someone here who can help babymomma with this??
Thanks 14+ :p
Treats, treats and more treats!!!

Use treats to redirect her attention to you when you see someone coming your way. Talk gently to her and treat her as strangers walk by. Keep treats by the door for new people entering the house to give her.

When you are home, work on teaching her "watch me". Put her in a sit and tell her "watch me". The instant she looks at your face - praise and treat!

Try this for a couple of days and see how it works. :thumbs up

Thank You:D.. I honestly was going to try redirecting her with treats, But i was worried that i would be Rewarding her behaviour... And Thanks for telling me how to train her to focus on me, Its something i have been struggling with since day 1. I am going to take her for a walk now and try this. :fingerscr That it will work..
http://www.companiondogtrainers.ca/index.html

:thumbs up

Thank you As well Bailey! :D

totallyhip
March 30th, 2009, 10:41 PM
Yes I agree. Positive reinforcement. If you can ask friends to help you. Take her for a walk and then have your friend walk towards you and if she approaches her get your friend to give her treats too. Do not reward her for her fear however. You need to make sure to reward her when she overcomes her fear not when she is fearful.

You might want to look into the help of a qualified behaviourist or obedience classes too.

Good luck and hang in there. It times time and patience but it will happen

Lynne_B
March 31st, 2009, 08:45 AM
Do you ever pick her up when she has a fear reaction? If so, don't, as that can also be rewarding her behaviour, and it's pretty common for people to do that with little dogs. The only way to build her confidence is to bring her to a bunch of new places, and encourage her a lot. Then interrupt her when she's focusing on someone else in a negative way. You can start small, and just start going to places where there are different sounds and surfaces to walk on, and not a ton of people. Then work up to more populated places. Have you ever just went to your favorite coffee shop, and sat a table outside and read a book or magazine with her there? That would give you lots of opportunities to introduce her to new people, and start building her confidence (even if you don't drink coffee :)).

Acknowledge that there's someone there before she does, for example, greet people as they come towards you on a walk. Or say, Keely, who's that up there? And then greet them as they come closer. That way you are acknowledging that someone is there, and that it's ok and she can relax, she doesn't have to protect you or be scared. You are then taking control of the situation instead of her.

Good luck!

Blackdog22
March 31st, 2009, 10:04 AM
great advice lynne_b!

diandpat
March 31st, 2009, 10:35 AM
Acknowledge that there's someone there before she does, for example, greet people as they come towards you on a walk. Or say, Keely, who's that up there? And then greet them as they come closer. That way you are acknowledging that someone is there, and that it's ok and she can relax, she doesn't have to protect you or be scared. You are then taking control of the situation instead of her.

Good luck!


I had very similar problems with Hobo when we first got him, especially on a leash. I did this very thing and it seemed to calm him down. I think he felt like he did not have to protect me. Interestingly, he is a terrier too.

Getting her to sit and "look at you" until the "undesirables" have passed is another good way to get her over it.

Hobo is pretty good now...hope Keely gets her confidence too
:thumbs up

babymomma
March 31st, 2009, 01:07 PM
Do not reward her for her fear however.



Good luck and hang in there. It times time and patience but it will happen

Thanks for your great advice.. However, As soon as sshe sees somebody she gets scared and lashes out, They can be as far away as possible, but if she sees them, She starts her little fits. .. So when Do I give her the treat, Do i have to wait for her to stop barking? Do i do it before she actually starts showing her fear by trying to hide behind me (That happens when they approach us) ?

babymomma
March 31st, 2009, 01:14 PM
Do you ever pick her up when she has a fear reaction? If so, don't, as that can also be rewarding her behaviour, and it's pretty common for people to do that with little dogs. The only way to build her confidence is to bring her to a bunch of new places, and encourage her a lot. Then interrupt her when she's focusing on someone else in a negative way. You can start small, and just start going to places where there are different sounds and surfaces to walk on, and not a ton of people. Then work up to more populated places. Have you ever just went to your favorite coffee shop, and sat a table outside and read a book or magazine with her there? That would give you lots of opportunities to introduce her to new people, and start building her confidence (even if you don't drink coffee :)).

Acknowledge that there's someone there before she does, for example, greet people as they come towards you on a walk. Or say, Keely, who's that up there? And then greet them as they come closer. That way you are acknowledging that someone is there, and that it's ok and she can relax, she doesn't have to protect you or be scared. You are then taking control of the situation instead of her.

Good luck!

Thank You very much! I dont pick her up when shes scared, That may be the only Good thing i have learned by wacthing Cesar millan (sp?) .. When I say stuff like, Keely whos that up there, Her behaviour seems to escalate (SP?) Maybe i have to go about it in a different manner?
It may be a little harder to bring her to a public place and sit down, That is until the snow goes.. Thats one thing i hate about living where i do.. I dont have Many coffee shops or anything like that around.. I will try taking her to the board walk and sitting on a bench and Reading, but it will be a while before i can do that, its pretty much the only place that I have where i can do it. And of course, i have to wait for the snow to go:frustrated:


Thanks Diandpat for sharing about hobo, Makes me feel better knowing that its an obstical that you have been able to over come! And thanks for your advice as well:thumbs up

Lynne_B
March 31st, 2009, 01:29 PM
Have you ever tried just turning around and walking in the opposite direction as soon as she reacts? Maybe even jog a little so she's focused on you instead of looking back the whole time. Then turn around again and go towards the person. And repeat. You could also do something similar, but put her in a sit beside you instead of turning. Or picking up the pace a little as you go by someone so she's more focused on you instead of the person.

14+kitties
March 31st, 2009, 01:32 PM
When I say stuff like, Keely whos that up there, Her behaviour seems to escalate (SP?) Maybe i have to go about it in a different manner?

Oh gosh! I do that with my toy poodle when I WANT her to bark! That is exactly what I say. I wonder if Keely is taking that as a sign that she should be getting excited?

Lynne_B
March 31st, 2009, 03:03 PM
This is going to sound funny, but is it growling or grumbling? Some dogs grumble when they are excited (schnauzers, for example). Not sure about yorkies though. But, in this case it does sound fearful, especially if she's hiding behind you and shaking, and not wanting to greet someone. Does it happen with every person you meet or just some?

To put my suggestion into a bit of context with saying, "who's that up there", I'll explain the situation we were in. My dog is big, and loves everyone. He has to say hi to every single person and animal we meet at the park. However, every once and a while, he would go up to someone, stand there, and bark, bark, bark. Not very friendly, and a little intimidating because of his size. No growling or anything like that, just standing at a distance and barking. We couldn't for the life of us figure out why, it seemed pretty random. Then we realized, it only happens at the off leash park, and only when that person is either at the off leash area without a dog, or their dog is far away from them. It was his way of saying, Look, this person doesn't belong here. It would happen more if we were walking in the dark, since it's hard to see people obviously. So we'd start acknowledging that there was someone there, and encourage him to say hi, Fizz, who's that up there, go say hi! And problem solved.

For this situation, if saying that is escalating it, then maybe just stick to greeting people, rather than addressing Keely.

LavenderRott
March 31st, 2009, 03:44 PM
Thanks for your great advice.. However, As soon as sshe sees somebody she gets scared and lashes out, They can be as far away as possible, but if she sees them, She starts her little fits. .. So when Do I give her the treat, Do i have to wait for her to stop barking? Do i do it before she actually starts showing her fear by trying to hide behind me (That happens when they approach us) ?

Try to keep an open eye and see people before she does. This way you can tell her watch me and treat BEFORE she gets excited. The minute she starts to tense up - tell her "watch me" and treat her when she looks your way - even if it is only for an instant.

As summer approaches, find a park or playground where you can sit well back from the action with her and watch all the activities. Sit as far away as you need to so that she is comfortable and just relax, watch, talk to her, read a book - whatever. As she relaxes and is comfortable to lay down and take a nap - move a couple of feet closer. It may take a while, but by the end of the summer, she should be comfortable enough to be sitting in the bleachers of a ball diamond or next to a swing set.

TulipRoxy
March 31st, 2009, 05:30 PM
Hey Babymomma,

I would start inside where there is no distractions and teach a really strong watch command. You can do this using her name or a command like watch. Simply say the word or her name and as soon as she makes eye contact say "yes" and reward. If she does not look at you right away you can draw the treat up towards your eyes and reward when she makes eye contact.

When you are walking with her try to notice how far away people are when she starts reacting. Then the next time get her attention by using her attention word before she starts reacting. Then reward her. After that I would either turn and go the other way all the while recapturing her attention and rewarding OR make a big arc around the scary people. The important thing is that she doesnt get a chance to practise the negative behaviour. I think the point that she is at now she is definately not ready to take treats from strangers or even to walk by them. It'll come in time.

When you can go out in the summer, find some place thats not too busy and practise getting her attention and getting her to do obedience.

Good Luck!

Blackdog22
March 31st, 2009, 07:28 PM
Another way to teach focus is:

A) go somewhere with few distraction, a place comfortable for your girl.

B) find a tasty treat she rarely gets or has never had. Cook up some liver, steak...as long as she will love it and want it, use it (as long as it's healthy of course). You have to have a strong motivater at first but in the future after much practice you should not need to use anything.

C) give her a piece of treat after doing a simple command that she knows, this is so she knows what the food tastes like without getting it for free.

D) put a treat in each hand and show your dog that you have one in both of your hands. This is very important, if she doesn't know the treat is in both hands this will not work.

E) with the treats in each hand(closed fist) and your dog infront of you (knowing about the treats) extend both of your arms horizontally. Your body should form a 't' or cross.

F) be silent and hold position. The goal of this is for your dog to make eye contact with you and not the treat. This can take +15 minutes with some dogs, while other catch on in seconds. You must be quiet (no calling her name or movements). Eventually she will look at you to see what your deal is ("why arn't you giving me the treat")

G) the moment she makes eye contact, give a command and reward immediately. The command can be any word you like as long as it's consistent and somewhat easy to say in a pinch.

H) repeat.



Babymomma, here is a link to Susanne Clothiers(sp?) website. She has some FANTASTIC articles that you would probably find very helpful. I just love her mothods of training, she gives amazing advice and really puts things into perspective.

http://flyingdogpress.com/content/view/18/94/

Definately worth the short registration.