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-   -   honey is terified of strangers (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=82192)

honeys-parents September 9th, 2012 11:54 PM

honey is terified of strangers
 
My yellow lab malamute mix was a wonderful accident.she was conceived by a lab breeders lab and malamute wolf mixwho escaped and knocked her personal malamute up. Honey was kept in a Kennel for a couple months before my boyfriends mother got her for him. From the start she was a nervous Nelly but he and I have been really good at showing her that there is no need to fear the world of noises but shes not quite convinced about strangers.through through years shes gotten far much better. Now it only takes a couple of days for her to get semi used to someone. I try cesar millans the dog whispers tricks and techniques and they've helped a lot espesialy with calming her down but shes not all the way better.any advise?

Longblades September 10th, 2012 07:24 AM

Can you give some more detail please? How old is Honey? How long have you had her? What are her fear signs, how is she acting? When does she show this fear? I don't get the Cesar show on our TV so what are the things he espouses that you have been trying?

honeys-parents September 10th, 2012 09:00 AM

honey is about 3 years old and we've had her since she was a pup. she chooses to run rather then confront or fight. she hasn't a aggressive bone in her body and has never shown aggression towards anybody but she tries her hardest to get away. i have been trying to take her to flee markets and farmers markets to get her around more people and she does alright with that until there is a loud noise or someone walks to close.i have been trying just getting her out there, exposure therapy, i have been using calm assertive energy and also letting her do her thing when she flips out. from the signs I see she does have confidence but is weary of the unknown.

Barkingdog September 10th, 2012 10:30 AM

[QUOTE=honeys-parents;1046066]My yellow lab malamute mix was a wonderful accident.she was conceived by a lab breeders lab and malamute wolf mixwho escaped and knocked her personal malamute up. Honey was kept in a Kennel for a couple months before my boyfriends mother got her for him. From the start she was a nervous Nelly but he and I have been really good at showing her that there is no need to fear the world of noises but shes not quite convinced about strangers.through through years shes gotten far much better. Now it only takes a couple of days for her to get semi used to someone. I try cesar millans the dog whispers tricks and techniques and they've helped a lot espesialy with calming her down but shes not all the way better.any advise?[/QUOTE]

If Honey really does have wolf in her that would explain her fear of people. This is why it's a bad ideal to breed wolves with with dogs. I went to 'Wolf Hollow Sanctuary' and the guy that started the Sanctuary told people when a wolf is bred with a dog the offspring will most likely have a fear of people .This fear is the wolf part of the animal, wolves have a fear of people. I would try to find a real good dog behaviorist and have them work with you and your dog before she attack someone if she that that big a fear of
people. It is NOT the wolf in your dog that could attack someone , it is the dog as they do not have a fear of people.

kittiesandbirds September 10th, 2012 12:12 PM

My hat is off to you for trying to help this dog overcome his fear.

You may want to visit or call a wolf rescue for tips. Mission wolf has a dog that reminds me of the dog you are describing (except the abuse). From my contact with them they are very helpful and open you may want to contact them directly. The volunteers do not have access to the phone all the time but do go into town to the office from time to time. I know someone is supposed to be there this afternoon.

"Leo is a tall, lanky, goofy malamute who was severely abused as a puppy. When his owner couldn't afford the vet bills, Leo was then surrendered to a shelter, where he was labeled a "wolf-dog" because of his long legs and big head. Since he couldn't be adopted out, Leo was given to Mission:Wolf in 2006. Since his arrival, Leo's behavior has shown that he has very little wolf ancestry. However, since he is officially a "Wolf-dog," Leo will remain at the refuge, happily living with Luna." Discription of Leo by Mission Wolf. He is gorgeous by the way. Would love to see photos of your dog.

honeys-parents September 10th, 2012 05:52 PM

though there is wolf in her it is the smallest bit, really the only wolfish feature is her slender muzzle and thick neck fat around her throat but I am not at all worried she will attack someone because it is not her nature, she has never growled or shown her teeth only a gaurding bark when someones at the door. Im not afraid that she would hurts someone only wanting to ease her worried mind so she may have a peacefull life. thank you but she is far from being aggresive.

p.s. as you are correct wolf breeding is a very sketchy tacktic, but I admire thewolf in her and it gives her a wonderful personality and a interesting look for a lab, but really behavior whise she is full lab :)

honeys-parents September 10th, 2012 05:56 PM

Miss kittiesandbirds thank you, but honeys the smallest bit of wolf. her mother was mostly malamute with a tid bit of wolf and her father was a pure yellow lab. pictures are uploaded to my profile :) have a peek. shes my pride and joy

Longblades September 10th, 2012 06:33 PM

[QUOTE=honeys-parents;1046074]honey is about 3 years old and we've had her since she was a pup. she chooses to run rather then confront or fight. she hasn't a aggressive bone in her body and has never shown aggression towards anybody but she tries her hardest to get away. i have been trying to take her to flee markets and farmers markets to get her around more people and she does alright with that until there is a loud noise or someone walks to close.i have been trying just getting her out there, exposure therapy, i have been using calm assertive energy and also letting her do her thing when she flips out. from the signs I see she does have confidence but is weary of the unknown.[/QUOTE]Maybe I need more detail but from this I don't see a problem. There is nothing wrong with running instead of confronting and fighting. Surely you don't want a dog who would fight?

In "tries her hardest to get away" are you talking from another dog? Or from people? I'm confused since that sentence follows immediately after the fighting one which I assume is about other dogs.

Frightened by a loud noise? Again, I don't see anything out of the norm for a sensitive dog. I do think that perhaps flea markets and farmers markets might be too overwhelming for a sensitive animal. Can you start out with smaller groups of people and less noise and activity?

What is she like on a walk around your block? What's she like in her own backyard?

Have you investigated a vison or hearing problem?

For me, I need more detail yet. Sorry, I don't know what YOU mean by calm, assertive energy or "letting her do her thing" means, you let her run away? I'll guess not, but what? What does she do when she flips out and you let her? I'm confused

honeys-parents September 10th, 2012 08:57 PM

there is everything wrong with runnng in fear...I dont want her to be afraid because frankly I am there to protect her.she should be able to trust humans. I think it is bad dog ownership if You think it is o.k for an animal to run in fear from a human who is not causing them harm. It is unheathy for their mind just as it is for people. It is better than agressive fear but it is far from heathy.

She does wonderfully with other dogs, kids and cats(though the kitties don't appreciate her excited greetings). she dashes and jumps if someone she does not know well comes to close and will try anything to get away. if she's got to go through you she will.

of cource being frighten by a loud noise is not out of the norm for a senstive dog but I do not want her to fear anymore, I want her to have confidence in herself and her surroundings, wouldn't any dog owner in the same possition want that? maybe not.

when taking her to high energy, noisey places I let her go through her phases so each time when we leave she realizes "ah..Im still ok and my master is by my side".I also reward healthy state of minds.for example, if she is excited about going on a walk I sit her and wait for her energy level to reach level 0 rather then level 10 and i reward her by taking her outside.at flee markets i reward her with petting and "good girls" when she is calm and submissive, rather then jumping around, pulling me, and fleeing from other people, that behavior is ignored(I will not nurture that state of mind for it will tell her that it is the right behavior...dogs don't speak english only body language and energy).Im telling you the dog whisperer is wonderfull, its already helped her so much and helped me understand a dogs mental behavior.

she is wonderfull on our daily walks, its new situations and new people shes fearfull of. also she has regular vet appointments and she is very heathy, no problems with sight or hearing(I would find those problems before my vet would anyways..I know the signs)

just to clearify, i do not just "let her flip out" I wait untill she runs out of energy and calms down, just like with children, you can not reason with a child who is throwing a tentrum tantrum. once she is calm i reward the behavior I want.

by the way I am not new to dog behavior and i would like it if you did not talk to me as if I knew nothing. I am just looking for some ideas or things others have tried with their nervous dog, I know all dogs are not the same and do not have exactly the same problems but its worth a try to see what else might help my honey pull through her fear of new PEOPLE(not dogs or kids). thanks, maybe now you can understand?

Barkingdog September 11th, 2012 02:33 PM

[QUOTE=honeys-parents;1046107]there is everything wrong with runnng in fear...I dont want her to be afraid because frankly I am there to protect her.she should be able to trust humans. I think it is bad dog ownership if You think it is o.k for an animal to run in fear from a human who is not causing them harm. It is unheathy for their mind just as it is for people. It is better than agressive fear but it is far from heathy.

She does wonderfully with other dogs, kids and cats(though the kitties don't appreciate her excited greetings). she dashes and jumps if someone she does not know well comes to close and will try anything to get away. if she's got to go through you she will.

of cource being frighten by a loud noise is not out of the norm for a senstive dog but I do not want her to fear anymore, I want her to have confidence in herself and her surroundings, wouldn't any dog owner in the same possition want that? maybe not.

when taking her to high energy, noisey places I let her go through her phases so each time when we leave she realizes "ah..Im still ok and my master is by my side".I also reward healthy state of minds.for example, if she is excited about going on a walk I sit her and wait for her energy level to reach level 0 rather then level 10 and i reward her by taking her outside.at flee markets i reward her with petting and "good girls" when she is calm and submissive, rather then jumping around, pulling me, and fleeing from other people, that behavior is ignored(I will not nurture that state of mind for it will tell her that it is the right behavior...dogs don't speak english only body language and energy).Im telling you the dog whisperer is wonderfull, its already helped her so much and helped me understand a dogs mental behavior.

she is wonderfull on our daily walks, its new situations and new people shes fearfull of. also she has regular vet appointments and she is very heathy, no problems with sight or hearing(I would find those problems before my vet would anyways..I know the signs)

just to clearify, i do not just "let her flip out" I wait untill she runs out of energy and calms down, just like with children, you can not reason with a child who is throwing a tentrum tantrum. once she is calm i reward the behavior I want.

by the way I am not new to dog behavior and i would like it if you did not talk to me as if I knew nothing. I am just looking for some ideas or things others have tried with their nervous dog, I know all dogs are not the same and do not have exactly the same problems but its worth a try to see what else might help my honey pull through her fear of new PEOPLE(not dogs or kids). thanks, maybe now you can understand?[/QUOTE]

have you checked her ears to see if she has an ear infection? When my last dog had an ear infection and loud sounds made him jumpy.

honeys-parents September 12th, 2012 09:29 AM

her ears are fine. It is just noises she has never head before and she does not understand what they are.
i am really not to concerned with her being afraid of loud noises because after awhile she becomes accustom to it and then it means nothing to her. my concern lies with the fear of people. it is not a medical problem, it is a psychological issue. remember she was kept in a kennel for the first couple of months of her life(at the most important social learning stage)and now she is 2 years used to being afraid of humans she does not know...i know where the problem lies but have run out of ideas to help her, does not mean i'll give up though

hazelrunpack September 12th, 2012 10:05 AM

We also had a dog that was afraid of people when she arrived. She came from a similar circumstance--she was kept in a barn the first year of her life. :( In our experience with building Macie's confidence, it seems like she learned the most from watching the other dogs. Even after 8 years here we can see that she still is not the most attuned with humans...but she picks up a lot from the other dogs.

We are lucky enough to have a fenced in yard and not many visitors. That made it a little easier to get her used to strangers. Our good friend started coming over now and then and always would get down on his knees to say hello to the dogs. At first Macie hung back, but she saw the other dogs were having fun and started coming up to him, too. Eventually, she stopped shying away from him completely. Gradually, she got to the point where she's now very people-friendly.

Does she have a good people-friendly doggy buddy that she could learn from similarly? Maybe in a fenced yard or a dog park? Some place you can use during a quiet time of day and enlist friends that your dog doesn't know to come in and just interact with her buddy in a calm way? Never force her, just allow her to see that her buddy has no fear... I think eventually it might do wonders. Especially if that human friend of yours has a delectable little snack on their person. :D

As for the loud noises, we have another dog, Grace, also a rescue, who bolts at loud noises. What we started doing was to make noise while she's anticipating dinner. We feed them in metal bowls. Starting from just an inch off the ground, we started dropping her bowl in front of her while she was focused on the fact that dinner was about to be served. Slowly we banged the bowls louder. The desensitization seems to be working, at least for sharp percussive noises like bowls banging. Not so much for lower, long-drawn out noises like thunder or the figher jets on maneuvers.

What does seem to help for those other kinds of sounds is to make happy noises ("Oh, yay! Thunder! Hurrah!") and bring out her favorite toy when it's storming or the jets are overhead. Sometimes all it takes to build a little confidence is to give them something happy to associate the noise with...

tenderfoot September 12th, 2012 01:24 PM

When a dog is nervous of noises or sudden movements too close to them it is a good idea to put the dog on a leash for control and to prevent the habit of running away. Then slowly and rhythmically make a tapping noise near the dog - just loud enough to get a small reaction from the dog but not freak him out. Rhythm creates a predictable action and the brain can retrain itself not to react but to remain calm when noises happen. Right now her response is a rapid right brain, adrenaline rush of fear. But the more she can experience the noise without a strong reaction in her brain and realize that it is not a life threatening situation, then she can learn to relax and her mind with think instead of react. Now we have a flow of seritonin in the brain which helps her to relax naturally. While you are creating the rhythmic noise you hold the leash (loosely) so she cannot flee. As she begins to relax and settle down then stop the noise and give her a break. Let the experience sink in. Then do it again but make the noise slightly louder and still rhythmic. Soon you will be able to make very loud noises and she should be able to remain relaxed. Then you need to make the noise less predictable - always returning to a softer rhythm if she gets too upset. You are retraining the brain.
Another way is to play music that has loud startles in it like the William Tell Overture. Play it softly during meals and increase the volume as she shows she can eat and not react to the startles.
Taking her to the market or park could be too much intensity all at once. It can be okay if you start at a comfortable distance away from the crowd. If she can handle it at 30 feet away, then move 5 feet closer and stay there until you see her relax. Then keep getting closer in baby steps until you can get right up to the crowd and she doesn't care. Then you can walk 5 steps in one direction and 5 in the other, then 10 steps in each direction, and then 20 steps in each direction. Retracing your steps in familiar territory while people go by helps her to not be frightened by both the new territory, new smells in addition to new people.
It is also vital that you do not allow people to approach her without your permission and direction. When a person comes straight at her that is maximum pressure to her and it can push her over the edge. Ask the person to walk past her a few times without looking at her or talking to her. Then the person can walk to her side (still not looking at her) and squat down next to her (still not acknowledging her existence) and wait for her to relax and shift her focus from escape to calmness. She will probably look unsettled at first but then when she sees the person is not interested in her then she might lean over to sniff the person. Relax into this. When it seems right then have the person walk away and come back and do it again. When you see she is more relaxed the person can calmly stroke the SIDE of her face for 2 seconds and take their hand away. Repeat this a few times and be done. You need to try to set this up with lots of people throughout the day so that each time she has a positive experience she will remember that and it will start to erase her innate fears. She does not have to like any of these people but she does have to have good manners.
The other key to this is that through her trust in you she can learn to trust others. When she sees you are comfortable with people and shake their hands then she believes that she is safer. She needs to know you have her back and will not let harm come to her - a good leader protects the pack.
Hope this helps.

kitona September 13th, 2012 05:50 PM

Have you taken her to any training classes? It might help to do short, pleasent, focused training routines when you have her near enough to a crowd but far enough away so that you still have her attention. Praise, treat and remove her from crowd proximity. Next time, see if you can approach a little closer but let her dictate what she's comfortable with. Clicker training works like a hot dang for this.
For the long term, giving her a job to do would be a huge confidence builder. What does she like to do? What is she good at? Agility-type stuff? Tracking-type stuff? Help her find her talents and develop them. Try her at as many different dog sports as you can. If there is something that she really enjoys, go with it!

Longblades September 14th, 2012 07:59 AM

[url=http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=dtb943]Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt[/url] might help you.

honeys-parents October 3rd, 2012 10:01 AM

[QUOTE=hazelrunpack;1046189]We also had a dog that was afraid of people when she arrived. She came from a similar circumstance--she was kept in a barn the first year of her life. :( In our experience with building Macie's confidence, it seems like she learned the most from watching the other dogs. Even after 8 years here we can see that she still is not the most attuned with humans...but she picks up a lot from the other dogs.

We are lucky enough to have a fenced in yard and not many visitors. That made it a little easier to get her used to strangers. Our good friend started coming over now and then and always would get down on his knees to say hello to the dogs. At first Macie hung back, but she saw the other dogs were having fun and started coming up to him, too. Eventually, she stopped shying away from him completely. Gradually, she got to the point where she's now very people-friendly.

Does she have a good people-friendly doggy buddy that she could learn from similarly? Maybe in a fenced yard or a dog park? Some place you can use during a quiet time of day and enlist friends that your dog doesn't know to come in and just interact with her buddy in a calm way? Never force her, just allow her to see that her buddy has no fear... I think eventually it might do wonders. Especially if that human friend of yours has a delectable little snack on their person. :D

As for the loud noises, we have another dog, Grace, also a rescue, who bolts at loud noises. What we started doing was to make noise while she's anticipating dinner. We feed them in metal bowls. Starting from just an inch off the ground, we started dropping her bowl in front of her while she was focused on the fact that dinner was about to be served. Slowly we banged the bowls louder. The desensitization seems to be working, at least for sharp percussive noises like bowls banging. Not so much for lower, long-drawn out noises like thunder or the figher jets on maneuvers.

What does seem to help for those other kinds of sounds is to make happy noises ("Oh, yay! Thunder! Hurrah!") and bring out her favorite toy when it's storming or the jets are overhead. Sometimes all it takes to build a little confidence is to give them something happy to associate the noise with...[/QUOTE]

she does have a dog buddys but sadly she only gets to see them at the dog park. One of our friends dog is honeys best friend but sadly he is not people friendly or dog friendly except with his pack and honey, His owner and I have been working with him as well.Honey helps to doing what you explained.she shows him that other dogs are ok.because he is not as skittish as her and comes when called to strangers I figured id loosely tie them together(one on one end of a leash and the other tied to the other side of the leash)so she would feed off his energy and be lead to a human she is not familiar with,, i don't know though...bru(her buddys name)needs just a tad more work.very good dog though and hopefully they can help each other out

honeys-parents October 3rd, 2012 10:05 AM

[QUOTE=kitona;1046320]Have you taken her to any training classes? It might help to do short, pleasent, focused training routines when you have her near enough to a crowd but far enough away so that you still have her attention. Praise, treat and remove her from crowd proximity. Next time, see if you can approach a little closer but let her dictate what she's comfortable with. Clicker training works like a hot dang for this.
For the long term, giving her a job to do would be a huge confidence builder. What does she like to do? What is she good at? Agility-type stuff? Tracking-type stuff? Help her find her talents and develop them. Try her at as many different dog sports as you can. If there is something that she really enjoys, go with it![/QUOTE]

you know I just found her talent....oddly enough she's amazing at running beside the bike(she's afraid of all other moving wheels.go figure huh!!)and she loves doing it...we have some trouble turning right but we are working on it.i think it gives her confidence because now she is running with the pack and she loooovvvveeeesss to run(thats the lab in her lol)

honeys-parents October 3rd, 2012 10:16 AM

[QUOTE=tenderfoot;1046206]When a dog is nervous of noises or sudden movements too close to them it is a good idea to put the dog on a leash for control and to prevent the habit of running away. Then slowly and rhythmically make a tapping noise near the dog - just loud enough to get a small reaction from the dog but not freak him out. Rhythm creates a predictable action and the brain can retrain itself not to react but to remain calm when noises happen. Right now her response is a rapid right brain, adrenaline rush of fear. But the more she can experience the noise without a strong reaction in her brain and realize that it is not a life threatening situation, then she can learn to relax and her mind with think instead of react. Now we have a flow of seritonin in the brain which helps her to relax naturally. While you are creating the rhythmic noise you hold the leash (loosely) so she cannot flee. As she begins to relax and settle down then stop the noise and give her a break. Let the experience sink in. Then do it again but make the noise slightly louder and still rhythmic. Soon you will be able to make very loud noises and she should be able to remain relaxed. Then you need to make the noise less predictable - always returning to a softer rhythm if she gets too upset. You are retraining the brain.
Another way is to play music that has loud startles in it like the William Tell Overture. Play it softly during meals and increase the volume as she shows she can eat and not react to the startles.
Taking her to the market or park could be too much intensity all at once. It can be okay if you start at a comfortable distance away from the crowd. If she can handle it at 30 feet away, then move 5 feet closer and stay there until you see her relax. Then keep getting closer in baby steps until you can get right up to the crowd and she doesn't care. Then you can walk 5 steps in one direction and 5 in the other, then 10 steps in each direction, and then 20 steps in each direction. Retracing your steps in familiar territory while people go by helps her to not be frightened by both the new territory, new smells in addition to new people.
It is also vital that you do not allow people to approach her without your permission and direction. When a person comes straight at her that is maximum pressure to her and it can push her over the edge. Ask the person to walk past her a few times without looking at her or talking to her. Then the person can walk to her side (still not looking at her) and squat down next to her (still not acknowledging her existence) and wait for her to relax and shift her focus from escape to calmness. She will probably look unsettled at first but then when she sees the person is not interested in her then she might lean over to sniff the person. Relax into this. When it seems right then have the person walk away and come back and do it again. When you see she is more relaxed the person can calmly stroke the SIDE of her face for 2 seconds and take their hand away. Repeat this a few times and be done. You need to try to set this up with lots of people throughout the day so that each time she has a positive experience she will remember that and it will start to erase her innate fears. She does not have to like any of these people but she does have to have good manners.
The other key to this is that through her trust in you she can learn to trust others. When she sees you are comfortable with people and shake their hands then she believes that she is safer. She needs to know you have her back and will not let harm come to her - a good leader protects the pack.
Hope this helps.[/QUOTE]

I agree with the methods you describe 100% but she is a sink or swim dog. it is actually very odd but heres and example of how my mutt learns. I recently got her a new toy that is a pig and instead of the squeaking that most toys make it makes a oink(which makes me laugh every time)but poor honey was scared to death of it. so, i thought that i could play with it.i growled and pretended to shake it in my mouth all the while it squealing .honey soon found that it wasn't to be feared it was to be killed! well same thing at the flee markets.i just walk her through without coddling her.just a normal day for a normal dog is what i picture in my mind...and its kinda working...no longer does she knock me over trying to run from strangers...she still shys away but then sniffs at the persons butt as they move on their way. yay!!!

honeys-parents October 3rd, 2012 10:20 AM

i just wanted to take the time to thank each of you for taking the time to help me with my darling dog.she is getting just a tad better and i know she appreciates all of your ideas.


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