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Old December 29th, 2012, 11:52 AM
Embery Embery is offline
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People Scared and Separation

My now one year old dog has a couple of problems and I need some help with them. When my dog is at home in it's own territory it's scared of people, she is a little scared when we go to other peoples house but not as much. If someone she has been around tons of times will come over (the day before going to their house and she wouldn't stop following them) she will shy away from them, hiding and purposely go around them. Is there anything I can do or just let her be?

Second problem is when I go to leave and place her in her area, she begins to bark and whine. When we leave she will not eat or play or anything, nothing moves she gets so worked up. If we just stand outside the house she will whine really loud and just freak out. Please help, I would really love to come back home with a dog that isn't trying to rip the grate off to get at me.
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  #2  
Old December 31st, 2012, 12:38 PM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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She is highly sensitive, insecure, over-bonded, demanding and untrusting - I am sure this also comes with being very loving & smart.

This is the kind of dog that needs you to behave in a very specific way.
She has learned that running away from things that make her nervous works, so she does it more. It becomes her habit - get nervous = flight. So having her on the leash when she is in an unsettling circumstance will help her face the music and learn through repetition that life really isn't so scary. You need to create lots of opportunities for her to face her fears in a positive manner. Don't force things on her or create drama around the events, you need to show confidence and she will learn from you.

You need to work on a good long down stay. As you go about your life she needs to NOT follow you everywhere, which means that you are going to have to ask her to stay as you go from room to room - desensitizing her to your coming and going. She is too dependent on you and you have become her security blanket.

Crate training would be highly recommended for her, but that means lots of short sessions and building to longer sessions in the crate when you are home. If you don't like the crate idea then put her in her special area more frequently throughout the day and then practice coming a going a ton. No goodbyes or hellos as you go about your business. You need to come and go so often she gets bored. If she complains with any amount of drama then you need to correct her. It will take 3-5 corrections before she connects the dots. "Oh, every time I bark mom says 'No bark', hmmmm, she must not like my barking" I will be quiet and see what happens. Oh, I got quiet and then after a few minutes she let me out. So being quiet is what works!!!!"

People should not give her any attention when they first greet her. Ignore her. If they insist on greeting her then the person should not look at her at all as they crouch down and play with something on the ground (a pebble) or just look everywhere but at the dog. The dog should relax and attempt to sniff the person. If the person feels comfortable they can calmly and gently stroke the side of the dogs face for just a few seconds then stop. Let the dog know that the person means no harm. If the person is willing they should take her on the leash for as long a possible - 30 mins, 1 hr etc. It gives her brain a great chance to get through the flight response repetitively, learn to stay calm and maybe even enjoy the interaction. Then give her a break in her area, but repeat it after she has had some down time to process the interaction. Each time this happens she should adjust faster and faster as her brain reminds her that this is a safe thing to do.

The bigger her vocabulary the better - so general obedience is going to be handy. The more she knows and the better she listens to you the faster you can help her get through these challenging times. If she is in the habit of listening to you throughout the day then when she is anxious she should look to you for help and you will be ready with the answer. She needs you to lead the way. She is too insecure to figure this out on her own.

Listen to our podcast on Bubble/boundary training. It will help you understand her. She has a huge personal bubble because she is nervous about her safety when people start to press on her bubble - so she keeps it really big. When she decides to trust someone in her bubble then she doesn't want them to leave (mostly you). It's almost like she has 2 bubbles. One is huge and the other is tiny. The big one protects her from scary people, and the little one holds those who are trust worthy near her. Hope that makes sense.

Call if you need more help.
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  #3  
Old December 31st, 2012, 03:42 PM
Embery Embery is offline
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Thanks, I will try and do that then give an update.
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  #4  
Old January 18th, 2013, 11:22 PM
Buddy522 Buddy522 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Same problem

We got a shih poo when he was 6 months old. He's a very behave dog we're at home but take him in the backyard or take him on a walk when he hear a noise or see someone he barks and barks. Secondly he has became attach to me wherever I go he's right behind me. There are five of us here but only with me does he do that. Can anyone help!!!
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  #5  
Old January 19th, 2013, 12:46 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderfoot View Post
She is highly sensitive, insecure, over-bonded, demanding and untrusting - I am sure this also comes with being very loving & smart.

This is the kind of dog that needs you to behave in a very specific way.
She has learned that running away from things that make her nervous works, so she does it more. It becomes her habit - get nervous = flight. So having her on the leash when she is in an unsettling circumstance will help her face the music and learn through repetition that life really isn't so scary. You need to create lots of opportunities for her to face her fears in a positive manner. Don't force things on her or create drama around the events, you need to show confidence and she will learn from you.

You need to work on a good long down stay. As you go about your life she needs to NOT follow you everywhere, which means that you are going to have to ask her to stay as you go from room to room - desensitizing her to your coming and going. She is too dependent on you and you have become her security blanket.

Crate training would be highly recommended for her, but that means lots of short sessions and building to longer sessions in the crate when you are home. If you don't like the crate idea then put her in her special area more frequently throughout the day and then practice coming a going a ton. No goodbyes or hellos as you go about your business. You need to come and go so often she gets bored. If she complains with any amount of drama then you need to correct her. It will take 3-5 corrections before she connects the dots. "Oh, every time I bark mom says 'No bark', hmmmm, she must not like my barking" I will be quiet and see what happens. Oh, I got quiet and then after a few minutes she let me out. So being quiet is what works!!!!"

People should not give her any attention when they first greet her. Ignore her. If they insist on greeting her then the person should not look at her at all as they crouch down and play with something on the ground (a pebble) or just look everywhere but at the dog. The dog should relax and attempt to sniff the person. If the person feels comfortable they can calmly and gently stroke the side of the dogs face for just a few seconds then stop. Let the dog know that the person means no harm. If the person is willing they should take her on the leash for as long a possible - 30 mins, 1 hr etc. It gives her brain a great chance to get through the flight response repetitively, learn to stay calm and maybe even enjoy the interaction. Then give her a break in her area, but repeat it after she has had some down time to process the interaction. Each time this happens she should adjust faster and faster as her brain reminds her that this is a safe thing to do.

The bigger her vocabulary the better - so general obedience is going to be handy. The more she knows and the better she listens to you the faster you can help her get through these challenging times. If she is in the habit of listening to you throughout the day then when she is anxious she should look to you for help and you will be ready with the answer. She needs you to lead the way. She is too insecure to figure this out on her own.

Listen to our podcast on Bubble/boundary training. It will help you understand her. She has a huge personal bubble because she is nervous about her safety when people start to press on her bubble - so she keeps it really big. When she decides to trust someone in her bubble then she doesn't want them to leave (mostly you). It's almost like she has 2 bubbles. One is huge and the other is tiny. The big one protects her from scary people, and the little one holds those who are trust worthy near her. Hope that makes sense.

Call if you need more help.
It is best not to made a big fuss over the dog when going out or coming back home. This will make a dog feel insecure too. I had to go out yesterday and Marty just waked into his crate on his own. He loves to take naps in his crate.
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  #6  
Old January 24th, 2013, 09:19 PM
doggirl doggirl is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Posts: 153
There is no way any behaviourist or trainer can probably diagnose what's going on with your dog from 8 sentences on a forum.

I like to stick to data when getting info from a client. A lot of your description is more your interpretation for the root of the behaviour, as opposed to an objective description of the dog's behaviour (e.g., my dog runs around scared of a stranger, vs my dog backs off, barks, hunches down when a stranger approaches). May seem like a small difference but to a savvy trainer the first does not have information, the second does. There is simply very little information in the post you made.

More info is needed to know if this dog has separation anxiety, but I suspect she has separation issues to some level. If you'd like, we can correspond privately and I can ask you questions and give you information, or you can join my Training & Behaviour facebook page. I would definitely advise crate-training (crate TRAINING, not suddenly putting an untrained dog in a crate all day). Many people start off slow, like 10 minutes, then 30, then an hour, then 2...etc...you want to start off with SECONDS, then move up to 5 seconds over time, then 10, then 20, 30, a min, 2 min, 5 min, 7 min, 10 min, 15 min. Fifteen minutes is an end goal, not a starting point. Think about coddled toddlers whose parents leave them at daycare for the first time. They hit panic in about 3 seconds. They're full blown freaking at a minute. They're not ok up until half an hour after Mommy leaves. You want to avoid the dog ever hitting that place. If you get to the 15 minute mark you're pretty much home free. The worst has come and gone in the first 15 min.

Never ever correct a dog's symptoms of anxiety. The dog is barking, fussing, etc because they are feeling anxious. Correcting (punishing) them for this increases their anxiety, that's the last thing you want. You may or may not get a suppression of the behaviour, but you are mixing up a little mind that needs to be straightened out, not messed up more. Instead of punishing the expression of anxiety, instead, work at relieving the anxiety. Give the dog all kinds of interesting things to do when you leave. Not food; something to eat is gone quickly. Not toys; what are you going to do with a tennis ball by yourself in a crate. A kong with peanut butter inside, a treat ball, a raw marrow bone - something to DO. They will work away for ages at those things. Make sure the dog is getting enough exercise.

Dogs sleep twice as much as we do, about 16 hours a day. You want to set things up nice and quiet for them when you're out, as most dogs sleep all day when we're not home. A quiet area of the house, not near windows, close the blinds, maybe some gentle patchouli reeds, some white noise (TV or radio low, or a fan). And something like a peanut butter kong to lull himself to sleep.
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