This is a discussion thread · 3 replies
Anonymous:Hello forum, I really need your advice. My puppy is afraid of almost everything in the street: people, other dogs, prams, bicycles, cars, sudden noises... every walk turns into a nightmare.
The woman we took her from told us the pup was active, frisky and inquisitive. She spent the first day in our house hiding behind the toilet and whining... In took her a month to get used to the house and now she's totally fine when at home. But as soon as she's out, everythign changes. She makes several steps and then tries to rush back. I have to pick her up and carry on hands when we're heading for a park for example. If I don't do this, she'll tuck her tail between the legs, whim and try to run away. Sometimes I'm afraid she'll break off the leash and this will really happen. ( The only things she's not afraid of are cats and birds. What's going on with her?? How can I help her? At first we thought she'd adapt to the city (she grew up in the country) but time doesn't help and things only get worse.
That's really a lot of fears! You should try to get rid of them one by one and change your overall behaviour as the owner. That means you yourself have to stop being afraid that your pup will be afraid. Sorry for such a pun. What fear would you like to deal with first?
Anonymous:Thanks for your reply! The fear of people is my major concern now... it makes it almost impossible to walk as wherever we go there are always people.
1. The exercise is best to happen in a room where the dog feels most comfortable. Sit next to the dog and hold it by the collar so that she can't run away. Don't strangle but hold tight. Don't talk to her and don't stroke.
2. One by one, the two familiar persons should come in the room. It's important for everyone to stay calm. They shouldn't look at her, talk to her or stroke her, but just stop at the distance of about 2 meters. They can look anywhere they want but NOT at the dog, and preferably to stand sideways or give her their back. The dog's reaction can be different but she should calm down before you move on.
3. As soon as she's calmed down, one of the unknown persons comes in slowly and moves towards the two people. The rules are the same: no talk, no eye contact, no touching. He shouldn't simply come straight but move to the dog sideways or backwards. Let him stay for a minute and then he should go away slowly in the same manner he came in.
4. Repeat the above till the dog realizes the unknown person is no danger. It can take time but be patient, don't rush the process. When this goal is achieved, repeat step 3 with the second unknown person. Always stay calm.
All the instructions should be given before the exercise starts. In the presence of the dog, no talks should take place and no emotions. Only a calm and assertive atmosphere. It's very important. Please let me know how the exercise goes. If you have questions, feel free to ask.
People are waiting to help.