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Old 12-27-2012, 09:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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4 month old puppy freaked out

I have another question for you Doberman experts out there. This incident happened yesterday and I want your opinion on how to handle this in future and what I may have done differently. I live 2 miles from where I work, so I come home mid shift to eat and let my baby out of her crate to go potty and stretch her legs. I usually take her for a quick walk down to the end of the street then back past my house to the other end. My house is pretty much in the middle. It was nice out, so I decided to go a bit further. We were walking and we came upon a house under construction and the workers were pounding away with their hammers and other various noises. Jazzy stopped as we neared and I told her it was okay and she walked a few steps more and stopped again. She was standing erect and not cowering and I thought we could make it past the house. We proceeded a bit further and again she stopped, still standing erect and not backing up. We got within probably 25 feet of the house and she whipped around and tried to bolt. She was leaping forward pulling with all of her might while barking/yipping her head off. I moved as fast as I could to get her away from the house and then I stopped and crouched down to reassure her. She was panting with her mouth wide open and was just crazy with fear. We proceeded towards home and she was still leaping/ lunging trying to get away with her mouth still wide open. I went a bit further and stopped again to try and reassure her. I finally just picked her up and started towards home as fast as I could go. She did calm while I was holding her. I carried her as far as I could, but she was just too heavy to continue. I set her down and talked real softly trying to get her to calm. We proceeded walking again and she still leaped an pulled as hard as she could. When we got totally away from the street, she calmed a little but still pulled. We made it to our street and thankfully a neighbor stopped me on the way to talk to me and Jazzy. Jazzy really likes her and this finally distracted her from her terror. What I would like to know is if this is normal due to her age? I have been diligent about exposing her to different situations and lots of people. She loves everybody and dearly loves children. She will crouch down some when meeting new people (mostly men), but she doesn't shy away or try to run. I obviously did not read my dog's body language correctly or I wouldn't have kept going towards the house. A co-worker said I should not have picked her up. He said I coddled her too much. He wasn't there and did not see the absolute terror and I felt like I was doing the right thing at the time by picking her up. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to make sure you got the complete picture. Should I have handled this differently? I am trying so hard to make sure I have a confident sociable well mannered dog. I welcome your advice. Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is exactly how Bronson was as a pup. Scared of loud noises. If we were walking on the sidewalk and a semi truck drove by he would have tried to bolt, screaming and flipped out just the same.
You need to slowly introduce to loud noises, but not get close enough that she goes over her threshold and freaks out. If she won't take a treat from you, she is over her threshold. Always take LOTS of high value treats on your walks!

I would take my pup to a park by a busy street, and give treats, treats, treats, while walking around. Everytime he pulls on the leash, smelling something, not paying attention to me I would call him and give treats and say good for paying attention to me. Then I would walk in a large circle and then slowly walk a little closer to the street each time, giving treats, making a point to give lots of treats as a truck drove by. If he refused the treat, we were too close.

I would do this again while walking towards that street/house, but do not even get near it, give treats everytime she is sniffing something/not paying attention to you. as you get closer keep giving treats, if she won't take the treats, back up to the point that she will.

IMO carrying her out of there, is better than letting her bolt/drag you out of there. That's just reinforcing her to try to bolt. But I would not coddle for that behavior. I would have taken her back to where she stopped freaking out and just waited there until she calmed down, then continued the walk a different direction.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I should also add, that Bronson also learned that during his flipping out, he could slip out of his collar. So he could flip out, get out of his collar, and run away. So make sure you use a martingale or some other kind of collar she CAN NOT get out of.
Now, if he doesnt like something he will try to back out of his collar because he remembers that works sometimes. Once he realizes (after about 2-3 seconds) that that wont work, he stops. I just stand there until he stops.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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But I would not coddle for that behavior. I would have taken her back to where she stopped freaking out and just waited there until she calmed down, then continued the walk a different direction.
^^^This^^^.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice. I haven't been taking treats on our walks, but I will now.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you react to anything around you, they will do the same thing. I would act as if nothing is happening even something crazy was going on.

As far as trying to comfort your dog, I agree with the comments above. Wait until the puppy calms down. Hugging and talking to her (babying her) will only make it worse. S/he will eventually get used to it. If it fails, I would slowly introduce her to anything she isn't familiar with. She is very young and it is all new to her.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I wasn't hugging her and trying to baby her, I just crouched down and told her to "calm down". I was trying to get her to focus on me and not the situation. I agree with you all in that I shouldn't get caught up in her fear and I should try to act as normal as possible. I'm not working tomorrow, so I think I will definitely take her back towards the street where she freaked out and see how that goes. I will have my treats in hand. I won't force her, but will see how she acts. I'm sure we will eventually get past that house. Thanks again for the advice and wish me luck!
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm sure we will eventually get past that house. Thanks again for the advice and wish me luck!
Good luck I agree with all of the advice you have already received. Bruce is kind of a wuss when it comes to walking. There was one house on our street that was being re-roofed. He was sooo freaked out by all the noises (and even when they were done would put on the brakes when we got close to it and tried to bolt towards home). Everyday I worked my way towards the house, treats in hand, never making a big deal out of it. It took a few days, but now he walks by it like it's nothing.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Remember that you should be stopping and treating BEFORE she freaks. Stop at a good distance away, treat her if she's calm. Approach a bit closer, treat or praise calmness again. You should remain matter of fact and calm yourself.
If you go too fast at this stage and she freaks out, it's almost like you have to start all over again. Being pushed too much, too fast, will just reinforce her fear. Watch her body language closely and do your best not to push her over her threshold.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Being pushed too much, too fast, will just reinforce her fear. Watch her body language closely and do your best not to push her over her threshold.
The whole post was great and dead on, but just wanted to say something about this bit.

I can tell that Bruce is getting close to his threshold when he doesn't instantly take his treat. If he hesitates before taking it I know we have done just enough for that day, and that if I push him any farther he will flip out and we will be back to square one. Every dog is different of course, but it didn't take long for me to figure out exactly when enough is enough for Bruce. By respecting this with him he has made great progress with walking. He started out a few weeks ago scared to walk even to the neighbors house, now he happily does the block with me. He is still easily spooked by things he has never encountered though, so I'm always closely watching his body language.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It may help to Google Fear periods in puppies which is normal if you know they may occur you can be ready. I agree do not coddle them it makes them think they are doing the right thing. Just act normal they will learn to act normal too. Good Luck
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I'd personally get a good trainer to help me. She's not off the charts unfixable abnormal, but I do see some areas where if she was mine I'd be concerned. If she is crouching down to meet people (even if it's just men), I would NOT force the issue. Instead I'd desensitize and countercondition by being far enough away she is fine. The first few times she may not even interact with the person she's leery of. All rewards would come from me and I'd ask the "scary" person to ignore her (no talking, no eye contact). I'd practice walking by, turning and going the other direction sometimes. I'd do this same exact thing with anything scary. A good trainer could walk you through how to do it in just a few lessons.

Normal happy confident puppies typically don't do these things to that extent. I have a 4 month old Vizsla puppy at my house I'd never met. Owner stayed for 15 minutes and then had to get back to the Bay Area to catch a flight. He's even had a crazy big loud construction worker come into the yard (hubby's friend) and surprise me and the dogs and he hasn't had an issue. He does startle to sounds and I think that's normal. What I want to see is how dogs recover? can they recover?

All that being said, it sounds like a very workable situation though.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
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i agree with not reacting yourself, when Caes was about 12 weeks we had a chopsaw going in the back garden and a bit of work, now you can put the hoover next too him, he doesnt react to builders or anything, he was more interested in what was going on when drilling and that was happening rather than running, i suppose he had a headstart and saw us using the tools so it was never threatening to him
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
Remember that you should be stopping and treating BEFORE she freaks. Stop at a good distance away, treat her if she's calm. Approach a bit closer, treat or praise calmness again. You should remain matter of fact and calm yourself.
If you go too fast at this stage and she freaks out, it's almost like you have to start all over again. Being pushed too much, too fast, will just reinforce her fear. Watch her body language closely and do your best not to push her over her threshold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adara View Post
I'd personally get a good trainer to help me. She's not off the charts unfixable abnormal, but I do see some areas where if she was mine I'd be concerned. If she is crouching down to meet people (even if it's just men), I would NOT force the issue. Instead I'd desensitize and countercondition by being far enough away she is fine. The first few times she may not even interact with the person she's leery of. All rewards would come from me and I'd ask the "scary" person to ignore her (no talking, no eye contact). I'd practice walking by, turning and going the other direction sometimes. I'd do this same exact thing with anything scary. A good trainer could walk you through how to do it in just a few lessons.

Normal happy confident puppies typically don't do these things to that extent. I have a 4 month old Vizsla puppy at my house I'd never met. Owner stayed for 15 minutes and then had to get back to the Bay Area to catch a flight. He's even had a crazy big loud construction worker come into the yard (hubby's friend) and surprise me and the dogs and he hasn't had an issue. He does startle to sounds and I think that's normal. What I want to see is how dogs recover? can they recover?

All that being said, it sounds like a very workable situation though.
What happened in your case was there was teaching moment when you got the first heavy attention moment. That should have been rewarded as a "look at that" event, and then moved away. What you did was get your puppy over the coping threshold and after that it is all reactivity and no thought coming from the pup. You need to work with your pup below the threshold of fear and gradually shorten the distance between pup and object drawing such attention. Slow process using treats and rewarding good behavior. Don't let the pup go over threshold - be alert now that you know what to look for - don't coddle but don't force the issue with something new or scary - gradually improve the distance and tolerance.

People expect our sensitive and alert dobermans to be bomb-proof - well, not all of them are and some are more sensitive than others same as some are more alert than others. You will need to modify your behavior with you dog always.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Interesting post. I have the exact opposite problem. Our boy is so use to loud noises and everything else that comes with 3 boys under 10 years old no noise spokes him. On walks any noise he hears he wants to go investigate. Makes walks absolutely brutal at times. Treats won't even get his attention. I norm all will just stand there like a tree until he decides he wants to move on. Constantly praising when we are moving forward. What to do lol?
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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[quote=vivienne00;1213197]What happened in your case was there was teaching moment when you got the first heavy attention moment. That should have been rewarded as a "look at that" event, and then moved away. What you did was get your puppy over the coping threshold and after that it is all reactivity and no thought coming from the pup. You need to work with your pup below the threshold of fear and gradually shorten the distance between pup and object drawing such attention. Slow process using treats and rewarding good behavior. Don't let the pup go over threshold - be alert now that you know what to look for - don't coddle but don't force the issue with something new or scary - gradually improve the distance and tolerance.

I used your advice today. A neighbor ( I assume) put a grill cover at my garage door perhaps thinking it was mine. We have had heavy winds for two days and I guess this cover blew off of someones grill. When we went outside, Jazzy noticed it and immediately backed up. I didn't push the issue. I just said what's that? She would make a step towards it and then stop. We stayed out about 15 minutes and she would get a little closer but not all the way there. I just remained nonchalant and didn't push. We went back inside for awhile and when we came out later, the first thing she looked at was that cover. She was a little more confident and finally just trotted up to it and sniffed. I gave her treats. I will definitely use the "what's that" to encourage her to investigate and not be fearful. I won't leave home without my treats. I really appreciate everyone taking an interest in our situation. So nice to have a site where you can talk to others about this wonderful breed and get help when you need it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bluedobie View Post
I used your advice today. A neighbor ( I assume) put a grill cover at my garage door perhaps thinking it was mine. We have had heavy winds for two days and I guess this cover blew off of someones grill. When we went outside, Jazzy noticed it and immediately backed up. I didn't push the issue. I just said what's that? She would make a step towards it and then stop. We stayed out about 15 minutes and she would get a little closer but not all the way there. I just remained nonchalant and didn't push. We went back inside for awhile and when we came out later, the first thing she looked at was that cover. She was a little more confident and finally just trotted up to it and sniffed. I gave her treats. I will definitely use the "what's that" to encourage her to investigate and not be fearful. I won't leave home without my treats. I really appreciate everyone taking an interest in our situation. So nice to have a site where you can talk to others about this wonderful breed and get help when you need it.
Thank you - you made my day splendid! You will be a great trainer for your girl.

The "look at that!" game from Control Unleashed is used for dogs who get scared by new things. What the goal is with that version is to encourage the dog to look at the those things that startle them and then swivel quickly back to the handler to get a treat. In that sort of situation, e.g. when a child is riding a skateboard on your street and your dog freaks out, you want the dog to look at what was freaking them (while they are under threshold i.e. you move back a bit until the dog settles) click with a clicker or say "yes!', and then offer a treat. This will train the dog to look at things but not fixate because as soon as you say "Look at that!" they look, you click or say "yes!", then she turns to you for a treat. It helps them to get more accustomed to weird things.

What you did was similar, but was more about allowing the dog to get braver and, in her own time, go up to the strange object and check it out. This object was stationary and not changing its position constantly, so what you did was ideal. So you may want to train the "Look at that!" response of having her turn to you and give you eye contact so you can reassure her that she did a good thing looking at it (give a treat) and then you can keep advancing, slowly, as she gets more curious. We use a clicker or a specific word like "yes!' to mark the desired behavior.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Bluedobie - no long term harm done IMO, but now you know the fear trigger, not to avoid, but to proceed slower with caution & project confidence.
- while you remain very calm and most positive, or else Jazzy will read you, and her tension will build up

Our puppy Kelly (now 16 weeks old) barked at two neighbor men and children, so from a distance I told her it was OK in a sweet/happy/positive voice.
Now the men she runs up to with tail wagging and the kids next door she started to taunt them to play with her today.
I instruct them to make loud foot step noises, move ahead 2 feet and retreat back 2 feet...so the puppy is always winning and now its more fun games.

Kelly tried to get car sick if we didn't hold her. So I fed her a kibble meal in the SUV and played with her toys on the front seat once (Dad just standing in the driveway). She is 10x better than what she was a month ago.
If I drive alone with the pup by my side, I pet her with one hand and have a conversation with her...saying "Kelly is a good girl".
Driving as a family, I still hold her...may be considered wrong, but it has worked to keep lowering her threshold of anxiety...little by little without puking - every week she gets closer to being cured of the car ride blues

************************************************** ************************************************** ***********

THE CANINE BEHAVIOR SERIES, By Kathy Diamond Davis, Date Published: 1/18/2004 1:24:00 PM

How to Help Your Dog Overcome It

Dogs can develop fear of any person, place or thing. Considering that the same thing happens in humans, this isn't surprising.

Dogs inherit their temperaments from the dogs who make up the family tree. A confident mom and dad don't guarantee confident offspring, though, since dogs further back in the bloodline may have planted genetic surprises that hide for a generation or even a few generations. Dogs have less reasoning ability to overcome their "hardwired" genetic behaviors than humans do, so a poor genetic temperament can be difficult or even impossible to overcome.

Physical health plays a major role in dog temperament, too. Unable to explain that something hurts, a dog will try to avoid that painful situation. Some dogs do this by moving away if they are free to do so, but these dogs as well as the more assertive types may react aggressively to ward off something they know from experience is going to hurt. With any fearful or aggressive dog behavior, medical issues are the first thing to consider.

Once a dog has begun to react with fear, correcting the original trigger of the behavior is not always enough to change the dog's habit of reacting that way. The earlier you intervene, the better your chances of relieving the fear. Recovery is faster when you start rehabilitating the fear sooner. In fact if you work through it immediately after the scary event happens, you may be able to alleviate the fear in just one session. In such a case you're dealing with a first impression rather than an established fear.

Don't count on this quick fix, though. Be prepared to continue helping the dog at a pace comfortable over the long haul for as long as it takes. Your patience and willingness to work through tiny steps will in and of itself take pressure off the dog and speed the process. Slower is literally faster when it comes to this type of work with your dog.

Prevention

Puppies who have the right early life experiences have the best chance of developing confident personalities that cope well with life and have the ability to bounce back from stresses. The temperament the puppy inherits from its ancestors will always be a limiting factor on just how healthy the personality can be. But the right handling will make the most of whatever strengths are there, and help to limit the problems from the dog's inherent temperament weaknesses.

Providing a puppy with the right early experiences is more complicated than it seems. Puppies can stoically endure events in their lives, apparently be fine, and then show serious fear reactions from those events as their defense drives emerge with maturity.

Yet keeping a puppy protected from any potential fear or stress doesn't work, either. Part of growing up to become confident is learning that scary things can have happy endings. Another part is learning that you can overcome something scary. On the other hand, puppies can get carried away in the enjoyment of overcoming and become aggressors.

Puppies who have too little stress in early life can grow up lacking the ability to handle stress. Puppies who have no frustrations can grow up unable to cope with frustration, and unable to take "no" for an answer. This can happen to pups who grow up in one-puppy litters with no littermates to compete with, and to pups removed from the mother dog prior to about 7 weeks of age.

Into every life, no matter how adorable, a little rain must fall. Otherwise the pup will not be equipped to cope with the inevitable storms of later life. This is not only tough on the people and other dogs who will have to cope with this dog later, but it can also set the dog up for stress and unhappiness in life. The right experiences give your pup the best chance of a full and happy life.

Puppy kindergarten classes have saved many a puppy and family from dire problems later. A good class will help the family find the right balance of taking the puppy out for positive experiences and setting limits for the puppy. Class can also teach the family the dog-handling and management skills to make it all work.

Puppies seem deceptively easy to rear. It's actually a sophisticated and potentially exhausting job to properly raise a puppy. The breed of dog is a factor in the degree of difficulty, as is the care that has been taken by the breeder. Good genetic decisions about the dogs in the bloodline combined with excellent handling in the puppy's earliest weeks are both critical factors in the dog your puppy will become.

For people not equipped or interested in raising puppies, plenty of dogs who are past this difficult and uncertain life stage need homes. Instead of "inheriting someone else's problems," as some tend to view adopting adult dogs, you are quite likely to find yourself blessed by the love and care someone has invested in the dog's early months. Either way, the dog's personality is much more evident and testable than is the future personality of a puppy.

Common Fears ------------> view link:

Sights and Sounds

Some dogs react fearfully to something that looks strange. Others are more reactive to things that sound strange. Sensitivities from one dog to another are largely rooted in the huge differences in how different dogs actually perceive the world. Dogs have been bred for such different tasks that their bodies are quite different from one another. Paying attention to your dog's reactions will help you learn what kinds of things are likely to cause your dog to react. Whatever the fear, the principles outlined below will help you work through it.

People

When a dog reacts fearfully to a man, people tend to jump to the conclusion that a man has abused the dog in the past. Possibly that is the case, but often it's a problem of lack of early social experience with men. Men, women, children, people wearing big hats, people in Halloween costumes and a wide variety of other human presentations can spook dogs who have not experienced that "style" of person before.

Of course, if there has been actual abuse or something has happened to frighten the dog in conjunction with that type of human, the dog's fears will go deeper. Either way, the treatment is basically the same. Don't let people force themselves on a fearful dog. In spite of hurt feelings on the part of the offended human, this process needs to be taken just as slowly as when dealing with any other fear.

Working Principles

With a severe fear that causes the dog to suffer, you need to enlist the help of a veterinary behavior specialist who can prescribe both the behavior modification protocol to deal with the fear as well as any indicated medication. When the fear places people in danger because the dog reacts aggressively, that's another case for in-person expert help.

Similarly, get help quickly with an extremely fearful puppy. The right intervention can do so much more for a puppy during early development than if you let this opportunity pass and the habit of fear to become stronger with time.

Whether working on your own or with the help of a specialist, the following principles are typically part of working through a dog's fear:

1. Have a veterinarian examine the dog and perform any indicated tests to diagnose problems that could be causing pain, sickness or disability. Work with the veterinarian to treat the problem and ease the dog's physical pain. Bring the dog back to the veterinarian regularly.

Don't assume that a problem brought under control at one point will never need further treatment. Make any indicated changes in treatment to keep the dog comfortable.

This requires detective work! Dogs have a survival instinct to hide their pain, because an animal showing weakness in the wild gets killed. Look hard for possible physical problems, rather than expecting the dog to cry out in pain or otherwise "tell you."

2. Assess the problem:
a. Do you know of an event that started the fear?
b. Is the thing the dog fears actually dangerous and/or likely to cause pain to the dog? How are you going to keep your dog safe?
c. Are people or other animals being placed in danger by the dog's behavior and if so, how are you going to put a stop to that danger right now?
d. How can you protect the dog from experiencing this fear while you work through the behavior modification steps?
e. Is it necessary for the dog to cope with this situation, or could things reasonably be managed to simply keep the dog away from it from now on?
f. If you determine it's better to protect your dog from this situation rather than trying to treat the fear, give the dog time to get used to your new plan. Chances are you'll be surprised to see how much happier your dog becomes.

3. To treat the fear, plan the steps for conditioning your dog gradually to the feared thing. Plan how you are going to start at a DISTANCE from the feared thing, with it functioning at a low INTENSITY for periods of short DURATION. Plan how you will, over time, gradually reduce the distance, increase the intensity, and expose the dog to the feared thing for periods of longer duration. Plan how you will increase one variable at a time.

4. Determine what things this dog finds rewarding. For the greatest chance of success, you'll want to use as many of them as possible. Incentives include: food treats the dog likes, food treats the dog goes crazy for, regular meals, retrieving, games with you the dog enjoys playing, special toys reserved for special times, "happy-timing" the dog with a jolly attitude (using excited voice and body language to convey to the dog that is a happy thing), privileges such as a walk or ride in the car, and anything else THIS dog likes.

If you can't come up with anything your dog finds rewarding, developing these motivators is your first training goal! You may need the help of a behavior specialist or trainer. One option is to break the dog's daily food into more, smaller meals. Some or even all of the food can be fed by hand, depending on what works best for your conditioning program.

5. Discontinue all exposure of the dog to the feared thing. Start your conditioning program at the distance, intensity and duration where your dog happily accepts rewards. Advance very slowly toward your goal of having the dog comfortable with the feared thing so that the dog will be able to function happily around it in the future. Be patient and take as long as needed to avoid pushing the dog too fast. If you trigger the dog's fear during this process, that's a big setback, so keep the progress slow enough to avoid that.

6. Reward your dog at times the dog is showing confidence. Avoid rewarding fearfulness. Certainly don't punish the dog for acting fearful! Just give the rewards at the moments when you see in your dog the state of mind that is your goal.

It Works!

Chances are good that at some point with every dog you'll have the opportunity help the dog overcome a fear. Some dogs go through most of their lives with barely an apprehensive moment, and then get hit hard in old age when their bodies begin to fail and they don't know how to cope. Now you know how to help your dog develop the ability to cope, at any age.
__________________
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivienne00 View Post
Thank you - you made my day splendid! You will be a great trainer for your girl.

The "look at that!" game from Control Unleashed is used for dogs who get scared by new things. What the goal is with that version is to encourage the dog to look at the those things that startle them and then swivel quickly back to the handler to get a treat. In that sort of situation, e.g. when a child is riding a skateboard on your street and your dog freaks out, you want the dog to look at what was freaking them (while they are under threshold i.e. you move back a bit until the dog settles) click with a clicker or say "yes!', and then offer a treat. This will train the dog to look at things but not fixate because as soon as you say "Look at that!" they look, you click or say "yes!", then she turns to you for a treat. It helps them to get more accustomed to weird things.

What you did was similar, but was more about allowing the dog to get braver and, in her own time, go up to the strange object and check it out. This object was stationary and not changing its position constantly, so what you did was ideal. So you may want to train the "Look at that!" response of having her turn to you and give you eye contact so you can reassure her that she did a good thing looking at it (give a treat) and then you can keep advancing, slowly, as she gets more curious. We use a clicker or a specific word like "yes!' to mark the desired behavior.
Thank you so much for adding this information. I have been working with Jazzy using the clicker, so we should be able to do this with no problem. It seems that Jazzy notices everything and I'm surprised at the number of things that make her pause. Anything she hears out of the ordinary will cause her to stop in our walks. Sometimes she will stare at something that I have no idea that she is looking at. She will also growl at this "something" as well. She will stand still and it appears she is processing and then she will continue. Most of the time it is just a very short pause, but other times she will actually back away from "whatever" and I'll say "let's go" and most always she will then go. To give you an example, as we were nearing a neighbors house, their garage door went up and the neighbor brought out their garbage container to the curb. She stopped and watched. She did not move the entire time, but she didn't back away either. Only after he went back in would she move. She gave the container a wide berth but did continue walking. Another example is that she seems to be bothered a lot from strong wind. It causes things to move a lot and this bothers her. I have a Japanese Yew on each corner of my garage door and i guess when the wind blows, she might think it's a person? Not really sure what is going on in her head. I think with the information you added, I will be better armed to getting her used to anything that causes her angst. Thank you for taking the time to help me and Jazzy. I know that I really need to work with her on this so that she will grow into a confidant adult.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:22 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
Bluedobie - no long term harm done IMO, but now you know the fear trigger, not to avoid, but to proceed slower with caution & project confidence.
- while you remain very calm and most positive, or else Jazzy will read you, and her tension will build up


************************************************** ************************************************** ***********

THE CANINE BEHAVIOR SERIES, By Kathy Diamond Davis, Date Published: 1/18/2004 1:24:00 PM

How to Help Your Dog Overcome It



It Works!

.
Thank you so much for adding this. I definitely will read this. I've been a GM in a bookstore for the last 22 years and I am a big reader! What you posted makes a lot of sense. Jazzy is both sound and sight reactive, so we have our work cut out for us!
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:50 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bluedobie View Post
Thank you so much for adding this. I definitely will read this. I've been a GM in a bookstore for the last 22 years and I am a big reader! What you posted makes a lot of sense. Jazzy is both sound and sight reactive, so we have our work cut out for us!
Just to add, and give you more to think about Bluedobie:

Sound and sight awareness and not reactive, I view as a big plus / so if you turn it around (elimate fear), left with a dog that studies & filters much.
If my pup picks up a noise, voice, light or movement across the road, she often sits pretty at the end of the driveway or lawn and fixate on it.
But I am fueling my OK body language and using the pitch of my voice to comfort her and praise her intuition of perfectly normal.
- encouraging the unknown, even under the dark of night, when out for a potty break

I also puppy voice train all potty breaks and outside play (on our property) - all off-leash, from the first day home.
At 4 months old, Kelly rarely has a leash on and we have yet to walk down the street...perimeter training to stay off our dead-end road, is more important to me. The on-leash, some street walking and more formal puppy OB training will start later (here).
- building fundamentals initially...in more of a reverse Engineering model (aka somewhat backwards...lol) is what I practice
My main focus is to get the dobe pup to listen to me good off-leash first while build and grow our bond together, so I can develop her respect & confidence in me to freely follow my lead & direction (if needed), both in command training and looking up (clueing in) for my assestment of the new situation at hand.
- than potential puppy fear, I should be able to displace it through my touch, voice sound & lead role / adult period ahead, should be full confidence
__________________
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:15 PM   #22 (permalink)
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If my pup picks up a noise, voice, light or movement across the road, she often sits pretty at the end of the driveway or lawn and fixate on it.
Jazzy does this exact same thing. Maybe I am mistaking her fixating on something, as fear. As I said, certain times she will back up, but not a lot. A lot of the times when she has "fixated" on something, she will want to move towards it.

You mention training off leash. I can't seem to get her to focus on me. We do have regular training sessions for basic commands and she is doing well. She is so energetic that our training gets interrupted by zoomies, chew on the rope, grab the toy etc. Tonight was the first night I have been able to get her to focus for any length of time. It is just me here in the home and I also work. When I get home I take her out to potty and then we will go for a walk so she can stretch her legs while the cats are eating. We come back and then she has her supper and shortly after another potty break. After all of this is when she seems to go bat crazy. What do you suggest for getting some of her puppy energy out so that she can focus better? I don't have a fenced yard yet, but will be getting one hopefully by the end of January. I figure that then she can run unrestrained and maybe release her pent up energy and will be more receptive to training. She does not always come when called but has gotten better than she was when I first got her. There is no way I could let her off leash. I didn't get her until she was already 12 weeks old and that may be part of it, or more than likely it is me. I really really appreciate all the advice and the time you guys have given me.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Your post #1 of Jazzy near the construction site...sounded like some puppy fear present.
However - her stares, pause and some growling, in post #19 explanation, seems more puppy normal...without tending to back up & retreat, if holding ground.
- my 4 month old Kelly will stare, pause and growling when she suspects something out of the ordinary and I encourage it some, when I see it start

I am not suggesting everyone/others off-leash train puppies, in the early period - for obvious safety reasons.
- however, the shared story of my dober experiences, does offer a different than normal perspective to analyse some

I got our latest puppy at 9.5 weeks old, and at that age...really how fast can they run off...he-he...and our lot is only fenced on 3 sides.
- so I use their littleness, and lack of speed to off-leash voice train, from day1
- I concentrate to get the pup to willingly follow me into the house freely off-leash, after potty...#1
- early leash walks or beginner commands like "sit/stay/down" I don't even focus on...nore short walks around the block
- inside the home, its constant supervision to manage the chewing, and pup learns what is acceptable and the off-limit rules are taught

Our pup was a "little spit fire" with zoomies...and it took me 4 straight weeks, to harness the energy some.
- and turn the "I will do what I want & when I want" into more of a mutual buddy system
At 16 weeks old, Kelly is becoming a much easier dog, the exhausting foundation is now present...focus is clearly building.
- just a few days ago, I said the hand biting will STOP today...and with next to little effort, it did almost ASAP

When you get your yard fenced in January, you can paractice the off-leash with Jazzy...sounds great.
Training starts with every outside visit, and only potty treat after your girl sucessfully follows you into the kitchen...don't treat outside, on this one.

Bluedobie - Some more reading (aka Beaumont Theory) to share:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
I have always preached, "you can't fix, what you can't see"...and the first ~2-4 months of puppy ownership is the most critical period, for establishing a well mannered dog more, that clearly understands all house rules and the owners overall expectations.

My previous dobe and now my current puppy were both supervised 24/7 while someone was home...the crate was used only when we went to work, but when someone is around, the young dobe is always close by...and learning much, through the humans giving of time.
If I go to the restroom, the pup comes with me and its voice taught to leave the garage can alone.
When I am in the shower for 10 minutes, the pup now waits...lying on a comforter in the hallway...and at 16 weeks old now...is trained to rest and not chew the soft blanket bed, till I get out of the shower.
When the wife is cooking, their is a thick mat for the pup to play with toys on, under the kitchen sink.
More soft blankets on the floor, beside the computer station...we always know where our pup is, and she is constantly watched to stay out of trouble.
When we sleep, the pup is between us (on the master bed) and for the first 10 minutes Dad rests his hand on the puppy and control her chewing to leave the blankets alone and she soon falls asleep.
^^^^ All of which, show many puppy improvements weekly (here).

My last dobe was an angel in the house at only 4.5 months young unsupervised with full access to absolutely everything.
- no crate or baby gates in the home needed
My new puppy could be ready by 6 months old (goal) or slightly longer, only time will tell.
- but the house manners start with much supervision very early on, and every new day is a fun bonding and learning experience

^^^^ I even buy into the theory, that doberteens can be avoided...if much structure & attention is afforded, in the early days/weeks/months.
Maybe a bit extreme, for some...but proven results, can speak for themselves !!
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:12 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
- just a few days ago, I said the hand biting will STOP today...and with next to little effort, it did almost ASAP
How did you handle this? I have read many posts on this subject and I also read the "bite inhibition". When I first got her, she was very mouthy. It stopped for a bit, but the last 2 days she has decided I am her chew toy. I did what others suggested and yelled "ouch", but that only seemed to cause her to bite harder. I've been trying to be consistent with the tone of voice in my "no" command, but even I can hear the difference as I know she does. If my "no" is too loud or the least bit frantic, she pays absolutely no attention. I have read where others let their dogs bite and then redirect. Jazzy seems to have a one track mind and the redirect with the correct chew toy lasts for about 5 seconds. I know every do g is different, so last night I tried just removing myself when she was either chewing on me or her new bed, I did it 6 times in a row (leaving her in the computer room). She can't stand for me to leave her and every time I come back in she is waiting at the door. I'm hoping with consistency, this will work, but I am open to any suggestions. Thanks again for your reply.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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^^^^ Bluedobie - additionally, please study this thread, on bite inhibition: feisty.bugger
- I also believe that once I can control my pups outside movements (off-leash) with my presence and the power of my voice, it becomes much easier when my words finally hold more meaning, in the pups eyes.
(example: lets go to front lawn / stay off the dead end road / return from the neighbors front lawn / lets go to the back yard / lets go inside now)
- so if I say STOP now (after a month of puppy ownership), it begins to happen and quickly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
^^^^ Below is what I do with a young puppy...supervise literally 24/7 initially...a good variety of toys & naming them also helps.

****************************************
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 .... bite inhibition:
I teach my young puppy to bite me first...if biting my hand has little or no consequence, they effectively slow down on hard biting.
And show them that their biting has absolutely zero effect on hurting me, I am their super human in strength.
As a husband I do this with the new pup, so my wife does not have to go through the pain of getting bit hard.

With a pup, I slide 2 fingers behind the dogs back teeth molars, between their softer gum area, and let the dog have an initial hay-day clamping down on me as hard as possible for them.
I am just sitting there, calm & cool as a "cucumber"...just talking in a nice soft normal voice.
- the dog quickly things, WTF...this person has strength and leadership that I need to respect (he just proved it), moving forward...much like the qualities my dober mom had
- since I can't hurt this owners human hand, its not much fun any longer...pup thinks, just reminding me of my weakness
Early soft bite training and muzzle playing, at the youngest age works fast and when the dobe matures with a bite strength of 2000/sq. inch. - they never show it off with loved ones or ever realize the strength they grow into / instead remember the early biting, they could never conquer...and never will.

I also bait the dobe with the tip of my index finger (in fun), to get snapped at (over & over), and laugh my head off, when their mouth is snapping shut on thin air...again, pup just learned, this owner is fun and impossible to ever overtake.

I call my bite work "fight night" and often will do some while settling in the master bed together, for a few minutes.
Even my son's little YorkiePoo will soft bite my hand, when I wake up...I taught him these games to.
I also play lots of tug, and the dogs always wins...while they figure out, Dad let them win eventually (building drive, much eye focus in fun).
- so I do a multiple of play game, to teach acceptable & fun controlled mouthing / that is why I don't avoid, ignore &/or redirect
- I change the behavior in the real bite (when first displayed), and results are speedy and most effective, for the life of the dog
(obviously, easier to do the above, from day1 with a puppy...instead of after it gets big & strong)
With practice - Dogs can learn "you don't bite the hand that feeds them !!
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Last edited by Beaumont67; 12-31-2012 at 09:00 PM..
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