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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning I took Apollo out for a walk and one of our neighbors who is a police officer had his cruiser in the drive. As soon as we got near is Apollo hit the deck. ears back, tail down, and as low to the ground as he could get. I tried once to get him going past the car, but there was no way. when I tried to lead him across the street, he went with me no problem.

From what the rescue folks told us was that one of his previous owner was law enforcement, so I am thinking that there was a little more to the surrender story than him just breezing thru the invisible fence.

Anyway, I would like to help him get thru this. Being so close to DC we have a ton of local and federal law enforcement, and most of those folks keep their cruisers at home when they are off duty.

Any suggestions? he was so scared, I wanted to scoop him up but at just shy of 80 lbs. he is a tad too big.

thanks everybody
CArrie
 

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Well, the best you can do IMO is to set up a therapeutic situation for him several times a week, and let him approach at his own pace. If you force (which I realize you are avoiding but just for the info) him, then there is this big scary thing he is afraid of, and instead working him into the mind set that it isn't something to be afraid of, the coersion to approach and "get over it" will exacerbate the negative feelings he is already having and make your situation worse, not to mention give you an unhappy dog.

My best advice is to do LOTS of OB work at home and away from the police car, let him know you are the leader and in charge. Have him work for you so he is looking for your cues all the time. And incorporate that into your walks. When you are confident that HE is confident in you, as I said, set up therapy session with this neighbor (or if he is just afraid of the car standing idle, let your neighbor know that you will be working Apollo around his car) . And just work on how close you can go and maintain Apollo's attention and confidence. If his appearance takes on a hunkering or afraid pose, back him off. Don't coddle him "It's okay, momma loves you etc...." when he is upset, that just reinforces the afraid "state of mind". Take him farther away and keep him busy. Stop, sit, down, heel, sit, heel, etc.... when he is calm again, then praise him and repeat yourself working closer to the vehicle.

Don't spend to long on it. Gain some ground with a happy dog, and call it a day, end on a good note. Go back the next day :)

Best wishes
Jess
 

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Lexus said:
Take him farther away and keep him busy. Stop, sit, down, heel, sit, heel, etc.... when he is calm again, then praise him and repeat yourself working closer to the vehicle.

Don't spend to long on it. Gain some ground with a happy dog, and call it a day, end on a good note. Go back the next day :)

Best wishes
Jess
Oh Carrie, doesn't it just break your heart when this happens? We still find odd little things that will scare Jeddah.

Jess is spot on with her advice. We do exactly as Jess has suggested with Jeddah's desensitizing to other dogs. It's a slow process, but highly successful.

Just watch your back, and bend your knees when attempting to scoop up that 80 lb boy of yours. :)
 

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I know where you are coming from. Gracie is afraid of electrical cords. She would not cross one if the house was burning down. If there is food involved she still wouldn't cross it. So what I did was I would call her to me she would come so then I would free her. She would go grab a toy and as she did that I would put a cord down. When she came running to me with her toy she slid across the floor. So I stepped on the cord to try and "hide it" from her. She came all the way to me. I had her sit, (right on the cord) and down. She did once I moved my feet though she took off running. So I kept working with her. Now she will cross a cord when hubby or myself get home. Or if there is food or a toy involved. She won't cross one otherwise. She is still afraid, but not nearly as bad.

I am not sure if this will help you in anyway but I just wanted to post what I did. :) Please let us know how it goes with Apollo!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys, I appreciate the help. oddly enough the cruiser wasn't running it was parked. Jason and I had pretty much decided when we first got him, that we were not going to push him on much of anything - except the ususal housemanners - and gently work with him on OB. (we start calss in about 3 weeks, yay!). Since we really have no idea what went on before, we figured that there must have been something else that rescue was not told about, because is so sweet, so gentle, and generally behaves well I can't imagine why he would be given up. All I know is he is ours now.

BTW, he LOVES the snow! it is up to his chest and he was jumping off the deck into it and playing catch with snow balls and running around and having a ball. I tried to get some pics, but he was going so fast all I got was a couple of butt shots. I'll try again later when we have him out again.

thanks again for the advice, I really appreciate it and will keep you posted on his progress.

Carrie
 

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I agree with Lexus....Work on it for short periods of time with the goal of getting closer to the car. You might also want to include a few goodies as a reward each time you get closer. I have found that if they have their attention on you, those bad things are really not that bad. Also, he will learn you are his protector and not let anything bad happen to him. Becareful of not to console him too much when he gets scared, this might re-inforce a behavior that says its alright to be scared and I get attention this way. If he gets scared, move away from that and move on. Keep us posted...
 
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