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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I don't post here a lot, but I read this forum all the time. I hope someone can help me with this problem.

My Dobe (Sergie) is acting afraid of me. I have no idea why, we used to play around all the time, and he seemed to have a lot of fun. Know if I make a sudden movement he runs to his crate. If I was an outsider looking in, I would think he was beaten. I want to make it clear I have never beaten him, never will.

He does not act this way with my wife or my 9 year old boy, just me. The only thing I can think of is we were playing outside in the yard playing chase. I twisted my ankle pretty bad and fell down (had to crawl into the house) and he was looking at me like he wanted to know why I stopped playing with him. Could this have caused his odd behavior? If not can anyone think of why he is acting this way? And what can I do to get him back to normal? He still comes around to get pet, still sits on my foot, still goes out for walks, and eats normal. It’s just the sudden movement that cause him to run away scared.

Thanks for any insight.
 

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was he adopted? cause maybe something happend in his past and maybe something you did just triggered the fear again....
Maybe he is afraid of adult males now? have you left him alone with any male friends that might have hurt him in any way?

...other than that...I don't know...my lab mix coco was adopted and he must have had a bad situation with abuse...so he is afraid of strangers...sudden movements...the list goes on...and I know how you feel...we use to take him to the petstore with duchess when we first got him cause he wasn't fear aggressive yet...and he would walk around in a crouching manner...whip his head around at things behind him and especially since we adopted him...i feel the need to make sure people know it wasnt me or my family who did this to him.
im not sure though...hopefully he gets over it...could it be that you look different? shoes you wear...sunglasses...a hat...etc...
 

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I am curious how you reacted when you twisted your ankle. Did you scream and or make any kind of commotion? I know I would have!!!! Twisting an ankle is sudden and the pain shoots fast and the reaction may have startled him and now when he see's a sudden movement he may be expecting a reaction. Possibly somewhere in his mind he thinks he did something? I don't know, other than the senario I just laid out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He has been with me since he was 8 weeks old. He is now 16 months old. I have not left him with anyone for quite a few months. When I twisted my angle I may have yelled an obscenity or two, but no sudden moment besides falling to the ground. I didn't yell at him or anything. I love Dobe's a lot, but I also wanted him as a deterrent to some one wanting to break into my house. But I'm afraid if someone did break in Sergie would just let them. He his so docile with people. He is a great family dog and I'm happy about that, I just wish he would be a little more protective also. But we love him no matter what he acts like. I just hope he get over whatever is making him scared of me. Thanks for the replies.
 

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Just a quick story -
Dobes often get more protective as they mature. Our male didn't have his protective instincts really come out until around 18 months old. The older he became, the more mature and protective he became as well on his own naturally. We didn't teach him protection and he was never treated badly by people at any point in his life, but one day he just became protective seemingly out of nowhere when being protective was appropriate.
Some are protective from a much earlier age and stay that way throughout their lives.

But sometimes some Dobes just aren't protective ever in their lives.
 

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pitpens said:
I love Dobe's a lot, but I also wanted him as a deterrent to some one wanting to break into my house. But I'm afraid if someone did break in Sergie would just let them. He his so docile with people. He is a great family dog and I'm happy about that, I just wish he would be a little more protective also.
Don't worry too much about him protecting the house, he will rise to the occasion if needed. My Alex is very friendly with people and other dogs but I am confident he would protect us. ANy dog would be a good deterrent and protect you and your family, just keep giving him your love and attention, he may be going through a phase. When Suzy was a little puppy she would growl at the ceiling fan in the kitchen. Then she went through this period for a few months where for no reason she would not even enter the kitchen if it was turned on, she was scared to death of it. I don't know why. But then she got over it as quickly as it began.
 

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We always figured Tucker would just be his usual goofy self if someone ever tried to get into the house
Boy were we WRONG!

Back story...my hubby hurt himself badly at work back in October. I loaded the kids in the car and we drove 2 hours to the hospital they had him at in north NJ (traffic around here is so lovely - NOT!) I called two VERY close friends of ours, people Tucker knows very well and adores when they come over for a visit. These were people that have been in our home a lot since he's been with us. One of them has even spent a good bit of time crashed on our couch LOL
Both people attempted to enter the house to let him out so he could do his business. He wanted no part of it.
The one person - our couch sleeper - was allowed into the house but not past the kitchen where the entry way is... Tuck stood his ground and got very defensive very quickly
The other person couldn't get past barely opening the door to get in. Tuck stood there in full guard posture growling at her through the door.

We honestly didn't think he'd ever react this way, specially with those two, but he did. He takes his job very seriously I think
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can get over the protective thing, but I really do hope it comes with age. It’s a great thing to have a good dog that will also protect my wife and kid when I have to travel for work.

I just hope he gets over being scared of me; I love him and would like to be able to play around with him. Thanks again for all the advice.
 

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What do you consider a "sudden movement"? A sudden movement toward him, playing......or like randomly getting out of a chair unexpectedly?
 

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I would suggest give him treats and pet him. Move slowly. Sit down on the ground. Treats in hand, dont be nervous. Just be natural, warm and loving. Try to let him come to you. Toss treats near you. Give him a toy. Be the one that feeds him. Let me know how it goes.
 

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This could be wrong, but i thought it may be relevant.

My grandpa has a deep and loud voice. He loves King, gives him treats, trys to play with him, but King just would not go to him anymore. My grandpa has never raised a hand to king, never yelled at him yet King was afraid of him. I ended up telling my grandpa to lower his voice and try to talk softly to him. And what do you know, King started coming around.

I hope that helps.
 

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ideas about your scared boy.

I have noticed with my 4 y/o dobe similar behaviors which eventually( with a little coaxing and trust) seem to resolve. Rufus is my 1st dobe and I have had him since he was 10 weeks. I have noted that he is by far the most SENSITIVE animal I have ever owned. Certain things will produce some "avoidance" behavior with him, but I try to minimize the situation and NOT cottle him and it seems to resolve. Your boy probably got frightened when you fell and misinterpreted your yelling in pain as yelling at him. Have you tried something simple like some hotdog bits and his favorite toy to coax him to you for some fun again? He needs to make the connection of you and fun again. If Rufus seems anxious about something, I'll usually try to fluf it off and let him know it's no big deal, he seems to follow my lead.
I'm certainly not an expert but I hope this helps.
 

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Have you been back playing chase again or is your ankle still hurt. If he thinks he hurt you and you are no longer playing the game it is telling him you are angry about it. When you fell did he come to nuzzle and check up on you? I play rough with GKar all the time and occasionally get nipped or knocked down and he will always come to see if I am ok or if he hurt me. I think your dog will get over it if things are back to normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I found out what was the problem, next door neighbors dog has been in heat. His hormones were just acting up. He is back to playing normal with me and the family. I'm very happy; I really thought something was wrong there. Thanks for all the advice you guys give me.
 
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