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 Post subject: Scared of certain people/dogs?
PostPosted: 27 Jul 2016, 12:30 
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Joined: 13 Jul 2016, 08:50
Posts: 15
Hello,

Two days in and I've already discovered what I think will be our biggest Logan problem :roll: He is very gentle around me and my mum; coming up for cuddles, greeting us in the morning, flopping down to sleep next to our feet. He isn't so good around other people. So far he's met 3 of our neighbours, a friend of mine, a friend of my mums, two men who came to clean the garden, the carpenter, the vet, my grandparents, my uncle, and my uncle's dog and neighbours dogs. Some people he's fine with; he liked my friend and my mum's friend a lot and happily played and cuddled with them for quite a while. However he seems nervous of everyone else; he either come and sniff them and then back away, or just bark a lot and back away (it isn't just one bark, it's a volley of them as he tries to get away). He seems ok with women, or people who look like women; he doesn't like men very much.

He didn't like my uncles dog or my neighbours dogs at first, and happen and barked and sometimes growled at them. When he was introduced to my uncles dog with me holding him at first and then slowly placing him on the ground though, he was fine and seemed happy to follow the other dog around the house and getting to know him.

I've decided from now on I'm going to tell people not to try and stroke him until he comes up to them first; I gave my friend some treats to throw in his direction which worked well because he came scampering right up after that. I think Logan may be quite a nervous dog, and quite shy and reserved; I don't want to change his personality if he's shy and slightly reserved, and he doesn't have to be the most sociable puppy around, but I'm not going to put up with him barking so loudly and uncontrollably at people or other dogs when they first meet. I have horrible images of him becoming aggressive when he's older so I want to nip this behaviour in the bud and teach him how to greet strangers politely. When we met his mother she barked a lot when someone knocked at the door but then came up to have some strokes and was very gentle with whoever was there, so I'm okay with the barking as long as it's just to tell us someone new has come in and not out of fear.

I just want to help him and get him comfortable around strangers. I'm also a bit concerned as to how to socialize him effeciently whilst not overwhelming him either. We're booked into puppy classes for a few weeks time but I'm worried how he might react to the other puppies. This morning I found a video of different dogs barking on YouTube and played it for him, giving him a treat whenever he was quiet; he was pretty ok with the first half of the video, but refused the treats and ran and hid when the barking got a bit louder; so considering how loud puppy classes will probably be, I am quite worried.

Has anyone else experienced this problem or has any suggestions? Thank you :D


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 Post subject: Re: Scared of certain people/dogs?
PostPosted: 27 Jul 2016, 14:53 
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Joined: 13 Jul 2016, 08:50
Posts: 15
Just saw the carpenter again and Logan was very gentle with him, no barking, just a cautious sniff of his boots and then following him the moment he left the room. I feel bad for overreacting now and immediately assuming I had an aggressive puppy :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Scared of certain people/dogs?
PostPosted: 27 Jul 2016, 15:02 
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Joined: 22 Aug 2013, 20:05
Posts: 478
It's early days and you are being very sensitive to Logan's needs.
Out Dude was( is) a sensitive doodle. He's 3now, but as a tiny pup( not so tiny!) he was wary of people. I would have described him as a shy puppy. He was never brave enough to bark at people, instead he would hide behind my legs!
When we brought him home he wouldn't even come to us for cuddles at first. He was one in a litter of eleven. The breeder was lovely and refused several people who wanted him because she felt he needed a quiet family.
We took him to puppy classes and much to my surprise he was fine! He didn't mix much with the other pups but was happy to sit by me and he learnt quickly.
Regarding visitors, I would tell them to let Logan come up to them in his own time. As regards the barking, it's because he's uncertain. He needs to learn that you are in charge and you will take control of the situation( so that he doesn't need to) We found Dude prefers visitors when they came and sat down. Also giving them a treat to give him helps.
It's very early days. A shy pup takes a bit more work but the rewards are worth it. Anny


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 Post subject: Re: Scared of certain people/dogs?
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2016, 00:15 
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Joined: 03 Nov 2006, 20:30
Posts: 18701
Location: South Dorset
That's a lot to deal with when you've just left home! Socialising is very important, but only if it consists of positive experiences. Personally I would let your pup settle in first - get those important vet visits out of the way, and start introducing people and things gradually, and one at a time.

If you think he is sensitive, I would ask new people not to loom over the pup but to squat down and approach at his level, and when people want to stroke him, ask them not to pass their hands over his head, but to rub his chest or start with his shoulders, and no staring face to face. You are right tp let him approach people rather than them coming to him too.

With dogs, be aware that when dogs are worried about other dogs, they have 2 options - fight or flight. If you are holding your dog you take away one of those options! If possible it is much easier for your pup if he can greet other dogs off lead in a safe place, so he can choose whether to greet or walk away.

With greeting people, start straight away telling him what behaviour is acceptable - such as a sit. Start training a sit straight away, and then issue visitors with really tasty treats before they meet him, and tell them to ask for a sit before greeting him, and to offer a reward when he does. It is much easier to tell a pup what you want them to do, than it is to tell them not to do something!

Good luck - and don't forget to relax and enjoy your pup - he will grow up all to quickly!

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 Post subject: Re: Scared of certain people/dogs?
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2016, 09:43 
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Joined: 23 Jul 2014, 23:11
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Location: Aberdeenshire
Although I'm not involved in this thread, I'd just like to say that your advice, as always, is so invaluable Bid. This forum wouldn't be the same without you!

X

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 Post subject: Re: Scared of certain people/dogs?
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 18:12 
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Joined: 13 Jul 2016, 08:50
Posts: 15
Thanks a lot. Logan has met a few more people and dogs the past few days (including a child) and he still barks a bit at first, but then gets used to them. He enjoys barking at other dogs and then acting brave and tough by inviting them to play, so he might just be barking out of over excitement. I will continue to use the ideas found on this forum to make him feel more comfortable!


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 Post subject: Re: Scared of certain people/dogs?
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 20:30 
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Joined: 03 Nov 2006, 20:30
Posts: 18701
Location: South Dorset
Coco and Annie wrote:
Although I'm not involved in this thread, I'd just like to say that your advice, as always, is so invaluable Bid. This forum wouldn't be the same without you!

X


Awww - thank you!

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Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices - Byron


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 Post subject: Re: Scared of certain people/dogs?
PostPosted: 04 Aug 2016, 20:59 
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Joined: 13 Jul 2016, 08:50
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Quick update; Logan still isn't excellent when it comes to meeting new people/dogs, but he is getting better and we're very proud of him for doing so. A few times now strangers have come into the house and he's been fine with them-he hasn't been bounding all over them like most puppies do, but he'll give them a sniff and then lie down next to them playing with a toy, which is really good. He also met a second child and I gave him treats whenever she came near him or touched him so he would associate children with good things; he barked a bit when she came in, and growled at her once, which I wasn't standing for and seperated them immediately, but other than that seemed interested in what she was doing all the time. He also met the family's other two dogs, both quite old and big. One of them was strict with him; he'd let Logan come up to him but if Logan wanted to jump all over him or steal his food he'd get a growl. The other dog was way too nice to tell Logan off when he stepped out of line, bless him, he just slowly moved away and let me separate them myself. Logan did genuinely want to play with him though, and I think they're friends (I have a lovely picture of them lying next to eachother :) )
He is still barking and growling at a few people, though. Sometimes his tail wags a bit as he does so and I'm not sure what that means, if he's scared or angry or just playful. Is this normal for puppies to bark and growl at some strangers?


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