Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Crying

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by JenDee, Aug 21, 2013.


  1. JenDee

    JenDee PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    I'm new to the forum and I'm after some much needed advice from any kind soul good enough to help me try and solve a problem please :)

    Here's some back ground, I have a two year old Staffordshire bull terrier bitch called Dee. When we got her as a pup we had another dog who was an old gent and 15yrs old. Benson the old boy was very obedient, walked off the lead and was very friendly, calm and nurturing especially to Dee when she arrived.

    They became inseparable, Benson was the pack leader and would occasionally put Dee in her place when she became a little over excited or boisterous as pups do. They played together, ate together, slept together and were walked together.

    With training, patience and Benson as a good influence Dee became well trained on the lead ( she walks to heel and rarely pulls)
    Sadly Benson died a couple of months ago :( and I think this has hit my younger dog Dee more than I originally thought.

    She is still well behaved, friendly, affectionate and obedient at home and in the garden but every time I now walk her she constantly cries if I stop to either talk to some one, or if I am with the kids and they walk ahead or go out of sight (the crying escalates if she she can't see them), or if I stop for any reason.
    Her cry is high pitched, loud and draws a lot of attention from passers by, they must think I'm mistreating her from the noise she makes. She sometimes shakes whilst crying.

    I remain calm, assertive and I am very aware of my body language. I have tried several things now to no avail and the problem has now started to get worse as today she started to cry whilst walking :(
    She is in good health, there is no problem with her paws. I have tried waiting for her to stop crying before we continue to walk but it got to the point where I was standing with her for 15mins to 30mins at a time whilst she squealed and cried continuously. I have tried rewarding her with treats whilst out when she isn't crying but she has no interest in them and refuses to eat them. I've tried distraction methods but again this hasn't worked.

    I can't work out if her confidence has taken a knock or if she is anxious because she is now walked on her own and I really don't know what else to try. I hate seeing her get so worked up as it's not nice for her, me or other people who are out and about at the same time, they seem really apprehensive to approach us or walk past us, which to be fair I can understand why.

    If any one can kindly offer any advice on how to build her confidence or reduce her stress if it is this to help improve the problem it would be very much appreciated.
    Thanks for reading my post :biggrin:
     
  2. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    39,822
    Likes Received:
    10,365
    So sorry to hear that you have lost your other dog, always heartbreaking.

    If all the odd behaviour started when he died or very soon after it does sound like she was possibly dependant on him, and he gave her a lot of confidence. Dogs often wont take food or treats either if they are stressed or anxious usually.

    Is there any family or friends or other dog walkers who have dogs that are calm and non reactive she may like, who you can perhaps do some walks with inbetween and let her interact with them. it may help to start building her confidence again and she may learn by their example and with other dogs to walk and interact with some of the time it may help her as it would be canine company.

    Another suggestion maybe to take her to classes, you could have a chat to trainers before going and see what sort of classes they have available that may suite her and tell them the problems you are having. With the right class, it would give her some interaction too in a controlled environment with distractions and maybe help to start overcoming the problem.
    Welcome to APDT - Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK is one organisation that only uses kind fair reward based methods.

    If she is stressed and anxious when out, it makes it harder to do any re-training or try to change the behaviour as once they become stressed or anxious they are not receptive. You can get natural calmatives, Adaptil is a dog appeasing pheromone, you can get diffusers for the house, or collars for outside, it also comes in a spray that you can spray onto a bandana and put around their necks, you have to refresh the spray though where as the diffusers emit a continuous pheromone, you can get them at online pharmacies usually much cheaper then vets and pets at home. If you want to read more.
    Adaptil helps dogs and puppys learn settle travel and in kennels

    Zylkene comes in capsule form, its based on casein a protein found in milk, so again not a drug. You can also get that from vets and vet pharmacies on line,
    I usually get mine from Pet Medicine, Vet Prescriptions & Pet Food Cheaper Than Your Vet althought shop around you may get them cheaper still. You can get both zylkene and adaptil from the link.

    The watch me command can be good to get and keep focus, but you need to teach it as a training exercise before using it outside at home first. What treats do you use? Cheese, chicken, hotdogs, sausages or liver based treats are usually high value to dogs. You need to start by holding a treat in a position so she has to look up into your face and make eye contact, the second she does say watch me and treat, once she has got that, you can actually extend the time she has to keep focus, by after saying the watch me add a wait, before giving the treat, again when that's solid, you can extend the time between saying the watch me, the wait and actually giving the treat so she has to focus and concentrate longer. Once you have taught it solidly at home then try it outside but timing is important you need to do it before she really starts to get vocal before she gets too much into the behaviour.

    What is often good is the cheese spread in tubes you can get in different flavours. Usually once you have squeezed a bit most seem to get quite obsessed at licking at the tube trying to get more out.

    Only other suggestion maybe is to try and find a really irresistible toy, and try to get her to carry it about when out, as long as she isn't the sort of dog to start resource guarding if she sees another dog and will get snappy if she thinks its going to be taken. Ive seen several owners with dogs who bark constantly on walks use that ploy as with something in their mouths they cant bark. Again maybe if you start indoors and play and interact with the toy, first so that she becomes interested in it, that may work even. Sometimes its ust finding that special thing, one of mine if she finds a tennis ball at the park will carry it all way home.
     
  3. JenDee

    JenDee PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your reply and advice, it's much appreciated.:)

    I agree always heartbreaking, the house isn't the same without my old boy but I'm thankful he was part of our family for so long and we have lots of lovely memories of him.

    Yes the odd behaviour started after Benson died so I agree I think she did look to him for reassurance when out walking. I think walking her with another dog who is calm is an excellent idea thanks. I will speak to my father in law and arrange for some dog walks with their dog, they get on great so hopefully this might help.

    I've tried all her favorite treats whilst out and she still won't take them, cheese, bits of bacon and chicken. She normally finds them irresistible at home but not so much of a lick when presented to her when out :confused: so I am leaning more towards her behaviour being because she is anxious and stressed. I am definitely going to try the " watch me" command you mentioned at home with the cheese spread (what a great idea) and hopefully progress this when out walking, If I can keep her attention on me it might help keep her calm and relaxed, thanks!

    Will have a look into some classes as this might build her confidence, thanks for providing the link.
    :)
     
  4. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    39,822
    Likes Received:
    10,365
    Your very welcome hope some of them may work, its worth a try. It does seem that a lot is to do with loosing her buddy bless her. I know when Ive lost one it does make a big difference to the others. The two in my avatar were like that when the larger one came as a pup, the other one my Laska was like his surrogate mum and he was always closer to her then the other one Daisy I still have. His behaviour changed too when I lost her, he did get over it eventually but it did take time.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice