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Dog Dilemma

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by CassiusMLegit, Apr 16, 2017.


  1. CassiusMLegit

    CassiusMLegit PetForums Newbie

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    Hello :)

    So I have a male chihuahua and he has always been nervous he is only three and unfortunately wasn't socialised well with other dogs when he was a puppy so has taken a while to build his confidence with people and dogs. He has never been aggressive just anxious and very cautious with new people. I have had him since he was six weeks and he has always been affectionate and loving to me except when I moved and he became anxious so would snap at me if I tried to move him off the sofa... since that started he has been banned from being on furniture and has his bed close by and has come on in leaps and bounds. As he knows that he has to be invited and shouldn't just expect to be near me. He has got better with other dogs and people little barking and no aggressive behaviour. He loves walking and before anyone asks no he is not a hand bag boy. So yesterday morning I went out I had was gone for about an hour and a half... when I came back he crept towards me like he had done something wrong... I thought he may have toileted however after looking around... nothing!! I stroked him however he was so jittery and scared he wouldn't leave my side and he was shaking I tried to play and he was more interested in being near me. Then today he backed into a unit and got so freaked out he tried to attack the unit he is either in his bed or sat next to where ever I'm sitting on the floor. I live in a flat with no one above me and there is only one person opposite me. But it's upsetting seeing him so scared. Would really appreciate some advice... thank you in advance :)
     
  2. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell Banned

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    It seems like something happened that really scared him. It could be anything. Someone banged on your door, a bird hit your window, there was a loud bang outside..... It doesn't really matter what it was. But it does mean you going to have to start again on building up his confidence. Poor little fella.
     
  3. CassiusMLegit

    CassiusMLegit PetForums Newbie

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    I'm giving him attention not raising my voice not having the tv or music loud and talking to him a lot and trying to coax him out of his bed but apart from that and giving him treats I don't really know what else to do?
     
  4. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell Banned

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    Patience. It will again take time for him to feel comfortable and get over whatever it was. You're doing the right things, it just needs patience.
     
  5. CassiusMLegit

    CassiusMLegit PetForums Newbie

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    thank you I really appreciate your replies x
     
  6. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell Banned

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    You're welcome.
     
  7. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    You could try the Adaptil plug-in or collar/bandana. There are also many calming products available to take the edge off - Zylkene, Calmex, Dorwest skullcap and valerian for instance. I find Vet UK's own brand of calming treats very effective - they're called Pro treats - find Vet UK online. Or Rescue Remedy, a few drops in his water.
     
  8. Freyja

    Freyja PetForums VIP

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    Reward him when he is happy and relaxed try not to reward him when he is anxious as this is rewarding that behaviour.

    We have recently taken on a male chihuahua who has been badly treated he was very scared of women and in fact bit me not his fault he was terrified but thats a different story. We did everything at his pace I was the only person who gave him treats was myself when he came to me and my husband ignored him as it was him he wanted to be with he had to come to me. Dexter is now a different dog he is always on my knee he gives kisses all the time he wants to be with me.

    We were lucky we knew what had caused Dexter's problem he had been hit by his female owner for peeing in the house so we knew what we had to do if he had an accident we cleaned it up and didn't make a fuss about it. In your case you don't know what has scared him do you live near a busy road has a car back fired and frightened him had something fallen or had someone even been to view the flat above and an unexpected noise upset him. I would ignore his behaviour when he is showing the signs of fear and being aggressive and praise him when his behaviour is more normal
     
  9. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I don't agree with the theory that trying to reassure an anxious dog actually makes it worse, especially if they are as stressed as your dog OP.

    If my child was in such a state it, I wouldn't ignore him. And I wouldn't ignore my dog either. I would try to reassure them and reduce their anxiety.

    I found this article, and it makes a lot of sense to me, in this context.

    Quote
    was one in the morning, and I was wide awake. Thunderstorms had been rolling like waves over the farm all night, and this one was so loud I thought the windows might break. Lassie, my 14-year-old Border Collie, lay panting beside me. She’s almost deaf, but the combination of a falling barometer, lightning flashes and the crashes of thunder were enough to send her into a panic. As we lay there together, I stroked her soft old head, thinking about the advice to avoid petting a dog who reacts to thunder. “You’ll just teach them to be more fearful,” according to the traditional wisdom. Only one thing: It’s not true.

    We’ve been taught for ages that trying to soothe frightened dogs just makes them worse. It seems logical, in a cut-and-dried, stimulus-and-response kind of way. Your dog hears thunder, he runs to you and you pet him. Voilà, your dog just got reinforced for running to you when it thunders, and worse, for being afraid of thunderstorms in the first place. But that’s not what happens, and here’s why. First, no amount of petting is going to make it worthwhile to your dog to feel panicked. Fear is no more fun for dogs than it is for people. The function of fear is to signal the body that there is danger present, and that the individual feeling fearful had better do something to make the danger, and the fear that accompanies it, go away.

    Think of it this way: Imagine you’re eating ice cream when someone tries to break into your house at midnight. Would the pleasure of eating ice cream “reinforce” you for being afraid, so that you’d be more afraid the next time? If anything, things would work in the reverse—you might develop an unconscious discomfort around ice cream. However, you sure as heck aren’t going to be more afraid if a burglar arrives because you were eating chocolate mocha fudge the first time it happened.

    There’s another reason petting your thunder-phobic dog doesn’t make him worse, and it couldn’t hurt to take a deep breath before you read it. Research on thunder-phobic dogs suggests that petting does not decrease the level of stress in the dog receiving it.* If it doesn’t decrease stress, how could it act as reinforcement?
    Unquote

    Personally, I think your dog would benefit from reassurance and being desensitised to his triggers rather than coping alone.
     
  10. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell Banned

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    I agree with Lurcherlad. Being there for your dog and giving him reassurance that you are there and will protect him from a scary world will only make him more confident. Everyone feels more confident when they have friends, right? If he knows he's got you at his back, then he will be able to face things better.
     
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  11. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    It would also be worth letting your Vet see him.

    The reaction you've described does sound like fear, but if he is in pain, that can sometimes cause similar behaviour.
     
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  12. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I agree with Lurcherlad too. I think the time not to reassure them is BEFORE they are frightened. So you think your dog is going to be scared going by that scary whatever. Walk by confidently and give your dog good vibes. If it is already frightened then reassure it.
    A bit like parents that start telling their children that the nasty dog will not really hurt them.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
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