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Dog growling/upset w/ me after accidentally stepping on his tail?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by ItsAmnda, Aug 8, 2018.


  1. ItsAmnda

    ItsAmnda PetForums Newbie

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    So last night while setting up dinner, I accidentally stepped on my dog’s tail. I didn’t realize he was behind me and I didn’t know what was happening until I heard him yelp and scramble to get away from me. When I tried to go to him to apologize and to comfort him, I could hear a low growl coming from him. I thought everything would be fine by today, but this morning as I was heading out the door, he lunged towards me and was growling and barking. He didn’t bite or attack me, it seemed more like a lunge to instill fear or something. I know previously, the family that had him abused him. (I got him at the shelter) How badly, I’m not entirely sure, but I can assume it was bad because of how these recent events unfolded. Regardless, abuse is abuse. Anyways... I didn’t realize that this would trigger him to seeing me as the “enemy”? At this point, he doesn’t even come to me anymore, only my aunt. I can’t even go near him and now he just protects her. I don’t know what to do. Any advice?
     
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I’d give him space and then slowly encourage him to you with voice/treats.

    It’s good he’s growling which means he is communicating his anxiety, so don’t force the issue.

    Hopefully, he’ll forgive you soon and you can rebuild his trust in you.
     
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  3. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Have patience.
    If your dog was physically abused previously then to him this isn't a 'one off' incident, and the impact on him will be more extreme.
    As LL said, give him space; let him come back to you.
     
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  4. Happy Paws2

    Happy Paws2 PetForums VIP

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    I agree...give him time, don't try to make him come to you let him come to you let him in his own time. Sit on the sofa put a few tasty treats a little way from your feet and let him come and get them when his happy with that put them nearer and just talk to him tell him his a good boy and built up from there but don't touch him, let him make the first move.
     
  5. ItsAmnda

    ItsAmnda PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you. But regarding him lunging at me, would you recommend just being more vigilant for that and keeping a good distance? I know sometimes he would kind of just follow me around, ready to attack in a way...
     
  6. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I would just keep my distance and kind of ignore him really until you offer him to come and see you or take a treat, etc.

    If you are genuinely concerned by his behaviour (or this has been escalating) perhaps get a vet referral to a good behaviourist who uses reward based, positive training methods.

    They will be able to fully assess him and advise how you can restore his trust in you.

    Obviously it’s difficult for anyone to really advise on the internet and especially without seeing him.
     
  7. Whiteshadow

    Whiteshadow PetForums Senior

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    How old is your dog? Do you have him from a pup or is he a rescue?
    In any case give him space for now.
     
  8. ItsAmnda

    ItsAmnda PetForums Newbie

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    I’m not sure how old he is. He’s a rescue.
     
  9. Whiteshadow

    Whiteshadow PetForums Senior

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    Than good chance he was abused in some way and is just scared. If things don't get better in few days ( and good chance they will) than it's a good idea to look for behaviourist.
    Did you get him from a rescue? Maybe they Can they offer follow up support.
     
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  10. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I do sometimes wonder why anyone bothers to type out a detailed post. She says the dog was abused in a previous home and came from a shelter.
     
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  11. Whiteshadow

    Whiteshadow PetForums Senior

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    @Blitz I read fast and clearly miss that part of the text but I tried to help Op not sure about the point of your response.
     
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  12. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    I see her point and have noticed it a lot myself.

    OP posts, "I have a 5 year old dog" …………..

    Someone asks "How old is your dog?"

    Before responding, read the original post.
     
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  13. ItsAmnda

    ItsAmnda PetForums Newbie

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    Just to update. Things are looking okay so far. Just got back home from work and he didn’t bark or growl when I got home. He was very quiet and greeted me at the door. Wasn’t extremely excited as usual, but that’s okay. I’m glad we got it down to him being calm. He’s sitting close to me during dinner now. I’m definitely making sure to keep my feet a good distance to avoid yesterday’s events again! Hopefully this means we’re making progress. Taking things slow first!
     
  14. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Tbf I’ve done it myself - despite reading an OP - as often there is a lot of info and we are only human (and just trying to help) after all.
     
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  15. Whiteshadow

    Whiteshadow PetForums Senior

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    Great news! I'm so happy. It's always harder when you don't know your dogs history but dogs know who's on their side and are resilient . He really landed on his feet with you and I'm sure with time and patience things will get better and better.
     
    ais_rose and Lurcherlad like this.
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