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My new puppy is afraid of everything!

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by bronagh65, Jun 13, 2018.


  1. bronagh65

    bronagh65 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all, so yesterday I got myself a puppy, a German shepherd x Collie, he's 8 weeks old.

    he is the most nervous pup I have ever seen, he will hide 24/7 when I'm in the room and not come out for anything, even food! when I'm not in the room he will run about and play by himself and howl looking out and once I open the door he runs to hide again.

    I have had pups in my lifetime but none like this, has anyone any tips on how I can train him to give him more confidence?

    Thanks!:)
     
  2. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    I feel your pup must have had a bad experience to be so afraid of humans. Did you see him with his Mum and siblings and how did he behave towards you then?

    Unfortunately, you can't train him out of his fear. If you're patient and allow him time, he will likely become more confident. Don't approach him or try to bring him out when he's hiding. Eventually, he should become curious and approach you.

    Don't put any pressure on him at all.
     
  3. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    What were his parents like when you saw them? Have you spoken to the breeder about your concerns?

    He only left his mum and siblings yesterday so be patient and given him the time and space he needs. Do you have a crate set up for him? That way you could leave the door open so he can go in there to hide (put a cover over it) but can gradually get used to you being around him. Talk softly but don't try and force him to come to you.
     
  4. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    As others have asked, did you meet him and his mum when you picked him up? Have you visited him before going to get him? What were the temperaments of the parents and other puppies?
    It's very early days, he's just been taken away from everything he knows. Just put food and water down (and a puppy pad as I don't think you'll get him outside) and leave him be.
    A nice comfy crate would be a good idea to create a safe space of his own.
     
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  5. bronagh65

    bronagh65 PetForums Newbie

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    Yes I met the mum and his 4 other siblings, 1 of his siblings was very confident she came right up to us and allowed us to pet her but all the others here nervous, once the owner went into them they all ran and hid behind anything they could fit in
     
  6. bronagh65

    bronagh65 PetForums Newbie

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    I met his mum and 4 other siblings yesterday before I bought him but there was no previous visits, I tried taking him outside on the lead and he just stopped and ran back into the house behind the sofa, he'll be fine when he's on his own but once I'm in the room he hides
     
  7. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    That does not sound right at all.:(
     
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  8. bronagh65

    bronagh65 PetForums Newbie

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    I met the mum but not the dad, I have him in my kitchen and underneath the cooker there's a storage cupboard with no door on it and this is where he hides, he'll wag his take when I talk calmly to him but he refuses to come out
     
  9. bronagh65

    bronagh65 PetForums Newbie

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    I know I'm very worried:( he isn't aggressive towards me but he is very weary, he peed earlier when I lifted him and I was calm and gentle while doing so, he's terrified of everything
     
  10. ForestWomble

    ForestWomble PetForums VIP

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    Could you leave the door to his room open and put a baby gate in the door so he can get used to the household sounds and smells?

    Maybe when you are in the next room you could chat away to him, let him get used to your voice etc.

    Poor lad sounds like he and his siblings have had a pretty large fright bless them :(

    I hope over time he sees you are not a threat and you two will have many happy years together.
     
  11. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    Poor little guy.
    Try scattering his food on the floor to encourage him to come out. Don't make eye contact or move, but you can talk to him very gently. What about putting a puppy pen round the area he is hiding in? Then you can fill that with food and toys and blankets to make it appealing, but you don't go into his space. That way he can come out but not be worried about you getting too close.
    The other thing I'd do is get some really yummy food (like cooked chicken) and throw some towards him saying his name so he starts to learn that his name = yummy chicken!
     
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  12. bronagh65

    bronagh65 PetForums Newbie

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    yes I could do that, I feel so helpless it's nearly as if their breed wad abusing them but there's no obvious signs of that:(

    hopefully after a few weeks he will get used to me and our home, I also have a pet conure parrot which probably isn't helping him to settle in eithero_O
     
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  13. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Makes me wonder if these puppies were kept somewhere else, maybe another house or outbuilding before being brought to house you visited.

    Nervous puppies can be very hard work initially and he may never become a confident dog, hopefully his nervousness in the future will just be avoidance rather then aggressive displays in order to make things he’s scared of go away.

    One of my previous dogs was a very nervous puppy. She had been kept in outside kennels so found coming into a house the most scariest thing in the world. She spent most of the first week squeezed into a tiny gap between two pieces of furniture. We just left her alone putting food and water nearby and we were quiet around her, talking quietly amongst ourselves and talking gently to her and tossing something tasty in her direction now and again. Gradually she began to creep out of her hideaway and began interact with us, but then going outside had become scary now and inside was the safe place. Toilet training was very difficult as she was frightened by every single noise and would run back to the door rather then have a quick wee or whatever.
    She improved as she got older and getting another dog later on did help her. She was fine going to places she knew, but a walk somewhere new made her very skittish, unsurprisingly perhaps, she was scared witless by loud bangs and thunderstorms.

    With your dog you are going to have to be patient and don’t push him to come to you, but let him decide you are a safe friendly human that will protect him from his fears. Talk gently, throw a very tasty bit of food near to him now and again and let him relax and feel safe.
     
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  14. bronagh65

    bronagh65 PetForums Newbie

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    I put a few treats on the floor earlier and he was whining looking then but he wouldn't come out of his hiding spot to get them until I left the room:(
     
  15. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    That's ok, it's very early days. To help him see you as the bringer of good things have a little pot of treats ready near his hidey-hole and every time you walk past drop a couple of treats near him. Hopefully soon he'll realise you aren't that scary and that you give him good things!
     
  16. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    What was the mum like? If it was just him being new and nervous having left his family, I could understand it, but for the whole lot (bar the sister) to run away from the breeder is weird. It must be very upsetting for you to see; but I'm sure it will soon resolve itself.
     
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  17. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    It sounds very much to me as though the Breeder has done something to these pups to make them so afraid of her.
     
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  18. Laney_Lemons

    Laney_Lemons PetForums Senior

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    ahh what a poor little mite :(

    what terrible experience or lack of experiences has caused him to be so fearful

    be patience and take everything slow with him so he doesn't get overwhelmed
     
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  19. MontyMaude

    MontyMaude PetForums VIP

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    Not sure it will work with dogs but with my cats when I got them as terrified kittens I sat on the floor and read a book out loud, I didn't make eye contact, I didn't touch them, I just sat and read in a soft sing song voice and they got used to me and because I sat on the floor I was a lot smaller and less threatening to them so they would come and explore me and after a day or two I started offering treats and built their confidence up that way, I also found that sudden movements started them, so I kept my movements soft and fluid and just spoke to them giving them a narration of what I was doing/planning to do.
     
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  20. Gemmaa

    Gemmaa PetForums VIP

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    My Jack Russell was very frightened of life when he came home, he wet himself because the gas man said hello to him :Bag
    I would avoid all unnecessary contact with your pup until he feels more comfortable with you. Maybe just sit quietly on the floor, not looking at him, but gently put some treats some distance from you, and ignore him. Talk quietly to him without looking at him, maybe read a book out loud. If he approaches you I'd still ignore him so that he doesn't get startled by sudden movements
    He needs time to work out that he's in a better environment.

    It's hard, but don't lose heart at the nervousness. My boy was an absolute wreck, but in general he functions like a normal dog & is just the sweetest and most special little guy.
    Just take everything slowly and gently :).
     
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