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Nervous new dog

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Kelly2801, May 3, 2017.

  1. Kelly2801

    Kelly2801 PetForums Newbie

    May 3, 2017
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    hi all, I've recently rescued a little bischon I absolutely adore him how ever up on collecting bob I realised how poor his life has been his 12 months old and her been a walk never had a collar on and is terrified today I attempted to walk him I ended up carrying him with his head buried under my arm, he trusts me in the house and sleeps on my bed at night so I know he is growing to trust me how can I gain his trust enough for him to walk and how can I teach him to enjoy play at moment his very reserved

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  2. jamat

    jamat PetForums VIP

    Jun 3, 2015
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    Congrats and well done for rescuing him.....he's handsome by the way :)

    Perhaps a harness would be better than a collar less pressure on the neck and he might feel more comfortable in it.
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  3. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2016
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    Hello there. Bob is a little cutie, bless him. Sounds like he has had a bad start in life and will need lots of time and patience. If he is growing to trust you in the house then that is a great start. Don't push the walks - do things gradually at a pace that he is comfortable with. Maybe start by just walking him around in your driveway and slowly progress further as he gets more confident. Lots of praise and encouragement. If you have a garden then he can use this to run around in and burn some energy in a place where he feels comfortable.
    Lurcherlad and Sled dog hotel like this.
  4. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Jun 25, 2013
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    I know he's 12 months old, but look at the tips for puppy socialisation. So carrying him, when you feel he is more confident is a start. This is how I started out with my Cleo, who was traumatised and everything seemed frightening.

    It will take longer than puppies though, so take everything slowly.

    Just remember socialisation doesn't mean meeting other dogs, but being able to walk past dogs, people livestock without getting overly excited. So being very neutral. This is really important in Bob's case, as a really obnoxious dog could really upset him.

    Tips about walking round the drive, garden are excellent to get him used to the harness. I would advise a harness, and one that fits well, so it is more comfortable for Bob.

    Play may never come, or will come with time. Let Bob settle, no pressure the main thing is to make him feel safe.
    Lurcherlad, Sled dog hotel and Sairy like this.
  5. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Aug 11, 2010
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    In the first 16 weeks of a pups life especially they go through many critical stages of development, in this time they should start to be introduced to different things, and socialised. Habituation and socialisation needs to go on way past these first 16 weeks of course through adolescence and into adulthood and beyond, but these first weeks especially are important. If he didn't have the adequate introductions and socialisation in these first important weeks, and hasn't been walked at all since and he is now a year old, its understandable that he cant cope and is afraid of virtually everything outside because he likely has never experienced any of it and its now all to much at once.

    You say that you have just very recently rescued him and although he is improving as regards beginning to trust you and settle in it is still very early days, and he will probably need to gain in confidence and feel a lot more settled yet. I would concentrate on that alone for a little longer. If he is happy and relaxed in your garden I would spend time with him there more at first. Doing some basic training with him using gentle praise and food rewards, can help bonding further and build their confidence.

    If he isn't interested in toys at the moment, Maybe try toys at first that include food, like classic Kongs which you can fill with wet food and all sorts of goodies or Kong wobblers you can fill with kibble or small treats. The wobblers they have to nose and paw about and as they do food drops out. There is also one called a busy buddy twist and treat that is easier to get food out of, all these come in different sizes. Safe types of long lasting chews can be a good de stresser and again something he can interact with. If he hasn't been used to a collar and lead, that's perhaps something you can work up to more slowly introducing them and perhaps just getting him used to eventually walking on a lead in the garden first and investigating out there.

    Usually with puppies before they are vaccinated and can go out walking, to introduce them to things and sights sounds and situations you do it by carrying them about so that they can get used to the sights and sounds and situations they haven't yet experienced, once you can get him used to a collar or harness and lead in the garden and he is comfortable wearing it as he is luckily a small dog maybe you could try carrying him around as you would a pup at first.

    What is he like in the car, is he OK with that and have you access to a car if he is OK. If he is, then it may be better if you can take him to somewhere quiet like a wood or park at a quieter time of day, where he can get used to going for walks without cars and noisy traffic and things that frighten him now at first until he gains more confidence outside the home. If and when he is OK with that then start to make a few introductions to new things but one or two at a time, making sure he can cope with them first before introducing one or two new others gradually. Always also be mindful of the time you are out for, making sure time wise he isn't out to long so he cant cope.

    To occupy him and build confidence indoors at the moment you could perhaps try scent games using food the link below gives you some ideas starting with a very basic easy one then building up.
    http://suzanneclothier.com/pdfs/Scent Games.pdf

    The link below called the puppy plan explains about the importance of socialisation and habituation, it also contains a plan actually two one that is really for 0-8 weeks of life and the second for new owners 8 to 16 weeks. Although its meant for the first vital 16 weeks, it may give you some ideas of things you can introduce him too slowly
    and how to do it a bit at a time as you go.
    #5 Sled dog hotel, May 3, 2017
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
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