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Nervous rescue dog

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Laura&Luna, Mar 23, 2020.


  1. Laura&Luna

    Laura&Luna PetForums Newbie

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    Okay so I've had my new rescue puppy Luna for 6 months now. We have had nothing but issues with her anxiety and fear. She is now on daily medication and the anxiety has pretty much gone away she still has her moments and were trying to build up her confidence slowly like the vet recommended and it's working a little. But we are still having a major problem that we dont know how to fix and it's really weird to me. Her and my 7 year old cat (which I've had his while life) get along and play and all that but if I say my cats name she gets terrified and runs away scared with her tail between her legs like something horrible happened. This happens no matter what even if my husband and I are just having a conversation and the cats name comes up I have no idea why she is doing this. His name is moomoo. It's very frustrating. Especially if shes in the kitchen on the hardwood floors because she is a 65 pound pyrenees border collie puppy who will literally take out the whole kitchen trying to get away from us saying a name. I am very confused and I cant just stop saying his name it's been his name for 7 years. How do I control this behavior? Also she has a horrible submissive peeing issue that we still cant get under control after 6 months. She will pee if she doesn't want to do something or if we say her name sometimes or just anything really. It happens about 4 times a day on good days. The vet said no health problems and she will grow out of it but she is 9 months old now and she is not showing any signs even on her medication of stopping. I've been on several forums asking for help and people tell me to give her more activities to do but the problem is when she dosent want to do them she is very stubborn and she will pee where she stands. Last night I put her dinner in her bowl and she was patiently waiting across the room and I said okay dinner time and she came up to her bowl peed and ran away. I dont punish her for it so I know I'm not causing her to be scared for doing it. I just dont know what to do. She is a very fearful dog and I'm trying to help her but she is not wanting to give it the chance. I dont want her to feel scared for absolutely no reason forever. There has to be a way to help her. My husband and I made her a obstacle course outside and she does it almost every day and she gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation literally if she isnt sleeping were trying to keep her going to try and prevent times where she can get in her feelings. She loves the frisbee and is a great jumper and catches it everytime. I love her so much and I'm not going to give her away we will just have to suffer for the next 10 years if we cant fix this but I reallllly dont want that
    There has to be something to help.
     
    niamh123 likes this.
  2. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    She sounds like a very troubled and unhappy dog.

    I definitely think you need to get a reputable behaviourist who ONLY uses positive techniques to help you out.
     
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  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    First of all, it sounds like you’re doing wonders with her so far so good on you for that ;)

    I very much doubt “she is not wanting to give it the chance” though. She is clearly a very anxious and troubled dog and has her own good reasons for being so.

    I too would suggest you engage a good behaviourist to guide you but it’s essential that they use only positive, reward based methods. Avoid anyone spouting Alpha/Dominance/Pack Leader theories.

    A referral by a vet is often covered on insurance. Dogs Trust have behaviourists who offer classes to the public too.

    With the cat’s name, try one of you next to her and the other with the cat a reasonable distance apart.

    The one with the cat says the name calmly and the one with her immediately gives her a tasty treat that was being held by her nose. Try to do this a number of times, then when someone uses the cats name give her a treat (gently toss it to her if you’re on your own).

    I used this technique with Jack when he got a sudden fear of the microwave pinging. I eventually had to wean him off the treat, substituting it with a neck scratch, then a touch, then verbal praise and eventually he just ignored it.

    With the submissive peeing could you be placing any pressure on her at those times inadvertently?

    Feeding time is high stakes with some dogs, especially if they’ve got a dodgy past. Maybe try just saying nothing and just put the food down and walk away. If you stand and direct her she can have it, while standing and watching that could be very stressful for her.

    Consider the occasions when she stress pees and think of other ways to get her to do what you want. Chances are she isn’t understanding which places a strain on her, she stresses, then pees.

    Be careful about keeping her too busy as that could keep her hyped up and unable to settle. Having a quiet corner to settle in with a filled Kong is a great de-stresser and can tire them out too enough to nap.

    Do you know her history?

    Look at positively.com, kikopup and thecanineconsultants.co.uk for tips on dog psyche and training.
     
    Burrowzig, niamh123, Sarah H and 3 others like this.
  4. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Three months is no time at all for a nervous and anxious rescue dog and the most important thing you can do for her is be patient and give it time. She can't help the nervous peeing and is most certainly not doing it because "she doesn't want to do something" - it's because she is frightened. My advice would be back off and let her come round in her own time and no you won't have to suffer this for the next 10 years.
     
    Lurcherlad, Linda Weasel and JoanneF like this.
  5. Pricivius

    Pricivius PetForums Junior

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    I would go back to basics and take all the pressure off her - even asking to engage with you could put some pressure on and create anxiety for her so I would wait until she asks for engagement. Is there a possibility she has very sensitive hearing - some collies in particular can be very sensitive to certain pitches or tones, so perhaps try changing your pitch and/or volume to see if it makes any difference to her.

    I don’t want to be negative but I would be very careful about the amount of jumping a young dog us doing, particularly when she is likely to be quite large. At 9 months, she is still growing and jumping should not really be encouraged until she is fully grown.

    I would take a step back and leave her be for a little while. Let her relax and don’t ask anything of her... just a thought...
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  6. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Yes I totally agree. Collies can be very sensitive at the best of time. I actually compete in agility with some of my but they never see a jump until they are well over 12 months old and then they are virtually on the floor.
     
  7. psychund

    psychund PetForums Junior

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    I don't have much to add to the advice already given, just wanted to say that it sounds like you are trying your absolute best to figure out how to solve the issues and thank you for not giving up on her. Collies and their mixes can be so incredibly sensitive, poor thing. I really hope you find the advice given useful and that it helps! I would also echo what others have said with finding a very empathetic and positive reinforcement only behaviorist (I stress behaviorist because a behaviorist may know more about the actual behavior than a trainer - though I'm unsure if there's a difference in the UK).

    It sounds like she needs a ton of patience, poor thing. I'm also working through anxiety with my Zoi, and I know how upsetting it can be to see them so unhappy. His is mainly separation anxiety and stranger danger, so it's quite a bit different than the issues you're describing. Regardless, best of luck to you both ♥
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
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