I hate construction

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Izzy's Valkyrie, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Izzy's Valkyrie

    Izzy's Valkyrie Very Food Agressive

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    So on our afternoon walk today, we had to walk by a big construction site that's behind my building. I purposely didn't take the shortcut so we wouldn't get close to the machines but as we walked by it on the outside going the long way, Izzy freeeeeaked out. She couldn't see the machines but every time a car drove by as we passed the site, she flinched back like someone hit her. It made me feel/look like a horrible doggie mom. I don't know what it is about cars but lately they've been freaking Izzy out. Fear Stage?

    Anyways, we continued on our walk to the local doggie shop where we get her food (Great place, and super close, love it) and she full on panics in the parking lot. I about lost it too.... She saw a large yellow jeep just sitting there parked and ducked away from it, backpedaling as fast as she could. Well since it was about ten feet in front of the dog shop, we'd have to pass it. So I tried just going wide around it by nearly 10 yards but no, she wasn't having ANY of that. She backed up right out of her harness and I freaked because she was right in line with the exit to the lot where cars come in and out.... I thought she was going to bolt into traffic so all I could do was get down on my knees and call her. She stood frozen like a deer in the headlights because she's neveeeer been offleash by a street.

    After a few moments hesitation, she ran towards me but went around so I managed to just catch her by her tail... Yes her tail. She actually didn't lose as much fringe as I thought she might. Anyways, I tightened her collar up (Slip on Lupine that gets smaller when pulled on) and attached her leash to that because she was NOT getting away again. I put her harness back on after tightening that too but didn't bother adding the leash to it.

    So after I got Izzy wrangled I tried to go into the shop after letting her get some water in the outside bowl. Nope.... She acted like an abused dog once she saw people... Went down on her tummy with her tail tucked as far as it could go. I have Neeeeeever seen her like that. One of the people (All of the employees are known to Izzy as treat people so I figure she'd be fine) came over to give her a treat to help her calm down but Izzy just ran back to the door and looked outside.... I had no idea what to do with her... I took her outside for a while, rubbed her down really well and let her get more water. A pretty Airedale showed up and that got her interest so we tried going back inside. I went to the back corner of the store that's lined in benches and windows that's used on the weekend for adoption. We sat there and looked out the windows for a while, completely undisturbed and she got some more lovin's before we decided to walk around... She wasn't going to walk around for me... The same dog that made her perk up outside was all of a sudden scary to her... I got her some cookies at the front and left ASAP.

    The rest of the walk home was generally uneventful, she'd taken the exact same walk minus the dog shop just yesterday with me so I don't know what's up. The only thing that changed was the construction was done for the day yesterday so no loud noises to scare her. So yeah, what an ordeal... Can dogs have Panic attacks? That's realllly what it looked like to me.
     
  2. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    Don't we wish we could talk to our dogs?

    You know more about your dog that we ever could but sounds to me like maybe a slow re-socialization might be helpful.

    You know the drill, cars at a distance at first and bring her to the point she fails and move her back. Once she's comfortable, move forward until she fails again and move her back. The distances could be inches, feet, or yards and may take minutes, hours, days or even weeks depending on the dog.

    You might also try an extreme diversion. Take a 1/2 jar of peanut butter with you and treat her as she moves forward towards the cars. I say 1/2 jar so they can get a lick and put their entire nose in but can't get more that a little taste. My dog would walk on hot coals for Peanut better and you may find she grows to loves the sound of cars IF the end game was PB or something she does not normally get everyday, but craves.
     
  3. Izzy's Valkyrie

    Izzy's Valkyrie Very Food Agressive

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    Thanks for the response! Izzy is fine around parked cars in our complex (Apartment building) so we'll have to try doing the re-socialization by the dog shop. Funny thing is it's mostly the big cars, vans, SUVs and the like which she rode in a lot as a puppy (Weeeird) She doesn't like PB lol, she's a strange one but she does love bananas or maybe just some meat would work. I'll have to try that later in the day when there is no construction/less traffic!
     
  4. Scooter

    Scooter New Member

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    I can relate. Our 3 year old lab/border collie mix has recently developed a noise phobia.She's always been sensitive to noises, but normally really loud ones like the garbage truck and fireworks. A few weeks ago we were out on a walk and out of nowhere thunder clap-BOOM! It rarely thunders in N Cal, so she freaked out. She has not been the same since. She is fine in the house, but outside is fearful and reacts to normal noises that never bothered her before.

    We've talked to three trainers and our vet and are now working on desensitizing her. When we take her for walks and she is fearful, we just stay confident and ignore it. We do NOT comfort her when she freaks because that makes it worse. We just talk in a normal voice and try to distract her with something she likes (squirrels, etc). It has gotten so bad though, that we did put her on anti-anxiety meds to see if that works. Too soon to tell, though. good luck!
     
  5. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    Here's another thing you can try. If it's sounds not sight, make a recording of the sounds that frighten them and play it in the house on low volume. Increase the volume over time and they will learn the sounds means them no harm.

    I had a Heeler that would fight a buzz saw, but was frightened to death of thunder and rain to the point I had to give him OTC Benydryl or even stronger sedation which I got at the Vet.

    I bought one of those tapes that play the sounds of rain to make people relax and sleep and played it in loop mode. After a while, storms were a non-issue for him. It got really annoying around the house, but it helped him in the end so it was worth it.

    Personally, I would not move forward and ignore if the dog is traumatize but instead, stop and let them get comfortable on their own. Just because you say it's ok, doesn't mean it's ok to the dog and especially when they are so frightened they can't focus on anything else but the fear. I also wouldn't substitute something like squirrels and encourage them to focus, then you might have another set of problems, like "My dog wants to chase squirrels".
     
  6. Izzy's Valkyrie

    Izzy's Valkyrie Very Food Agressive

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    We took another walk to the dog shop yesterday and it doesn't seem to be the cars so much as the locations now. There is something about Phydeaux (Shop's name) that is scaring her. I have no idea what it is but currently don't want to push it. She'll reluctantly drink from the water bowl outside the door but won't go in without being dragged.

    Now, I understand this aversion could stem from the crappy day she had in the parking lot with me but I figured she'd hate the cars not the store. We'll have to work on her getting more comfortable being around the store. Probably walking her at night when no one is there and letting her get water to start.

    She hasn't had any more reactions except in the parking lot for that store so it's not the cars of any size that are bugging her.... So strange. She's never been in a fight there or been injured so I'm not sure why the sudden aversion.
     
  7. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    A long long time ago someone posted that they witnessed someone hit a dog at petsmart. The dog cowered and was scared etc. The poster's dog however, did not see it and was oblivious.

    However, when they walked down that same aisle later, their dog froze and began cowering, and refused to walk into the area where the other dog had been struck. Something smelled funny. I don't know for sure, but I think scared/injured dogs put off a particular smell and it's not unusual for other dogs to pick up on it and react.

    Maybe something really scared or hurt a dog that recently visited the store, and he's picking up on it?
     
  8. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    You might try small bits of food in the doorway, 4" apart for a few feet. Let her "eat" her way into the store. Then take her back out and repeat. Dragging her is probably not a good idea and the flight factor is so ingrained. It may even hurt your relationship with your dog.

    That's what I did when I first picked up my dog, she was afraid of getting in the car, so I took tiny hot dog bites and let her eat her way into the floor board. Today, she's a 100% car lovin' dog.

    I think dogs need to figure some things out on their own. Just because we say "ok", it might mean it's ok for us, but they are not so easily convinced it's ok for themselves. That takes them realizing it on their own.

    Another option is don't shop there anymore. :)
     
  9. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    Victor had a melt down when we went into that vet for his second pets for life test. I don't know if you were around when i wrote about that or not. HE literally hit the ground shivering with wide eyes that were seeing some place else instead of where we were. I still think it was a scent but i can't prove it.

    I used t touch and calming pressure points to help pull him out of it. We had to test in 15 minutes in the next room and i had never seen him like that in our 4 years together.
     
  10. Izzy's Valkyrie

    Izzy's Valkyrie Very Food Agressive

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    It is possible she picked up on another dog's scent in the place since this shop does a loooot of rescue adoption days and some of the frequent shoppers have not so dog friendly dogs (almost all toy size :rolleyes: ).

    I like the idea of letting her eat her way to the shop, I'll have to cut up and bring some hotdog the next time I take her for a walk past there. It's not really an option not to shop at this store since it's the only one that carries her dog food. We could just not bring Izzy though which is what I'm considering doing for about a month just to get her relaxed a bit.

    We have two walking routes and I'll be taking the one that doesn't include the shop from now on, just to let her decompress a little and enjoy her walks instead of having to worry about going to a spot she hates.

    Smkie: What exactly is T touch? A kind of therapeutic massage?

    Thanks so much for all the advice!
     
  11. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    This kind of thing comes up fairly often for me. My dog is an Aussie and they are "naturally" cautious however I also know my dog Peyton has a very high play drive. Here's an example...

    At first, Peyton didn't like the wooden stairs in the back of my Moms house. She froze in front of them and refused to go up them under normal circumstances.

    So, I got Peyton wound up with playtime in the yard, then I ran up the stairs encouraging her to come, she froze for a second, then up the stairs she came because she wanted to "play". She came up because what she wanted so badly overrode her fear and the wooden stairs have been a non-issue ever since.

    My point is, with the right motivator and the right mental state for the dog and combining the two, it can sometimes overcome fear.

    Each dog will be different as to what drives them to the brink of happy frenzy. It could be another dog, a child, food, squeaky toys or something else.

    Basically, you find your dogs hottest of their "hot buttons" and push it to your advantage. I find it much easier if I already have her in a state of mind that's not fearful before I push that button.

    I sometimes think of Peyton as combination lock. 32 right, 16 left and 8 right won't unlock her, but 33 right 18 left and 9 right will. I just have to find the right combination and she opens right up!

    I won't speak for Smkie, but I believe she's referring to Ttouch massage. Here's the idea if I'm correct...man, I could have used one of these myself yesterday :)
    YouTube - UNLEASH YOUR DOG'S POTENTIAL!
     

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