Timid Puppy

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Jenni2807, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. Jenni2807

    Jenni2807 New Member

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    Hello, I am new here, I stumbled across here looking for information about my puppy. I am very concerned about her behavior. When we got her we met with the lady in a neutral area and looked at the puppies that she had. They all seemed a bit scared and I just thought that it was probably their first car ride.

    :( Now the sad part is that my puppy is a very skidish and timid puppy. One minute she seems fine and playful then the next I could call her (very sweetly) had she pees herself. Also she can be playing fine and the next she cowards to us and wants nothing to do with us. I am very concerned about her behavior, I have two small children and I fear that with such uncertain behavior that she might end up biting us out of her fear.

    She is a 20 week Pit Bull/ Boxer mix. I love her and have done everything to try to socialize her, not rush, and try to build her confidence. I just know that she is going to be a big dog and worry about her one day snapping.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice any of you have. Please know that i love my puppy, I am just being a Mommy also. I have done a lot of reading and research on puppies, I just thought that she was being shy from the car ride. :(
     
  2. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    I'm sorry that you have this problem ! Hope you get some advice here . This is a good lesson for all though !!!! Go to the breeder's home !!! What you see is what you get !!! Never get a pup ( except through HS or rescue ) if you can't see where it was brought up !! How old is this gal ???
     
  3. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    How old was she when you got her?

    I would definately try to find a trainer/behaviorist who can come into your home and observe her personally. It's impossible for us here to be able to see how severe the fear is (although you did describe it well), because so much relies on subtle body language that non-professionals are not good at noticing. She's still young, but at this age the socialization period is closing very quickly, and if she is still doing this when she is past that period, it will be immensely more difficult to fix.
     
  4. Jenni2807

    Jenni2807 New Member

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    I got her when she was 15 weeks, so have had her over a month. When I think that she's getting better she ends up getting skiddish and cowarding to us. She is really bad with my husband, I don't know if she was treated poorly by the people that we got her from or what. :confused:

    I feel horrible, now my children are fond of her and my husband doesn't trust since her behavior changes so rapidly. I just pray that there is hope or do I need to find a home for her that doesn't have small children as we do. My husband fears that since she has a lot of fear in her that she may end up biting one the children. :(
     
  5. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    It's certainly possible that it's something very subtle that you or your family is inadvertently doing to make her scared of you, and it's certainly possible that it is a behavior that can be managed or fixed completely. You can find a trainer search on www.apdt.com, or google "applied animal behaviorist" for a behaviorist.... Or ask your vet to recommend someone (don't ask your vet for training advice).
     
  6. Angela's mom

    Angela's mom New Member

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    Why wouldn't you ask your vet for training advice?
     
  7. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Most vets know very little about training. I have come across vets that tell their clients the strangest things when it comes to behaviour. Vets know a lot about health, disease treatment, etc etc. Very few know behaviour.
     
  8. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    And what advice they do give usually comes from their own experience with their own dogs, they actually study almost nothing about dog behavior in vet school. Most non-professional trainers who are regulars on this forum know a LOT more about dog behavior and training than vets do.
     
  9. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    If she had more than one pup at this age , something is definately wrong with her breeding !!! I'd try to visit the home ! Obviously they were not socialized which screams puppy mill to me !!!
     
  10. Jenni2807

    Jenni2807 New Member

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    Thank you all for your wonderful advice. :) If there is hope that she can get over this timidness, my husband and I won't give up on her.

    She is a very smart puppy, already potty trained and she does want to please us. I just to help build her confidence up so that she is not so timid.

    Do you think taking her to a obedience class will help with her confidence building and socialization? :confused:

    My husband and I love her, we just want to do what is best for her. Please, if you have any other ideas that could build her confidence up, please let me know.

    Thank you all for your help and advice! :D


    Jenni
     
  11. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    The right obedience class - preferably a puppy kindergarten of some kind - that uses ONLY POSITIVE training methods would be great for her, and for you! Especially if your husband will take her to some of the classes as well, since she has some fears around him. That will help the two of them to bond and reinforce the idea that he's a loving family member, not a big scary one with a low voice.

    Oh, and it wouldn't hurt to find some kind of treat that she really, really, really loves and use it to reinforce the times when she is interacting normally.
     
  12. Jenni2807

    Jenni2807 New Member

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    Thank you! I never thought about a puppy kindergarten. We do use treats to help with potty training, car rides and when it's time for bed - so she will get in her bed on her own. We still put her in the bathroom at night so she won't get into things. The treats work great.

    Can you help me with the submissive peeing? I'm sorry, this is my husbands and I first puppy..
    (well, we had one but she was defective....my friend gave a chihuahua but the dog shook all the time and snipped at me constantly so I gave it back to her)

    I haven't gave up hope on this puppy, I believe that she will be a good puppy.:)
     
  13. YES YES YES get this puppy out somewhere to meet people EVERY DAY. Use treats. IGNORE fearful behavior. Do not console her either by touching or verbally for displaying fearful behavior.

    ENCOURAGE any behaviors that she displays that are NOT fearful.

    I might begin just by taking her somewhere that people pass by and feed her treats. Repeat often, and get into a class. At 20 weeks your window of socialization is almost closed, but if you start now and work properly on a DAILY BASIS, you can help her some probably.

    Not consoling her for fearful behaviors is VERY IMPORTANT.
     
  14. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I'm concerned and a little offended that you called your chihuahua defective. I really hope that you were joking. Chihuahuas need a lot of socialization and interraction with people, even more so than many other breeds, otherwise they will be nervous around people and shiver out of nervousness. Also they don't have as much fur as many breeds, and get cold easily, and shiver just like you and I do. She was probably snippy toward you because she was scared of you - again, could be lack of socialization. There's not much difference between the chihuahua snipping at you and your current dog cowering and submissively peeing.
     
  15. Jenni2807

    Jenni2807 New Member

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    Yes I was joking about her being defective, the friend that gave me the dog, as I later found out would breed her's with a Chihuahua down the street just to have puppies to sell. The dog, as I also found out after I got it was less then 6 weeks and should not been without her mother yet. So I gave the puppy back and told her that it still needed his mother. The puppy was just not ready to be on it's own and I did not know about all this before hand.

    The difference with this dog is that it is old enough and should not be this fearful and I am doing all that I can before it is too late. I love this puppy and it was my decision to get and I am asking you all for advice that would help.

    Please don't be so defensive with me, I love animals as well as all you do. I was just making light of a situation that I was very upset about in the past. I have done a lot of homework but I also know that life expierence is the best expierence that you can have.

    RedyreRottweilers, I did take her to Petsmart and walked around today to get her around other people. She did do really well, I do know that some people were nervous though, about her being so nervous. My husband and I are planning on putting her in a class there just to get her more socialized. She is very trainable and no issues with that (except leash training). I was proud of her and gave her lots of treats.

    Thank you RedyreRottweilers for your encouraging words! I appreciate that! :)
     
  16. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Keep us posted on how she does in the puppy classes!
     
  17. Jenni2807

    Jenni2807 New Member

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    :) Will do, we should be getting her in the next classes that come up but till then we will be meeting a lot of people. :D
     
  18. cinnamon

    cinnamon New Member

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    I have a sheltie that was quite timid as a pup. We've had our issues but have taken her for obedience and agility training and we also hired a behaviourist---best money I ever spent. :)

    I think the classes helped with her exposure to other dogs and stimulus around her and the behaviourist had some excellent suggestions and explanations for helping my dog.

    I think the behaviourist was about $300 or so. That's for weekly classes and four private visits.

    I never thought of asking my vet for training advice. It's kind of like asking my dentist about my stomach pain :) To me, the vet is trained in health, not behaviour.
     

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