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> Feeling Totally Stressed.....
Craters_on_the_lawn
post 7th Mar 2018, 9:04 am
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QUOTE(melbury @ 5th Mar 2018, 8:04 pm) *


We got him at 9 weeks old and unfortunately (as instructed by vet) he did not venture out until all of his vaccinations were complete - so I would say about 15/16 weeks by then and so no socialisation with other dogs at that time. I thought he would be fine as was one of seven pups who all played together.


Please don't beat yourself up about the lack of socialization. Your dog's fear is SO severe it indicates that he was born like that (unfortunately some puppies are just naturally very fearful) or it relates to his experiences before you got him (or probably both).
With such a naturally-fearful dog any socialization you could have done with him in that important window up to 14 weeks would have had to be VERY carefully managed to ensure that all experiences were gentle and positive - not at all easy to achieve, or judge what he could or could not cope with.
Just generally "socializing" him - i.e. exposing him to lots of dogs in general - with his level of innate fear - would probably not have helped, as its likely he could have had plenty of (in his eyes) scarey experiences with dogs that would have just compounded his fears.

This post has been edited by Craters_on_the_lawn: 7th Mar 2018, 9:09 am
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Craters_on_the_lawn
post 7th Mar 2018, 9:05 am
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Sorry duplicated post

This post has been edited by Craters_on_the_lawn: 7th Mar 2018, 9:05 am
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nikirushka
post 7th Mar 2018, 9:24 am
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QUOTE(hazzy1066 @ 6th Mar 2018, 7:52 pm) *

What might help is finding other people with really friendly dogs and meeting on a regular basis to help socialise more, ideally in an enclosed garden.


Not to be recommended at all, sorry. With a slightly hesitant dog, maybe. With one with fear as severe as this, putting him in a situation like that WILL make it worse. I guarantee it. He needs very careful, gradual desensitisation and counterconditioning starting from very far away and to be honest, that may not be enough with fear at this level - some dogs are not fixable. But if anything is going to improve him, that is your best starting point and a behaviourist to guide you through it will be invaluable.

QUOTE(melbury @ 6th Mar 2018, 8:16 pm) *

Getting another dog is really not on the cards for us. I am sure he would have been entirely different if there had already been a dog here when he arrived at 9 weeks old, but there wasn't and my goodness I would never have believed the difference that makes. Our previous two dogs that we brought up from tiny pups were never like this and it must be because of having another dog in the house to show them the ropes.


Honestly, I doubt he would have been. Fear on this level does not come about purely through lack of socialisation - as was said earlier, some dogs are simply born this way and being stuck indoors for those early weeks only exacerbated it, not caused it. Dogs with a really sound genetic temperament would have come out still bouncing and friendly - he was at a disadvantage from the start to have become the way he is (which is most certainly not your fault).

Having another dog to grow up with may have allowed him to be comfortable with that dog however, that does not alleviate the unpredictability of strange dogs, and if the other had come from the same litter, you'd most likely have ended up with two dogs frightened of others.

I think you are best positioned with just having the one to work with him anyway - it is so, so much easier when you can pour all your energy into one dog than having to manage another as well. I have one here who is phobic to the point that I have abandoned walking her permanently - trying to keep her entertained when I've also got the other to walk and entertain can be exhausting. More so now she's getting on and I can't run her in the garden with her ball any more!
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kayb
post 9th Mar 2018, 7:36 am
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QUOTE(bix @ 6th Mar 2018, 1:25 pm) *

What a terrible situation. No wonder you are stressed. I belong to a very good Facebook group called Dog Training Advice and Support. They are an excellent group for immediate advice but in cases such as this, they can recommend suitable trainers in your area. If you don't use Facebook, perhaps someone you know could have a look at it for you.

I do hope that you find a way forward from this.


Another recommendation here for Dog Training Advice and Support. They will also help you find a good, force-free behaviourist in their area. You can only post at certain times and sometimes have to wait a few days for a reply, but the first reply is always from a professional, force-free trainer/behaviourist. In the meantime, the page is public so you would be able to browse the files too.

Good luck with your little one.
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kayb
post 9th Mar 2018, 7:37 am
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Deleted double post.

This post has been edited by kayb: 9th Mar 2018, 7:38 am
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melbury
post 9th Mar 2018, 8:44 pm
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Again, thank you all for such helpful responses.

I was talking to a lady in the village and she recommended a behaviourist who has been working with dogs for 30 years - she helps rescues centres with problem dogs as well. Strangely enough we also met a man who recommended the same lady - says she is absolutely brilliant at sorting out dogs with issues - all positive reward based.

Have also located another lady fairly locally who has all of the necessary letters after her name that insurance companies require and she sounds very good according to the testimonials on her website, so plenty of food for thought.



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AnnS
post 9th Mar 2018, 11:00 pm
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Just wondering if there are any safe enclosed fields/dog parks near to you that you could hire on a sole use only basis?


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melbury
post 10th Mar 2018, 10:13 am
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QUOTE(AnnS @ 9th Mar 2018, 11:00 pm) *

Just wondering if there are any safe enclosed fields/dog parks near to you that you could hire on a sole use only basis?


We live in a fairly rural area and just have to walk a short way to be right out in the country. He does play a lot in the garden chasing the ball etc, so gets quite a bit of running around and a long walk on the lead.
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