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Fearful Poodle



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 17th 03, 08:07 PM
Joy
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Default Fearful Poodle

Help! I have a 2 year old standard poodle and he is very afraid of
unfamiliar people. To the point where his barking and occasional
snapping have gotten him "kicked out" of our favorite doggy daycare/
boarding. Everything I read says,socialize, socialize, socialize
and we do this as much as possible, but as many of you know, dogs
are not welcome in most places. I am desperately looking for any
suggestions to help our family with this. He is a very sweet dog
with people he knows!
  #2  
Old July 17th 03, 09:27 PM
Gwen Watson
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Default



Joy wrote:

Help! I have a 2 year old standard poodle and he is very afraid of
unfamiliar people. To the point where his barking and occasional
snapping have gotten him "kicked out" of our favorite doggy daycare/
boarding. Everything I read says,socialize, socialize, socialize
and we do this as much as possible, but as many of you know, dogs
are not welcome in most places. I am desperately looking for any
suggestions to help our family with this. He is a very sweet dog
with people he knows!


Have you taken him to formal Basic Obedience training?

Also trips to PetsMart or Petco may help with this problem.
Especially if you bring lots of treats along and give it to
strangers to fee him.

Gwen

  #3  
Old July 17th 03, 09:44 PM
Tara O.
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Default

"Joy" wrote in message
om...
Help! I have a 2 year old standard poodle and he is very afraid of
unfamiliar people. To the point where his barking and occasional
snapping have gotten him "kicked out" of our favorite doggy daycare/
boarding. Everything I read says,socialize, socialize, socialize
and we do this as much as possible, but as many of you know, dogs
are not welcome in most places. I am desperately looking for any
suggestions to help our family with this. He is a very sweet dog
with people he knows!


Sometimes forced-socialization is the exact opposite of what you should do
but it all depends on the dog. Has he always been this way or is this a
more recent development? How long have you been trying to socialize him and
how frequently do you make the attempts? What have you tried so far in
terms of socialization? By "unfamiliar" do you mean total strangers or does
he also react to people he's met before but whom he hasn't seen often?

--
Tara


  #4  
Old July 18th 03, 02:40 PM
Leah
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Default

(Joy) wrote:
Help! I have a 2 year old standard poodle and he is very afraid of
unfamiliar people. To the point where his barking and occasional
snapping have gotten him "kicked out" of our favorite doggy daycare/
boarding. Everything I read says,socialize, socialize, socialize
and we do this as much as possible, but as many of you know, dogs
are not welcome in most places. I am desperately looking for any
suggestions to help our family with this. He is a very sweet dog
with people he knows!


Did you have him before he was 5 months old? If so, that was the time to
socialize him. You really have to catch that 10 weeks to 5 months window to
familiarize a dog with strangers, or he can become fearful or aggressive as he
matures.

You can still work with him to get him less reactive, but it's a lot harder.

1. Discover where his physical boundaries are. At what distance from a
stranger does he become fearful?

2. Start further away than that boundary. Go somewhere there will be a lot of
people and sit with a baggie of treats at a safe (for him) distance. Whenever
he notices a person and doesn't show fear, praise him and stuff him full of
treats until they are out of sight. If at any time he shows fear or
aggression, stop feeding him and ignore him. You are trying to associate
strangers with good things, at a distance he will be comfortable.

3. When he is perfectly relaxed at that distance, move a bit closer and start
again. If he reacts, move further away again. Go at his pace.

4. Rinse, lather, repeat.

PetsMart Pet Trainer
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/m...age/index.html
Last updated June 27 at 10:00 a.m.


  #5  
Old July 18th 03, 03:12 PM
Gwen Watson
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Default



Joy wrote:

Hi Gwen,
We've taken him to beginner and intermediate obediance classes. This
was over a year ago though. Do you think a refresher course may be
helpful? We always take him with us to the petstore.
Joy


I don't think it would hurt at all. Though others have made mention
about over doing, I think as far as socialization.

But it never hurts to do a refresher course, I don't think.

Best wishes to you Joy.

Gwen

  #6  
Old July 18th 03, 03:14 PM
Gwen Watson
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Default



Joy wrote:

He is very skittish even around
those he's met before. Joy


You know Joy some dogs are just this way as are people.

It is often genetics. So it may be something that you
can't completely ever solve. Though I would expect
it will get better in time.

Gwen

  #7  
Old July 18th 03, 04:54 PM
Gwen Watson
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Default



DogStar716 wrote:

Help! I have a 2 year old standard poodle and he is very afraid of
unfamiliar people.



After reading your post, I'd have to say that your dogs behavior is probably
hardwired.. meaning that this is just the way he is.


Indeed I definitely believe that is probably the case as well. Though I admit
I did suggest another training class. But on after thought and points that
you have made as well as Tara O. I think the dog is hardwired.

My trainer handed out an article about genetics and how they come
into play with a dogs behavior. It was very good and very true.

And I am shy and I do believe that is a genetic trait in my family
history. And one can not change certain things anymore than
one can change brown eyes to blue.

Gwen

  #8  
Old July 20th 03, 09:09 PM
Linda
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Default

Gwen Watson wrote in message ...
DogStar716 wrote:

Help! I have a 2 year old standard poodle and he is very afraid of
unfamiliar people.


After reading your post, I'd have to say that your dogs behavior is probably
hardwired.. meaning that this is just the way he is.


Indeed I definitely believe that is probably the case as well. Though I admit
I did suggest another training class. But on after thought and points that
you have made as well as Tara O. I think the dog is hardwired.

My trainer handed out an article about genetics and how they come
into play with a dogs behavior. It was very good and very true.

And I am shy and I do believe that is a genetic trait in my family
history. And one can not change certain things anymore than
one can change brown eyes to blue.

Gwen


I tried all the suggestions given here-treats, respect space,
socialize, saw behaviorist ect but none worked. The suggestion that
the dog will get better in time is wishful thinking. I have read most
books in print on fear and aggression in dogs. Maybe you dog is
hardwired for fear but that does not mean you can not help him. Go to
doggydoright.com and download the Wits End Training manual. Use sound
and praise when your dog shows fear and in just a short time the dog
can learn to watch you and not react to what he thinks are dangers.
After he gets over his fears you can continue to socalize but I agree
with one of the post that putting in situations the dog thinks are
dangers can make him more fearful.

When my dog moved from fear to aggression everyone said "he
needed-needs to be socialized" but I found socialization was not a
solution to fear for my dog.
  #9  
Old July 21st 03, 02:49 AM
Joy
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Default

Leah,

Thanks for this technique. It sounds like a great way to ease him in
at his own comfortable pace. We actually started doing this today
while we were walking and his barking definitely has already subsided.
The combo of the praise and the treat are always great behavior
modifiers.

Joy


URK-OFF (Leah) wrote in message ...
(Joy) wrote:
Help! I have a 2 year old standard poodle and he is very afraid of
unfamiliar people. To the point where his barking and occasional
snapping have gotten him "kicked out" of our favorite doggy daycare/
boarding. Everything I read says,socialize, socialize, socialize
and we do this as much as possible, but as many of you know, dogs
are not welcome in most places. I am desperately looking for any
suggestions to help our family with this. He is a very sweet dog
with people he knows!


Did you have him before he was 5 months old? If so, that was the time to
socialize him. You really have to catch that 10 weeks to 5 months window to
familiarize a dog with strangers, or he can become fearful or aggressive as he
matures.

You can still work with him to get him less reactive, but it's a lot harder.

1. Discover where his physical boundaries are. At what distance from a
stranger does he become fearful?

2. Start further away than that boundary. Go somewhere there will be a lot of
people and sit with a baggie of treats at a safe (for him) distance. Whenever
he notices a person and doesn't show fear, praise him and stuff him full of
treats until they are out of sight. If at any time he shows fear or
aggression, stop feeding him and ignore him. You are trying to associate
strangers with good things, at a distance he will be comfortable.

3. When he is perfectly relaxed at that distance, move a bit closer and start
again. If he reacts, move further away again. Go at his pace.

4. Rinse, lather, repeat.

PetsMart Pet Trainer
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/m...age/index.html
Last updated June 27 at 10:00 a.m.

 




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