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Old 06-16-2014, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default Puppy Obedience training/Fearful Puppy

We just got a new pup from a shelter, he's about 4 months old, lab and pit bull mix. He's super active and hyper all the time, but he is very scared of pretty much all moving objects.
Because of his fear he's absolutely terrified of cars, so it's very hard to walk with him, and he doesn't do his business outside, but the moment we step inside the house he poops.
I'm absolutely in love with him, and I want to help him overcome his fear to make it easier for us and for him, but I don't really know how. Please share if you have an experience with something similar!

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Old 06-16-2014, 02:33 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your new pup! What is his name? (and do we get to see some pictures? :-) ) Cheynie was terrified of cars (and so many other things!) when I first brought her home. She still has fear issues with "big" and "noisy" things, such as buses, trucks, and lawn service trucks but she has gotten much better with cars. In the beginning, she would go as far as the end of the drive way and then cry and try to climb up my leg if a car went past. I started her very slowly, staying with her at the top of the driveway near the house, and when a car went by I'd talk "happy" to her and give her a piece of chicken (her favorite). Little by little we made our way down the driveway to the sidewalk doing the same thing, then walking just in front of the house and distracting her with the chicken and talking to her when a car drove by. We then moved on to quite a few short walks during the day, just a couple of houses at a time. If a big, noisy car (one with a muffler problem!) or a motorcycle or truck goes by while we are out, she still reacts but I can hear them first and be ready to redirect her in time most of the time. She loves people and meeting new people so that was also an inducement for her to "brave the street" to go see some of her friends and increase her socialization. Since Cheynie turns into Houdini when she is frightened, I also had to get a special no-escape harness for her.

Curing For Your Fearful Or Frightened Dog Fear Behavior In Pets

Dog Tip: Help for the Shy and Fearful Dog

Help Your Shy Dog Gain Confidence - Whole Dog Journal Article
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:29 PM   #3
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Hi And welome aboard Sasha it's dfficult I know my dog is now nearly 8 1/2 year old and she is still scared of fireworks and thunder but has greatly improved over the years. like JGLi has said if there is something nice going on the same time this improves the dogs behaviour
so 1. Stay Calm, 2. Be very patient with her as she will pick up vibes from you so the calmer you are the better 3.Make it happy experience for her so for Eg: If she doesn't like thunder when a storm starts go silly in a high pitched voice and if he likes playing wih a tugger introduce a game or simply some tasty high value treats like chicken or Hotdogs and when there is no adverse reaction from her start play and really go OTT or offer treats as dogs use association thinking so you can turn a bad experience in a to good one. timing is important on this and never
reward any adverse reactions as this will only increase her fear!
Results won't happen over night either so you will have to work at it and don't give up.

Same on walks if she meeting people and other friendly dogs this too will
help! Also now if Nipper hears any thunder I don't react and she will now lie by the closed living room door and lie down and when she feels
the storm has passed she will move from that spot on her own accord don't try a coax her if she is scared i sometime now will say it's all gone in a nice high pitched voice and this works too!

If things don't work out get some proffessional help with a animal behaviourist/trainer who uses only kind methods of training As the quicker you get the problem sorted the better! Good luck and let us know ho wyou get on please!!!
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:35 PM   #4
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Personally I would suggest that if you are in a position to hire a good trainer, you do so immediately. How you handle these early experiences will be influential for the rest of the dog's life. If it were my pup, I would want to get started immediately on a full scale counter conditioning and desensitisation process - the sooner you intervene the better the outcome. Unfortunately most people delay until the dog is much older, assuming the pup will grow out of the fearful behaviour. You will get a better result if you act without delay.

Whilst counter conditioning and desensitistation is a fairly simple process in theory, in practice the reality is that most people will do it incorrectly without the help of a trainer. Timing, the order of events, rule outs etc are all vital and generally poorly understood.

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Old 06-16-2014, 08:18 PM   #5
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Sasha, you have gotten plenty of advice in the previous posts...so I am not going to add to it. Good with your new pup and please post some photos.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:48 AM   #6
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I hope everything goes well with your new pup!
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:54 AM   #7
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Early intervention is the 'only' way forward now at 4 months (15 weeks) is a very good time to start! And if this is done you will make good progress it will how ever take some time but it will be worth in the long term for the dogs's sake Good luck and do keep us updated!
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:58 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone for your advice! I think I'm gonna try to find a good trainer for him since no matter how much I want it and how much I try I don't have enough time to train him properly, so I guess the trainer will be a better option. I have talked to a couple of people and everybody says that of course I'm gonna have to continue the training even after he works with the trainer, but it's gonna be a lot easier because he will know the basics and I will know in which direction the training should go. I'll definitely post some new pictures and the results of training!

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Old 06-23-2014, 04:14 PM   #9
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When people say to get a trainer, they usually mean someone to train you to train the dog. It does not do any good to have someone else train your dog as they have to show you what to do more than the dog. It will take time as you will have to work with the dog yourself even with the help of a trainer.

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Old 06-25-2014, 02:15 PM   #10
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Yeah, of course I'm gonna be taking classes with him as well! I found this program called BootCamp at a dog training school next to me, where they take the dog for 10 or 20 days and they train him/her 4 hours every day. And it includes 10 individual classes with him, so I learn how to work with him, too. So as I understood from what I read about the program is that they train the dog obedience (and it's not a crazy e-collar type of thing, they use positive training), and once he starts getting the basics they teach you how to train him further, so once you take him home he doesn't forget everything he had learned.
Obviously, I'm not going to give my pup to a trainer and expect him to turn into a completely different well-trained dog without any effort from me.

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