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 How to help a terrified dog

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Ann
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:11 pm

Hi, and congrats on your new dog, even if it isn't feeling so wonderful right now. Smile

How old is he? Do you have other dogs that he might be afraid of? Did he just come from a shelter? Age could have a lot to do with it. He could be in a fear period on top of everything else that has happened to him recently.

Whatever the reason, he's feeling frightened by his new environment. Keep the crate door open and give him time to adjust. He'll eventually come out on his own, but if you have to take him out, just talk soothingly and ignore the crazy antics as much as possible. If you can get him to come out of the crate in the next few days, try tethering him to you for short periods of time. Two leashes, one around your waist and the other connected from you to him. See how he tolerates that.

Keep posting to let us know how it's going. There are others here that can give good advice as well.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:54 am

Hi. My New shelter dog's name is Jagger, he's about 13 months old and for what I know he used to be an outside dog only, he's never been inside a house.
I just want to let you know that he does come outside now to go potty but it takes him about 10 minutes or more to walk 20 feet from his crate to the back door. I got him to sit and most of the time to come. He's very smart , loves to be brush head to toe and put his paw in my hand all the time.
I had to say for a dog that was in the shelter for over 3 month he's doing better that I could ever dream.
He's afraid of things that moves, like aplastic bag, garage door etc. In about 2 weeks I need to take him to the vet and I have no idea how I'm going to do that. My Vet is only 1 mile away maybe I could take him for a walk but as soon as he sees the street he panics. The car is another mayor problem, easy to get on and then he refuses to come out.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:55 am

No I dont have another dog
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:22 pm

http://www.netplaces.com/dog/socializing-your-dog/unsocialized-older-dogs.htm

Click on the link and it will take you to an article about unsocialized adult dogs. I think it pretty well fits the description of Jagger.

There's a link at the bottom of that page called Socialization Do's and Don't's that might be helpful.

I would also suggest getting a clicker and learning to use it to help mark desired behaviors, as it will give positive reinforcement much faster than you can do with your voice. If you have any questions about any of this, let me know. I'll be happy to try and help. Jagger is still a puppy, and you have a window of opportunity here. You're already doing things correctly, but you can speed up the successes tremendously.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:01 pm

The article is pretty good but right now I can't do anything with Jagger other than making sure he can trust me. Taking him outside can take 5 to 30 minutes. I try the 15 foot rope and I dont think right now is the right time, considering I just got him a week a go maybe I should wait so he can trust me a little more.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:09 am

I understand what you're saying. Have had dogs like that. You're actually socializing him to the house, yard, etc. The clicker would help though, if he's interested in treats. You could click for even just forward motion. It becomes teamwork and helps with bonding.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:53 am

Do you have any suggestions about taking him for a walk? He doesn't like the leash at all.
Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:10 pm

What sort of dog is Jagger? a big dog? I'm guessing so, if he was kept outside at his former home.

Fear of the leash...you could clip on the leash and let him just wander around with it for a bit, but make sure there's nothing he could get it caught on as that might cause more stress. Does he respond well to treats? toys? Use whatever he likes the most to make the time connected to the leash fun. A game of some kind, and something he'll learn to look forward to. A walk on a leash down the street isn't fun if a) the leash is a scary thing and b)the things you see on the walk are overwhelming. Walking on a leash through the yard or even through the house might be the best start anyway. You just want to make gradual progress.

I adopted a kennel dog a little over 5 months ago, and she had her first meal side by side with my other dog just last week. It took that long. Progress is sometimes slow. Set a short term and long term goal, and work toward those goals. The short term goal is replaced with a new short term goal when the first one is achieved.

You're already helping him. Was it just a week ago that he was afraid to come out of his crate? Smile
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:00 am

Jagger is a 50lb Border Collie. He's still afraid to wonder around the house but he does come to the back yard with me. He's also afraid of my husband and it's sad because I think Jagger was abused by his previous owner.
The thing is, I need to take him to the vet next week and right now I don't know how could I do it without stressing him even more. The vet clinic is only a mile away from my house, I would love to just walk with him, I'm afraid that if I take him in my car he may be to scared to get out. I have 10 more days.
Jagger is a very sweet and smart boy. He seats for me, shakes my hand and plays, he also loves to be brush from head to toe putting one of his paws on top of my free hand.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:57 pm

Do you think I should postpone his vet appoinment for a later day untill he gets more confortable with his new home, us?
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:48 pm

If he's getting comfortable with you, I'd start getting him into a car for a few minutes at a time, then starting the car, moving it a few feet, watching his reaction but not reacting yourself. Baby steps he if he's really frightened. Is the vet visit something that could be delayed? If it can, maybe it's best. Do you have a crate that would fit in your car? In previous posts it sounded like he felt safe in his crate.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:16 pm

It took me 3 months to get Neka to completely trust me. Then it took about a year to get her used to walking on a leash.

When I got her she was afraid of any loud or unexpected noise. Thunder and dropping a pan lid on the kitchen floor would make her wet herself. She learned to trust me because I spent alot of "floor time" with her. I spoke softly to her, and gave her lots of treats when she came to me or did what I asked of her. She also loved to get brushed, so I spent lots of time with a pin-brush. It was very relaxing to her!

I wrote an article on www.abetterdog4u.com it may be of some help.

Her's a link: http://www.abetterdog4u.com/articles/helping_fearful_dogs.htm

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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:49 am

The reason I need to take him to the vet is because he needs to be tested for heartworm. The shelter didn't do it and he was there for 4 month.
I need to make sure he's ok and start giving him the heartworm monthly medication. How about if I give him some medication to calm him down? I know they sale medications for anxiety or something like that?
He loves his crate and right now he stays there most of the time. (My car is to small).
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:06 pm

Try moving the crate around to different rooms in your home. At least he'll be facing small stessors and hopefully dealing with them. That crate is his den, and the place he feels safest.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:07 pm

Moving the crate wasn't good, he refused to come out and when I moved away from him for a couple of minutes, he poop on the foor by his crate, he never did that before.
I purchased the book " what color is your dog" pretty good, I guess my dog is blue, no just blue but DARK BLUE.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:57 am

Poor guy. How far did you move the crate? I guess maybe a few inches at a time might work better for him. Maybe change the direction of it a little and see what happens. He needs consistancy but he also needs better life skills.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:50 am

Well I have to say he's good with me most of the time. I'm sure he likes me, he comes to me when I call him about 60% of the times. He's terrified of men and unfamiliar places, cant take him for a walk at all. It's going to take a long time, long time.Tomorrow we are going to the vet and thank God I was told not to worry that they will take him out of the car.
The thing is Jagger is very smart and he learns fast.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:40 am

Last saturday I took Jagger to the vet, he was very nervous. I had to carry him in my arms to the car. In the way back he was looking around and I noticed that he was scared but also very curious looking everything. My question is: If it would be ok for me to take him on short drives around the neiborhood to get him confortable around the area?
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:52 pm

If he can tolerate the car ride now, anything you do, any place you go, all will help him get used to the world and help him be more comfortable.
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PostSubject: Re: How to help a terrified dog   Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:35 pm

Just make sure that he is comfortable and relaxed. If he's tense or nervous you may make things worse.

You may need to start by putting him on a leash, and just sitting in the back seat with him with the doors open. Once he's OK with that, try closing one door, then two and so on. Once the dog is cool with the doors closed, have someone get in the front seat and start it while you are still in back with the leash. When it is staying calm move on.

Next, have them put it in gear, then back up a few feet and so on until he SAYS RELAXED all of the time. DONT RUSH. This process can take a week or more. It is very important that the dog is calm at each point before you move to the next step.

As with all training, short training periods repeated 3-5 times a day are best. None of my sessions ever go more than 5 mins at any one time. Some are only a minute or two. And I always end training with a play time so the dog realises that it gets to play when it completes the training.

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