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Our dog is now scared of us
  • Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 15:33:04
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Post edited by Calia at 2009-12-11 15:13:12
  • We don't use it as a form of punishment so that's why I'm somewhat confused. She told us just to do it a couple of times throughout the day and then as soon as he is calm to let him go and give him a treat. But I don't want him to be scared of us. I should make it clear that yesterday was the first day we tried this and this morning. I just don't want to keep doing it if it's going to make him fearful of us.
  • I would stop doing that and he'll slowly come back to you. He might just be a little ticked right now but he'll get over it. Just try holding him not as hard. I did that with my dog and now he lets me hold him as tight as I want.
  • I would stop doing it if he gets scared and snaps at you. I'm sure your not doing it to punish him but he can't understand you intentions. He sounds scared and there's no good reason to keep doing this.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
  • The thing is I don't want him to be scared of people holding him. The vet hadn't even poked him yet she just went to hold him close. So if I stop doing that will he ever let people hold him?
  • sailfloesailfloe
    Posts: 119
    It's probably something you'll have to take slowly. For now, I'd try Calia's suggestion with the treat distractions, it worked well enough for Violet when we needed to take her her temperature (which wasn't something we had got her accustomed too :-) She was too busy thinking "ooh, cookies... om nom nom" to protest when we stuck the thermometer up there (she was so distracted, we didn't even really need to hold her -- although thankfully she's fine with that).

    It's probably worth just restarting and getting him used to being held in a very slow fashion. Hold him as much as as he's comfortable with, then reward. And just slowly, slowly increase the contact. (But not so much that he gets upset or afraid - if he's okay being in your lap, start there). Don't try and jump to fast, and he'll probably be ok.
  • Thanks I think you are right, and we are just going to have to start very slowly again. It's just frustrating since the first time we were at the vet he was so great and now this time he was completely different. I think we will just have to try very slow and with a lot of rewards!
  • I think some dogs just have bad feeling in the Vet's office just like we humans do sometimes.
  • Most dogs do not like the vets office....usually what tips them off is the barking, panting and yapping dogs in the back at some clinics. They can smell the stuff going on so it gets them worked up before anything happens.

    You can try visiting and getting him weighed on a walk on scale every week or so. Do nothing other take him in walk on the scale and give treats. Have staff greet him, give more treats and then leave. Also try to remain calm as well, since dogs can sense anxiety in humans as well.

    During Appts don't wait in the waiting room I have the staff collect me and dogs after check in. Waiting in the lobby makes for jumpy nerves before a visit....I won't even go there with inducing anxiety.

    Also remember force begets force and confusion. It sounds like he was totally terrified. Never force an animal that is terrified to rationally accept being held/pinned down. You will need to back track and get him used to handling by way of treats. Puppies in particular can be wiggly and they will squirm and decide they don't like teeth, nails etc being looked at and give a good scream. Basically you have to con them into thinking it was their idea to get an ear scratch etc. Some dogs are not as affectionate as others and it is only with age and trust that they accept handling.

    Also don't run after him to drag him out from under a table or area he is hiding to practice holding him it will only make matters worse. When he calms down and you have contact, do it for short periods (try split second) of time and let go. (You can increase duration over time days etc.) Go slowly as Beth suggests. It is the same technique you use to ask a dog to come to you. If they come up treat, pat or play and slip a finger under the collar to hold and then release. Never let a Shiba think you are unpredictable and you may attempt to capture or you will be setting yourself up for a lifetime of "catch me if you can". If he runs off at first just let it go and get a toy and pretend great interest in it ignoring him. Most animals a curious by nature and will come to see what its about.

    You can also start feeding by hand so that he gets used to you and then you can direct him to your lap to feed or let him drape across your legs to feed while you sit on the floor as he eats. The same goes for the chew sticks etc. hold them for him so he gets use to you right there. Later you can start looking at teeth or paws etc.

    Hope this helps for starters....

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2009-12-11 16:46:39
  • Snf thanks for your suggestions. Currently he does let us feed him by hand and we have been doing that since day one. I think you are right and we are just going to have to back-track a little and start getting him used to us even petting him again. This is all just a little shocking to us because he literally changed overnight.
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242
  • santuzzasantuzza
    Posts: 572
    Oh man, poor dog. This is something that will take time as everyone else has said and I'll join in the chorus of people saying to take it slow. All my best wishes to you and your pup.
  • Thanks for your advice. The reason I say back track is because these are all things that before the vet visit he would allow us to do. We could sit there and play with his paws, stick our fingers in his ears, hold him and rock him like a baby, strangers could pick him up, etc. He never screamed until the vet visit and now will scream the second you pick him up.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
  • Yes he got his rabies shot. I think that may have something to do with it, but it's just surprising how completely different he is towards us.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I remember when Saya got her second and third puppy shots she was pretty sleepy she went right in her crate and slept for a while and didn't really want to come out to play or anything so it might be soreness from the shots.

    I hope that's why your pup is acting like that, but I'd still take things slow and easy he still might be a bit timid anyways.
    Post edited by Saya at 2009-12-12 02:30:21
  • He probably is not feeling well after the vaccs. Often dogs will be very tired for 48 hours after. If they are tired they may be grumpy and less tolerant too. As a standard I let them rest and sleep it off with no training or other stuff for a day or so.

    Relax and start again as if you were bringing him home for the first time. You will have to re-establish the get to know you session once he gets over himself and settles a bit.

    Hopefully you will see an improvement soon once he is rested and things calm down.
    I am not sure where you purchased your dog, if it was from a NSCA breeder and you have a good relationship then I would give them a call to discuss.

  • Our vet physically takes our dog away from us, into another room if he needs a shot or to have blood drawn; that way if there's a negative association it's not with us. I know nothing untoward is going on next door though, because Spike LOVES to go to the vet, tugs to get in the door, loves the nurses and Dr. Y. I thought all that would end after he got fixed(!) there, but nope, he still loves the place...
  • My husband, and my soon to be brother in law, who is going to vet school, do the pin the dog thing. I don't. I don't feel positive doing it. It doesn't work for me. I don't want my dog wary of me. I want him to look forward to being with me.

    This is probably really ill informed in a million ways, I'm sure. I am also sure that my Brody is totally different than my other dogs have been and handles this treatment totally different. He will submit, but he looks at the person who did it differently. Actually when my husband wants to play or trim his nails, he will run to me and sit behind me, or even jump into the computer chair next to me. He knows mama is mama and is in control and I've never pinned him down. I do give him treats and work with him every day.

    He won't take treats from strangers yet. I suggest taking peanut butter to the vets if they won't take treats. Put a gob in their mouth behind the upper teeth, that should keep him busy licking and stuff while the vet is doing his thing. Especially if it's a treat at home.

    (o; I think all dogs are different, but I will say the shiba is wildly different. Maybe because he's so smart, I don't know, but his personality is quicker. At least with my guy. If he mouths too much or gets nutty, I say ouch and ignore him, or put him in his kennel and don't make eye contact even if he whines. Now that he's 4m he pretty much just chills in there and doesn't cry. He knows about time out. When he comes out he seems contrite and his behavior is better. He hates being ignored as much as he hates being forced to sit in a lap. I think he snuggles me more than any family member because I don't MAKE him do it. I'm just fun and quick with a treat or a ball/game of fetch.

    Good luck!

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