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New Puppies VERY skittish
  • slavy77slavy77
    Posts: 20
    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 15:24:41
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 2217
    This kind of behavior is often seen in puppy mill dogs who were raised in cages. I would start with clicker training and crating. They will likely feel much safer if they have a crate they can hide in when they want. Books by the following authors are a good place to begin (plan on reading a lot, responsible dog owners are informed dog owners)
    Karen Pryor
    Patricia McConnell
    Ian Dunbar
    Jean Donaldson
    Turid Rugaas

    Also consider bringing in a behaviorist to help you put together a healthy course of action for you and your dogs. You can find one here
    http://www.trulydogfriendly.com/blog/?page_id=4

    And there is also a wealth of information here
    http://www.dogstardaily.com/
  • maxwellsmaxwells
    Posts: 347
  • TengaiTengai
    Posts: 275
    Sounds to me they were in a cage and/or outside kennel and were never in a house. Def. use a crate they will probably feel more secure and gradually (hopefully) they will get used to everything and start to come around.
    The above ideas are sound ones. Don't wait too long to get profesional help if needed. Don't mean to alarm you, but your window of opportunity is closing fast to get these pups sociolaized and used to people.
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Everyone is right you need to get them a crate, fearful dogs need a place to run to and feel safe.Make sure you place the crates in an area you frequent in as well. A blanket thrown over the crate (leaving the front exposed) will also probably make them feel a lot more secure. You may want to separate them a little as well. You need to give them individual attention, and experiences so their personalities can show and not be influenced by the other. Plus it will be easier for you to see what in the environment is making each pup scared. Handle them as much as possible (but never forcibly), give them treats and praise. Don't ever force them to come to you, they are really impressionable at this age and if you make a drastic mistake, it will make things a lot harder later on. I really think you should get professional help while it is still early.
  • slavy77slavy77
    Posts: 20
    Thanks everyone. I don't have a crate yet for them, but sounds like its the way to go. We had a small kennel, but its enough room now for the. The future will be different. I want to expose them to lots of people and animals soon so they do get used to being around others. Also want to take them to puppy training.

    Once again thanks. I'll try these tips and start doing some reading. We do have a cuddle time with them every evening. I want to start walking them. Tonight they will get their collars on.
  • You may want to touch base w/ your local SPCA. Frequently they have behaviorists on staff who may be able to help you. Our local SPCA does phone consultations.

    Also, if there is a Shiba meetup in your area- join it! This will give you a "support group" and another way to socialize your pups.
  • slavy77slavy77
    Posts: 20
    Sukoshi's mom: what is SPCA? Sorry kind of new at this. And how would I find a Shiba group.
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Just a question, are these your very first dogs? If so, you really, need professional help. We all stressing this, because its one of those things where someone has to observe the behavior to actually help you, and hopefully not make things worse in trying to do so (make sure they use positive reinforcement only). All signs point to these being puppy mill Shibas. You also have it a little tough out of the gate because you paired two females together, not to mention one shiba pup, even to a seasoned dog owner isn't exactly a cake walk. The SPCA is the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, just type in your state and SPCA into Google so that you can locate one of these shelters. In addition to taking animals who were abused or abandoned, they often offer services to local pet owners (like seminars on certain issues, consultation for behavior problems, ect). Go to meetup.com and look for shiba groups in your area.

    Also make sure you buy them separate crates ( go for the open types and not the enclosed plane ones), not sure if you meant you were getting one or not. I really hope you truly researched this breed, so that you know these dogs belong with you. I'm not trying to scare you or anything, but I feel someone has to tell you these things early so it has a better chance of working out for you. If you have any specific questions at all search the forum, and if you don't find what your looking for do not hesitate to ask questions. This forum really is a great resource and its very active with people who are very knowledgeable when it comes to Shiba's and dog behavior in general who can provide you with very specific information. I really hope the best for you. Just a tip for when you are bringing them inside, make sure you find a treat they really like, and only give it to them when they come in.
    Post edited by JessicaRabbit at 2010-06-02 23:05:36
  • I did a search for you.

    Looks as though there isn't an established Shiba meetup yet in your area.

    Here is a listing of rescues, humane societies, etc. Look thru the list for organizations near you. Humane societies and SPCAs perform similar functions. The local humane society can probably give you assistance on behavior issues.

    http://www.saveourstrays.com/NE.htm

    Here is a link to the National Shiba Club of America. They may be able to direct you to a breeder close to you who might be able to provide additional info on Shibas to you.

    http://www.shibas.org/breeders.html
  • slavy77slavy77
    Posts: 20
    Thanks sukoshi's mom.

    Inoushi -- Why open crates and separate crates? What's the reasoning behind that? These two are pretty close. The dominant one is always checking on the other. I want to separate them more though because the dominant one (Nala) tends to be more playful and energetic if Sanka isn't around. Sanka seems like something is off. She won't even look at any humans. When inside just lays there and won't do anything. SHe's outside now and running around like a puppy should.

    I did research the breed and knew of their tendancies. What should I expect from two females?

    THanks again for all the help everyone.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    It sounds like they did not get much human interaction early on. About the crates, shy dogs are often more dog oriented and will rely on the more outgoing sibling for reassurance. To begin the process of human interaction it will be helpful to provide a separate crate area so that the process of individual autonomy can begin. I would also get and ex-pen and avoid giving free run of the yard since that can be very overwhelming at first. Also I would baby gate the dogs say in the kitchen rather free access in the house. A great deal of patience and small steps with lots of positive rewards will help. Whatever you do will need to be done in increments to avoid overwhelming the pups. Each animal will need worked with one on one without the other as part of the process, although they may play together they still need time apart while you interact with each in several sessions per day.

    Regardless excessive shyness needs to be address ASAP though. You have three weeks and the gap closes so get hands on help soon to form a plan of action specific to each dog. Having a qualified instructor (one who uses humane practices) come in to your home can be of benefit even if it is just one visit. If you wait beyond the next three weeks the behaviors will take much longer to overcome.

    I would get a consultation or phone consult possibly with the following place
    http://www.bonafidedogacademy.com/bf_about_us.shtml

    Good luck
    Snf
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2010-06-03 02:58:40
  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 882
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    The open ones have better ventilation and allow the pups to observe what is going on around them better. They also have the added benefit of coming with dividers in them which you can adjust as the pup grows. It is not a good idea to crate two dogs in the same crate for several reasons. The first is that your enclosing them in a small space with no escape, if a fight were to break out, it could be disastrous. Second its supposed to be the pup's own private space, as they mature they may start fighting over it.

    I know some people have had good results with same gender dogs, but its not as easy as having opposite genders. As they sexually mature aggression could start to arise and they will compete more over things (I'm guessing they are siblings, so they probably do this already, sans any real aggression). It would have been no different if you had two intact males. Some females tend to be pretty aggressive, more so then the males in some cases (not really a rule of thumb but I have observed this with many breeds of dogs and species of animals). Shibas and same sex pairs are not really recommended, because same sex aggression is very common in this breed, especially when you have a pup who may do a total 180 of a personality flip as they mature. Also while it is fine that they get along with each other, you need to make sure they get along with you and others as well. If they are constantly with the other this will be harder to accomplish (especially when it comes to training). You need them to focus on you, and they will have a hard time doing that if they are focusing on each other. Allow them to spend time together, but make sure they get their alone time with you as well.

    Dominance is really a sticky issue so I rather not use the word. What I can gather from what you have said about their interactions, it seems like Nala is pretty insecure and goes to her sister as a sense of familiarity. If Sanka is behaving aloof her sister may copy her. Also remember shibas can be pretty aloof at first, so her behavior towards you may start to shift once she adjusts. If remember correctly Sanka is the one who was sick on the way home, right? She may have associated the bad car ride with your house and may be a little traumatized since this was all rather sudden, especially if she was kept outside in a kennel.

    Can you describe her behavior in the house in more detail? Like for example does she get excited if you bring out treats, or toys? When you come near does she growl, or shy away with her ears low? if its only been a week, I think its a little premature to jump the gun, but since you did get her a little older, its going to be a little harder for her to adjust.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2010-06-03 04:23:35
  • Serkle kSerkle k
    Posts: 974
    I agree with everyone else as far as the advice they have given you.

    First and foremost, start the socialization process. This is important for dogs, no matter what breed.

    Second, research, research, research. Once you feel comfortable with the basic/general info you have found. Read it again, and research some more! You can never learn too much.

    Third, something else to consider when you get them alone, is clicker training.

    Finally, don't feel alarmed, or overwhelmed by all of the advice. The advice that everyone else has offered you is crucial for the well being of both your pups AND you. Something that might also give you a better idea of understanding your dogs and what they have missed - http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/DevelopmentalStages.html

    Good luck with everything, and please keep us posted on how everything is going.
  • slavy77slavy77
    Posts: 20
    Inoushi: Sanka was the one who got sick. When she's in the house she really doesn't show any emotion. She just lies down and ears are low. If we walk towards her she kind sinks down more. She won't walk in the house at all. She just lies there. She won't look at us. I put her on my stomach to get some cuddle time and she did all she could to face away from me. I tried to turn her to look at me and she just wouldn't do it. Basically when we bring her in the house she stays where ever we put her. She's nervous when we walk towards her, but doesn't run, just hunkers down and looks the other way.

    We are going to have to get some help. I'll do some calling around. As far as the cage...they aren't cheap. We have one closed kennel, but if we bought and open crate, could we get a bigger one and separate them in it? Would that work? Those crates are pretty expensive.

    Would spading the dogs help with their aggression?
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 2217
    You need to bring in a behaviorist ASAP this is a major concern. You have dogs with major fear issues. This means you cannot force them to do anything. Force will make things a thousand times worse. You need to be incredibly patient. And get professional help. Especially if you do not have a dog training back ground. These are very specialized cases. It is imperative that you find a positive reinforcement based behaviorist immediately. I cannot emphasize this enough.

    And no spaying her will not fix this at all.
    Post edited by JessicaRabbit at 2010-06-03 13:43:11
  • slavy77slavy77
    Posts: 20
    Thanks JessicaRabbit. We'll be looking for one ASAP. They will be going in for shots on Saturday and we'll ask if they know of one.
  • sailfloesailfloe
    Posts: 119
    Post edited by sailfloe at 2010-06-03 13:55:16
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Yeah they are pretty expensive depending on where you look. I remember going into the pet store and seeing closed crates and then looking at the open ones. I was pretty tempted to buy a closed one, but when I came to this forum they really made me change my mind. So I looked around on the web and I was actually able to get mine pretty cheap (actually the same price as the closed one in the store). Here is the site I was able to get it:

    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3307+10627+15281&pcatid=15281

    the $49.99 ones should last them their whole life and the shipping is only $5 (no matter how much you buy, preventive medications are free). This will be your best bet as far as price goes unless you can find a sale at a local pet store. Getting one large crate for them isn't really smart unless you can find a divider that is totally solid. But the price of the crates I'm thinking of are much more expensive then if you buy two of these. Don't worry about buying bumpers or anything, just use any blankets you have lying around the house (preferably one that isn't filled with something they could rip out).

    I'm glad you are getting help, this is really serious. For the time being, since they are comfortable outside, try to interact with them as much as possible (if they aren't shying away from you) when they are out. When they are indoors, praise and reward them. Im very worried about Sanka she sounds like a dog I know from work. I was able to win her over, but if anything changes (ie. a person comes in the room, something is dropped in another room) she cowers behind me. Even though she likes me, it takes her thirty minutes to creep towards me and even when she comes she still looks pretty dejected. She has also bitten a lot of people out of fear especially men (please make sure you expose your pups to as many people of different heights, body types, and skin colors).

    What has worked for me when it comes to fearful dogs has been to respect their space and only speak very low and gentle to them. I keep whatever space they feel safe in open so they can hang out in there while I do this. Since I tend to have to do this around other dogs, I can't use treats, so it takes a little while longer. However I think showing her that nice things happen when you are around will really help. Give her a treat (she may be too nervous to eat it in front of you, in this case leave). The advantage will be in your favor when you have her crate because she will be safe in it no matter where you put it. This will allow for her to get used to being around you, and the sounds of your house, without feeling a large amount of fear (or at the very least not as much). You should also pick one small area for these girls to spend their time in for.Its a bit overwhelming for even normal pups to be in a new place, it is much easier for them to adjust to a part of your house at time, slowly (like a couple of weeks). Since Sanka is so afraid, I'm not really sure what advice to give you on the exact placement. Keeping her too close or too far could cause even further problems, so consult someone ASAP on where you should place them.
  • slavy77slavy77
    Posts: 20
    Sailfloe - thanks for the tips on the cages. What I meant with the spaying was later in life. Right now they really love each other. If one is n the couch with me, the other is always checking to see how she's doing. it's like the one watches over the other...big sister like.

    I did separate them over lunch. We had two carriers, one big enough and one that will fit for now. We'll have to get another one as they grow.

    One more question(probably not the last): would it be a bad thing to split them up? If I could find a good home for one of them? I want to keep them both, but I'm afraid that if they are both having problems we might cause more if they both don't get the attention they need. If they were regular puppies it wouldn't be an issue. I don't want to go back to the breeder and try to give them to her. I think she's in that grey area someone mentioned. My fiance and I both work all day and we try to spend time with them. I just don't want to further hurt either dog. I want to do what is best for them. If its keeping them together we'll do what we need to, if it's giving one up, we'll do that.
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
  • slavy77slavy77
    Posts: 20
    I've called a trainer and will meet w/ them on Monday. Canine Consultants is very well respected in Lincoln, Nebraska. I don't want to give one up and don't want to separate them, but when we do, they seem to come out of their shell a little bit. I see potential for them when they aren't with each other. I really want what is best for the dogs.
  • Please keep in mind that a trainer is not the same as a behaviorist. When we attended puppy class there was a pup there with some serious fear issues. Our trainer, who is excellent and uses positive training and has done so for years, immediately suggested that the owner find a behaviorist since something like serious fear issues was not something where she was the best equipped to deal with it. If you have called someone who is a trainer I would certainly do the consultation and then ask them if they could recommend a good behaviorist. Trainers and behaviorists deal with two very different things and a trainer alone will not be properly equipped to handle the issue that you are currently confronting.
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
    Post edited by McYogi at 2010-06-04 13:29:33
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • slavy77slavy77
    Posts: 20
    McYogi...we'll have to meet sometime. My email is jeremys@swansonrussell.com.

    I'll keep everyone up to speed on our situation.

    I'm starting to wonder if we should look for a new home for one of them though. When we separate them, they are completely different. Nala is very playful with us and Sanka will react more to things. I think the are too dependent on each other. I'm going to talk to Trevor at K-9 Consultants and see what he thinks.
  • maxwellsmaxwells
    Posts: 347
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I'm so happy Nicole lives close to you. =)

    Like Jenn said maybe meeting up with Nicole's pack of shiba inu will help with things the two pups see their three dogs being friendly to people maybe the two will open up more?
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171

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