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Socialization, Fear, & Anxiety
Kai is acting weird again. He hit 11 weeks a couple days ago so I'm hoping its him entering a fear stage. First he got hand shy all of a sudden. And today he jumped away from his harness when I went to put it on him for a walk.
He did need to go but he wouldn't come near me while the harness was in my hands. And he'd jump away if I reached for him while holding it. When I dropped the harness on the floor and called him, he came over. But when I picked it up again, he jumped back again. Figuring he wasn't gonna hold it forever, i just went with his collar (hate doing that). No problem there. He sat by the door while I put the leash on his collar no problem.
Only other thing I can think of is the harness has gotten uncomfortable for him.
[mod edit: re-categorized due to addition of new category]
Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 15:11:59
There is no question he is experiencing one of his fear stages. This is when positive reinforcement is positively essential.
So basically rub the harness with a slab of cheese and a couple slices of bacon?
We have a Puppia harness but he's in between sizes right now. So we're using a cheap nylon one from Petsmart that requires 2 people if we wanna treat him and get it on him without forcing him (step in harness my fanny!).
start by holding the harness and a couple really good stinky treats. When he shows interest click and treat
next day same thing see if he will let you bring it close to him. Same thing click and treat.
going as slow as he needs (it might be a week or two you could get him to LOVE his harness.
happy talk in a little voice goes a long way.
Does running from the harness always mean fear, though? Mitsuko, 12 weeks to the day, does that sometimes, but she has never seemed scared - she acts like it's a game (she'll ask to go out, I'll take the harness, and she'll run and then start playing). I use treat lure and then get her harnessed while she is chewing/distracted, but I had assumed that she was feeling either extra playful or a bit defiant...she never seems frightened/never flinches. But if it IS fear, I don't want to push her too far...
Many shibas like to play "chase me" My shiba Moto was the king of that game.I found the most effective way to get him to come was to run away from him.
I can read Kai pretty alright / ok / somewhat
This is either fear or discomfort. I say discomfort is a possibility because he seems to walk funny (to me) when he's wearing it. Collared, he walks normal and his stride is open. In it, he almost high steps everywhere
Many dogs are initially uncomfortable with harnesses especially one like the puppia which covers so much. Try doing the treat conditioning. He will eventually get past it as long as you are patient with him.
How long does fear stage last? Endo is 5 months and looks like he hit his first fear stage!
I'm not sure there is a specific length of time...I think it depends on how well your pup was initially socialized, it's overall temperament, and how well you condition the pup to the new fears.
Not to toot my own horn, but I honestly don't remember Kobe(or my past dogs) going through any fear stages. I'm sure they did...maybe just more subtle than others. So I really can't give a specific length of time....maybe others can.
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
It is same thing happening to my 6 months old shiba. I am using treat to lure but he never come to me if I have a harness. If he sees harness, he freaks out. What should I do ? It takes 30 minutes to get hold on him. I usually bring him to the bedroom with door closed and try to put him into corner with treat.
I sort of have that problem. I use the stay command and if banjo walks away I say no, and put the leash on the floor and continue my day. We leave on my schedule or not at all. Its very rare we play chase the shiba anymore.
-your issue sounds more like a fear stage whereas
's issue sounds more like his Shiba initiating a game of chase the Shiba.
My boy Quake sometimes likes to play chase the Shiba when I try to put on his harness and I do as
suggested. Quake does not mind the harness. However, Quake is very afraid of any collar because his previous Pet Parents used a choke collar on him. I am having to desensitize him just be be able to put on an Adaptil collar.
My pup is 11 weeks, and we have trouble with her getting very scared outside if a person or other dog is present. She is fine indoors, though she is nervous when someone new comes into our home. But elsewhere she has been friendly and inviting. Is this normal? I will be doing as much as I can to desensitize as soon as she finishes her shots so I can walk her and treat her for calm behavior. But I was just wondering if this was a stage or something I should really be concerned about?
You can invite people into your home to meet your dog. Have them give her toys or treats and reward her when she is calm. Then you can slowly work up to having people approach your dog (preferably people that she's met before, while you are outside). This would take a lot of coordination on your part (you can invite people over for a meet the puppy session),. Especially in puppyhood you need to teach your dogs that other people and other dogs are generally okay and how they should react to them.
When I did puppy classes with Ham. There was a dog that was extremely nervous being outside of the home and in the presence of other people and dogs. To the point on the first class in the middle she started crying and needed to go to another room to calm down. After that point we all took turns just throwing pieces of cheese to her during the class, but we never approached her her and otherwise ignored her, but as we were doing our normal puppy class things, every so often we would throw a piece of cheese to her. After a few weeks, we could throw the cheese a little bit away from us and she would approach us to get the cheese and walk away. By the end of the class (8 weeks later) we could get her to take a treat out of our hand. She wouldn't linger, she didn't want to be petted, but it was a huge improvement.
Even though Ham didn't have much anxiety about meeting new people when he was a puppy, I still worked hard so that in the beginning, every person who approached Ham had a treat for him. To this day he thinks that all people have pieces of hotdog and cheese for him (and he just has to find it). If you coordinate some of your friends or colleagues to help you with this I think you might be able to see some good progress.
Even if you are letting her outside to go potty and she seems to be calm(er), I would reward her. Also if you can, I would schedule play times outside (either your yard or another safe space) with some of her favorite toys and treats so she can associate being outside with fun things. The last thing I'd suggest is finding what distance you can be away from another person or dog before she gets scared. If you are outside and she sees someone far away call her attention to you and reward her. As that person gets closer and as she stays calm you can continue rewarding her.
Also last last thing... I would also seek out a behavioralist if things don't start clearing up with some training. It's possible that this anxiety is caused my something serious medically or--depending on where/how you acquired your puppy--something that previously happened that is causing your puppy to be anxious. A behavioralist and some one on one time with a positive re-enforcement type trainer would also help too.
That's all really great advice. Some of it is difficult since we just moved to town, and I don't really know anyone. I've had some family members come over and we did treats to get her to approach, and it didn't take too long for her to warm up to them. Outside is my concern. I usually get down on her level without encouraging her, so she knows I'm there to protect her if she feels threatened, but I try not to pet or anything if she gets scared.
You can start with you praising and giving treats when she looks at people or the things that make her nervous. Try to catch the moment when she sees the scary thing, probably getting tense but not yet feels too scared since by then she probably won't accept anything to eat.
People have a hard time leaving a little cute shiba puppy alone, it can be hard to be "rude" and say no to people that want to pet her.I always say that my dog will be happy to smell you but she doesn't like being petted by strangers. Most people accept that. When she was younger we practised that if she would get up to a stranger to smell their hand she would get a treat from me. That also meant that she would have an "escape route", running back to me. After an incident with a man that frightened her she developed a fear for people, But she would still go up to people and smell them to assess them a bit and people would misinterpret and think she wanted to be petted. Which made it very awquard for her. But when she learned that I had treats she could quickly smell them and run back to safety. I would tell people in advance that we were training so they knew what was going on and I had a command "greet" for her.
Luckily most people are too busy to notice her, but she certainly notices them. And I had a neighbor who was sensitive and kind of squated sideways and just chatted with me while Suki investigated. I think if everyone did that, she would be fine. But I will definitely be working with her on her fear.
I have read through multiple threads under this Socialization, Fear, and Anxiety and this thread seems to fit what I have going on the most. I am very worried and concerned about my shiba Azriel. He is three now, and basically all his life he has been a very happy go lucky dog. However, he does of course have things that make him nervous like loud noises. I made sure to do a ton of socialization and praise when he was a pup, and i continue to try and do those things frequently to keep him happy and healthy.
|All this being said, for the last three days he has not been acting like himself. He is constantly trying to hide behind or under things when he is inside, and if he is not hiding he is visibly shaking usually. Nothing has changed in the home and I cannot for the life of me think of anything that would have scared him. He has never acted fearful for this long. I have looked him over from paws to ears to tail and cannot find anything that would seem to cause him to act differently or cause him discomfort or pain.
Also, on another forum I came across "fear stages" but I guess I do not fully understand what they are or how they work so I will continue to research on that topic..
I am scheduling him an appointment with the vet tomorrow just to make sure there are not any underlying health issues. As well as a vet check tho, I wanted to ask for other experiences and advice if anyone has any. I will continue to read through other threads under this category, but any advice or suggestions I will be happy to listen to.
At 3 yrs he is an adult so I don't think it is a fear stage. They are more part of growing up. Unless he has any medical issues my guess is something has scared him really bad. Some sudden noise, something inside the house that has hurt him (chewing on an electrical cord, something fallen on top of him).
I find that Juni reacts very different to things if she is stressed (and stress can have been both positive like learning new things at a class or have been for a long jog with me or negative like a car ride). Normal days she just walks along, after stress she can bark at people only for wearing a weird hat on...In your case it sounds a lot more severe, shaking (or panting) for that long I would be very worried too.
Perhaps try and ease his discomfort with Adaptil spray or plug in and something else that mildly reduce anxieties. What is he like outside? Is there a difference depending on what room he is in? Can he be distracted with toys or play?
I cannot think of anything that would have scared him. He doesn't chew on things unless it's his toys or the occasional sock. He acts the same in other rooms and outside he his a little better but he still doesn't run and play like he normally would. I have tried distractions and he wants nothing to do with toys which is highly irregular. That is actually what got me really worried. Treats and training help for a minute but he quickly goes back to hiding. I cannot for the life of my figure it out. I am going to call the vet today and see what he has to say. Otherwise I just try to comfort him as much as I can. He does still sit in my lap and cuddle but he shakes until he is comfortable.. I am hoping I can figure this out soon. It has me very worried.
Hi! I really need some advice about my Shiba. My pup is currently 15 weeks. I don't know if he is experiencing fear stage or something else going on. I live in an apartment in the city.
He is really playful and active when he is at home, and he doesn't go potty inside my apartment. He is okay with putting on the collar and leash near the door, and after I open the door, he sits inside the apartment and refuses to go outside. Sometimes, I lure him with the treats and it works, but the most time, the treats don't work. I usually hold him to my elevator. The weird thing is he only refuses to go on the hallway from my apartment door to the elevator. After getting on the elevator, he is fine to go outside. As far as I noticed, I don't see him ask for going outside, but he doesn't pee on my floor either, so I am confused.
When outdoor, he runs away from strangers and sometimes refuses to walk when he sees there is people walk towards him (not actually towards him though). Because he is scared, I don't allow strangers to pet him. He is also not comfortable with other dogs. I have a puppy class ongoing every week. So far, we had two classes. In the first class, he hid under a chair all the time, and refused treats, so we basically just watched the class. When it was the puppy play session, he didn't want to play with others, so the trainer decided to separate him, and let him watch other puppies play. The second class, he was less nervous and accepted the treats, so we did do some commands. However, he still refused to play with other dogs. This time, trainer put a Corgi to play with him. Corgi tried to initiate play so hard, but my pup just sat there and watched him.
Could anyone give any advice for me? I don't know what to do right now. Thanks!
- It sounds like your pup was not socialized at all by the breeder.
That means you have a very long road ahead of you to get this pup properly socialized. For the hallway issue, start making the hallway where great and amazing things happen. Does your pup like to play fetch or tug? Do that in the hallway. Does your pup have a favourite "will do anything for it" treat? Give that in the hallway.
Work slowly to make the hallway a pleasing place to be.
As for the people/dogs fearfulness... There are lots of threads on socialization that I would read through that have some great suggestions that would be silly for me to repeat here. But the key is patience and listening to your pup. Start slow, reward when the pup takes steps to be more social, and stop the socialization exercise before the pup gets too overwhelmed.
Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
I Wander, I Ride
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