For all new members, please check out the thread New to the Forum? What to do and forum guidelines.
Afraid to go outside again
  • zoezoezoezoe
    Posts: 110
    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 10:29:47
  • shibahiroshibahiro
    Posts: 977
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • zoezoezoezoe
    Posts: 110
    Thanks for the comments!

    She does not take treats when we are outside or any other time when she is afraid.

    She also gets car sick or is afraid of car rides to the point that she always throws up. That is another thing we would need to work on if we were to take her somewhere by car.

    We do have a stoop that we've tried sitting at several times. She hugs the front door and after awhile lays down once she gets tired of sitting. She also begins to salivate a lot as we sit out there.

    I'm out of ideas. I don't know if I should continue "forcing" her to go for walks, if I should increase her exposure and go on daily walks or if I should just allow her to stay in the comforts of our home forever so she never has to see scary cars and people again (except for vet visits).
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I recall my first shiba doing this around the same age. I do think this may be a fear stage, but regardless, I also was prompted to consult a behaviorist when while on walks, Beebe was dragging behind me, surging ahead, trying to run away, having diarrhea, tail and ears down, fear barking, etc. I remember driving to the park for her walk which was all of 7 blocks away because she was such a mental case. When I got the park, I would let the door open and she would just panic from inside the car and refuse to come out. I did everything wrong with her for the first year, including forcing her to go on walks when she was scared, and now she is very spooky and neophobic.

    If your girl is comfortable being carried, work from that, but I think you need to start with baby steps, and like Casey's idea of sitting on the stoop. Perhaps try some calming medicines or herbals to help take the edge off prior to some very mild, low stress exposure outside the house. For instance, work at treating and clicking where she is comfortable enough to eat. I agree that flooding by dragging her on a walk will serve to build it up in her head as the most scary experience ever (like the park walks became for my dog). Letting her explore the setting on her own with the freedom to escape is also important, so perhaps having her in an expen on the stoop where she can go back inside a few feet, but not retreat entirely. I do think there is some wisdom in facing fears, but I don't think fearful dogs cope with that very well, so it has to be something they learn to do for themselves, and it does take time.

    Unfortunately, with some dogs, particularly those with poor socializing during the critical development window, allowing total withdrawal and isolation during this 8-12 month fear period can create a dog who is very isolated and antisocial with poor coping skills. I would go very slow with her, continue working with a behavior expert, and carry her to potty areas if you don't have a yard. Otherwise, have patience, be consistent with praise and reward, and she will begin exploring more on her own as she begins to have more trust in you. I would also consider a shy dog class.
  • zoezoezoezoe
    Posts: 110
    Sunyata - She's a bit big for a sling at 30 lbs + so my boyfriend generally carries her for as far as he can (usually puts her down where the street gets quieter).

    Sandra & Lindsay - Thanks for the advice. I will try these methods with her and look for a new behaviorist. Her behavior is changing every day and it seems like she's becoming afraid of more and more things. Last night I left a pile of laundry near her (she had watched me fold it the entire time) and when I left the room I could hear her growling at the laundry! I just want her to enjoy life and not be so fearful of everything!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • ckwong830ckwong830
    Posts: 18
    Kyuubi is also experiencing the same situation. We also let her out in the backyard to pee/poop but she is afraid of everything outside of the house. Just curious, how is Zoey doing now? We're doing everything we can to try to walk her but she's scared as soon as she sees me with a harness. She won't even walk out the front door of our house. We just started trying to let her out in the front porch and hang out there with her for 10 mins a day. It seem like she's getting a little better. She will walk a little outside of our porch and then run back towards the front door but at least her tail was not down.
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    There are some other good threads where members get into specific discussions of the techniques mentioned by @Sandrat88. Try searching "fear" or "afraid" using the advanced search function.
  • Blu_by_uBlu_by_u
    Posts: 42
    Post edited by Blu_by_u at 2012-07-27 23:39:59
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I don't know if the shibashake website owner is on this forum too but I had a look at it and feel there's a lot of better websites and literature on dog training than that one. For example the suggestion to use prong collars for leash training I strongly disagree with, her examples of what to do with a hyper dog have no example of how to instantly calm a dog down and I don't like the Cesar Milan references either. I'd search for professional dog trainer's sites instead.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    If you have a fearful animal any kind of rough handling and pinch collars will most likely make matters much much worse, so as Juni points out, avoid that completely.

    Have you taken your pup to puppy K to help out or any social play groups for young dogs with trainer help? If not, I highly recommend that you try it out. Some fearful dogs are more comfortable with another dog friend around.

    Also with fearful dogs you have to start acclimating inside or around home boundary (like you are doing). Start around other safe pups (that don't scare or bully) and train some some small elements so you have something to work with when you do need to go outside. You will need to go in baby steps and build.

    For outdoor time I would only take the dog to a known comfortable spot on leash for potty or beginning training. For me that would be the in a "designated safe zone" of the back yard where other distractions that scare are not in view.

    See if you can find a trainer to help you soon. If you are in the U.S. truly dog friendly is a good start and from there a trainer should be able to give other advice or possibly some recommendations for a behaviorist if you need it.

    Dogs that have not been enriched as puppies will need special commitment in training to overcome their fears. Working with a kind trainer will help to find a management plan that assists with building in trust into your program. Again, avoid any and all harsh methods.

    Good luck

    PS: you may want to look at this and
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2012-07-30 10:02:42

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Who's Online (0)