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Post Info TOPIC: Help! My dog is SO skittish!
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Jedi

Posts: 2649
Date: Feb 17, 2011
Help! My dog is SO skittish!
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My dog is suddenly very skittish. It's driving me crazy. You stand up too fast and she runs!

She is not an abused dog, I've never hit her and she's never acted like this before.

I have two theories for why:

My neighbors and I had a shouting match over my dog barking, the other neighbors dogs were let out at the same time I let mine out, 11pm. She barked for a second before I could calm her down, and the other neighbor came to her window going "ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME!? CONTROL YOUR DAMN DOG" only she didn't use effing. Her dogs bark all.the.damn.time. My other's neighbors dogs bark all.the.damn.time, yet only my dog gets yelled at. I know it was rude, but the way they were shouting about her, I'm worried they might have done something to her when I was inside once and she was in the yard, like hit her or throw things at her or something. IF this is the case, they messed with my baby and I'm not one to be messed with. AND I can claim hormones and get a lighter sentence.

Another theory is there are a LOT of big birds flying around this past week, my guess is they're migrating back north. The other day there were like 40 hawk sized birds flying around. I'm not kidding. Maybe not exactly 40 but there were a lot. I think one might have tried to snatch her but failed. She's a smaller dog but she's fat (Like me.).

But that is besides the point. I need help from dog people. How do I calm her down? I feel so bad that she's so scared, and I want to help her relax again where she isn't so skittish. This is NOT normal behavior for her. It is also really annoying because she will be laying somewhere close, you move to get up and she runs (and has tripped me already once.)

So, how do I calm her down and make her comfortable again?

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Sith Lord

Posts: 21944
Date: Feb 17, 2011
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Building her confidence with training.

she barks, you give her attention, negative re-inforcement. She learns barking is a reward because she gets love/attention. It's also self rewarding because whatever the animal is, it walks or moves away, your dog is now big dog on campus!

I suggest she barks when you are home, walk over to window in a calm voice 'oh, silly, that's just  the mailman... ' or whatever it is and ignore her over reacting.

I routinely do this with bikers or joggers that pass by.

if it's still an issue, leave her leash on in the house and then when she barks and over reacts, grab it calmly and make her do what you want, walk at heel, sit, fetch. It will serve as a redirect and assert you as the person in control.

I have a 90 pound male Rottweiler. I have to out think him because physcially, he could win. lol.


edit: typo - clam's have voice lol.


-- Edited by YellowDaisy6 on Thursday 17th of February 2011 09:55:30 AM

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Jedi

Posts: 2649
Date: Feb 17, 2011
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Barking really isn't the problem. She barks when she plays, and that's really it. She was trying to play with the neighbors dogs, which she does by bounding around and barking, and most of the time when she barks when playing all she needs is a "Oh, shhh you're not intimidating!" and she shuts up. MAJOR improvements from when I first moved here.

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Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.


Jedi

Posts: 2649
Date: Feb 17, 2011
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To clarify, the problem is her being incredibly skittish. I seriously can't move unless it's in really slow mo without her starting or jumping or running away.

__________________
Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.


Sith Lord

Posts: 21944
Date: Feb 17, 2011
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You need an animal behaviorist then. She's a nervy dog. Training can help in part grow confidence, as she then knows you will take care of all the problems. A truly nervy dog needs professional help - think Cesar Milan stuff.

How old is she? and how long have you had her?

A calm happy voice I find does help a lot. My Max is a rescue and was malnorished when the rescue organization got him. He was only half trained. Resouce guarder, seperation anxiety, trust issues, etc.

Once he calmed down and knew I would take care of things (Alpha) he relaxed. The process took a good year.

I recommend: the art of raising a puppy, how to be your dogs best friend ( Monks of new Sket. Culture Clash ( forget author's name.) as a start.

Feel free to check out this subsection of rottweiler.net. they will help at chat away section for any non rottweiler issues: http://www.rottweiler.net/forums/chit-chat-corner/

They are a fountain of info and wonderful people.

I suggest reading their behavior section, rott or not. And check out NILF  - Nothing in life is free. Dogs love goal accomplishements. That's why training works so well - they want to please.

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'If Obama had been President of the Republic of Texas in 1836, he would have put Santa Anna's invading army on food stamps and Section 8 housing in return for their votes.' ~ Yu So Wong

 



Jedi

Posts: 2649
Date: Feb 17, 2011
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She's three and I've had her since she was a puppy. This is not something that's normal for her, it started maybe a week ago. It started out of the blue. There haven't been any major changes. That's why I am at a loss.

-- Edited by Katy on Thursday 17th of February 2011 10:36:01 AM

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Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.


Sith Lord

Posts: 21944
Date: Feb 17, 2011
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When was her last vet visit?

Any trauma you are aware of?

If it's recent and she's always been happy go lucky, I'd see a vet to rule out any physcial problems. Dogs tend to hide illness because it's a sign of weakness to the pack.

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'If Obama had been President of the Republic of Texas in 1836, he would have put Santa Anna's invading army on food stamps and Section 8 housing in return for their votes.' ~ Yu So Wong

 



Sith Lord

Posts: 17112
Date: Feb 17, 2011
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Okay, rule number one: DO NOT console her when she is like this. Do not pet her or talk in a calm voice or reassure her. That is the WORST thing you can do for her and it WILL make it worse.

If you stand up quickly and she shies away, big deal, ignore it. Better yet, keep a leash on her whenever you're home and when you stand up or move away be ready to move her with you with the leash. Don't even give her the option to move away. Just calmly get up and start walking and make her walk with you for a few seconds until she snaps out of it.

This only just started? Cake, you should break her of this easy. Keep me updated.

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Sith Lord

Posts: 17112
Date: Feb 21, 2011
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bump, how's doggy?

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Jedi

Posts: 2649
Date: Feb 21, 2011
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Skittish as ever. I don't get it.

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Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.


Sith Lord

Posts: 17112
Date: Feb 21, 2011
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Have you tried my techniques at all? I'll need more details :p

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Jedi

Posts: 1357
Date: Feb 23, 2011
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I missed all this, but have you considered that your body chemicals change with pregnancy (hormones) and dogs can smell this. It might take some time for your smell to be familiar again....

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Sith Lord

Posts: 17112
Date: Feb 23, 2011
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justplaintired wrote:

I missed all this, but have you considered that your body chemicals change with pregnancy (hormones) and dogs can smell this. It might take some time for your smell to be familiar again....




That's interesting jpt I never would have thought of that!



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Live everyday like your hair looks like that on purpose



Jedi

Posts: 1357
Date: Feb 23, 2011
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I only remembered because my cat acted very oddly and was standoffish the first few months of my pregnancy...she was fine in the later months though...

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Jedi

Posts: 2649
Date: Feb 28, 2011
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I figured out what was going on.

There is a box I had recently put in the kitchen under one of the tables. The box is bigger than her and right next to her bowl.

Apparently the box scares the sh!t out of her. I walked in on her growling and barking at the box and cautiously reaching to get a piece of food. How i've missed this for the entire time she's been skittish is beyond me.

I moved the box up out of sight and she is more relaxed.

__________________
Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.


Sith Lord

Posts: 17112
Date: Feb 28, 2011
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Well that's good that it was something easy!

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Live everyday like your hair looks like that on purpose

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