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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-01-2015 10:42 PM
FinnickHog Yay that's good news! I'm glad she's willing to follow you out of her hiding spot. Sounds like pretty good progress to me!
06-01-2015 09:37 PM
Honeytastic Sorry if anyone suggested this possibility before, I read very quickly, but when I read the problem for me it just seemed like maybe she doesn't want to go outside because she knows that means you're leaving? She can be relating going outside with not seeing you for hours. Or maybe something happens in the backyard that she doesn't like, like maybe she got bit by a bug or he's scared of... squirrels? There are many possibilities.

I also want to add that dogs barking to violence does not necessarily mean they have been abused. My wiener dog has never been abused, and he barks when my brother gets a little violent while playing videogames, or when my family yells when they're watching a game, or when my brother and dad hit each other "playfully". I think it's normal for them to bark to violence because they think something's wrong or something's getting hurt.

I, too, recommend bribery and just stubbornly insisting. Eventually she'll learn... or I hope! Experience tells me she will c:
06-01-2015 08:31 PM
shinydistraction Haha, oh, yes, she's a weirdo. But it's meant with much love and affection. She's a silly girl. But anyway, you've actually really given me something to go on. I didn't have a word or a term for the behavior, but den behavior, I think is the exact right phrase for it. That will help my research a lot

As an update, Kaya (I suppose I could have mentioned her name earlier :P) has been successfully coaxed out of her hiding place with treats the last few days. I've been starting out with a treat rather than trying to get her to come out on my own and having her become upset. I'm finding if I show her that I have a treat and then walk away she'll typically follow after a moment. I'll also try to up the number of treats she receives outside as well.

Thank you all for the discussion! I think talking it out helped me a bunch as well as your suggestions. If anyone has anything else to add I'm all ears
05-31-2015 03:42 PM
Soyala_Amaya That is not a "weirdo" thing, it's actually a shy, submissive reaction. You are right in that she has taken to seeing the desk as her "safe place" but den behavior is common in shelter dogs.

Makes sure you not sitting directly in front of the desk if you are trying to coax out the doggie. That blocks his access and will probably make him uncomfortable. Give him plenty of time to come out on his own but he needs to go potty, so you might try standing to the side and throwing out something tasty in front of the crate.

I've copied an article that might apply to your situation, but you may need to extrapolate a bit.

La Trenda, MA, MHR
Puddin's Training Tips
SAPAWs, San Antonio Express News City Brights

Unsocialized Dog Tips
(These tips also apply to well-adjusted, happy, friendly dogs)

Applies to your own shy dog, a shy dog you meet on the street or volunteering at a shelter.
* Caution - although a shy dog's first response is mostly likely to run away when frightened, a shy dog can and will bite if she or he feels cornered or trapped. Give yourself and the dog an escape route when socializing.

How do you recognize an unsocialized dog? One, some or all of the below:
Tail tucked
Eyes darting and/or wide open
Cowering, ducking
Heavy panting
Excessive licking
Backing away from you

When the kennel worker takes me out of my kennel and hands me to you, please just let me walk. The first thing I want to do is go potty. Then I want to smell where everyone else has pottied, then I want to stretch my legs and get used to the idea that a stranger is walking me. If you try to pet me as soon as I come out of the kennel, you will probably frighten me; I will feel trapped and forced into getting petted. Also if you try to comfort me when I’m scared you only reinforce my timid behavior.

Please realize that we don’t have to do anything when we are together. I’m just happy to get out and about. Don’t feel bad if I don’t want to play fetch or jump in the pool or talk to you right away.

If we are in a play area together or a kennel or a house, please give me plenty of space and allow me to come up to you when I’m ready. I’m much more comfortable meeting you on my own terms. I will warm up to you much faster if our meeting isn’t forced. Let me come to you when I’m ready.

Please don’t make any sudden movements. All movements should be slow, flowing and deliberate. Let me know what you are doing at all times.

I feel much more comfortable when we are on the same level. I would really appreciate it if you would sit on the ground or floor for me. Then you don’t look so big and you look much less frightening.

Please don’t look directly at me. Use your peripheral vision if possible. In doggie language, a direct stare means that you are challenging me and looking for a confrontation. Try to keep your side to my side.

Please don’t try to pet me on my head. This can be frightening to me. Once I’m ready to get petted, I will approach you. When I do this, then slowly raise your cupped hand (no straight fingers) towards my chest or shoulder and give me a little scritch. If I don’t cower, then you can try scratching my back. If I try to run off while you are petting me, please let me. I’ll come back when I feel more comfortable.

If I'm frightened, it's best to leave my leash on at all time when we are outside. Even in an enclosed area like a yard. If not, you might have a hard time releashing me or getting me back inside.

What happens if you can’t pick up my leash or get my leash back on?
Please don’t chase or corner me. This will only frighten me more and I might try to bite you
You might want to try hiding the leash and just petting me first; then slip the leash on when I’m not expecting it (slow and deliberate movements)

Since I’m so timid, I might try to escape the first chance I get. If I get loose, please don’t chase me or corner me. This will only frighten me more. Call softly if it doesn't seem to bother. Try walking or crawling backwards towards me. This make me more comfortable.
05-31-2015 11:33 AM
shetland I would contact an expert trainer who uses gentle training. That is a habit that needs to stop. My very first dog went to school and I learned a lot that I have carried with me through the years. My vet acutally reccommended it. I would make sure of the track record of the trainer.
05-30-2015 09:35 PM
shinydistraction She is definitely a weirdo. She seems like she's an older girl. The shelter was thinking 5 or 6. I think there's just going to be some weirdness with a dog that's had an inconsistent life. If she's been laying down for a while she sometimes struggles to get up. Not sure if that's just age or an old injury. Could be why she wakes up so grouchy in the morning though.

She has yet to get her way when she gets snarly. I refuse to be bullied by my pets. But I'm not a fan of the heart pounding moments that accompany her deciding to act like an angsty teenager. If I spend some time talking to her I can usually calm her enough so I can pet her some, and if I can do that i can get a hold of her collar and pull her out of her hiding spot. It's just very stressful for both of us. I will keep trying to bribe her out and see where that gets us.
05-30-2015 07:13 AM
FinnickHog She definitely sounds like a bit of an oddball . There's a fine line between bribery and "ooh I'm going to intentionally hide so I get a treat" with some dogs. Is it possible to lure her all the way outside with food that smells amazing, and then give it to her once she's completely out of the house?

If she's a very clever dog she may just be testing you to see what she can get away with. You'll have to just be as stubborn as she is for now, since she's still settling in. My Australian cattle dog is like that with me regularly but stubbornness is one of their breed traits. He likes to hold out to see how far he can push the boundaries. The food lure trick would only work with him if I had something absolutely amazing in my hand. Be consistent; don't just give up and let her hide. If you feel safe reaching in and dragging her (gently!) Out of hiding, that might be worth trying. You can also try feeding her meals to her outside so she associates the two things and actually anticipates it.

I hope something in there helps! And I'm really glad you're not a Cesar fan
05-29-2015 10:11 PM
shinydistraction Ally - It's very possible she came from a home that had some sort of violence going on. She is a very quiet dog. Almost never barks. She saw my husband using his punching bag and she went nuts barking at him.

I am a big fan of positive reinforcement, so I've done my best to make things she doesn't like better with yummy treats, but when she decides she's not going outside there is no making that tail wag.

Finnick -I wish I could more easily rely on the rescue group, but they're actually from the next town over (about an hour away) and a two person operation on top of that. They actually run a restaurant to help cover the costs of running their rescue.

I'm actually not convinced it's a fear response. She's not cowering or making noises to indicate she's distressed. No whimpering or whining. She's just not acting in a way that says "I'm afraid, leave me alone." She lays there quietly with her ears back, often looking at me from the side or even refusing eye contact. I'm getting more of a "I know what you're going to do and you can't make me" sort of vibe. I think she's decided that under the desk is her safe haven and she feels like she can defend herself from anything she doesn't want while she's there. You get her out of there and the aggressiveness goes away. That being said, if all I want is to pet her or play I could crawl under there with her and get drowned in dog slobber.

Oddly enough, I think part of it is just that she wakes up in a grumpy mood. This seems to be most frequently a problem when I wake her up in the morning or if she's napping (or trying to nap) when it's time for her to go out. My concern with having to bribe her out of there is I'm worried she'll continue the bad behavior because she knows she'll get a treat. I guess if I start out with the treat to begin with I'm rewarding her for coming out and doing good while avoiding the bad behavior altogether?

Don't worry, I will not be using Cesar Milan's techniques. Can't respect a man that's supposed to be a professional dog trainer that gets bit by a dog that was very clearly telling him to back off.
05-29-2015 03:41 AM
FinnickHog If you got your dog from a rescue group, you should be able to give them a call and they'll work through the problems with you. None of the decent rescue groups ever want a new owner to fail.

In the meantime, I'd stick with bribery. My rescue is extremely dog reactive. I've had him for a year now and even with the custom lessons I still have to carry a small bag of chicken or fish everywhere we go, just in case the wrong dog crosses our path. Most dogs will do all kinds of impressive things for food.

When your dog cowers, stay happy (but calm, some dogs will cower more with too much excitement) and offer a high quality treat. I'd also give something tasty every time your dog goes out willingly just to reinforce the behavior.

Don't get closer if you feel threatened, but don't back down either. Throw small pieces of food at the dog (all normal dogs will eat what's thrown) until you feel less threatened, and then offer the food by hand, letting the dog nibble at it while you move the food (and the dog) toward the door.

Most importantly, pick a technique that works and stick with it. It could take a lot of time, but it will get easier.

Additionally, this is my own personal opinion, but since your dog is showing signs of fear aggression, do not use Cesar Milan's techniques. In my experience this will result in increased fear and a very bad bite.

Good luck! If your rescue group isn't willing to help, pm me and I'll get you some handouts and information from the Calgary Humane Society regarding fear aggression .
05-29-2015 01:59 AM
Ally's_Oliver She may have been abused. One of our dogs is terrified of the broom. He was beaten with one several times as a pup. It could also be that She may just be mildly aggressive when it comes to being forced to do something she doesn't want. I've also had dogs like this. Hopefully she'll relax around you in time, but try using positive reinforcement. Talk to her excitedly to get her to go outside. And give her w little treat when gets out. I'd put a hold on trying to force her out, reaching to pull her out etc. as much as you can. Get her excited with her tail wagging to get her up and moving. Sorry I don't know of any dog forums. I'm just going off of my own experience. All the dogs I've had my entire life are rescued or born into the family.
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