Puppy Fear Periods
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Thread: Puppy Fear Periods

  1. #1
    Senior Member DobManiac's Avatar
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    Puppy Fear Periods

    Ollie was entered in her first dog show this weekend. We have been attending conformation classes and I work with her at least a few times a week. But this weekend she just would not let anyone touch her rear. Every time someone's hand would go half way down her back she would scoot away or try to sit down.

    The breeder thinks she's just stubborn, which is highly likely. LOL But Ollie and I have been practicing, and this was a completely new reaction from her. A friend of mine said she might be going through a fear period.

    Can someone explain what a fear period is, and at what ages they show up. She is just over 6 months now. Thanks.

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    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Fear Periods

    This might help:

    http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/Dev...talStages.html

    Scroll down to the 'Second Fear Period' - 6 to 14 months.
    -Melissa
    Life is never dull with a Beagle

  4. #3
    Senior Member Dogstar's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Fear Periods

    She could be in a fear period, but it may also be reflexive. After all- we get puppies at 8 weeks, and most of us (except for the hard-core show-first people :P) tend to teach sit right off the bat- and we encourage puppies to sit for petting and reinforce sitting by petting!

  5. #4
    Senior Member DobManiac's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Fear Periods

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogstar View Post
    She could be in a fear period, but it may also be reflexive. After all- we get puppies at 8 weeks, and most of us (except for the hard-core show-first people :P) tend to teach sit right off the bat- and we encourage puppies to sit for petting and reinforce sitting by petting!
    I`ve never taught her to sit and she never gets treats when sitting. But she does sit often, she likes to sit naturally. I however don't give her extra attention or treats for the action.

    But she was sitting in order to get her rear out of reach. Ollie was also tucking her tail in and scooingt out of the way. She would even turn around in a 180.

    It was like we hadnít practiced at all.

  6. #5
    Senior Member NeedleNoseLuvR's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Fear Periods

    Young dogs rarely act like seasoned show dogs at their first shows. Everything is new and different. Most judges take this into account. When one of mine would not stand for the exam I knelt beside it, placed one hand under the tuck and held it in place. Usually all it took was a light touch to steady the puppy. You can get down beside her if she won't stand. Everyone, incuding the judge should understand. A puppies first shows are about building confidence and ring presence - not about winning points. It takes an exceptional puppy, in any breed, to have the presence and maturity to win points from the puppy classes. So don't sweat it. Have fun and make it fun for her.

    I also took my puppies and young dogs to every match (fun, A or B) within a days drive. Because there's no points involved matches are more relaxed and allow you to work with the puppy. Match judges can get silly with an insecure puppy to make things fun. The matches also helped get them used to travelling, to strange places and strangers going over them.

    I know you didn't mention anything about points but that is something that is always in the back of your mind when showing. I know, I've been the same situation. Showing should be fun for you and Ollie or why do it?

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    Senior Member DobManiac's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Fear Periods

    NeedleNoseLuvR thanks for the post.

    I really wasn't expecting greatness. Just trying to get her feet wet. I have just never seen her this out of control. She has gone to shows with me before. I have an older dog that is almost finished now. I always took Ollie with me, when Dusk had a show. I also would work her at the show, and so would my breeder. She seemed to be used to the environment.

    But still, dogs don't generalize well. I am starting to lean towards her just being stubborn though. She refused to work in and out of the ring. And this was a very hot dog show. She might just not been in the mood. She'll get used it, but her behavior did catch me by suprise.

    But your right, the more fun she has the better she will be in the future.

  8. #7
    Senior Member NeedleNoseLuvR's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Fear Periods

    You're welcome.

    Taking her with you while you show another dog is good for getting her used to the travelling and fuss of a dog show. However, working her outside of the ring, while good, is still not the same as working in the ring with other dogs and handlers. Especially, other dogs and people she may have never seen before. This is where matches are great - the puppy learns to work with strange dogs, people and a stranger (the judge) who goes over it.

    One more thing, at the show leave Ollie in her crate in the grooming area until just before ring time. Take her out early enough so she can have a potty break. If you have her with you all over the show grounds, you can wear her out before she even goes into the ring. A tired or overstimulated puppy will not show well. If you don't show till late afternoon then give her a couple of calm, relaxed potty breaks and keep her crated. Since she won't show until after all the dogs (males, for those of you who don't show) are shown, she can be with you ringside. This will give her a chance to settle in and you a chance to watch the judge and get a feel for what's expected from you.

    I'm probably just rehashing what your mentor is teaching you so I hope you don't take offense.

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    Senior Member Love's_Sophie's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Fear Periods

    It could be a combination of a fear stage, and the 'stage fright' of her very first actual show; taking them to shows is one thing, but expecting them to stand there and gait in the ring...another!

    Just keep at it, she'll get there...she's a young girl

  10. #9
    Senior Member DobManiac's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Fear Periods

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedleNoseLuvR View Post
    I'm probably just rehashing what your mentor is teaching you so I hope you don't take offense.
    I'm not. In a way you have been very helpful. I might have expected too much from her just because of all the work I put in beforehand. You've reminded me that the problem might be a lot simpler than I had previously assumed. Dog shows are just plain stressful and Ollie is smart enough to realize that something has changed.

    This was also a very hot show, so even in the crate all day she wasn't able to rest. If I was over heated and tired, I probably wouldnít like anyone messing around with my rear either

    I just talked to my handler today. She is entered in her next show in three weeks. I will take things a little slower with her, and try to keep Ollie from getting to stressed. At least until my handler kicks me out of the set up for hovering. LOL

    But by July, I have a feeling she will be a well oiled show dog.

    Well, at least I hope she will.

    ETA:

    Thanks rosemaryninja for the link. Great info.
    Last edited by DobManiac; 05-13-2008 at 10:51 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member Dogstar's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Fear Periods

    If you've got three weeks? Why not come over to Top Dog's class on Saturdays or hit the Pets West class on Thursdays? It's a nice intermediate step from the outdoor Grapevine class to an indoor show.

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    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Fear Periods

    Just hit me with a big stick because I know this is probably a stupid idea. You are showing her, am I right to assume she is not spayed. If not could she be getting her 1st heat period. Please consider the source, not the brightest bulb in the box.
    Dinosaur Dog Trainer


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