We apologize for the downtime. During this maintenance period, the site has been upgraded to the newest versions to enhance the user experience. Please note we are still working on the site, so its appearance may change from time to time over the next few days.
New to the forum. I have an english bulldog named Newman (any Seinfeld aficianados will see the connection) who is about 1 year old. he is afraid of alot of things. plastic bags, anyone moving chairs or lamps or anything like that. however, the biggest thing that he is afraid of is my girlfriend. She has not done anything to harm him or treat him badly. She is getting extremely frustrated with this situation as am i. So i ask, please help. For instance, yesterday, I was at work and she works 3rd shift so she woke up around 4pm. She wanted to take him outside. It took her about 10 minutes just to get him down the stairs, then when he got to the bottom of the stairs, she accidentally dropped the leash and he sprinted back upstairs, peeing along the way. then he went and hid under the bed and peed a little under there and would not come out. he does fine with her if i am at home with them both but it is a tremendous struggle if she is with him alone. it is putting a strain on our relationship and i would greatly appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance!!
Have you tried letting your girlfriend be the one to feed him and give him his training treats? My pup was petrified of the hairdryer so what I did is put her fave treats (freeze-dried liver) around the hairdryer while it was turned off. She went to get the treats and then I turned it on low and surrounded it with treats and then high and by the end of it she was no longer afraid of the hairdryer even on the highest setting and just viewed it as another toy. You could try dropping treats every time you move a chair, etc to desensitize your dog as well.
Fuzzy Pants, Thanks for the reply. I will try placing him in an area with a chair or plastic bag or whtever and scattering some treats around it. Great idea. And i am always the one who feeds and gives treats to newman. I will try out shifting that to her. Let her give food and treats and in the meantime i will keep walking him. hopefully the treats and food placement by her will desensitize and positively reinforce who she is. Thanks for the help!!
Also, when you go walking, take your girlfriend sometimes and let her do the walking... You might also try backward chaining:
1. You walk the dog, gf walks the dog back.
2. You walk the dog to the outside, gf walk the dog outside (with you walking along).
3. You put on the leash, gf walks the dog down the stairs and then outside... with you.
4. Gf puts on the leash, etc.
5. Every once in a while, you wait while they keep going...
Your girlfriend is going to have to go really slow with the fella. If you try to speed up socialization, it's going to make the dog more afraid.
No quick movements, no chasing, no yelling. No looking directly at the dog. No standing over the dog. See if the girlfriend wears anything that scares the dog - dangly jewelry, perfume, etc..
Take a breath. Remember that it's not the dog's fault that he is scared. Getting frustrated is going to make him more frightened. Until the dog gets more comfortable, perhaps the girlfriend shouldn't try to walk him when you are out. You don't want the dog to bolt and get lost while you are away. Your GF probably won't be able to retrieve him.
Have GF toss the dog tasty treats. Never ever try to pet the dog unless the dog approaches and aks for pets. Then do not pet on top of the head.
Putting a slip leah on a scared dog (caution, you can't drop a slip leash - it will either come off or the dog will get scared and run off and might choke himself) but a slip leash is great when a dog is afraid of hands.
Here is a video on desensitization and counter conditioning. It can be used for anything a dog is afraid of.
Last edited by Puddin's Training Tips; 05-05-2011 at 06:22 PM.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost