Skittish Dog... Is it always going to be this way?
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Thread: Skittish Dog... Is it always going to be this way?

  1. #1
    Senior Member nikkiluvsu15's Avatar
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    Question Skittish Dog... Is it always going to be this way?

    Hey ya'll. Quick question for ya!(:

    I have a 5 month old Great Dane/Bullmastiff puppy and she is scared of everything... I'm talking about anything from keys to the sidewalk (only sometimes with that one thought). She wasn't socialized very well, but she was a little bit. Whenever she sees something that scares her the hair on her back stands up, her tail curls under her legs and sometimes she tries to dart away.

    I'm almost positive Rebel, my APBT, went through this to, but I can't remember.

    She is great with kids and other people, the only time she gets scared is when they just walk in by themselves w/o knocking or us letting them in. If that happens she'll usually hid down the hallway or under the table for a few minutes and then she'll come out and be all happy with them and play with them for hours! If we let the people in, then that's a different story. From the moment they come in she is usually very, very happy and licks all over them!(:

    So my question is, is she going to be this skittish for her whole life or is this just a stage that all (or some) puppies go through?

    If this is just her weirdo self (lol.), then what are some ways I can help her get over her skittishness? I live in a very, very small town so we don't really have anywhere to take dogs. I wish I had a dog park here.. That would be great!(:

    Please just give me your thoughts and if you've got something that will help her not be so skittish please let me know! I'll try anything!(:

    Thank you!!(:
    Last edited by nikkiluvsu15; 07-21-2009 at 08:55 PM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Keechak's Avatar
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    Re: Skittish Dog... Is it always going to be this way?

    What kind of socializing have you done with her?

  4. #3
    Senior Member nikkiluvsu15's Avatar
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    Re: Skittish Dog... Is it always going to be this way?

    Ummm.. I have taken her to my friends farm a few times.. They have horses, donkeys, chickens, dogs, pool, semi trucks, etc., I have taken her up-town, to the river and springs and I was going to take her to the park the other day, but I found out pets weren't allowed as soon as I got there... Waste of gas right there! lol.

    She didn't use to be this skittish, but just until recently. Well I guess about two weeks ago. She had to stay at my Aunt's house for a week while I was out of town.. Maybe something happened to her there? I'm not sure.

    What else is there I can do? Thanks!(:

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    Senior Member MissMutt's Avatar
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    Re: Skittish Dog... Is it always going to be this way?

    www.fearfuldogs.com is all I have to say

    She needs exposure to as many different things as possible while she's still young. Be careful not to overwhelm her, though or you can make things worse.
    Sam and ARCH UCD Marge CGC MX MJB RL1X RL2X

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    Senior Member Keechak's Avatar
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    Re: Skittish Dog... Is it always going to be this way?

    does she show any fear aggression or is it only fear.

    you have done an OK job with socializing although it could have been better. Are there any pet retail shops in your area? most of those allow you to walk the dog around the store, and that allows for lots of different people to dote on the puppy.

    It is possible that this puppy has simply inherited a fear streak from it's parents, a type of "mental illness" it could be considered. and they may never grow out of it.

    However at her age I would be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and give her as many new positive experiences as possible. Carry SUPER AMAZING treats where ever you go. I recommend buying some raw chicken liver and dehydrating it at home.

    Whenever you are with her and there is something "scary" around give her a treat.

    Have your friends walk in the door, throw a treat on the ground and then leave imediatly.

  7. #6
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Skittish Dog... Is it always going to be this way?

    There is a common misconception of what socialization is all about. Yes, it is exposure to the things that the dog will see and hear in his new home and new life but, what we're really looking for is sensitivity (fear) to either certain sights or sounds (or both) during that exposure.

    Socialization is all about teaching the dog how to cope with or overcome those specific fears. If the dog appears to be sound sensitive then we expose the dog to sound(s) at a distance.....not so close that the dog is overwhelmed and far enough away that the dog still shows some calmness/bravery which is rewarded heavilly.

    If the dog is both sight and sound sensitive you work on those issues separately, either the sight issue or the sound issue but, not both of them together until they are conquered individually.

    Socialization is confidence building...teaching coping skills. That means using calming signals, play, games, lots of praise and tasty rewards especially for all displays of curiosity, confidence and braveness....very, very important.

  8. #7
    Senior Member nikkiluvsu15's Avatar
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    Re: Skittish Dog... Is it always going to be this way?

    She only shows fear... No fear aggression what so ever.

    No.. None of those around here either. I wish there was.

    Yeah... I wish I would have done a better job of getting her used to things. :S
    It was just a crazy time when I got her.. Cause I'm still a junior high school and then I was taking some college classes over the summer. I still taught her how to sit and stuff like that, but I couldn't really take her to a lot of places. Wish I could have though..

    I'll try the treat thing.. Hopefully it'll work cause she sure does love her treats!(:

    Thanks for the website.. I'll be sure to look at that.

    She has always been a little shy, but it was just recently that she became scared of different things. I wanna say maybe around 4 or 4 1/2 months.

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