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Hi folks! I got some good feedback on another thread here, so I hope you don't mind if I ask another question. The second of many I'm sure.

I took my new 2 year old hound mix to the vet yesterday and as we were standing in the little grassy area outside the vet's office with one of the technicians my dog was crouching down and inching forward to kind of test the boundaries where the grassy area met the sidewalk. He did that on a couple of sides and the vet tech seems to think he must have had some kind of electric fencing in his previous home that gave him a shock or something when he tried to leave the yard.

He did something similar when we first brought him home. Belly crawling between each room as he explored the house. I had no idea what that indicated at the time, just thought it was some sort of submissive behavior, and maybe it is. I have no way of knowing for sure. I've also never heard the dog bark and I'm wondering now if that is why.

I'm just curious if this is something I should take into consideration as he's settling in and adjusting to his new home? Is there anything I need to do differently knowing that he might have had that experience?
 

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Aww, poor guy. I'd just keep things positive & not make a big deal over it. If he gets 'weird' about some boundary & is hesitant, just allow him to explore at his own pace & comfort level. Don't push him, or try to force him to 'get over it', but also don't make a big deal or fuss a lot about it/him either.

It would be nice if they could talk & tell us what their past experiences have been, but regardless of what has happened in the past, all you can do is support and work with the dog in front of you today. He'll probably* get over it once he realizes that scary things don't happen in those situations any more (if they ever did?)

* One of my dogs is 11 years old, adopted at the age of 7 months. He came to us with a LONG laundry list of phobias, one of which was crossing through physical thresholds like doorways. He has, for the most part, gotten over this, but! To this day he has to circle two or three times to get his courage up in order to bolt through the 5' wide opening in between our kitchen & sun room. He sometimes gets "stuck" in there & we have to remind him "The force field's down, it's safe to come through!" (sigh... dogs are weird!)
 

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It is unlikely this behavior is associated with a e collar stimulus fence. The behavior described is most assuredly uncertainty and is more likely the result of insufficient environmental socialization or simply genetic based fear of new things and new places or a wide combination of the two. It could also be associated with his eyesight. The last bit would require an eye exam by a veterinary ophthalmology specialist.

However, before jumping to the last (expensive) exam I first suggest you give the dog TIME. How new to you is he (when you say new?). It can take a dog 6 months to acclimate to a new place, new people and so forth. Fortunately most do not take that long, but some can. Usually the first three days the dog is settling in to the new rules, new routine, new people new food. Dog's live in the moment and if the dog is not genetically confident OR drivey OR both then their need to adjust is more obvious.

Be kind. Do not make a fuss over the behavior. Simply act like it is nothing and let the dog adjust. Do not shout and argue with others in the house or on the phone with the dog present.. just keep everything calm and low key and very matter of fact.

Please come back in two weeks and let us know how it is going!
 

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Aww, poor guy. I'd just keep things positive & not make a big deal over it. If he gets 'weird' about some boundary & is hesitant, just allow him to explore at his own pace & comfort level. Don't push him, or try to force him to 'get over it', but also don't make a big deal or fuss a lot about it/him either.

It would be nice if they could talk & tell us what their past experiences have been, but regardless of what has happened in the past, all you can do is support and work with the dog in front of you today. He'll probably* get over it once he realizes that scary things don't happen in those situations any more (if they ever did?)

* One of my dogs is 11 years old, adopted at the age of 7 months. He came to us with a LONG laundry list of phobias, one of which was crossing through physical thresholds like doorways. He has, for the most part, gotten over this, but! To this day he has to circle two or three times to get his courage up in order to bolt through the 5' wide opening in between our kitchen & sun room. He sometimes gets "stuck" in there & we have to remind him "The force field's down, it's safe to come through!" (sigh... dogs are weird!)
Yeah, he seems fine around the house. There were a couple of rooms that he took his time going into, but nothing that seemed too remarkable. We haven't ventured far from home since we got him, but eventually it will be interesting to see how he behaves in new environments. We're biding our time to take him to the beach. It's too soon right now and dogs aren't allowed anyway until later in the year. There's a pond near our house that he's keenly interested in, so it will be fun to see what he makes of the ocean.

Yes, dogs are weird, lol. You're guy sounds precious. It's puzzling though that they he holds onto his phobia like that for so many years.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It is unlikely this behavior is associated with a e collar stimulus fence. The behavior described is most assuredly uncertainty and is more likely the result of insufficient environmental socialization or simply genetic based fear of new things and new places or a wide combination of the two. It could also be associated with his eyesight. The last bit would require an eye exam by a veterinary ophthalmology specialist.

However, before jumping to the last (expensive) exam I first suggest you give the dog TIME. How new to you is he (when you say new?). It can take a dog 6 months to acclimate to a new place, new people and so forth. Fortunately most do not take that long, but some can. Usually the first three days the dog is settling in to the new rules, new routine, new people new food. Dog's live in the moment and if the dog is not genetically confident OR drivey OR both then their need to adjust is more obvious.

Be kind. Do not make a fuss over the behavior. Simply act like it is nothing and let the dog adjust. Do not shout and argue with others in the house or on the phone with the dog present.. just keep everything calm and low key and very matter of fact.

Please come back in two weeks and let us know how it is going!
He seems to be doing just fine actually. I wouldn't say he had a particularly scary life or anything. My understanding is that he was surrendered to the shelter because he got too big and there was a baby on the way in his old family. He might have been ignored a bit. I doubt that he ever got out of his back yard much, but he seems for the most part well adjusted. He's a Lab, Coondog mix, weighing in at 72 pounds. He can be a lot to have around. For us it's great though. Our senior dog passed away earlier this summer and we didn't realize how quiet our lives had been living with an older dog and then no dog. We miss her deeply, but we're enjoying the rowdy younger dog years this time around. I intend to watch the process. I want to see him get old and make note this time of all his quirks and when he starts slowing down and changing. He's so different from our previous dog. Yeah, we're having a lot of fun.

I will definitely check back in. If you can't tell I'm quite taken with this dog and want to learn as much as I can to help him learn and grow himself.
 

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It is unlikely this behavior is associated with a e collar stimulus fence.
I disagree. There are MANY dogs who are permanently traumatized by having a shock collar used on them, whether hand-held or in the form of an 'underground fence'. Generalized fear of transitional boundaries are one such fallout from using such a device.
 

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Yeah, he seems fine around the house. There were a couple of rooms that he took his time going into, but nothing that seemed too remarkable. We haven't ventured far from home since we got him, but eventually it will be interesting to see how he behaves in new environments. We're biding our time to take him to the beach. It's too soon right now and dogs aren't allowed anyway until later in the year. There's a pond near our house that he's keenly interested in, so it will be fun to see what he makes of the ocean.

Yes, dogs are weird, lol. You're guy sounds precious. It's puzzling though that they he holds onto his phobia like that for so many years.
I'm envious of your ability to take dogs to the beach (no matter what time of year!) We're in the mountains of NC, so a LONG way from the coast, although we do enjoy lots of stream & river hikes. I'm not sure if I remember how to include a picture... but here goes:

(Mr. Neurotic is the one on the left)
 

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I'm envious of your ability to take dogs to the beach (no matter what time of year!) We're in the mountains of NC, so a LONG way from the coast, although we do enjoy lots of stream & river hikes. I'm not sure if I remember how to include a picture... but here goes:

(Mr. Neurotic is the one on the left)
We're neighbors of a sort then. I'm in SC. I'm honestly not much of a beach person. I avoid it all summer, but in the fall it's nice to be able to go for a quiet walk and watch the sun set. I miss autumn colors and smells though. We don't really have that here.

Your dogs are beautiful! So is that garden by the way. I haven't yet taken any pictures of Rusty, but I'll try to get one tomorrow when I have some better light. I doubt that I'll be able to get him to pose as nicely as your dogs have done though.
 
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