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Will lots of love and attention solve this?

1034 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  luvntzus
I just brought home a newly neutered, 55-pound 1.5 year old Afghan-hound mix. When he's out in the open living room, he barely knows what to do with himself. He turns in circles or else glues himself to my side. He only lays down for some much needed sleep after neutering when he's in his crate. He probably spent most of his life in a cage.

When outside, everything scares him: cars, the train overhead (we live in a densely urban part of Chicago)... understandably so. He came from a shelter in the south and likely was some kind of farm or suburban dog before that.

Will lots of love and attention build his confidence? What else can I do? My heart is absolutely breaking when I see that he doesn't even know how to handle having a little free space. He's already piddled on the floor either because it's a submissive gesture (or maybe he had to go really bad -- he was WAY too scared to potty outside with all the noise).

I already love my big buddy and I just want him to feel happy and safe. Any advice is appreciated.
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The best thing you can do is be a strong leader. It will give your dog more confidence and that can help them to be less fearful. The worst thing you could do is give "love" in the form of petting or telling the dog "it's okay" when they're afraid. That is actually praising them for being fearful.

I would teach basic obedience, because that can also give the dog more confidence and help them see you as the leader. You could try some mentally stimulationg games (a treat ball would probably be really good) to give your dog something to do when he would normally be turning in circles or glued to your side.

You can also teach your dog "place". It's basically a down stay at a specific spot, like a blanket and you can give them something to keep them busy like a kong stuffed with peanut butter or a bone to chew on. That will give him something to do that will be positive.
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Being a strong leader and giving love and comfort are not mutually exclusive. I do both and the result is extremely confident dogs.
I agree with that. I put quotes around love because reassuring and praising the dog is often the way people try to help their dogs. I've seen it many times and they don't even realize that they're encouraging the fearful behavior. I did specify that in my post also.
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