Post # 1
My dog is great and house trained nicely…except if she gets excited or scared. I have been able to control her tendency to pee when she’s excited by taking her out immediately when I get home from being out and just trying overall not to excite her too much.
But it’s hard to control her getting scared. Like for example, I just put on a face mask and I guess it scared her because my face is all white?? She starts to cower and just peed even though she was just outside about 30 minutes ago before I took my shower (I know long shower!). If I shake out a shirt it scares her, or if I move too quickly, or if I turn on the vacuum…ugh.
She’s a shelter dog, and she’s a real sweetie. I’ve had her almost 3 years and this is her only real issue that she seems to have and I’m at a loss of what to do. I feel bad that these simple things scare her, and always wonder what the former owners did to her, but it’s hard to avoid doing these things. Any ideas? I know it’s not really her fault and it’s not purposeful, but cleaning up pee is getting sooo annoying. 🙁
Post # 4
How socialized is she around other dogs and people?
I’m really not sure about what to do. But I’d just try to provide as much comfort and treats as possible when she gets scared. Let her sniff your shirt when she gets scared of it or the vaccuum when it’s off (though those loud noises might be hard to get over). I’d also push her a little with little things. If shaking things makes her scared get a treat that you can shake or shake something and then throw her a treat, it might scare her a bit at first but she’ll start to associate rapid movements with treats?
Post # 5
My Cockers outgrew this tendency, but some dogs are more prone to it. It’s not necessarily anything a previous owner did to make her behave this way –some dogs are just nervous dogs.
Post # 6
hmm thats a good idea about the treats! I think that will help a little with shaking out clothes when I do laundry.
She is very good around people and dogs, she loves to play and so thats not the issue so much. We go to the dog park a lot so she can get socialized well, she plays well with other dogs and is always walking up to random people wanting them to pet her. I think she loves people more than other dogs, but she still has fun playing with the dogs.
It’s just little weird things scare her. She also gets scared of packing suitcases or when I take the trash out… she thinks I’ve packed my bag and I’m leaving forever without her…separation anxiety I guess?
Post # 7
I wish she would outgrow this! She’s 6 years old though, got her when she was 3 so I don’t know if she will or not. How old were they when they grew out of it?
She’s a chihuahua/min pin mix so I think those breeds can be nervous types.
Post # 8
First, if she hasn’t been to obedience classes, I would start there.
Second, when she does get scared, what is YOUR reaction? Do you ignore her, get angry, or do the whole “Oh, baby, it’s okay!” thing and try to reassure her. If it’s getting angry with her, (which I’m sure you don’t do) or cooing at her, you are only going to make the problem worse. What people ususally see as reassuring a dog basically tells her it’s okay to be scared. Ignoring her reaction, or moving slowly and allowing her to sniff the item she’s afraid of is better. Praise her for any calm behavior, and for moving toward the item she’s afraid of, even if she doesn’t actually get close enough to sniff or touch it. It’s a start.
Also, I would recomend doing a Nothing In Life Is Free program (NILIF). It’s basically an easy way to show your dog that YOU are in charge, that all good things come from you, and that they don’t need to worry. It’s beneficial for ALL dogs, but can really help put an unconfident dog at ease.
Also, activities like agility give a dog an outlet for their energy, stimulate their minds, and builds confidence. You might want to give that a try. It has an added bonus of being fun for the owner, too!
Post # 9
Your precious pup might have been abused? Though I am not sure it explains her skittish behavior totally.
My Philly man is scared of balloons. Barks & growls…..trieds to run away from them every time he seems them. I have no clue where the heck that came from??
Post # 10
She went to a beginners course in training but really all she learned was sit, stay, down, and they worked on her leash walking since she used to pull a lot. Thanks, I will look up the NILIF program you mentioned, that sounds just like what she needs. I wasn’t really sure if the training would help because the last training was a group class, maybe she needs more of a 1 on 1 thing.
I never get mad at her, I know she’s not doing anything on purpose. I usually just clean up the pee without saying anything. But I know my SO does get mad. I tell him not to because I know that’s bad, but I think it’s just his natural reaction. He’s workin on it. I will admit to doing the “Oh, baby, it’s okay!” sometimes though. Ugh, I’m sure that hasn’t helped her much.