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Old 05-12-2017, 10:43 AM
 
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My parents had a rescue mixed breed that had been physically abused as a puppy and young adult. This was while I was away at college. When I would come to visit she's bark up a storm and would not allow me to approach. The theory was a young male was one of the abusers or the main abuser. It took a while, but eventually she accepted me. One approach that helped was for someone else to leash her up then I'd take her on a walk. It was a bit awkward at first, but a dog loves its walk and over time, she was no longer put off by me.
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:58 AM
 
68 posts, read 61,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twelvepaw View Post
You need a new vet. Period.

Sounds like you have a shy/fearful dog, possibly a result of not enough early socialization, possible genetic inclination towards shy, and add in being in a busy over-the-top household that he simply can't handle. It is just too much stimulation for him and on top of it he is put into situations he can't handle.

Find a certified veterinary behaviorist who will be able to objectively observe your dog's behavior and provide a behavior modification plan that, yes, would include desensitization and counter-conditioning as well as a management plan. Alternately, find a CPDT certified trainer who has a background in working with shy/fearful dogs.

Medication may be useful as a bridge to help keep your dog in "thinking" brain instead of "instinct/fight or flight" brain so that he can learn while you are working on the behavior modification protocols.

Here is Debbie Jacobs' website- she specializes in fearful dogs and has good resources:
Fearfuldogs.com

Member Directory ACVB

https://avsab.org/resources/speakers...ants-near-you/

Certified Dog Trainer Directory - CCPDT

I read Debbie Jacob's Fearful dogs website when we brought him home and he hid under the coffee table. Her info was very helpful and I think that's definitely a reason he warmed up to me so fast and was able to fully relax in our house in several weeks.

I have to disagree that we're an "over-the-top" household. We're really anything but. Our house is quiet for the most part. The kids spend most of their time indoors reading or playing video games. When they play and make noise he spends most of his time relaxing or chewing on something in the bedroom with me (I don't have an office, so it's where I do my work). The most stimulation he gets on a regular basis is when we go for our walks, and when we come back from those is the only time he acts likes he's overstimulated and seeks refuge under the bed. He really enjoys our walks though. He gets very excited when he knows we're going on one and walks tall and proud and enjoys sniffing and peeing on things etc. So I don't want to stop those. His coping mechanism of finding a quiet dark space when he needs to is fine for now (might be an issue if he gains weight though as he doesn't have much clearance under there). I covered his crate with blankets to give it the same type of dark den feeling, but I think he prefers the snugness of under the bed.

I tried medication when he was afraid of having his nails clipped, first Benadryl at the vet's recommendation and then a dog sedative he prescribed. Neither of them had ANY effect on his fearfulness.

I live in a very rural area and there aren't any CPDTs near me. This other issue is that the dog would not be his normal self around a stranger so it would be impossible for them to observe these behaviors in person. I did reach out to (and paid for) a professional trainer online about this issue in December. He said "it sounds very medical" and suggested we speak to the vet again. I felt like he just didn't want to deal with such a complicated dog. The vet had no advice to give. I think we're going to have to get by without relying on professional help for now. Maybe when we move (in the next few months) they will be more resources available.
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:09 AM
 
68 posts, read 61,224 times
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In the midst of responding to all your replies this morning he started barking at my son, who was playing with a small handheld video camera. When I went in the other room to observe he would only bark when my son held the camera in view of the dog. If he put it behind his back he would stop, but as soon as it came into view again he would bark and even growl. I took the camera and had him touch it with his nose and paw, then pretended to use it by holding it up, and praised him. He didn't seem to mind when I had the camera at all. I handed the camera back to my son and he resumed barking and growling. We got the treats out and I took the camera and gave him treats for touching it, then I had him do all his tricks while my son pointed the camera at him (this was difficult for him at first, but he caught on quick). But when I would leave the room (to practice "stay") he would start barking and growling at him again. So we practiced more, and I also did things like have my son get closer with the camera and reach his arm out with the camera to increase the difficulty. The dog did great.

Then I had my son give him commands while HE held the camera. He was very nervous at first, but soon relaxed. Then I was able to leave to the room without him barking or getting nervous. Soon the dog was following my son around with the camera excitedly, waiting for treats. My son then tried to make a video of the dog, (held the camera up to his face and started narrating) and THAT triggered the dog to start barking all over again lol. I told him to just go get the treats and give him treats while he held the camera up and narrated.

10 minutes of work seems to have made big inroads in his fear of this tiny camera, but my is he sensitive! Guess we will do the same thing with their water bottles, the broom, and the baseball bat next. Still not sure what to do about when he randomly barks at the boys just for existing though.
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:06 PM
 
5,048 posts, read 6,898,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I'm eager to know if you figure it out. My dachshund, from foster, is a mellow guy. We got him at age 3, and he never even barked until we'd had him 3-4 months. He has never growled or nipped, ever.

We have a calm, adult household. He loves my husband but when my husband comes in from outside, or just from another room, the dog starts barking at him. Other than that, they're good buddies.

We can't figure it out. The behavior didn't start until he'd been with us over a year.
About your dachshund I'm eager to figure it out too. Not barking till a few months after you got him may not be too unusual. It's likely he felt safe and comfortable and part of the family at that point and could voice his own feelings.

When your husband comes in from outside ... could be new smells if the dog doesn't get out much himself. I know dogs who love each other very much who growl at the one that comes home smelling like a vet's office and they won't go near that one for a while.

About your dachshund's barking at your husband...is the dog standing with his back to you, perhaps like he feels he's keeping you safe till he's fully aware it's your husband there?

Maybe he feels like he's in charge of the house or at least that room?

Maybe he's losing sight or smell or hearing and has to have some voice sound or smell from your husband before he truly recognizes him?

Possibilities based on experiences. Anything ringing a bell a bit?

We have one who is a tiny bit off. Will stand stock still when she sees me unexpectedly till she hears my voice and then she's in love again.

Last edited by cully; 05-12-2017 at 04:07 PM..
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:37 PM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,208,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammichsammich View Post
I have to disagree that we're an "over-the-top" household. We're really anything but.

Yes, I understand that YOU don't think you are an over the top household, but from what you described, your household is too busy for your dog.

I tried medication when he was afraid of having his nails clipped, first Benadryl at the vet's recommendation and then a dog sedative he prescribed. Neither of them had ANY effect on his fearfulness.

Of course the meds you described didn't have an effect. You need to get him to a different vet who is familiar with canine behavior (very few actually are), and ask for an Rx for something like Buspar or Paxil or the like.


I live in a very rural area and there aren't any CPDTs near me. This other issue is that the dog would not be his normal self around a stranger so it would be impossible for them to observe these behaviors in person.

Not true at all. An experienced and knowledgeable trainer will absolutely be able to see glimpses of the behaviors. We normally don't want or need to have a dog in a full-blown episode during a session to be able to see what is going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammichsammich View Post
In the midst of responding to all your replies this morning he started barking at my son, who was playing with a small handheld video camera. When I went in the other room to observe he would only bark when my son held the camera in view of the dog.
Please stop doing this with the camera. It isn't helping. In dog language- the camera = a hard unblinking stare which can be very threatening and intimidating for many dogs. Dogs interpret hard stares (and then add in the unblinking) as a signal of an imminent threat or attack. It would appear that your dog is one of those dogs. And yes, I get that a camera is just one "eye" and people have two, but all the dog sees is this black thing staring at him.

About that very good training book you have that you mentioned in another post: there are relatively few very good training books, and I have no way of knowing whether the one you have is one of the good ones or not. Even if it is though- it likely won't address the fear issues that your dog is exhibiting. For that you need to work with a trainer or vet who is experienced in behavioral issues.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sammichsammich View Post
I did reach out to (and paid for) a professional trainer online about this issue in December. He said "it sounds very medical" and suggested we speak to the vet again.
Nonsense, and it is extremely unprofessional and irresponsible for an online trainer try to diagnose a behavioral issue, much less say that it is medical. You do need to find another vet though.

You may need to travel to get to a good behaviorist or trainer, but once they set you up with an initial behavioral and management plan they may be able to counsel you further on the phone.
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:06 PM
 
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It's a mini Aussie thing. I noticed that mini Aussies are much more intense than standards.

I have a mini Aussie and I had her since she was 2 months old. At 2-3 months, she growled at a child who was petting her. I was in shock as my other dog loves people and I certainly did not expect a puppy to be growling at that age. I also thought she was abused by a man in a hoodie because she would go crazy barking at someone wearing a hoodie or a man but I don't think she was and I think it is her breed.

My dog was socialized a lot and I still have posts on here from a year ago thinking my dog was a psycho.

They are intense dogs and they don't like kids in general. They are also bossy and like order. Kids tend to be fast in their movements so herding dogs can go a little crazy and bark at them to tell them to stay in place and not create chaos. They are also protective and can get jealous. I read that they pick one person to be their person.

They do have drawbacks but they are so affectionate, loyal and funny. She is an intense dog but it has never stopped us from going to pet stores and dog parks. As long as people don't approach her, she doesn't bark and if they do approach, she will bark but will not bite or nip at them.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:48 AM
 
Location: SW US
2,202 posts, read 2,018,387 times
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Small Aussies are bred for size not temperament. I have regular Aussies and have seen some of the temperament issues you mention over my years with Aussies. For one thing, as herding dogs, they have an instinct to know what is "right", sometimes just in their minds, and what is not. Kids running around with toy guns is not regular behavior and the barking may be saying "Stop doing this. It's wrong." Some Aussies are more watchful than others.
You can't convert a herding dog like this into a passive quiet dog. I don't agree that drugging him into submission is the right way to go. Maybe he is not the right breed for you? Did you want a herding dog?
If you are rural, you might try herding, with ducks or sheep not cattle since he's small. That would give him an outlet for his instinct.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
31,274 posts, read 19,747,462 times
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It sounds like you did a good job with him, the camera and the boys.
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