Chikah, the terrier I been fostering for about a month freaked out on me yesterday when I took her for a walk!
This is the very firts time I walked her, when I got her she was very malnourished/underweight so I really didn't want to strain her. Now, she looks much better (she still needs to gain a little bit more weight though) and I decided it was time to start walking her.
I put the collar on, I attached the leash and it was just me and her, no other people or dogs (so I could just focus on her). Like 50 feet away from the house she starts crying and looking all over like with fear in her face/eyes and crawled under a bush! I had to lie down on the grass to get her to come out, she was all curled up at the very back.
So, I continued but this time with a much slower pace because I was kind of surprised and at the same time I wanted to be ready for any other unexpected behavior from her. Sure enough! she did it again like 3 or 4 times.
Why did she behave like that? and most importantly, what should I do to get her over it?
I have been studing her behavior, she is a very frighten dog.She walks around with her tail between her legs almost all the time. She seems to be afraid of people and even more of any other dogs.
I think she is a Border Terrier, I did some research on the internet because she definately looks like a terrier and by checking most terriers profiles, she resembles them the most (to the point that she might be a pure bred terrier) I'll try to put a picture of her later on.
Please any advise/input would be very welcomed and appreciated.
If you walk her again and the same thing happens, look around. See what is around you. Is that same thing around every time. I had a friend whose dog would run and hide every time he saw a balloon. Mabey there is just something out there she is scared of. If you find out what it is you can avoid it.
I would find a special treat that she just can't resist, like hot dogs, and just go out the front door, give piece of hotdog, down the driveway, peice of hotdog, ask for a sit, give a piece of hotdog (your going to need alot of hotdog, or whatever you have) Don't go to far, mabe one house away and then end the walk, tomorrow go a little further. When she acts scared, don't coddle her, ask for a sit and reward. When she's walking good verbally praise her and give her some hotdog(just for walking). Expect this to take a few weeks at Least to show improvement. some dogs have never had the chance to learn how to cope with life outside the fence.Thats to bad, good Luck
You know what else I was thinking, mabe a harness would be better in case the dog slips the collar?
***Edited By: sue on 7/27/2005 10:13:17 PM*** Reason: dff
Last night I was getting ourselves ready (Chikah and I) to go for a walk. I had her on a leash ready to go and all of a sudden she starts crying and jumping and she ran to hide behind an old couch I have in the carport.
I was not able to make her come out for anything! She stayed there like for 1 hour.
This is kind of new to me, I never had a dog to be so afraid to go outside!
My own dogs whine and whine for me to take them out for walks all the time.
***Edited By: alldogslover on 7/28/2005 5:11:51 PM*** Reason: .
What if you just attach the leash to her collar & just let her pull it around the house herself with out you holding it? This is as long as she's used to a collar. Otherwise you need to let her get used to the collar alone first. Stay with her though & use treats, soft words to see if she will walk starting that way. Then gradually pick up the leash once she's comfortable dragging it. I do not know where or how you rescued her or how old she may be. It is possible she was hung by a leash in her dark past & that is shy she is so fearful. Ya gotta take baby steps..... :) Good luck!
I wouldn’t be surprised if she just saw something that scared her. The same thing happened to me when I first got Misty my great dane who is a hearing dog, needless to say I didn’t know what to do when she crouched down behind me and wouldn’t come out . Turns out she scared to death of bicycles. you just have to get the dog use to whatever it is.
"I do not know where or how you rescued her or how old she may be. It is possible she was hung by a leash in her dark past & that is shy she is so fearful"
I am fostering her through a rescue organization http://www.stnicholashope.org who is an organization that rescues dogs from Tijuana and San Diego. Chikah is a rescue from Tijuana.
Chikah looks like she might be less than 2 years old.
I do not believe that she is just fearful of something out there. I think she is traumatized from something that happened to her. Because the first time I was getting her ready for a walk, right after I put the leash on she started acting weird(crying and being restless) but I really didn't pay too much attention then. Also, her whole demeanor cryes out abuse.
I agree, I think I have to take baby steps. I am going to start by leaving her with the leash around the house as you advised and then we can move to the outside of the front of the house, etc.
Any other advise will very much be considered. thank you.
***Edited By: alldogslover on 7/28/2005 5:02:14 PM*** Reason: .
mabe in her past life she was a puppy farm dog or something who was just locked up in the dark all the time and who isn't use to the brightness of the outdoors, or baby she excaped from the shed or whateve and was betten, and maby thats why she is scared of the outside because she thinks you are going to beat her. poor girl : (
If you think its the leash, start by touching her with the leash and quickly give her something yummy. Make the clicking sound with the clip and give her a treat. Put the leash on and give her treats. Take her out in the back yard with the leash on and praise verbally and give treats. When she does something with confidence, reward her verbally and with food.
You have to start small and work in areas that the dog does not find threatening, if you push it to far and the dog freaks out, you pushed it to far. Don't be in a hurry. Work on areas that you get a good response and work from there.
Could you try exiting through a different door.
***Edited By: sue on 7/29/2005 7:48:42 PM*** Reason: sgv
1. Used to be very underweight, now she still needs to gain a few pounds. She eats basically almost anything I give her but I have to be there with her feeding her. Mainly I been feeding her Pedigree can food but this week I started getting her used to the Wellness dry kibble which is what all the other dogs eat.
2. she urinates when I get close to her, getting better though, hasn't happened this last week.
3. She seems to be very afraid of the dogs because when they approach her she walks around with her tail between her legs.
4. At any slight voice raising/yelling she runs and hides (hey, I do yell but my dogs don't even care!) I am trying not to have such a strong voice though, for her sake.
5. she is very clingly to me now, she just wants me to pet her and be held.
6. Sometimes she walks with a limp. She raises her back right? leg. She's done that like 4 times then all of a sudden she walks fine.(I am planning on telling Laura about this, she's my contact person with the rescue org.)
7. She always likes to find hiding places to rest, instead of just lying around anywhere as all my other dogs do. She does come out when I call her though.
***Edited By: alldogslover on 7/29/2005 9:14:35 PM*** Reason: .
I wouldn't pet her unless she does something/anything for it. (simple as a sit, or any behavior that shows confidence)So lets say she comes out to see you when you call, definetly reward that with a happy tone only. But You don't want to re-enforce the fear behaviors.So if shes acting fearful, you wouldn't start petting her. She is hideing because it makes her feel safe(kind of like suck your thumb, he he). I would get a crate and cover it and see if she will use it, to get away sometimes from the household activities, it may be to much right now, put the crate off to the side. If you handle her pet her under the chin and (Talk to her in a happy tone when shes calm) undercarriage and avoid the top of the head and along the back. This is dominant in nature, and may make her uneasy. I would also get her some good chew toys like smokie bone or a hoof. This could help with the stress shes in right now.Give her the bone and let her take it to a quiet area to chew. You could enquire about a dog pheramone difuser from the vet to plug into the wall. It could help the dog relax. Ask the vet about it. I wonder if one of those body wraps would help, you know those body suits.
I though of something else, say she is sitting beside you or is near you, and one of your own dogs pass by or comes up to you. Carry around a treat pouch, you could treat her with her daily food, instead of a bowl, but lets say one of your dogs is walking by, have treats fall from the sky, your dog comes right up to you, more treats fall from the sky.This could make her associate good things with the things she fears like the approaching dogs. But anticipate the other dogs comeing close, you want the treats to start comeing before she starts to show any fears.
Thank you everybody for your advise, it is really helping!
I know Chikah is going to be fine but it is going to take some time.
She is getting better slowly, when I first brought her to my home, she just wanted to hide out in the carport and now she still hides but stays inside the unit(right now she is lying down behind the toilet in the dark bathroom (hey, whatever makes her happy!)
I usually keep her away from all the other dogs when I am not around, which is all day because I work full time but I hand feed her before I leave and I also leave some kibble and water close by for her and when I come home I hand feed again.
So, she does get alot of quiet time until I get back, that is when everybody is running around all over the place. I walk them taking turns (2 at a time) since right now I have 8 dogs in my home. They are all small though(5 toy poodles, 2 maltese and Chikah).
On the weekends, I am usually with my dogs most of the time and that is when I groom them. I only have a daughter who is 20 years old so my dogs are my babies.