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Hi I am new to this forum, Some things about me and my dog:  My puppy Tyson is 8 months old very happy and energetic, we also have a 2 year old pomeranian/poodle very friendly dog...  Tyson was very good with other people and animals up until about a month ago.  He was always playful with new people loving, licking and loved attention from anyone and all animals.  Now recently he is very timid of new people until he gets to know them.  Then he will warm up to them.  He has always been around a lot of different dogs and people and was very good until now!!  I am confused by this, nothing else has changed in his life, gets plenty of attention and exercise, we owned him since 9 weeks old, he was never hit or abused, he is pretty obediant for a 8 month old puppy...  With the new people he will walk up to them excited with tail wagging and as soon as they go to pet him he cowers away between my legs, never showed any signs of aggression...  With other dogs he is always the weakest in the bunch, other dogs will try to "hump" him and he just shys away and lays down... He has never shown any dominance even with my 10lb pomipoo...  It is a good thing but feel bad that he is always the weakest dog!!  Is there anything I can do to get him better around people and other animals?? Thank You
 

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Advice from a trainer:

It sounds like hes hit a new stage of developement.  Go at his pace and dont let anyone touch him until hes ready for it.

Liz and Lilly
 

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How long do these stages usually last, We go to a lot of friends houses with other dogs that tyson use to get along with and is now timid when there is more than 2 other dogs around!
 

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there is no specific time frame it could take. you just have to go at your puppie pace. it can frustrating when you are used to one thing and then it does a 180, i know. We have been working on my two girls for almost a month now with socialization. they still hate being around other people and animals. it is hard because you dont want to stress your dog out and force it in a situaition. that could push you back even further...but you want to be able to take them with you knowing they wont be fearful. the only thing i could say is to take time and go slow. dont push to hard so that your puppy regresses further. best of luck, please keep us posted!
 

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HAHAHAHAHAHAH, Andrea...that sounds like the same advice I gave you a month ago!!!  

Kevin,

Andrea (Chloesmom) is correct.  She is having the same kind of issues you are having (on a different level, but in a simplified way they are the same).  It will take as long as it takes.  If you push him you could end up taking way more steps back than forward and could end up having to correct behavioral issues because you were impatient.  It will take as ong as it takes, but it WILL take longer if you don't go at his pace.

You can still do your social stuff.  You just need to control the situation to help your dog adjust.  Tell your friends whats going on and what your doing to work past it.  Tell them what you would like them to do to help (ie: keep your dog on leash until my pup is comfy, dont pet my dog till hes okay with it...so on and so forth...).  Its work, but its worth it.

Sometimes slow does win the race.  Epecially where dogs are concerned.

Liz and Lilly
 

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Hi Kevin,
Puppies go through heaps of different stages emotionally and physically and it is normal for them to go through some fear periods.  Don't try and force him to get over the fear by making him confront the thing that he fears.  If you make a big deal of this fear, it is more likely to reinforce to him the notion that there is a good reason to be afraid.  As it has been suggested, ignore his reaction and in most cases he will realise that what he feared is perfectly safe and harmless.  

One book I have read, suggests that research indicates that fear periods are due from calcium deficiencies (from health spurts).  I am not sure if this is true, but it wouldnt hurt to feed him a dearer optimal health dog food.  

Another book suggests this is a period of fear is called the "Secondary Fear Period" and it stems from their wild instincts to hunt with the pack for the first time.  Instincts would induce them to treat anything unfamiliar as dangerous (ie fear) and install watchfulness.  Also with other dogs, his heightened sexual awareness at this time can make him feel insecure around other dogs.

As I said, keep training and socializing him and hopefully before too long he will see that the world around him is not so scary or dangerous.  I too wished at times that my girl would be a little less submissive around other dogs but at the end of the day, better to be submissive and playful then to be aggressive and fighting.  Hope this helped a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for there help, I will just be patient...  Is it good to keep bringing him around other animals that are playing aggressively??  When I 1st get there he is great, runs, plays, jumps, but as soon as too many dogs get there and it gets a little more ruff he seems dissapointed and does his own thing, is this the time I should leave??  I keep bringing him around new people and explaining the situation so he is slowly getting a little more comfortable, it is more he is afraid of larger men!!
 

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I learned from the best liz!! see not atleast you know i was listening :D

Kevin i dont know if i would play agressive right now. Since your pup is being sensitive it could be a slight set back. Not for sure though
 

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If the other dogs become too ruff and he loses interest in playing with him then I would remove him from the situation.  Prevention is the best medicine.  You don't want him to become too overwhelmed and feel as though he has to protect himself.  This could result in aggressive behavior or fighting.

Andrea---Thank you again, but the results are totally your win and the congrats and thanks should go to you.

Liz and Lilly
 
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