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Socializing the Rescue Pup

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  • Socializing the Rescue Pup

    Backstory,

    Last year in the Spring I rescued a 1yr male Papillon. Literally, rescued, I found him running in the road covered in mange, no hair, fleas, and about 5lbs underweight. Tried to find his owner with no avail.

    One year later, he is healthy, happy, and adores me and my sister who occasionally takes care of him for me. However, he does not like my DH or her SO. To the point that he will try and nip if he thinks they are acting "inappropriate". He will always run away and hide, knowing he did something bad.

    In addition to his behavior in the house, I have tried to slowly introduce him to the world, but he is scared of everything unfamiliar, people of any age and new places. He is also deathly scared of feet, by that I mean, if you move your feet towards him in any context he scurries away. No one in my house has EVER kicked him or ever physically punished him, so I am assuming that this is something that he developed a fear of from wherever he lived before.

    So, any tips or pointers for trying to get him used to and adjusted to being a "normal" dog?? He is extremely affectionate and protective over me and my siblings as well as our house. But, I can't have him running around nipping and being scared of everything.

  • #2
    http://fearfuldogs.com/


    NILIF also seems to help because it teaches dogs what to expect, and how to control their environment. It builds self confidence.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by meboss84 View Post
      Backstory,

      Last year in the Spring I rescued a 1yr male Papillon. Literally, rescued, I found him running in the road covered in mange, no hair, fleas, and about 5lbs underweight. Tried to find his owner with no avail.

      One year later, he is healthy, happy, and adores me and my sister who occasionally takes care of him for me. However, he does not like my DH or her SO. To the point that he will try and nip if he thinks they are acting "inappropriate". He will always run away and hide, knowing he did something bad.
      paint me a picture of what the people are doing, when this dog nips then runs away. For example: DH is petting him then tries to pick him up and put him on couch.

      In addition to his behavior in the house, I have tried to slowly introduce him to the world, but he is scared of everything unfamiliar, people of any age and new places.
      Start just outside your front door. Take a timer and a chair. Set the timer for 5 minutes, sit in the chair and if he wishes, allow him to observe the world from between your feet, under the chair. Or on your lap. Or (he's a boy) near a tree where he can pee on it. But do not go over the 5 minutes until he's nearly trying to drag you out that front door.

      He is also deathly scared of feet, by that I mean, if you move your feet towards him in any context he scurries away. No one in my house has EVER kicked him or ever physically punished him, so I am assuming that this is something that he developed a fear of from wherever he lived before.
      or it's because he's little and the rest of the world is huge.

      So, any tips or pointers for trying to get him used to and adjusted to being a "normal" dog?? He is extremely affectionate and protective over me and my siblings as well as our house. But, I can't have him running around nipping and being scared of everything.
      eliminate the protective thing right now. He needs to be a good citizen to everyone. Don't punish him, but if he is threatening when he's on the couch or on your lap, get up and gently place him on the floor and move away. Threatening behavior = nobody to protect. Every time.

      Is there food down for him all the time? If so, begin to feed him meals, and divide each of those meals into quarters. For a Pap, it might be just a few kibbles. Have your DH walk by his dish and place (don't drop, you want the dog to know where his food is) one or two kibbles in the dish and keep going. Don't have him hover there as the dog is already nervous about DH. You are trying to make a good association between DH and the dog using food as the bridge. Repeat for the 1/4 of his meal. For other members of the household, you can do the same (which is why I said to divide up his meal).

      Comment


      • #4
        Will your husband or your sister's SO try taking him on a walk somewhere he likes? The suggestion with the food is also something I would try. I think that if he associates them with fun things, he will eventually start to become more confident with them. I also think that getting him more confident with your husband AND your sister's SO (if they are willing "victims") will help him to eventually have confidence around men in general.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          The nipping usually stems from when the DH or SO gets too "close" to me or my sister, if the dog thinks its a threatening manner. A good example would be, my DH walked by and I reached up so he could give me a high-five, dog went after his feet.

          I think the act of moving away from the dog when he is acting threatening definitely makes sense. It is like he is trying to protect us, which I can't fault him for that, except if he acts on it. So I will definitely try that. He has gotten better over the past year with the DH and SO around the house.

          I have slowly begun to take him for walks to the park by my house. I try and go when there is less people. So he still gets used to it, but its not too overwhelming.

          I will also try having the DH or SO feed him. That would make sense too. He does not have food down all the time, just in the morning and evening, so perhaps they could be the one that puts out the food.

          Thank you guys for all of the tips! I know that he won't come around over night, but I will definitely try some of these things to see if it helps!!

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