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meghan3's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-23

I am a first time Dobe owner - my girl is 17 weeks old and has been with us for about a month. I have introduced her to many of our friends and their dogs, and all interactions have been very positive. Up until a few days ago, she was really enjoying our short walks around the neighborhood. Recently, a motorcyle roared up our street, scaring her so badly that she panicked and tried to take off running. She also got so scared that she pooped all over herself. I tried to be very casual about the situation, so as not to reinforce her fear, however, she is now really giving me a hard time about going for our daily walks and seems to be hyper acute to loud noises. Help! We are in our second week of obedience training, and I want to make sure she gets over her fears, so we can enjoy outings with friends and other dogs.

cisco9510's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-10

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Talk to your trainer see if they have any suggestions- Cisco was terrified of motorcycles (and we own 2) and any loud car- which is ok by me- he stays away from the road that way... I told my trainer and he had us do some stuff with him so our walks weren't scary for him- a lot of sit/stays w tons of pets and reaasurance... He is fine now- when a loud car or bike comes by he goes into an automatic sit and waits for them to pass by before he is ready to go again... good luck and welcome to the forum...

KevinK's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-15

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Was the dog socialized at all by the breeder?  Do you socialize the dog?  Who was the breeder?

meghan3's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-23

Thanks for the advice! When we walked today, there were several leaf blowers and someone was redoing their driveway, and my pup did great. She has been well socialized all along  - the breeder had done a very nice job and my pup's parents and other Dobes there had wonderful manners and all seemed very happy and well adjusted. From what I've read on various Dobe sites and books, she is most likely going through a phase and I should just keep socializing and exposing her to different situations.

KevinK's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-15

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Biggest mistake I see new dog owners do is try to comfort their dog when they are scared.  Just pretend like nothing happened, and keep going.  Don't try to soothe your dog, or tell her it's ok, or anything like that.  It will re-inforce in your dogs mind that it had the right reaction, and will be harder to fix.  Just keep doing things, and new experiences, but stay at your dogs pace.  You want to set her up for good results, you don't want to go past her comfort level and set her up for failure.

cisco9510's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-10

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Well I will go with whatever works and with what my trainer (who has been a trainer for 30 some years and is a K9 police officer and trains all the  police dogs in the tri-state area and beyond) suggested which is to calm my skittish puppy.... like you would calm your scared  child....

Meghan I am glad she did better today just keep doing whatever you are doing-

Welcome to the forum and we would love to see pix!!!!! :)

\Mandy Cisco and Raven

Happydance's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-14

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Sometimes when Fancy and I are out walking we come across something new that startles her.  I have her sit, since we work on that anyway--it'll be asked of her at any given time- she sits which gives her a chance to look at whatever it is that's new.  It's not a calming poor little puppy thing, nor is it a "leave it" attitude. I don't say anything to her,  I'm calm and she senses that, and she learns something new about the big world.

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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I've tried to anticipate 'strange' things on our walks... Bikes, leaf blowers, diesel trucks..( Sofia really hates loud nosises)So I will stop, have her sit and ask:

" What's that? Let's go look" and act all interested.. it peaks her curiosity and she feels safe... or at least it seems to distract her..

There are so many different personalities and so many different ways of training.. what works for Kevin and Dakota, might not be at all suitable for me and Sofia.

I think having 'guidelines' is important,, and also a lot of flexabilty.

Good luck with your little girl and welcome to the Forum

meghan3's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-23

Thanks so much to all of you. I really appreciate the support and advice. :)

cisco9510's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-10

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OMG Meghan she is a sweetie pie- More pix please and what is her name???? 
Just a story that popped into my head during all of this- in college my boyfriend and I had a red female - josey (it was his dog but i basically lived there and helped raise her) She was soooo nervous and skittish - hated hearing her nails on any hard surface... It was the lack of socialization or anything like because she was well socialized- it was college so she was always around people and other peoples dogs... She just hated that tick-tack sound. NOTHING we did made it better- We had to literally carry her down the steps to take her outside... We lived in an upstairs apartment (1/2 house).... She was terrified of loud noises and we did get her to snap out of that by just walking her and again making her sit, telling her good girl and then moving on... The nails though on any wood or tile in the house - was such an issue with her and we have no idea- She lived to be 13 and he said she never got over that.... I was only in her life til she was 4 and half... :(

Good luck you will figure it out like i said - but make sure you talk to your trainer for tips as well. Sometimes they have great outside of the box kind of ideas to help with these kinds of issues...

meghan3's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-23

Thanks! She is actually named Meghan (I just use her name as my screen name). I will attach some more photos soon - yes, she is a sweet girl. I really appreciate all of your comments.

cisco9510's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-10

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OOPS! ok well welcome to little meghan and meghans mom! :)

laith's picture
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Joined: 2010-12-01

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I think it is normal for them to experience up and downs! Got to think- it is all new to them. Laith was so scared of cars at first and would just cry! Then it moved to plastic bags and pots and pans are the worse. And the vaccum cleaner. The snow was a big thing for him this winter. And now the birds and flowers are freaking him out (his first winter/spring). I think they will always be cautious around cars and especially motorcycles. We tend to freeze when we hear it too. 

I don't know if it's right- but I just throw Laith into situations time after time for him to be exposed to it. But my trainer did say to always make sure that you think your pup can handle it. If it is a really bad experience- walk away and come back to a gentle exposure. When Laith was so afraid of car noise he would go into the sit position. So I just reinforced that. Everytime one would come- put him in sit and draw the attention away from the car and instead on me/him interacting. It worked after a few weeks.