What do i do about a scared dobie?...

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Soleil's picture
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My girl has always been a bit shy but she is starting to be borderline skittish.  This is unlike her.  She is subordinate and is fantastic at meeting friendly new dogs... she is polite and is the first to give the "puppy play bow"  but she did something while i was gone surprised me.  Please don't get me wrong i don't want a dog that wants to fight!!.... but this is what I was told happened.. she was in our fenced in yard when a rottie charged the fence growling and hair standing on end.  Normally the gets her roused especially since my other dog (a golden) responded protectively.  Instead she ran behind my honey and backed away.  Like i said I dont want i fighter but in the past when something similar has happened she stands her ground.  I was not there but this struck me as unusual behavior for her.  Any ideas??? Does this seem strange to anyone else?

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Is the Golden Dominate to her? Is she in heat?

Soleil's picture
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She is spayed and the golden is not really dominate to her.  They are on the same level.  The golden is more dominate outside while she is a bit more dominate inside.  but they know that mom and dad are the alphas of the house.  ;)  I guess I am just surprised by her reaction to this situation.  Maybe I am reading into it.  But this was so out of character.  Especially when they are together.  The golden is male and when he is around she tends to be a bit more brave.  Perhaps it was that the Rottie just took her off guard but this was when she was on her own turf... I just don't know if she is somehow loosing her confidence which makes me far more concerned that her loosing her protection ability. ::) 

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It's hard to say. Of course your information is second hand and mine is third - so it's tough putting al the variable in place to find a solution to the equation that caused the reaction.

To really understand we would have to know what posture she was displaying. http://www.gentledoberman.com/speak-doberman.php

My first thought is that she was reacting submissively to the Rottweiler - perhaps because she knows him or mistaken him for the Golden.

Is this the same Girl who was bounding around the living room when she got happy? This may simply be a puppy's reaction.

Also, domestic dogs really stay puppies their entire lives. Protection training is good because it builds confidence and trains a dog to stay under command in tough situations. (Actually making them safer and less likely to bite regardless of AKC non-sense) The well bred and socialized Doberman generally does not require protection training to naturally protect their family. It's just hard to say without more information. Maybe she thought she was the only one in trouble? In turn, not triggering her defense response - only her submissive response.

Soleil's picture
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I hate doing the he said she said story telling because you are correct things get lost in translation.  But from what I know the Rottie is a neighbor's dog.  They live in the house next door and the man of that house seems to have good control of the dog except when I see him with my dogs.  They live far enough away that you really can't see the house but our dogs do bark at each other occasionally from a distance.  I have only had one encounter with Rottie and to be perfectly honest i was quite pissed when it happened.  I was walking my dogs on leash on the sidewalk across the street from his house when his the Rottie ran across the street showing an offensive threat position to me and my dogs.  The man was yelling and his dog was not listening.  My dogs got in a defensive threat position.  I stopped and told to man to get his dog.  He kept saying don't worry it won't bite.  The dog kept a little distance from me and man got ahold of his dog by the collar and thankfully nothing more happened. Maybe I am biased but in that situation I think my dogs acted appropriately to the situation.  The did not lunge but they guarded and stayed at my sides. 
This particular instance his Rottie was off leash again and ran up to my fenced in backyard (fence you can see through) The dogs were playing the backyard supervised.  My boyfriend was on the deck.  The Rottie showed offensive threat postion.  My Golden (Tucker) showed defensive threat position and Soleil (my Dobie) turn and ran onto to the deck and hid behind my boyfriend.  The neighbor had to come and get his dog again.  I guess it is kinda a good thing I was not there because I am sure I would have a few rather harsh words for the man who cannot seem to control his dog. 
My Soleil is the only Doberman in the house.  Tucker is by 2 year old male golden who thinks he might be a doberman.  Soleil is the happy go lucky puppy who jumped on the couch (by the way my couch is finally safe :)) My only guess is I was out of country for the week and I was told she was kinda sulking and sad that I was gone.  But my boyfriend and I live together and he has been there since we both brought her home a puppy. 
I guess I am just concerned that now she is loosing her confidence.  Does anyone know any good confidence building excercises to do with dogs. I live in a gauntlet of dogs, all my neighbors have at least one and dont want her feeling frightened in my own backyard and on walks. 

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Ok, the more I think about it the more I think it's pretty obvious. She's just a goofy puppy still. You being gone would have just added to her normal adolescent. She was probably in puppy-mode, got scared, and ran to hide behind Daddy.

She's old enough that she shouldn't have damaged by the event. Puppies in the Fear Imprint Period are in extreme danger of such damage, but she's months past it. She has plenty of maturing to do yet.

Confidence can be built with good old fashion socialization. The more dogs she meets under pleasant circumstances the more confidence she'll have with crazy dogs.

The whole Rottweiler off leash subject is frustrating to me as well. I'm not a leash-law advocate, but if your dog is running away from you in a threatening posture you need to take some measures unless you're an irresponsible belligerent dog owner. That fellow has an accident waiting to happen and I hope you don't end up being involved. Two puppies out of our first Drayko / Stormee litter were attacked as puppies by a loose Rottweiler.

Hell, with my voice alone I have more control over our three Dobermans that 99.9% of dog owners have over one of their dogs on a leash, and I never leave an enclosed area with a dog off leash. It takes one goof-ball move and a dog just got hit by a car!

Soleil's picture
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I am finding it harder to find friendly dogs in my area.  I feel like my area has become a mecca for people who are delusional about their dogs behavior.  I live directly across to street from a public park and people walk there dogs off leash all the time.  Some are perfect that stay at a perfect heel and never stray from their owners side but most are 4 legged monsters that run amok.  I could go into plenty of horror stories about irresponsible dog owners...
We were walking the dogs across the street and noticed a women struggling with what looked like a little jack Russel mix that was wearing a muzzle.  We tried to steer clear of the situation and changed our route so we would not meet and she followed us.  Then started talking to what I assume to be her daughter saying "oh good there are other dogs cause our dog needs socialization since he is aggressive with larger dogs!!!" and then headed straight for us. I could not believe it!!! She did not ask if our dogs were friendly or if it was ok she just started to chase after us.  Being the big mouth that I am I told her to stop and that we were training our dogs and not to bother us.... (possibly in different words)  >:(  What made it worse is here a woman with no common sense passing on the same foolishness to her daughter!!

But back to the point... I am glad that it just is puppy-mode taking over.  She is a fantastic dog and i would hate to think the situation scarred her. 

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Well - it sounds to me like a puppy reaction... If you have a lot on unmanaged dogs in your neighborhood it would be a good idea to find ways to socialize her with reasonable dogs.

As for the crazy lady trying to get her dog into a fight - the most dangerous dog owners are people who don't know what they're doing but think they do. For crying out loud, if her dog needs a muzzle she needs to sit on a bench somewhere with it and watch dogs from about 50 years away, to get started. Anyway, socialization is exposing a dog to controlled situations that you know will be pleasant. Sneaking up on people you don't know will not likely result favorably. This time she only got yelled at.... Hopefully she learned her lesson.  :P Probably not though. Probably just figured you were a rude person.  ::)

Soleil's picture
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My pups are going to have a fun day at a very small doggie daycare tomorrow.  It feels more like bringing the kids over to for a playdate rather than a daycare with the womens two very nice dogs so at least they have some fun time and a little socialization scheduled :) They get to run themselves silly in a very nicely fenced in yard and they always come home so happy and tired. 

Update on Soleil's behavior.  She is back to her normal happy bouncy self.  No running scared.  Maybe she missed her mommy.