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Discussion Starter #61
Hi,

Just checking in. I hope the vet visit went well.

I've been thinking on your mentioning that he became shy again in the third week. I hope that he's feeling more comfortable again.

It's so hard when they can't tell us.
thank you for checking in.
Vet said that he is in excellent health no issues.

BUT.....!!!!!

He is still afraid of me and is shaking and peeing when I pick him up.

I don’t know what to do. Its already 1 month he is with us.

to everyone else he is fine.
 

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This little dog is terribly afraid of you. Are you a tall man with a deep voice ? If so it’s making it even worse. In cases like that it’s hard to do but I think your best bet is to ignore him (don’t look at him, don’t talk to him, do not pet him or pick him up. Do not even purposely get close to him). By ignoring him, his confidence will slowly build, because he won’t afraid of you coming to him. He will be in control of the relationship and he will decide when he wants to get closer. And when he does, you need to wait for the next step, not try to create it.

Also, having a dog in your arms all day (or your wife) is not helping. The dog is relying on human comfort instead of slowly overcoming his fears. Make sure he has many safe places to go and hide in the house but then, put him down !

I guarantee you will have results if you start ignoring your dog for as long as needed. I have an extremely fearful / anxious dog and I’ve been through this.
 

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I'm gonna mirror ceaser millan because this is probably the only thing helpful he's ever said, but "no touch, no talk, no eye contact"

Hold chicken, turkey, anything high value on you at all times. If your dog comes near you, look away, stay silent, and feed your dog. Eventually, your dog will learn that you are a person to trust.

Feed your dog its meals, only you feed the dog. Once your dog gets used to you, take over as the primary care person for awhile. Be the only one to train your dog, walk your dog, and take it on fun outings. Your dog will learn real quick that you are a great person.
 
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It would help to know if there was something specific that precipitated the change in the third week, but whether there was or not, things can still become better.

Unless it's necessary, I'd suggest that you not pick him up for a while so his discomfort isn't triggered.

I have a story to tell. Our approach was some different from the good advice above.

When we got our girls at almost 2 years old from their breeder, Noel was a happy, loved everybody little girl. Holly was scared of men, any man, even the breeders husband who I'm 100% sure never did anything to bring that on.
She didn't pee when picked up, she simply left any room that a man was in and would not let them in reach of her.

After we brought them home and we all settled in the first weeks, we didn't push the issue with her but we also knew that it would be necessary to at least get her to where my husband could touch her without her running away, if he needed to take her to the vet.

We started by having him be the one to feed them, so she'd associate that good thing with him. Another thing that we did was to sit on the sofa together for a short time with Holly in my lap. He would offer treats while we both encouraged her softly. If she took one, we'd both praise her and let her down. If she didn't, we still praise her and let her down or just sit quietly for a couple of minutes, then let her down. We did this several times a day.

Once she was taking treats pretty regularly and/or not trying to leave, I'd move her from my lap to between us and do the same thing.

Once that was going ok, I'd place her in his lap while still sitting right there and kept doing that until she didn't feel the need to leave.

Next we did this standing by each other, repeating the treats from him while Holly was in my arms. Since the middle step wasn't possible, once that was going ok, I'd hand her off to him, he'd hold her for a very brief time and then put her down.

We'd also leave a shirt or jacket with his scent near the places she liked to relax, to keep his scent near. Not in the bedtime crate, just in the daytime areas.

This went on for sometime, faster than a glacial pace, more like the changing of the seasons pace, with plateau time in between. We did push her just the tiniest bit past her comfort level, but only occasionally, with the hope that she'd see that nothing bad was going to happen.

We brought the girls home on October 4 2002 and it didn't take this long but the first picture I have of our success was August 13 2004. They were great together for the rest of her life.
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I used a method called the "Tellington Touch", It is touch therapy developed by Linda Tellington to calm traumatized horses, it was adapted to help dogs and cats.
I used the Tellington touch with feral cats, and my traumatized mini poodle Fannie.
Poor Fannie had been found starving and injured, she was returned to her breeder and was eventually adopted by me.
Fannie was terrified of so much, like cars, garbage bags, mailboxes jand loud noises ust to name a few things, terrified enough to poop where she was.
I used acupressure points as well, along with a thunder shirt to help calm her. It took awhile but being quiet and calm and showing her the world wasn't scary helped so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #66 (Edited)
ok I will ignore him completely.


Pls Dont kill me for this question.

But maybe
I should make him go hungry?
That way, when he sees food, he will associate good with me?



My wife doesn’t hold him a lot anymore.
He constantly hides. Im just afraid he will be like that forever.

also when he pees in the house (since he doesnt know how to ask to go potty outside)
He begins to shake also. Its very hard to train him because he is afraid of everything!

If Only you guys knew how much love we give him...

Why didnt we just get doberman or Rottweiler.... 😉
 

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Love is a great start, but the frustrating truth is that most of us don’t have the skills to rehabilitate an undersocialized dog (which I’m guessing is the case with this little guy). And while I think that online advice can be helpful to an extent—and the support/commiseration is invaluable—it can also be fragmented, contradictory, and even a little overwhelming. That’s when it’s best to get help from a pro. That’s what we did with Peggy, and I’d encourage you to do the same with your poodle. It’s such a relief to have a plan in place and someone who can modify it as necessary to keep you progressing.

Here’s some info on choosing a trainer:

How to Choose a Trainer
Dog training is an unregulated industry, which means that anyone can call themself a dog trainer despite little or no experience or success. To combat this, well respected trainers have created their own certifications to set a floor for competency standards. Here’s a brief introduction to some of the acronyms you may see while searching for a trainer:
  • CPDT-KA, CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA - This is the preferred accreditation of many PF members. All of these titles are associated with the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers, which has handily published a Directory of Trainers to assist you in connecting with a skilled and experienced trainer.
  • KPA - The Karen Pryor Academy is a leader in modern, science-based positive reinforcement methods, and the KPA certification reflects an intensive education in dog training. Karen Pryor’s model utilizes clicker training.
  • AKC (if in the USA) - You may see trainers advertise that they are certified evaluators for the American Kennel Club (or your national KC if outside of the US). These trainers are usually highly experienced in a particular program such as Canine Good Citizen or Trick Training.
  • APDT - Membership in the Association of Professional Dog Trainers is fee-based and not to be confused with the vigorous certification procedures of CPDT and KPA. It is, however, another resource for seeking trainers who support a least intrusive, minimally aversive (LIMA) approach to dog training.
Recommended Online/Virtual Trainers

From: Pandemic Puppy Primer

Even a remote session or two (if covid restrictions prevent in-person training in your area) can be very helpful.
 

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ok I will ignore him completely.
until he comes to you. This just means to wait for him to approach you.

But maybe
I should make him go hungry?
No, don't make him go hungry, but be the one to give the food so he makes only positive associations. Keep small treats handy, maybe in a pocket, and let one fall every so often if he's watching. See if he'll take it.

He constantly hides. I
You'd said he was ok with other people but uncomfortable around you. Is he hiding from everyone, most of his waking time, but allowing them to pick him up if they try?

since he doesnt know how to ask to go potty outside
What have you tried to train him to ask? Ring a bell? Go to the door? How would you like him to ask?

Im just afraid he will be like that forever.
This doesn't have to be. I'm sure this is very sad and frustrating for you but a key element is calm, relaxed behavior surrounding him.

If Only you guys knew how much love we give him...
I don't doubt that, not one bit. He looks so sweet, and I'll bet a mischievous little boy is hiding under the discomfort.

Why didnt we just get doberman or Rottweiler.... 😉
And what would Max do with one of them? ;)

How is their relationship going?


PTP makes good points, as usual. I think a behaviorist was mentioned earlier in the thread too but as with other trainers, be sure to find someone very poodle qualified, if you consider this. The links to the certified trainers might be a good source for recommendations. Also as she mentioned, it doesn't need to require ongoing sessions. Sometimes just having an impartial observer can help greatly when offering useful advice.

You're doing all you can to help Munchen thru this to come out to the happy full life he deserves, that you all do.
 
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I think PtP is right, and professional help is needed to help you to help this frightened little dog. Look on the positive side - a terrified Rottweiler would be a far more dangerous thing to have around the house! This article Cautious Canines: Understanding and Helping Fearful Dogs is a good explanation, with links to some helpful resources.
 

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I found this tube on the T-touch, maybe it will be helpful, though I haven't taken the time to view it throughly.
I would also keep some calming music playing, they have some dog relaxing music on tube. Possibly one of those calming defusers, made specifically for dogs. And just lie on the floor or sit in a chair and have a few treats on you to give him whenever he approaches you. You may even start with just placing one on the floor next to you, perhaps on a towel or dog bed nearby you.
It may take time, months for him to trust you and he may just be one who is a nervous anxious type dog. Genetics can also play a role in this. Has his breeder been able to give you any insight? or ideas on how to help him.
 

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I'm thinking this puppy is very insecure. I think a behaviorist is a good step.

How I would handle this if you can't get access to someone who can help you.
In the past when I've dealt with really insecure animals, I found they were calmer if I could teach them to do a trick that always brought a reward or safety. Being able to perform their trick gave them a feeling of control and confidence. Once they were in a safe mental space, then I could work on other things. I usually teach sit and down in the beginning. In most chaotic situations a dog is safe sitting and waiting for further instructions.

I really like clicker training for this kind of training. Start with a really tasty treat, like little pea sized bits of chicken or hot dog. Click and drop a piece of chicken in front of the dog. Let the dog eat the chicken. Click and drop another piece of chicken in front of the dog without looming or staring touching or using your big male voice. Do this a dozen times and then just walk away. The dog should now think of you two ways. You are Big Scary Guy, but you are also Chicken Guy. Repeat the next day, and maybe even a third. You want to make Chicken Guy a stronger persona than Big Scary Guy. Chicken Guy makes a funny harmless clicking noise and drops treats. Chicken Guy is a wonderful person and dogs want to hang out with him. Good things happen to dogs who follow the suggestions of Chicken Guy.

Once your pup has bought into your persona as Chicken Guy, see if you can lure him into a sit. Hold a piece of chicken in front of him and slowly move it up and over his head. Chances are he will tip his head back to watch the chicken. Eventually he will sit to make it easier to look up at the chicken. Click at this exact moment and give him the chicken. Since he is so skittish, don't correct him if he lunges for the chicken. Remember, Chicken Guy's only purpose in life is to bring happiness to dogs by giving them treats. Simply close your hand around the chicken to prevent him from getting access and wait for him to calm down. Then attempt to lure him again. Repeat half a dozen successful sits and then call it quits for that session. After two successful sessions start quietly start saying "sit" at the same time you click when his rump hits the ground. After a few repetitions the dog should now associate the word with the action and the action with getting a click and a tasty treat.

You can teach down the same way. Lure his head down, and then click when he drops his chest to the ground.

For his fearfulness at being handled, gently but deliberately move your hand to his shoulder and touch him. Immediately click, then remove your hand and drop the chicken. Just touch, don't grab. You should be in contact with his shoulder no more than 1/4 second. You are being kind gentle Chicken Guy, not Big Scary Guy. If he retreats or makes any signal that he doesn't want you to touch him, respect his wishes and revert to sit/down exercises. Repeat the touch exercise half a dozen times and call it quits. Do this exercise one or two times a day for a few days, gradually building up duration. Go from 1/4 second to a full second to two seconds.

After a week or so, see what happens if you very briefly cup your hand under his chest and remove it. Click and treat if he tolerates the contact. Don't push it if he seems jittery. Revert to another trick if needed. Big Scary Guy should not be part of this session. Chicken Guy only wants to make dogs happy. Build duration the same way you did with touching his shoulder. If he seems comfortable, add the word "Lift" as you hold your hand under his chest. Don't actually lift him at this point; just get him used to the idea that the word accompanies you having your hand under his chest.

Eventually you may get to the point where he walks over to you if you cup your hand and say "Lift." Throw a party if that happens. The heavens should rain chicken down upon him. He made the choice to approach you, and Chicken Guy has blessed him in return.

Once he is thoroughly comfortable being touched under the chest, briefly lift him just high enough that only a few toes still touch the ground and then immediately set him down. I would expect him to look a little startled and anxious now. He may tentatively wag his tail and lick his lips. Reassure him by throwing another Chicken Party. He was a brave dog, and brave dogs earn the blessing of Chicken Guy in the form of lots of treats. See if he will tolerate another brief lift, and give him another Chicken Party. Then call it quits for the day. Repeat the next day with a click and treat for each lift. Increase the height and duration slowly and only if he comes back to you when you set him down. Chicken Guy does not give elevator rides to dogs who don't want to go airborne. At the point where you can cradle him in your arms he should get another Chicken Party. Good things happen to brave dogs when they are held in their master's arms.
 

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Cowpony's description of this process is excellent and definitely worth a try. The idea behind using a clicker is to "mark" the desired behavior with the same inflection and emphasis in each instance. You can click with your mouth by making a sound, or use a word as a marker, such a Yes or Good, but try to say it the same way every time.
 

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The varying suggestions of ignoring him and engaging him seem conflicting on the surface but there is a key element in common. That is to let him choose when and how he approaches.

My concern increased when you mentioned that he spends much time hiding. Isolating himself isn't really helpful but forcing him wouldn't be either.

Trying cowpony's method give him additional reason for engagement and may help bring him out of his discomfort.

Building confidence in learning new skills, which include that good things happen just by being around someone, will help.
 

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I deliberately introduced the comical Chicken Guy to encourage a playful mentality in these exercises. Continuing in that playful vein, have you ever watched a clown entertaining very small children at a party? Sometimes the kids are nervous. When the clown moves too fast and thrusts a balloon at a nervous kid, the kid may well shriek and retreat. It's definitely Game Over if the clown compounds the error by popping a balloon. What happens, instead, if the clown flamboyantly spins a cotton candy cone and sets it within a kid's reach without approaching the kid? The kid might curiously sample the candy and continue watching the clown from a safe distance.

Dogs have that same mixture of distrust and curiosity. As with kids, it's ideal if you can harness the curiosity to overcome the distrust. Chicken Guy is the clown trying to win over the timid youngster with a mixture of well timed silliness and sugary treats.
 

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I really like calm, slow, Chicken Guy with the pea size bits of real chicken (or beef, etc), who is quiet, and only stays around for a couple of minutes.
 

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I'm having an idea which might serve as a trick/training/confidence builder but I'm making some assumptions to get there. I should note that this is not necessarily the short term learning situation that cowpony is describing, but is worth building in. In this case you're training mimicry with no (worse) consequences if he doesn't catch on.

You wrote
since he doesnt know how to ask to go potty outside
I'm assuming that there's a primary door used to get to the outside elimination place. This might be a way to give Munchen a voice to ask. If it works, he'll have learned how to do something that will make everyone very happy. If you've tried this already but without success, keep trying. That worked for me.

Some weeks after bringing our boys home I decided to try hanging a string of bells from the knob of the door to the backyard.

Every time I brought them to the door I'd jingle the bells and say my potty speech to them, "ring the bells, go outside, go pee, go poo". (Some people use a concierge bell on the floor.)

As they got a bit older, I'd take their paw and use it to jingle the bells, always giving the potty speech. I did this for weeks but with no results. I thought about giving up and did become less consistent, but still did this periodically.

One day I was sitting on the loveseat with my back to the door and I suddenly heard the bells jingling. I turned to look and there was Remo with his paw on the bells! We had a major party and got him outside asap :).

(He actually had just rung the bells in this photo!)

474088


Once outside we'd walk to the potty spot and the second they started doing their pee or poo I'd exclaim "Good go ___!!", very happy voice, clapping hands, telling them how good they were and, of course, treats.

Both boys still ring the bells if they need to get our attention.
 
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If he is peeing in the house (and not just when scared), he is likely not housetrained. I recommend being very patient with him and going back to the basics:

 
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