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My 8 months old puppy broke his leg 3 months ago. I was visiting my family back to France , and my dog was trying to climb the stairs in my parents house but couldn’t. So I went to help him out but my mother was just telling me that I was a bad owner and my dog needs to be by himself and learn. I wasn’t confident and too scared he could hurt himself but my mother kept insisting and making me feel bad so I decided to teach him and put him back on the stairs he got scared and jumped and broke his leg. His scream horrified me and I am still traumatized because I didn’t want him to be in the stairs but did it anyway because my mother was criticizing me so hard. I still didn’t forgive myself and feel like I forced him when he was being scared just to make my mother happy. What a shame ...
Thankfully his leg has fully healed so the vet said he is good to go but I am scared to let my dog run and that he will injure himself again.
The vet said to take it easy at first but I don’t know what it means !! Every time he runs I am scared now .. plus since his surgery he has changed. Before he broke his leg he was very friendly open never bark at other dogs people or bikes or cars , but the day after he broke his leg he was barking at everything. He is very reactive to everything after his surgery was done.
I keep trying to train him but nothing seems to work. I can take him for walks without being scared ! Any advice for his leg recovery and behavior ? I am starting to loose my mind because he was a perfect puppy well behaved I could take him everywhere but now seems like he has no confidence and is scared of everything..
 

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First of all, I'm awfully sorry that this happened to you. Parental pressure in these situations is the worst, especially when you have an inkling that you're right but don't have enough knowledge or experience to prove that you are so. The best thing you can do for you and your dog right now, however, is try to let go (I know it's really hard) and focus on the now. Dogs, Poodles in particular, are very tuned in to the owner's emotions, so take a deep breath.

Right now, you have a toy poodle in the midst of adolescence. He broke his leg doing Something New, and therefore, will be especially wary of New Things since the last time he tried one Something Bad happened. Your job now, then, is to teach him that New Things are Something Good. Other people will likely comment and explain this better than I can, but I will try my best for right now.

You'll need to start introducing him slowly to New Things. For example, say he barks at people--so you invite someone over to play with puppy. You don't have your friend go straight up to the puppy, however--you go slowly. Maybe a step at a time. Look up at me! Treat. One step, two step, look at me! Treat. Any beginning signs of apprehension shown by puppy (I highly recommend looking up dog body language, and really like this book Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog: A Photographic Guide: Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog - Kindle edition by Aloff, Brenda. Crafts, Hobbies & Home Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.), and you and the dog walk away. You can do this with pretty much anything--my Fluffy was attacked by another dog (fortunately no injuries except a bruised tummy), and became fearful of other dogs. We've taken a very similar approach, and he's improved immensely. It does get better. :)
 

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First of all, I'm awfully sorry that this happened to you. Parental pressure in these situations is the worst, especially when you have an inkling that you're right but don't have enough knowledge or experience to prove that you are so. The best thing you can do for you and your dog right now, however, is try to let go (I know it's really hard) and focus on the now. Dogs, Poodles in particular, are very tuned in to the owner's emotions, so take a deep breath.

Right now, you have a toy poodle in the midst of adolescence. He broke his leg doing Something New, and therefore, will be especially wary of New Things since the last time he tried one Something Bad happened. Your job now, then, is to teach him that New Things are Something Good. Other people will likely comment and explain this better than I can, but I will try my best for right now.

You'll need to start introducing him slowly to New Things. For example, say he barks at people--so you invite someone over to play with puppy. You don't have your friend go straight up to the puppy, however--you go slowly. Maybe a step at a time. Look up at me! Treat. One step, two step, look at me! Treat. Any beginning signs of apprehension shown by puppy (I highly recommend looking up dog body language, and really like this book Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog: A Photographic Guide: Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog - Kindle edition by Aloff, Brenda. Crafts, Hobbies & Home Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.), and you and the dog walk away. You can do this with pretty much anything--my Fluffy was attacked by another dog (fortunately no injuries except a bruised tummy), and became fearful of other dogs. We've taken a very similar approach, and he's improved immensely. It does get better. :)
First of all, I'm awfully sorry that this happened to you. Parental pressure in these situations is the worst, especially when you have an inkling that you're right but don't have enough knowledge or experience to prove that you are so. The best thing you can do for you and your dog right now, however, is try to let go (I know it's really hard) and focus on the now. Dogs, Poodles in particular, are very tuned in to the owner's emotions, so take a deep breath.

Right now, you have a toy poodle in the midst of adolescence. He broke his leg doing Something New, and therefore, will be especially wary of New Things since the last time he tried one Something Bad happened. Your job now, then, is to teach him that New Things are Something Good. Other people will likely comment and explain this better than I can, but I will try my best for right now.

You'll need to start introducing him slowly to New Things. For example, say he barks at people--so you invite someone over to play with puppy. You don't have your friend go straight up to the puppy, however--you go slowly. Maybe a step at a time. Look up at me! Treat. One step, two step, look at me! Treat. Any beginning signs of apprehension shown by puppy (I highly recommend looking up dog body language, and really like this book Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog: A Photographic Guide: Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog - Kindle edition by Aloff, Brenda. Crafts, Hobbies & Home Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.), and you and the dog walk away. You can do this with pretty much anything--my Fluffy was attacked by another dog (fortunately no injuries except a bruised tummy), and became fearful of other dogs. We've taken a very similar approach, and he's improved immensely. It does get better. :)

Thank you for your reply ! I will try I spend hours and hours trying new things with him but you are probably right , baby steps may work better ..
It’a just so hard because he went from being so good with everything to being a ton of work it’s just overwhelming and I am lost for sure ..
 

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I'm so sorry. :( That was a very scary experience for you and your puppy, but take Floofy's advice and try and put it behind you. Dogs are resilient.

Even without an accident like the one your poodle experienced, the transition from early puppyhood to adolescence is often marked by some reactivity as dogs venture out further into the world. "Where did my sweet puppy go???" is a common refrain around 5 months.

For you and your puppy, this transition was likely intensified by the interruption of his routine and social activities.

If he was well socialized in his first four months, he should bounce back with continued positive exposure to the world around him. Let him know you always have his back, you'll never push him past his comfort zone and you'll protect him from Scary Things. Let him know you've got it under control. Keep new experiences short and sweet and if he ever stops taking tasty treats from your hand (or snatching them wildly) you've pushed him too far. Take a step back.

I imagine loads of parents wish they could return to the toddler days when they're dealing with an unruly teen. But....it's part of life. On the other side of this is an adult dog—a GOOD adult dog if you keep putting in the work. :)

Have you attended classes or sought help from a trainer? Is this your first dog?
 

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I'm so sorry. :( That was a very scary experience for you and your puppy, but take Floofy's advice and try and put it behind you. Dogs are resilient.

Even without an accident like the one your poodle experienced, the transition from early puppyhood to adolescence is often marked by some reactivity as dogs venture out further into the world. "Where did my sweet puppy go???" is a common refrain around 5 months.

For you and your puppy, this transition was likely intensified by the interruption of his routine and social activities.

If he was well socialized in his first four months, he should bounce back with continued positive exposure to the world around him. Let him know you always have his back, you'll never push him past his comfort zone and you'll protect him from Scary Things. Let him know you've got it under control. Keep new experiences short and sweet and if he ever stops taking tasty treats from your hand (or snatching them wildly) you've pushed him too far. Take a step back.

I imagine loads of parents wish they could return to the toddler days when they're dealing with an unruly teen. But....it's part of life. On the other side of this is an adult dog—a GOOD adult dog if you keep putting in the work. :)

Have you attended classes or sought help from a trainer? Is this your first dog?
Yes I guess he is a normal dog and I should stop blaming myself for his fears..

Yes he should start a puppy training class with other dogs on leash next week for the next 6 weeks , I already know he is probably gonna be very scared so I told the trainer that I will need to be apart from everybody else and she agreed.

Now I am just scared about his leg , the vet said he can run but a little bit and he cannot be without a leash around other dogs yet ... so hard to have really know how he would feel around other dogs
 

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I think there are several things going on - adolescence with all that brings in its train, the shock of the accident and the enforced months of inactivity, and your own anxiety. Of these the easiest to address is your anxiety, so I would start by talking to the vet about exactly what kind of exercise, and how much, is beneficial at this stage, and perhaps consider physiotherapy or hydrotherapy. Everything is easier when you have a workable plan. I think I would also investigate LAT (Look At That) training techniques, which would help with reactivity and be very safe for him. The class with a sympathetic trainer should be a great resource, too.

Sophy lost some of her confidence when she had a trapped nerve (slipped disc) as a young adult. Her recovery time was much shorter than for your poodle, a few weeks rather than months, but I well remember the anxiety when I first let her loose to run, and the joy a few weeks later watching her zoom in glorious circles. She has avoided any kind of rough play ever since - sensible for a small dog - but quickly recovered her confidence around dogs and humans. I am sure that your little dog will too, once you can both relax and put this behind you - lesson learned, time to forgive yourself and start enjoying life together.
 

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As fjm suggested you must get past your anxiety forst. If you have confidence it will help give your pup confidence too. And also go by baby steps. Don't flood your pup with too much, too intense or too fast ideas for training. I wish you every success.
 
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I think there are several things going on - adolescence with all that brings in its train, the shock of the accident and the enforced months of inactivity, and your own anxiety. Of these the easiest to address is your anxiety, so I would start by talking to the vet about exactly what kind of exercise, and how much, is beneficial at this stage, and perhaps consider physiotherapy or hydrotherapy. Everything is easier when you have a workable plan. I think I would also investigate LAT (Look At That) training techniques, which would help with reactivity and be very safe for him. The class with a sympathetic trainer should be a great resource, too.

Sophy lost some of her confidence when she had a trapped nerve (slipped disc) as a young adult. Her recovery time was much shorter than for your poodle, a few weeks rather than months, but I well remember the anxiety when I first let her loose to run, and the joy a few weeks later watching her zoom in glorious circles. She has avoided any kind of rough play ever since - sensible for a small dog - but quickly recovered her confidence around dogs and humans. I am sure that your little dog will too, once you can both relax and put this behind you - lesson learned, time to forgive yourself and start enjoying life together.
Yes I will try to relax , and take a deep breath and keep trying my best .. sorry to hear about your dog pain too , so hard to see them going through pain and no being able to explain to them that everything is going to be ok ..

Thanks for ur advice
 

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As fjm suggested you must get past your anxiety forst. If you have confidence it will help give your pup confidence too. And also go by baby steps. Don't flood your pup with too much, too intense or too fast ideas for training. I wish you every success.
Yes you are right , I want him to get back to his old life but I have a bold puppy, loves to run very fast and jump obstacles so yes when I want to let him loose he just goes banana and run full speed
 

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I always feel so sorry for the young dogs and the people who love them when the dog gets injured. So hard to keep a young dog still!

One thing I found helpful when Annie was on exercise restriction was scent games. You can buy a variety of puzzle toys but even dropping kibble on the floor for supper instead of in a dish is good brain work. I like to buy another brand of kibble and use it as training treats so I don't need to worry about nutrition for a growing puppy, and its easy to account for calories. A small bite kibble would work well for your toy. You can even do scent work to boost confidence in new situations... A few pieces of kibble scattered in an unfamiliar place can turn it from scary to exciting! It can also be a great distraction from scary other dogs/people if you can move to a distance away that feels safe for him.

As for the barking after surgery - dogs in pain tend to be more reactive and nervous dogs. Hopefully as he continues to heal, some of that will go away on its own. If you work on it, it should improve.

A friend of mine works extensively with nervous preschool children. She has found that teaching them they can still do normal behaviours (sitting, standing, flapping their arms, etc) in a scary or uncomfortable place really helps boost confidence. I have tried it with Annie, and it really works! After a quick, sit, down, look at me practice, she is far more confident in a scary location (like a bathtub) than before.
 

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If he is a puppy and doesn't have a rock solid recall he should not be off leash. You want to work on getting him to connect to you so solidly that he will listen to you over choosing to indulge his puppy crazies. I can rely on my poodles to come back to me even if they encounter loose chickens in my yard. That is the kind of connection and reliable behavior that earns running off leash.
 

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I always feel so sorry for the young dogs and the people who love them when the dog gets injured. So hard to keep a young dog still!

One thing I found helpful when Annie was on exercise restriction was scent games. You can buy a variety of puzzle toys but even dropping kibble on the floor for supper instead of in a dish is good brain work. I like to buy another brand of kibble and use it as training treats so I don't need to worry about nutrition for a growing puppy, and its easy to account for calories. A small bite kibble would work well for your toy. You can even do scent work to boost confidence in new situations... A few pieces of kibble scattered in an unfamiliar place can turn it from scary to exciting! It can also be a great distraction from scary other dogs/people if you can move to a distance away that feels safe for him.

As for the barking after surgery - dogs in pain tend to be more reactive and nervous dogs. Hopefully as he continues to heal, some of that will go away on its own. If you work on it, it should improve.

A friend of mine works extensively with nervous preschool children. She has found that teaching them they can still do normal behaviours (sitting, standing, flapping their arms, etc) in a scary or uncomfortable place really helps boost confidence. I have tried it with Annie, and it really works! After a quick, sit, down, look at me practice, she is far more confident in a scary location (like a bathtub) than before.
Thank you for your advice I will try it. I was thinking about getting a stroller and just walk him around with it to help him feel more confident and safe around scary things then little by little let him walk next to the stroller and he gets scared put him back in the stroller , do you think it could work or is a bad idea ?
 

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If he is a puppy and doesn't have a rock solid recall he should not be off leash. You want to work on getting him to connect to you so solidly that he will listen to you over choosing to indulge his puppy crazies. I can rely on my poodles to come back to me even if they encounter loose chickens in my yard. That is the kind of connection and reliable behavior that earns running off leash.
Before he broke his leg we were just starting recall he was doing great but now he just seems to want freedom
 

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A stroller is a good idea during exercise restrictions for socialization, but I would work on making him less scared rather than putting him back in a stroller during walks if he becomes nervous!

So, for example, giving treats, happy cheerful encouragement, and being on his side to retreat from a situation, or putting your body between him and a scary situation will show him that a) you have his back, and b) the thing isn't scary after all! The idea is not too coo "ooh, poor scared little guy!" But instead say! "Look, a mailman, isn't that AWESOME?!" And encourage him to believe it. One awesome trainer here recommends the 'run away from the scary thing' game, where the two of you approach the scary thing, and when he gets even slightly scared, you run away from it together, laughing. This builds distance, but also turns the fear trigger slowly into a source of fun, not terror.

You want to build confidence, not hide him from all sources of fear.

Some of what you are seeing is likely also adolescence. Adolescent dogs are learning to be independent, and for a while, recall will be terrible, commands they know will be forgotten, etc. Be patient, don't be afraid to go back and reteach something if he has forgotten, and you should do fine!!!

You may also want to consider a dog training class. In my area, there are some specifically for tiny dogs who may have fear issues, but even a regular dog class with an excellent trainer (look for certifications like CPDT-KA or KPA-CTP) might be useful. Those classes will help him build confidence, and you deal with teenage puppyhood.
 

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He has to earn freedom, not take it. And BTW I am a CPDT-KA certified trainer.
 

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A stroller is a good idea during exercise restrictions for socialization, but I would work on making him less scared rather than putting him back in a stroller during walks if he becomes nervous!

So, for example, giving treats, happy cheerful encouragement, and being on his side to retreat from a situation, or putting your body between him and a scary situation will show him that a) you have his back, and b) the thing isn't scary after all! The idea is not too coo "ooh, poor scared little guy!" But instead say! "Look, a mailman, isn't that AWESOME?!" And encourage him to believe it. One awesome trainer here recommends the 'run away from the scary thing' game, where the two of you approach the scary thing, and when he gets even slightly scared, you run away from it together, laughing. This builds distance, but also turns the fear trigger slowly into a source of fun, not terror.

You want to build confidence, not hide him from all sources of fear.

Some of what you are seeing is likely also adolescence. Adolescent dogs are learning to be independent, and for a while, recall will be terrible, commands they know will be forgotten, etc. Be patient, don't be afraid to go back and reteach something if he has forgotten, and you should do fine!!!

You may also want to consider a dog training class. In my area, there are some specifically for tiny dogs who may have fear issues, but even a regular dog class with an excellent trainer (look for certifications like CPDT-KA or KPA-CTP) might be useful. Those classes will help him build confidence, and you deal with teenage puppyhood.
That’s a great ideas ! I will try to do that for sure !
One week ago he was doing very good on being outside and paying attention to me but my neighbor came out his house and let his 2 bigs dog run free out in the street without any leash and they ran towards me and my dog! I picked my dog up right away didn’t have any other choice because since my dog was so reactive I decided to do training session front of my house , so I had nothing to protect him. Since then it’s back to zero , now even when we walk just front of the house he gets scared 😱
 

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That’s a great ideas ! I will try to do that for sure !
One week ago he was doing very good on being outside and paying attention to me but my neighbor came out his house and let his 2 bigs dog run free out in the street without any leash and they ran towards me and my dog! I picked my dog up right away didn’t have any other choice because since my dog was so reactive I decided to do training session front of my house , so I had nothing to protect him. Since then it’s back to zero , now even when we walk just front of the house he gets scared 😱
In those situations, your energy is so important. Being whisked up off the ground by a frightened human would actually be pretty frightening.

Are your neighbour's dogs aggressive? Has your puppy ever had the opportunity to play with (or at least observe) other well-socialized dogs?
 

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In those situations, your energy is so important. Being whisked up off the ground by a frightened human would actually be pretty frightening.

Are your neighbour's dogs aggressive? Has your puppy ever had the opportunity to play with (or at least observe) other well-socialized dogs?
I don’t know if they are aggressive but they were just looking at my dog running full speed. It took the owner a few minutes before the dog listened to him and get back to him. And every time we go out they stare at him through the window , and keep looking at us until we leave ..
 

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To me, a well-socialized dog will:

Be specifically trained to be well-behaved around other dogs. You can go out with the dog all you want, but if you don't incorporate positive experiences with the dog, then you might as well not even have done it at all.
Not ever stare at another dog, especially at the eyes. It's incredibly rude to other dogs and can lead to fights.
Not be overly aggressive in play and be able to back off if need be.
In general, display appropriate body language towards other dogs.

You can set your dog up for success with other dogs at puppy or beginner classes, as those are monitored by the trainer and they would know how and when to separate the dogs if need be. Other dogs will certainly teach him manners, and in general dog-to-dog interaction is beneficial.

However, since he is fearful in general, I personally would hold off a little bit on forcing him to interact with other dogs and get him comfortable with being outside of the house first, then move up to scarier things like that. It is important to get dog-to-dog socialization, but not to the point that it is overwhelming.
 
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