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  • Results 1 to 7 of 7
    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      zd262's Avatar
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      How to Reassure a Scared Pup

      Hello! I have a new chocolate lab pup, almost 10 weeks old. He's a rascal, obviously, and as a result had two things fall down on him today. One was an empty cardboard box and the other were my tall rainboots. Both were super harmless and didn't even hit him, just fell near him after he pushed them over. But afterwards he spent the rest of the day creeping around the house terrified. Also a lot of the time when I take him in the car or carry him outside for socializing he seems pretty frightened.

      Overall he's not a scared pup at all. In fact his bold curiosity is what I love about him. But when it goes wrong, how do I comfort him and make him feel protected?

      Thank you for any advice!

    2. #2
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      Maxx&Emma's Avatar
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      Don't pick him up and comfort him. Be happy and positive, turn it in to a fun game ignoring the scary thing that happened. If you treat "scary" things by trying to comfort you will possibly end up with a neurotic, fearful dog. Keep socializing and safely exposing your puppy to new people, places and things, get in a puppy k class ASAP, if you are not already. I know it is hard not to baby a puppy but you want to raise a secure, confident dog.
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    3. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Maxx&Emma For This Useful Post:

      POPTOP (05-31-2015), Snowshoe (05-31-2015), wendy (06-03-2015), windycanyon (06-03-2015)

    4. #3
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      POPTOP's Avatar
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      Totally agree. Let your pup safely explore and become comfortable with new things. The box and boots could be lift out for future investigation. Treat the objects as nothings and your pup will pick up on your reassurance.

      It's not only pups. After Archie joined us at age 5, we discovered he is very afraid of a fly swatter. Wonder what happened to him in his past. What I did was leave it out on an end table in the living room and treated it the same way as the lamp on the same table. When dusting, picked it up, put it back down; it's just part of life in the house. He got used to it being around. Got to the point where I could pet him with the swatter while giving him a treat. It hangs in the closet now and I am conscious of where he is when I'm whipping it out to use it, but for the most part he's not slamming his body to the floor in fear.
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    5. #4
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      100% agree.

      I have her confront the scary thing. In the box example, I would have asked "What was that?!!!??" And we would immediately approach it to investigate. Be confident in the approach, no 'ooOOoo it might be scary!' or anything, just walk/crawl right up to it and touch it. Label it, "It is only a box!" have the pup sniff it then playfully slap them around and keep playing.

      Try not to make a huge deal about it, just note something happened, check it out, and pass it off as just something that happens, then go back to having puppy fun!!!

    6. #5
      Senior Dog
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      This is great advice. I'd been ignoring it but wasn't sure if that was right. Thank you so much!

    7. #6
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      Labradorks's Avatar
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      Agree with these posters, specifically Woodrow_Woodchuck. It's hard not to baby, but you really can't do that. Not even to rescues. I used to be one of those who said "Poor thing -- someone must've hit him with it!" and then feel bad. Then, I got puppies and learned that sometimes they have irrational fear that is downright silly. And sometimes the things you think they should be afraid of are no big deal.

      Your puppy sounds pretty fearful so I'd encourage you to hook up with a good trainer who uses patience and positive reinforcement and doesn't push them to do things before they are ready. My younger dog is not fearful, but he is easily stressed and if he does say, hurt himself on something like a jump, he's not very eager to try again. Training and socializing a dog like that is just different.

    8. #7
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      I normally just laugh at the incident ("Ohhh, what was THAT about, give me a break....) and redirect to something new and different.
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