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Thread: Puppy is afraid of me for what I did. Is it possible to comfort her? Help her forget?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Puppy is afraid of me for what I did. Is it possible to comfort her? Help her forget?

    Hello, I moved into a new house with my dad, stepmom, and younger step brother. Because we were having a new beggining, we decided to buy a boxer puppy. Her name is Kona, and she is about 6 months old I believe. I give the dog alot of attention because shes so spunky and is great around people and just a great dog, but something just happened and I dont know what to do.


    it was around 7 oclock, still perfectly sunny outside. My Stepmom and my Dad were going on a vacation, and asked me to keep the dog outside until I was finished on my workout bike, because she isnt potty trained yet. I put her out at 7:30, and went on my workout bike at that time. At around 8:05, I felt bad for her, so I let her inside.

    It was dark outside, and when she came inside she had a very scared look in her eyes, and was breathing hard. Whenever I would try to comfort her or pet her, she would start to back away. And if I would try to pick her up, she would whimper at me and try to bite my hand.

    I know what I did was wrong, but will she be afraid of me for a long time? Ive shown her love and affection for close to a month now. My stepbrother seems to annoy her(hes not quite old enough to care for a dog, instead he just barks at the dog which I tell him not to do), my stepmom is the one who punishes her for peeing/pooping inside, yet Kona still likes my stepmom. and my dad doesnt really spend THAT much time with her, yet she still likes him. I usually play with her alot everyday, and because of what happened it seems like she forgot about that, and is petrified of me.

    Is there any way I can comfort her, or make her feel better? or will it just scare her more that im trying to comfort her, and should leave her alone because of this. I love this puppy to death, and really want to calm it down

  2. #2
    Count the Cotons Senior Dog Moderator Moo's Avatar
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    I'm a little confused. It doesn't really sound like you did anything wrong. Is the issue that you left her outside? My dog would absolutely bounce the walls if I let him out in the yard alone, and half an hour isn't that long...

    How long ago was this? Was she hurting when she came in? Did something attack her/or did she step on something sharp in the dark?
    ♫ Come and knock on our door.... ♪

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    I dont know if anything attacked her really.....I doubt it was her first time in the dark, but maybe thats what could have freaked her out? well,today hasnt exactly been the best day for her, because 3 of the things she probably hates the most were done to her today:

    1. Was outside of the house for a long period of time because no one was home

    2. I held her while she was being washed as apart of her bath...which she hates.

    3. She went to the Vet to recieve shots....except I didnt go with her.


    maybe shes associating bad things with me when I try to pick her up? I was holding her for a while during the bath, and when I put her out 2 other times, it was ME who had to do it. Or maybe something did happen to her while she was in the dark, I dont know...whenever I try to check her, she tugs away from me, But from what I was able to see, I didnt see any marking or scratches, just her extremely scared eyes. And later on tonight, I have to do probably her 4th hated thing: I still have to put her in her crate....great.

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    Couch Potato Senior Dog Member+Senior Dog Moderator Dax's Avatar
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    She might just be a little skittish right now. The worst thing to do is to force her to you. Don't try to pick her up or chase after her in anyway.

    My advise for making friends is to sit on the floor with a hot dog. Break off little pieces and pretend to eat them. When she comes close - give her a piece. Start by putting in on the floor a few feet away and gradually work up to where she is taking them from you. It's well worth a pack of weiners to tell her that you're a "good guy"

    No sudden moves, no chasing, no picking up. Let her establish how much contact she's ready for. That will give her confidence.

  5. #5
    Count the Cotons Senior Dog Moderator Moo's Avatar
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    So... How long ago was it?

    The only thing I can think of is it something really hurt her or scared her. A by-passing dog perhaps, or a raccoon... Maybe she had something stuck in her paw, that she managed to chew out later?

    And I guess it could be completely unrelated to the outside incident, she could be working her way up the hierarchy, and if you do NOT speak firmly with her, she may be thinking that you are already beneath her and now needs to suck up to the alphas of the house.

    As for the crate -She needs to learn to love her crate. Don't push her in. Remove the door if you have to, and toss in some treats or a toy. Speak in a quiet, happy voice "Into your house." You don't want her to hate it, you want her to enjoy it, so that you can take full advantage of it. Be patient, training takes a lot of time. And forcefulness creates stress with the crate. If she doesn't like it, and you put her in every night, she'll keep thinking it's bad.

    Who in the house feeds meals? Opens doors for her? Does the training? Does she sleep closest to?
    ♫ Come and knock on our door.... ♪

  6. #6
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    Hmm, your probably right. I think I was forcing myself onto her when I was trying to give her treats. Ill probably try the same thing with jerky...again, I appreciate anyone who gives me feedback/posts. Now just to get her not to hate me (I wont be so....er....clingy...this time), and getting her in her crate in a way that wont make it worse, and ill be good to go :P


    Oh and thank you Moo for the advice on the Crate, I really needed that because shes still at kind of a rocky start with her Crate...its getting better though. As for who feed/opens doors/training/sleeps closest too:

    My Stepmom usually feeds her because she leaves to go to work at the first meal, and when she gets back from work its time for the second meal.

    I open the doors for the dog, the ones into my room and outside(where she usually is)

    My Stepmom has trained her potty issues(ive trained her a little maybe like once or twice at the most), and Im usually the one to train her to stop her from nipping so much.

    She doesnt really sleep closest to anyone because shes in a crate which isnt in any of our rooms.
    Last edited by BrettL; 07-22-2005 at 09:56 PM.

  7. #7
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    I think I fixed it! yess!


    well, first off she fell asleep for about an hour. then I had an incredibly stupid/stroke of genius(whichever you like to call it...Ill stick with the first) idea. To put her in her crate with some different clothes on. hey, it might have been a dumb idea, but why not. so anyways, she was probably half asleep, and I picked her up. I think she was a little fussy(noticed a somewhat faster pace of breathing), but along the way I was petting her head. I put her in the crate, and to my suprise she wasnt howling. Well, then after reading Moos suggestion, I thought it would be a good idea to make her crate nap a little more enjoyable. I sliced up a couple slices of a tiny hot dog, and put it in her cage. Uh oh...no go, she started howling at me. Guess she knew what I was up to, and wanted out of the cage more than the tasty meat treat I offered her. Oh shes howling at me now, but she will probably be thanking me in about 20 minutes :P. The weird part about this? when she was howling at me the second time, I had my normal clothes on, not the ones I put on when I first put her in her crate. Maybe I have cracked some sort of puppy code!.....or maybe Kona is just a little slow....uh oh....


    but yea, she has calmed down alot now, big thanks to the people that posted. If she continues to be fussy tommorow, ill do the "good guy hotdog trick" that DaxAriel posted, because thats a good idea. But I doubt she will be fussy tommorow.

  8. #8
    Prodog Idol Judge Senior Dog Member+ .Little Texas.'s Avatar
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    That's good to hear! Most doggies are Fussy when they see they're getting spoiled! hehe
    The World is a Book. Those who do not travel read only a page.

  9. #9
    Count the Cotons Senior Dog Moderator Moo's Avatar
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    Has she been to a puppy obedience course yet? (Personally, I think all puppies should go to at least a basic course, no matter how experienced the owner is. Socialization is a big thing.)

    May I suggest that you be the one who attends one with her? Then you could get a trainer's advice on handling a skittish dog as well.
    ♫ Come and knock on our door.... ♪

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