tennis racquet fear

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Postby dogcrazyjen » April 20th, 2006, 2:52 pm

I sometimes play ball outside with Jack and Tallulah by hitting the ball with a tennis racquet. That way it goes way farther.

I took Tess out, who was happy and wagging her tail and grabbed the racquet. She ran back to the house, tail tucked between her legs, cowering at the door. I put it down, and she came back, still fearful. We did some heelwork, around and right over the racquet, and she was fine. As soon as I picked it up, she ran cowering back to the door.

I got her to take a treat off it, to test how afraid she was, but she only took one off, and then wouldn't touch anymore if I was holding it.

I know sometimes dogs get fears without being beaten, like brooms, but this seems a pretty bizarre thing to be afraid of for no reason. Especially since they were not the tennis playing kind of owners.

Who knows. Yet another thing to desensitize.

The good news is that we are having our roof replaced, so there are guys pounding on the roof and cutting lumber and such. She is laying at my husband's feet, sleeping. So her reactiveness is WAY better than it was when we got her.
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Postby a-bull » April 20th, 2006, 4:21 pm

Actually it's not such a bizarre thing to be afraid of, because some dogs tend to be afraid of things they haven't been previously exposed to . . . and a tennis racket is certainly something my dogs have never seen, lol . . .
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Postby Malli » April 20th, 2006, 5:08 pm

I guess it depends on personality??

My dog can be tentative around things he does not know, but his reaction would definately not have been Tess'. But they are different dogs altogether...

It does seem like a little bit of a harsh reaction, especially since she's a bully, if shes got no bad associations with it. :|


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Postby a-bull » April 20th, 2006, 5:34 pm

My male is like that. Anything too new or odd he sort of has to be 'introduced' to so he doesn't either bark at it or scuttle away.

I agree with you. Alot has to do with personality, too. :)
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Postby dogcrazyjen » April 20th, 2006, 7:14 pm

She has been exposed to all sorts of new things and NOT had a reaction to it like that. She looked like she recognized it, and would not come near it. This is the dog that learned the tunnel in 2 minutes (from 15 feet away) and stomped on a Buja board like she was born to it. She IS fearful in some ways, but it usually is with new people acting in a weird manner. I have carried shovels, spades, rakes.

Oh, and when we later tried to take her out to play ball without a racquet, she refused to touch the ball. I picked the ball up and she ran to the house. Only after Jack retrieved it several times did she start to show willingness to play.

I agree that some dogs act all funny with new stuff, but she isn't usually one of them.

As I said, I have seen dogs who knocked over a broom as a puppy and years later they are afraid of brooms, but I can't imagine how she would have been accidently scared by a tennis racquet. Oh, when you chase her with a broom, she gets all hucklebutty and silly.

Ah well. I am finding new things with her after 8 months, probably will keep doing so.
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Postby a-bull » April 20th, 2006, 8:33 pm

How old was she when you got her and where'd you get her??
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Postby dogcrazyjen » April 21st, 2006, 10:12 am

I got her at 11 months. I met her at 12 weeks when I taught her puppy obedience, and she was a pretty confident, very operant puppy. I did NOT see this reaction then. The owners decided that as she grew she was too much in the apartment (on rocket fuel and with no exercise :rolleyes2: ) so they tied her up much of the day on a choke chain next to the parking lot of the bank/pizzaria.

She came with a lot of people baggage, and had an adverse reaction to boys throwing things near her. But this is the first object fear I have seen.
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