HELP!!! My pit loves me but won't warm up to my room mate

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Postby thizzle24 » December 18th, 2009, 4:27 pm

I just got a blue named Murphy a little while ago. He is about 1 year old and I was told he came from an abusive family. He is an EXTREMELY good dog to me but is very cautious toward my room mate. He wont even approach my room mate and in fact when my roomie gets close to him to pet him, he backs up and comes to me. I hate this... I really need help on how to get him to relax with my room mate so he's not following me around EVERY WHERE i go....please help me.
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Postby amazincc » December 18th, 2009, 4:29 pm

How long have you had Murphy? Did you adopt him through a shelter?
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » December 18th, 2009, 4:33 pm

Did you have the roommate when you got Murphy, or is the roommate new? If it's a new roomie it could just be that he's a fearful dog who takes a long time to warm up. If the roomie has been with you and Murphy the whole time, maybe allow him to help with feeding and training. Make sure Murphy gets lots of treats and Very Good Things when the roommate is around.
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Postby thizzle24 » December 18th, 2009, 4:50 pm

I adopted him through a shelter, and my roomie was here before Murphy was. I've had him almost a week and I've tried getting him to feed and give Murphy treats but he still won't even come up to him. Even when he has the treat in his hand calling his name.....
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Postby maberi » December 18th, 2009, 5:03 pm

Tell your roommate to ignore the dog (don't talk to or look at the dog) and have him toss treats onto the floor (away from him) so the dog can see. Once the dog understands your roommate is "safe", he will make the next move and investigate your roommate.

It sounds like he may just be a bit fearful and needs a little extra time to warm up to new people. My female at home is the same way and needs that little extra time and space to work things out on her own. Most people who meet her think that talking nicely to her and squatting down will help, but it honestly just causes more stress for her.

Eye contact and body position is a huge deal for dogs. I know it sounds crazy but having your roommate avoid this will help out a ton.
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Postby amazincc » December 18th, 2009, 5:12 pm

thizzle24 wrote:I adopted him through a shelter, and my roomie was here before Murphy was. I've had him almost a week and I've tried getting him to feed and give Murphy treats but he still won't even come up to him. Even when he has the treat in his hand calling his name.....


It takes me a lot longer to warm up to most people... if I do at all. :wink: lol

But seriously... your dog was abused, went to a shelter, and then got adopted by you. That's a lot to adjust to in a relatively short period of time.
And hoping not to sound insensitive in any way... but was Murphy maybe owned and/or abused by a black person before he ended up in the shelter?
I would encourage your room mate (and you) to take it very, very slow right now and give Murphy all the space and time he needs to get comfortable in his new home.
Do you both take turns feeding/walking him? Usually a shy dog will cling to his primary caregiver when he's unsure/anxious... I wouldn't make a big deal over him not wanting to be petted by your room mate right now, and I would definitely not force him.
Let him approach your room mate first, all on his own terms.
Patience and time... and it'll probably take care of itself.
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Postby Brownies Mom » December 18th, 2009, 8:30 pm

maberi wrote:Tell your roommate to ignore the dog (don't talk to or look at the dog) and have him toss treats onto the floor (away from him) so the dog can see. Once the dog understands your roommate is "safe", he will make the next move and investigate your roommate.

It sounds like he may just be a bit fearful and needs a little extra time to warm up to new people. My female at home is the same way and needs that little extra time and space to work things out on her own. Most people who meet her think that talking nicely to her and squatting down will help, but it honestly just causes more stress for her.

Eye contact and body position is a huge deal for dogs. I know it sounds crazy but having your roommate avoid this will help out a ton.

x2. :thumbsup: A-Jay is shy, but he warms up really quick to people who ignore him. If you give him eye contact or especially if you reach for him, he's gonna back away and it will take a lot longer for him to warm up. I've told people this, and I've seen it work, but while most people are willing to not look at him, they can't help but reach toward him. It doesn't have to be a significant reach, he sees even the subtlest moves. :door:
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Postby thizzle24 » December 18th, 2009, 10:42 pm

thanks for all the help, I will try those tips and let you guys know how it goes....I really appreciate it.
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Postby Hundilein » December 18th, 2009, 11:27 pm

One thing I did with my scaredy dog was to teach her a hand target. I taught her to touch her nose to my hand on cue (I use the word "touch"). Once she was happily touching my hand, I worked on getting to touch other things (plastic lid, doorknob, etc). Then I asked her to touch other people's hands. At first I told the person to just hold out his hand and totally ignore the dog. If she touched his hand, she came back to me and got a treat. She figured out pretty quickly that the person wasn't going to do anything, and that touching his hand earned her cookies. Eventually, she started approaching people on her own. Now she'll touch pretty much anyone's outstretched hand. She's learned that people are a way to get cookies, rather than something to be afraid of. Once she relaxes a bit, I'll let the person feed her treats and try to pet her a bit. I always tell people to pet her under the chin first. Like most dogs, she doesn't like people petting the top of her head, especially if she doesn't know them.
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Postby mnp13 » December 19th, 2009, 10:40 pm

maberi wrote:Tell your roommate to ignore the dog (don't talk to or look at the dog) and have him toss treats onto the floor (away from him) so the dog can see. Once the dog understands your roommate is "safe", he will make the next move and investigate your roommate.

Excellent advice

Eye contact and body position is a huge deal for dogs. I know it sounds crazy but having your roommate avoid this will help out a ton.

good point.

My parents just adopted a 7 year old dog that lived at a "sanctuary" for about 6 and a half years. He's not great with people, not very out going, tends to be anxious, and has some behavioral issues (go figure.) At Thanksgiving I sat at the kitchen table with little pieces of lung - which I was quite sure he had never had - I sat and read the paper with my hand out and waited for him to decide to come and get the treats. After about a half hour, as long as I wasn't looking at him he would stand right behind me waiting for more. The next day, I could actually watch him while he approached....

In four days I still couldn't reach out and touch him when I wanted to, but I was the first person that he didn't spent every minute that I was there barking at me non stop.

Sometimes "trying to be friends" with a dog is the absolute best way to keep them skittish around you.
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Postby ArtGypsy » December 19th, 2009, 11:06 pm

mnp13 wrote:
maberi wrote:Tell your roommate to ignore the dog (don't talk to or look at the dog) and have him toss treats onto the floor (away from him) so the dog can see. Once the dog understands your roommate is "safe", he will make the next move and investigate your roommate.

Excellent advice

Eye contact and body position is a huge deal for dogs. I know it sounds crazy but having your roommate avoid this will help out a ton.

good point.

My parents just adopted a 7 year old dog that lived at a "sanctuary" for about 6 and a half years. He's not great with people, not very out going, tends to be anxious, and has some behavioral issues (go figure.) At Thanksgiving I sat at the kitchen table with little pieces of lung - which I was quite sure he had never had - I sat and read the paper with my hand out and waited for him to decide to come and get the treats. After about a half hour, as long as I wasn't looking at him he would stand right behind me waiting for more. The next day, I could actually watch him while he approached....


In four days I still couldn't reach out and touch him when I wanted to, but I was the first person that he didn't spent every minute that I was there barking at me non stop.

Sometimes "trying to be friends" with a dog is the absolute best way to keep them skittish around you.



LUNG?? :shock:
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Postby amazincc » December 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

ArtGypsy wrote:

LUNG?? :shock:


Dried lung... mine will do just about anything for it. :drool: :ogen:
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 19th, 2009, 11:50 pm

With my scaredy-cat dog, I use a lot of games from the book Control Unleashed...especially the "Look at that game"...it's really helped her, as she doesn't have to approach the strange/scary person at all...which makes her much more comfortable. I'm sure we've discussed this before, you can try a search on "LAT" or "Look At That" here on PBT. :D
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Postby mnp13 » December 20th, 2009, 12:59 am

amazincc wrote:Dried lung... mine will do just about anything for it. :drool: :ogen:


The kids Fairy Dog Mother sent them lamb lung and kangroo lung, it is by FAR their favorite treat ever.

I've been trading pieces to clip Riggs' nails, and even more horrible things... you know, like cleaning ears... anything but that! lol :shock: :rolleyes2:
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