Need advice... Trey's helmet problem

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Postby Magnolia618 » July 26th, 2006, 10:42 pm

Our friend Jason was just here. He stayed for a couple hours and Trey loved him! No shock there... Trey loves everybody.

When Jason got up to leave, Trey started going APESHIT. He just jumped up from out of the middle of nowhere and started barking his head off. Almost growling at times. I had no idea what was happening untill I saw that Jason was holding his big black shiny motorcycle helmet.

Jason put the helmet down and Trey ran up to him and starting licking him. It is DEFINITELY the helmet. We sat it on the floor and I knelt down next to it. Trey ran up to me but wouldnt stop barking at it. When Jason picked it up again, he was lunging at it.

Jason left and Trey immediately was back to normal, but a little freaked out.

You have to understand that Trey is an extremely active, very vocal dog. He had just gotten off the treadmill, so he was acting crazy excited. He is always running around and barking, but he has only acted this bad at the helmet.

So now I'm thinking about what I can use to get him used to helmets. Tom has one, but it is yellow and silver. Jason said he has a bowling ball that we could use, but its not black.

Should I be worried about this?
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Postby a-bull » July 26th, 2006, 11:08 pm

I don't know if it's anything to worry about, but I can tell you I go through this all the time with my dog, but he doesn't see well. With my guy, it also seems to surround dark objects.

I usually just show him the object and he stops. If it's an object that he repeatedly gets bent about, I leave it out in the middle of the living room until he doesn't seem to care anymore. I currently have two black milk crates in my living room, lol. So weird to hear someone else with this problem.

Don't make alot of fuss when showing him the object. Just act like it's no big deal.

How old is he? Can he see o.k.? I know for certain my dog can't.
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Postby mnp13 » July 26th, 2006, 11:22 pm

Do the same thing I did with the vaccuum? Just keep on feeding him near it until he wants it near him.
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Postby Magnolia618 » July 26th, 2006, 11:38 pm

How old is he? Can he see o.k.? I know for certain my dog can't.


He's only about a year, and I think his vision is fine. He's just CRRRAZY! lol

Just keep on feeding him near it until he wants it near him.


See, thats the problem. I dont have a big black helmet. Tom has a light colored one, though. I'll have to see if I can find something that works.

Seeing that he is still a puppy, there are tons of things out there that he hasnt been exposed to. He is bound to get freaked out by something, sooner or later.

I'm just glad he wasnt acting that way toward Jason. He never once barked at him, just his helmet. He was giving him kisses!
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Postby rockermom » July 27th, 2006, 8:19 am

Rocky has barked at new objects particullarly out on the deck or back yard. Silly things. Like a good size Rocky I was using to hold something down. It was new there he barked at it not lunging but just a what the f are you and why are you in my back yard bark. He even barked at a ball that I bought for my son and had it on the patio table. My mom was over that day and it scared her cause she thought something was there, Since Rocky rarely barks and this was clearly a uh oh something is there bark. Once he gets up to it and sees its not alive he is fine. I too have sometimes wondered about vision, however if I throw a piece of kibble from a distance he can catch it so I think his vision is fine. He just turned a year and I think since most of the imprortant stages were during the winter months they were not exposed to much especially new things in their back yard. Rocky was exposed to helmets and my kids in full motox gear, however sometimes he gets bothered by it and will give a bark but it is different like he wants them not to go riding. If he is in the house looking out sometimes he is unsure who it is and will give a bark. Maybe you can find a cheap helmet at walmart use it for a couple of days and if he does not scratch it and no one wears it you could always return it I guess. They even sell bicycle helmets that look like MC helmets.
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Postby Maryellen » July 27th, 2006, 8:19 am

i would definitely work on this, what if you are out in the park and a guy walks by with a black helmet? you might be able to go to the army store, buy a cheap helmet,spray paint it black, and work with him... maybe he was around someone that didnt treat him good with a black helmet
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Postby Romanwild » July 27th, 2006, 8:42 am

My guess is that he associates the helmet with him leaving. :|

If it isn't that then desensitizing him like suggested would be the thing to do.
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Postby SisMorphine » July 27th, 2006, 8:55 am

What I would do personally: Get a helmet and put it next to his food bowl. If he doesn't get near the helmet to eat, he doesn't eat. I did that for my spooky foster Venus and people and it worked like a charm.
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Postby Magnolia618 » July 27th, 2006, 10:15 am

Romanwild wrote:My guess is that he associates the helmet with him leaving. :|

If it isn't that then desensitizing him like suggested would be the thing to do.


I dont think so, because this was only the second time he had ever met Jason, and the first time meeting a helmet. lol The second Jason put the helmet down, Trey ran to him like "Are you ok? Did you see that thing? What the hell was that???" and started licking him all over. He has never had a problem with people leaving before.

When the helmet was on the kitchen floor, he was really freaked out by it. He just stood right near me and barked.

Trey is NOT a fearful dog. The helmet was huge and black and shiny. He had no idea what it was, I can see why he would be freaked out by it. It looked just like this:

Image

i would definitely work on this, what if you are out in the park and a guy walks by with a black helmet?


That is exactly why I am jumping on getting him over this as soon as possible.

Maybe you can find a cheap helmet at walmart use it for a couple of days and if he does not scratch it and no one wears it you could always return it I guess.

Thats a good idea! I'm going to look around today for big shiny things.

I could go to my neighbor's house and ask my ex to use his motorcycle helmet... lol If it happens to get eaten, oops! :|
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Postby a-bull » July 27th, 2006, 10:28 am

Yeah, a cheap motorcycle helmet or maybe even a black bike helmet---which would be cheaper . . .

Be a little careful about giving him treats around the helmet, because if he's bent and barking at the helmet, and you give him treats, you may accidentally reinforce the behavior rather than extinguish it. Maybe save the treats for when he's quiet around it.

I can tell you the black milk crates, (and so many other dark objects), in my house cause the same reaction. As soon as he starts, I put them in the middle of the living room, which looks gorgeous, and walk away. Once he settled a little, I sat down next to them and just didn't react, looked at a magazine, acted like they weren't even there. That was two days ago. He basically started ignoring them within a half hour of them sitting in the middle of the room.

I've had a big, black roasting pans in the middle of the room, etc. Real conversation starters.

If he's only a year, you're right---it's probably just lack of exposure to specific objects. For my guy, it's his vision, but I bet the same technique will work for you. :wink:
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Postby Magnolia618 » July 27th, 2006, 10:35 am

Yeah, I think thats what I'll do. I didnt want Jason to leave because I wanted to keep using his helmet! lol

I'm going to go out today and look for something I can use.
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Postby a-bull » July 27th, 2006, 10:38 am

Another idea is when Jason visits, have him hang onto the helmet and maybe chuck treats at your guy as long as he's not misbehaving. Otherwise, seperate the helmet from the human so there's no bad association there. :)
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Postby Magnolia618 » July 27th, 2006, 10:50 am

I'm trying to remember where it was before Jason picked it up...

I am pretty sure it was right on the coffee table (or maybe on the couch?) but I think it was with him the whole time and Trey was so happy that a new person was here that he didnt notice it.


Crazy puppy. :P

Thanks for all of the suggestions everybody!
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Postby Vanessa » July 27th, 2006, 9:04 pm

Ozzy is terrified of umbrellas :shock: He almost never barks but if he see's someone with an umbrella he will lose it. I'm going to try some of the suggestions from this thread and see if it helps him any. Thanks alot guys.
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