Puppy's afraid of me?

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Postby Richter » August 11th, 2006, 2:55 pm

I've never had this problem really, the dog is very friendly in the morning when she wakes up, and when we go to bed she snuggles up and all that.

I've notice though, when I call her name she only comes within a certain distance and then sits down. She's not afraid of other people at all, and loves being around them, but she's very silent around me, and doesn't get excited too easily.

I've never had this problem with a dog before, and I'm thinking that it may be my tone of voice. Is this possible? This dog was abused previously, I've never done anything threatening, or even laid a hand on her except to pick her up, not even a swat on the nose.

Any ideas? :|
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Postby mnp13 » August 11th, 2006, 3:03 pm

Your body language and tone of voice may be the problem. If you sit on the floor and call her in an obnoxiously cute high pitched tone will she come to you? Pat the floor, be happy and animated. Basically act like a total dork.
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Postby Richter » August 11th, 2006, 3:09 pm

She will, but only to a certain distance.

I love this little dog, and I'm hoping it's just a temporary thing, I've never been aggressive to her and basically act like a big dork, as you put it.

I can coax her with a toy, that does work, or food, that works too. :?


EDIT - I should clarify, that when I call her into the house from the yard I do use an authoritive tone of voice, or she'll just sit there and play with the other dogs. When I call her while in the house I treat her like a baby. :o
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Postby mnp13 » August 11th, 2006, 3:22 pm

you need to be consistant, baby or authority. If she is hesitant to come to you, I'd dispense with the command because you are currently teaching her that she doesn't have to come if she doesn't want to. if you can entice her to come to you with food then why not use food for a while until she gets her confidence up?

how old is she?
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Postby Richter » August 11th, 2006, 3:26 pm

She's 4-5 months old, the exact age is really unknown, that was the vets best guess. :|

EDIT - I have been using food, but even that doesn't always work.
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Postby mnp13 » August 11th, 2006, 3:45 pm

Those are my only ideas, hopefully the more experienced trainers will have some ideas.
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Postby msvette2u » August 11th, 2006, 5:03 pm

I'm not an experienced trainer but I know what I see, and when my husband calls my dog, Libby, he has this "gruff" like tone of voice, and she usually goes the other way.
She only listens to me, and has been that way since she was a puppy.
I'm with Michelle, try to talk "cutesy" like you want to cuddle or give her a treat, like you're doing something FUN and want her to join in...give it a shot. FUN FUN FUN, we're HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!
:|
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Postby Marinepits » August 11th, 2006, 5:08 pm

In other words, act like super-dork! :wink:
Never make someone a priority in your life when that someone treats you like an option.
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Postby bahamutt99 » August 11th, 2006, 5:58 pm

And never call her to you to punish her.
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Postby JCleve86 » August 11th, 2006, 7:43 pm

bahamutt99 wrote:And never call her to you to punish her.


Good point...if she's doing something naughty, and you call her, in her mind she just quit whatever really fun thing she was doing to come to you. If you then punish her for doing whatever the naughty thing was, she might hesitate to come next time.

My other thought is that I know there are fairly established "fear" stages for puppies...I don't recall the ages though. Maybe she's just going through one of those?
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Postby Purple » August 11th, 2006, 9:05 pm

Find what excites her, something squeeky, maybe. A furry squeeky or a plastic squeeky, maybe a tennis ball. It has to be omething that really excites her, heck maybe a high quality treat.
Offer that to her, play with her, you already have the happy dork down! I can get my girl to do ANYTHING for a tennis ball. She wasn't too happy about having to pull her sled, but as soon as she saw a ball in my hand, she was all about giddy-up!
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Postby katiek0417 » August 11th, 2006, 9:28 pm

JCleve86 wrote:
bahamutt99 wrote:And never call her to you to punish her.


Good point...if she's doing something naughty, and you call her, in her mind she just quit whatever really fun thing she was doing to come to you. If you then punish her for doing whatever the naughty thing was, she might hesitate to come next time.

My other thought is that I know there are fairly established "fear" stages for puppies...I don't recall the ages though. Maybe she's just going through one of those?


"Flight Instinct Period (4 - 8 Months) This is the age when puppies become more independent of their owners and are likely to venture off on their own. Puppies that have always come when called or stayed close to their owners will now ignore them, often running in the opposite direction. This period can last from several weeks to months. How you handle your puppy's refusal to come or stay with you will determine whether or not he will be trustworthy off leash. It is important to emphasize here that no puppy this young should ever be off leash except in a confinement area. Therefore, keep your puppy on leash when this period arises and keep him on leash until he readily returns to you or shows no inclination to leave you. The privilege of being off leash outside of a confined area, is reserved for dogs whose owners have trained them to the point where there is no potential for them to run and fail to obey to stop or come on command. Releasing an unleashed dog in an unconfined area that is not well trained off leash is irresponsible ownership and dangerous to your dog. Even well trained dogs can make mistakes or become distracted by something in the environment so that they do not respond to their owners' commands. So, how do you respond when your puppy suddenly develops the urge to bolt? First, you must, for his safety, put a leash or a long line on your dog whenever you are not in a confined area. Second, work hard on training your puppy to come on command. Use the recall game and the spontaneous recall. When walking your dog, suddenly run backwards and encourage your puppy to come. If your dog still continues to bolt or run away, then your dog probably does not view you as the dominant figure in this relationship and you require special help to resolve this problem. Even if the your puppy appears less inclined to bolt, this does not mean that he is reliable off lead without more maturity and a lot more training."

My suggestion would be high-pitched voice, food, squeaky toy...have you tried running AWAY from the dog. Make it a game for the puppy. Most puppies will chase after you.

Also, I would keep a leash dragging off the dog. It is NEVER too early to start teaching a reliable "come." (Take this from someone who has a 1-year old malinois who runs fast as SH**, and veers off to the side about 5-feet in front of me when I call her). This way, when you call the dog to you, even if she sits a few feet away, you can grab the leash, pull her in (while taking small steps backwards), then praise when she gets close to you....
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Postby Richter » August 12th, 2006, 1:58 am

Thank you all for your replies, they've been very helpful.

I've determined that the problem is my voice, I have a pretty forceful voice. I've been trying some different things tonight and have found several methods that work.


Believe it or not, this is the first time this has ever happened, and I've raised a bunch of dogs. It's kinda ironic.

However, now that I recall, maybe this has happened in the past, and I'm just noticing it more because I have a place to ask for help, and you are all more experienced with bullies than me.

I appreciate the help everyone. :P
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