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  #1  
Old 01-07-2009, 12:03 PM
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skKi skKi is offline
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Default Screaming and pulling

I'm having an issue with Pit and the dark. He's very scared of people/animals in the dark when they're at a distance.

As an example of a very common occurrence of this problem, I will use the lane behind my apartment building I take him to pee before bed. We'll be in the lane and if anyone (or thing) moves or makes a sound at the other end of this lane, Pit shrieks, screams and pulls madly in the direction of the offender. Often times he will react to nothing, I think he's just expecting someone to be there.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing in this situation. Ideally, of course, I'd like to prevent this occurrence, but as I said, he often does it when nothing is there so I have a hard time predicting when he's going to react. Once the person gets close enough, he stops pulling and growling at them and goes about as if nothing happened.

I have tried walking towards what he is reacting to, but he's posturing, growling and pulling the whole way until we get there OR he freezes, postures, growls and refuses to move. I have tried walking the other direction, but he pulls pack and this usually heightens the problem, resulting in standing at the end of the leash, choking himself and looking/sounding downright menacing. I've tried distracting with treats, no go. I've tried distracting with my voice or clapping which also escalates things. People will sometimes turn around and go the other way because he really sounds quite awful, causing him to pull and growl until they're out of sight which I feel reinforces his behaviour.

To make this post even longer and more complicated, I have a hard time distracting him from reacting even when I know it's coming. If I see someone before he does, I will try to get him to focus and do obedince with treat rewards, but the moment I say "Piiiit, " in my "I'm trying to get your attention" voice, he looks around for what I'm trying to hide from him. He knows when I ask for his attention, someone is there. Even if nothing's there, he will look around and growl when I ask for his attention.

What would you do?
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:11 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Do you use a flashlight? My dog does this sometimes when I take her out at night, but when I shine a light on the object she's scared of, she usually calms down. For you I'd start with a super bright light.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:31 PM
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I do have a flood light (it claims to have the power of a million candles..) that would be perfect for this! I'll try it out tonight and give an update.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:55 PM
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I was going to say a flashlight too . Let us know if it helps !
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:42 PM
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I forgot the update!

The flashlight didn't have any effect unfortunately.
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