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  #1  
Old 06-27-2010, 03:32 PM
Zeldamommy Zeldamommy is offline
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Default Too scared to go outside.

We recently adopted a 9 month old greyhound/jack russell mix. I've had greyhounds, corgis, mutts, and pitbulls growing up, but I've never seen a dog act like this or show no signs of improvement. Any suggestions, hints, advice, opinions, will be helpful!!!!!!! Here's what's going on with her:

The Pros:
- She's a great dog inside the house. Loves to sit in your lap, loves to play, ver happy go lucky dog.
- Loves our cat. Tries to play with the cat but doesn't hurt her. They get along pretty great.
- Doesn't bark
- Doesn't chew
- Papers say she's 9 months old. She was transfered into the shelter when she was 2 months and a family adopted her from 2-9 months. That family gave her to us because they no longer have a big enough space for her, ect.
- Part Jack Russell/Greyhound mix


The Cons:
- ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT walk on a leash.
- Terrified of everything outside. Does not MOVE from the front door when you take her outside. She will sit next to the door and fight you if you try to move her.
- Normally we have to pick her up and carry her outside, which then she will turn around and tug for the dog.
- When we take her to a park to walk, she will stay next to the car and won't walk away it. We've tried sitting there, waiting for her to get bored with tugging and pulling but it hasn't happened.

This has been going on more then 2 weeks with no sign of improvement.

We've been patient.......as everyone keeps telling us, we've given her positive reinforcement and try not to get frustated when we're outside with her and all she does is pull and tug her way back to the car. She also doesn't show any interest in treats when she's outside.

We live in an apartment complex so she needs to be leash trained and be on a leash if she is outside. If we keep her, I'm afraid we need to get some sort of professional obediance/training and Im scared that may not even help her behavior outside. Any suggestions, advice, ect to get her to walk on the leash??? I really feel I've tried EVERYTHING there is at this point.......but she's a completely different dog inside the house......
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2010, 03:47 PM
hotdog2007 hotdog2007 is offline
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Just a thought, but since it's summer is she standing on hot pavement that hurts her paws when she goes outside? Did her previous owner also have this issue with her?

For her issues with being scared of a leash, maybe just try desensitizing her to it for now. You could try just clipping it on her inside and letting her drag it around, and giving her lots of treats when she has it on.
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:25 PM
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azpoochluvr azpoochluvr is offline
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My friend had a Greyhound that behaved exactly the same way. Although she wasn't active inside the house, either.

All she did was lay on the couch all day.

He took her to the vet and the vet said it was a condition that was common in ex-race dogs. They didn't fully understand it, but they believed the dog was actually very depressed.

Greyhounds are amongst the most emotional of dogs.

There was nothing they could really do. She never did improve.

I hope that isn't the case for your dog, though.

Are the parents ex race dogs per chance? I don't think it would be genetic, however. And as you say, yours is a mix.

I think that they are able to treat dogs with antidepressants, but I'm not 100% sure. You'd have to consult a vet on that.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:41 AM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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I would not try to take her on walks at this point. She probably had little to no exposure (socialization) with the envirnoment that she is showing this extreme fear toward. What you might need to do is break this down into very tiny, baby steps and take - your - time. Two weeks is nothing.

What I'd try if she were my dog is sitting near the threshold of an open door with her. Just sit there and give her some tiny treats, love on her if she likes that, give her a special chew toy or bone. Let her be near the outside, see what she can see from the safety of the open door, make good associations with that. When she is comfortable with that and only when she is, see if she'll go out on the porch with you and do the same thing for a while, then go back inside and become more boring to her. In other words, the extra treats, special toys or bones, the extra attention she will get out on the porch....more so than inside. (not that you don't give her any attention inside, but really beef it up when out on the porch.) Then when she's comfortable with that (and ONLY when...) move out a little further from that "safety" zone. See if she'll walk back and forth from the front porch to say...10 feet away. Be an automatic treat dispenser all the while she's moving away from the front porch.

Is she okay with other people? Have a neighbor come by to give her a treat and some attention while you're near her safety zone. What other things is she afraid of? Can you make some of those things more mild or further away so she can be exposed, but from a more comfortable distance? Just little by little, add just a tad more pressur on her, but don't push her further than she is comfortable. Make all associations with what she is wary of as pleasurable as possible.

She may never be completely comfortable outside, but if you break things down into small aproximations of what you're aiming for, keep scary things at a distance, pair those things with wonderful treats and praise, in time, she may improve. Let her set the pace. Never ever force her to do what terrifies her.

I agree with talking with your vet about some mild anti-anxiety drugs. Those, coupled with a very gradual desenstatizing process may help her get accustomed to at least parts of the environment which are frightening to her. Let us know how things go.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:42 AM
Billythekid Billythekid is offline
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You must persist in treating this disorder. It is not natural for a dog not to want go for a walk. So really you have a dog busting to go for a walk. All I will say is environment plays a big part in the behaviour of all animals including us. I say this because I want you to see the big picture. Musicians, footballers, public speakers, theatre actors all rehearse in the environment in which they will play, why do soldiers do live fire exercises? Why? Because playing in your home ground, playing your musical instrument at home, practising your speech in front of the mirror is a completely different kettle of fish when done out of the environment that you are comfortable. That is why we have full dress rehersals in front of an audience, pre match run arounds on the ground etc. All because the ENVIRONMENT around us has an effect on our behaviour. Usually a negative one. This is no different to your dog. So your dog in that regard is normal. So what do you have to do? You have to train your dog in the environment in which he is uncomfortable. To do this first start by building positive associations around his lead and collar inside the house by click and treating. Once he is comfortable with the lead and collar and not freaking out slowly over a period of a week walk him to the door(leave the door open) clicking and treating his calm behaviour. Watch his behaviour. If he starts freaking out then you have moved to quickly and need to move back a step. Once he is comfortable moving to the door on lead then try going through the door clicking and treating calm behaviour. So why did I say leave the door open. Remember I said the environment plays a big part in learning a behaviour. When you stop to open the door you are changing the environment. I want you dog to get on a roll to go straight out the door without any interruptions, which stopping and opening the door would be. Stopping and opening the door can be added later, at the moment you just want to be able to get your dog out in a calm state of mind. And that is that, just keep at it, Behaviours that are rewarded increase in frequency it is a behavioural law that has been proved time and time again. So you have science, behavioural science on your side to rehab your dog. You just need time and patience and to always remember the environment in which you and your dog are in and how it affects his and your behaviour. Your behaviour is affected by your dog as you pick him up when he wont go outside. Picking up your dog is a reinforcer. So what you are doing is inadvertently reinforcing his behaviour of not wanting to go outside. Don't worry we are all guilty of giving affection at the wrong time at some time.
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Mark
Dog Trainer
www.dogsanonymous.com.au
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2010, 06:48 AM
Billythekid Billythekid is offline
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Think thorndikes law and the work of BF Skinner. You've got the science, you need the patience!
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:15 PM
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SweetAdeline SweetAdeline is offline
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I hope I can help you a little with your problem. You see, about 17 months ago we adopted a Great Dane/Greyhound mix (?) named Eliza Jane and we have had very similar problems.

The shelter contacted us because they got her in with an unknown history. She's very big and she's all black so they knew she would probably not be easily adopted out. She's a sweet dog and they hated to see her destroyed. She must have been terribly abused or neglected in her former home because she is the most fearful dog I have ever seen. Even now, after all this time of working with her she's amazingly fearful.

The first two weeks we had her she refused to leave the crate. She refused to eat from a bowl because she was frightened. Also we had to carry her outside to potty because she would not go on her own. She too was terrified of the leash. The first thing I did was to put a soft collar and very short leash on her. Eliza Jane wore her leash all the time when we first got her. When she felt comfortable enough to explore her surroundings (about a month after we got her) I would occassionally pick up her leash and follow her around with ever so slight resistance on the leash. I would let her pick the direction. If she stopped and cowered I'd drop the leash for a few minutes. After awhile she got used to it. But to this day she is not a confident leash walker and sometimes she'll just shut down.

As for going outside I encourage you to buy a ton of good, smelly treats. I would use DoberLuv's direction for desensitizing her to the outside. That is exactly what we did with Eliza Jane and it worked, but it took some time. Lots. If you have a friend with a fenced yard I would encourage you to take her there and try to run with her a bit. You might be thinking, "You're crazy, Sweet Adeline! If she's not going to walk outside she sure in the heck won't run!" but that's not necessarily the case. Being part greyhound she may feel very comfortable with running about. When training Eliza Jane I took her into the yard (where she cowered on the ground, poor thing) and I jogged around for a bit. After a couple of weeks she would stand and jog a little while and then one day she took off running (in our fenced yard of course) and it was the first time I saw her happy and confident. I let her run and she enjoyed it a good deal.

Eliza Jane responds well to treats and to very, very gentle movements and speech. In all honesty, whoever 'bred' her did her a horrible disservice, because she will never be a normal dog. To this day she is still extremely underconfident and her quality of life is not like my other dogs. But we continue to work with her. I think you'll probably have to do the same with your girl. Slow and steady.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:45 AM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Quote:
You have to train your dog in the environment in which he is uncomfortable.
I respecfully disagree with this. If a timid pup is uncomfortable in his environment, he tends to shut down. When this happens, it is virtually impossible for him to learn. Whatever it is you're trying to show him is lost on him because he is unable to concentrate or think about what you're wanting to do, due to being so uncomfortable, over-whelmed or fearful.

Most behaviorists would tell you to practice any new behaviors or lessons in an area where there are few distractions and where he is most comfortable. When he gets onto whatever it is you're trying to convey to him in an area where it is easy for him to have successes and lots of reinforcement, then and only then do you add some mild distractions or put mild pressure on him. (Consequences are what make him learn....the more reinforcement he has paired with the wanted behavior or wanted associations, the better. So, set him up for success. If you set him up in an uncomfortable environment, he will make more unfavorable associations with what you're trying to teach him and the consequences will tend to all be negative which is not conducive to learning.) Once he's comfortable working in that degree of discomfort or distractions, then you add a little more to his environment. Plunging him into an environment that is uncomfortable puts too much pressure on him in the beginning and is not using good desensatization and counter-conditioning technique.
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"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams 1776





"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Thomas Jefferson
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