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Old 12-22-2010, 05:25 PM
Ninadee Ninadee is offline
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Default Puppy is afraid of me! Help!

Hi - I'm brand new here but in desperate need of some advice. 3 weeks ago, I adopted a 6 month old puppy from the humane society. I'm not sure of her breed, probably a pitbull/beagle mix of some sort. No ones knows anything about her past, except that she was found as a stray, with her foot stuck in a hunting trap. She is very timid and shy, nervous about everything. Of course she is not housebroken. I tried for the first week just to let her relax and get used to our family. However, I put her in a small downstairs bathroom when we were gone. The third day we had her, she destroyed the little bathroom. Chewed all the wood framing off the floors and walls, looked like she just went crazy. Next day, I bought her a crate. Ever since I put her in that crate, she runs from me every time she sees me. She hates the crate but I have to put her in there for house training. What do I do????
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:31 PM
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Danefied Danefied is offline
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How did you introduce her to the crate?
What kind of bonding and training have you done with her?
How do you go about catching her when she runs from you?
Will she take treats from you?

Oh, and where are you in SC? There is a great trainer in the upstate who can work with you one-on-one.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:46 PM
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Does she run from you constantly, or only when she thinks you're going to put her in the crate?

What does she do when you try to give her a treat, or play with her? Does she know how to walk on a leash?

Crate training is definitely a good idea, but if she's really terrified of the crate, you might want to try an ex-pen or something to give her a little more space but still keep her away from anything chewable. Make sure she's getting enough exercise so that she'll be tired and want to sleep in the crate or pen, instead of trying to release her energy by chewing or digging at the floor or howling.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:59 PM
Ninadee Ninadee is offline
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She only runs from me when she thinks I'll put her in the crate. sometimes she'll come to me. She'll sleep on the couch next to me. She'll take treats from me. First left the crate open with all her toys and treats in it, for three days, she would sneak something quickly and run away from the crate. Finally I had no choice but to put her in the crate and I have to force her to go in it. I did it at first while we were home, actually all sitting in the same room with her, talking to her, giving her treats through the crate door, and then ignoring her. Next time she was in the crate we stayed in the room then left into the next room where she could still hear us, but not see us. I'd say we did that type of thing for a day or two but finally had to crate her and leave the house. She doesn't freak out in the crate, doesn't destroy it, actually doesn't even seem to chew her bones or lick the peanut butter kong. She has never used the bathroom in the crate so its working for that part of it. I just hate that she is now afraid of me when she thinks she'll have to go in the crate. I';m afraid I'll cause long lasting problems with her. As far as catching her when its time to go in the crate, I try to get her when she's sleeping on the couch (where she always wants to be) and I pick her up softly, pet her, talk to her, give her treats. sometimes she seems me coming and runs though, and i have no choice but to grab her as she runs by me. now she's so afraid that i haev to grab her just to get her to go outside with me. she does get at least one good walk a day, about a half hour around the neighborhood. she loves her walks.
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:06 PM
Ninadee Ninadee is offline
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Oh, and I am in Greenville. I used Dog Training in your Home for my last dog. That dog had no real issues. I got her when she was 6 weeks old.. She was easy to train, I just needed the training company to teach ME how to train her, everything from sit, stay, house break, etc. They were great. I would love to hire them again, but I'm not financially able at this time.
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:15 PM
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The good news is, she's not afraid of you, she's just afraid of going in the crate.

I would definitely not recommend picking her up while she's sleeping or grabbing her (I know sometimes you really have no choice), because that might lead to her becoming protective over her sleeping space and growling or snapping when you wake her, or just her snapping at you when you grab her.

You might want to keep her on a leash around the house until you teach her to come when called. Make sure you teach her to come and let her go back to playing after she does a number of times before you ask her to come and then put her in the crate.

You can also try to teach her to go into the crate on command. Have you looked into clicker training? It's a great way to teach both a recall and to get her to go into her crate.

If she doesn't cry in the crate and will willingly go in there to get a piece of food or a toy, she's probably not afraid of it, she just doesn't want to be stuck in there alone for an extended period of time. Putting an interactive toy or a stuffed kong or something will keep her occupied in the crate for a long time and make it fun for her.
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:25 PM
Ninadee Ninadee is offline
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Thank you! Yes, I am afraid that I will cause her to be mean, to bite. I have two kids and especially worry about that cuz of her bully breed. I love the leash idea though! I will try that right now. I've heard of some people house breaking puppies and having the puppy attached to their belt on a leash for a while. I'm going to try that. Thanks again!
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:31 PM
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i 2nd the leash in the house, get a longer one, 10 ft or so, but 6 at least. A light drag line is all, you can use any rope at this point. And the crate becomes fun. I would only feed in the crate, give treats at this point in the crate. and I would feed her small amounts all day long in the crate, that I put there and she willingly goes in to get.

all dogs can learn that it isn't a bad place. Mine run in so fast they hit the back of it as they slide in when I say crate and haven't played and "crate games" since they were puppies, and one i got at almost age 3 and she caught on quick too. With the leash she won't be able to run away, and always make it fun.
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:57 PM
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milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
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There are a lot of great threads here on Chaz about teaching your dog to come when called (a recall). You can search for those...

Feeding her meals in her crate is also a great idea I forgot to mention!
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:37 PM
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Danefied Danefied is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninadee View Post
Oh, and I am in Greenville. I used Dog Training in your Home for my last dog. That dog had no real issues. I got her when she was 6 weeks old.. She was easy to train, I just needed the training company to teach ME how to train her, everything from sit, stay, house break, etc. They were great. I would love to hire them again, but I'm not financially able at this time.
You've gotten some great advice, but I really recommend working with a professional with a pup with this kind of history, in a relatively novice home, already showing avoidance behaviors, and especially in a house with young kids.

Is this an AC rescue, or from the Gnvlle Humane Society? Either way it may be worth contacting the Humane Society to see if they offer reduced cost (or even free) behavior consultation. I know for sure that the Spartanburg County Shelter offers *very* inexpensive training, and for $40 you can even have a 1 hr private consultation with a behavioralist ($20 for a shelter pup). If they're still using the same gal, she's good.
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