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  #11  
Old 12-09-2005, 02:31 PM
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JR0579 JR0579 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam8white
Will do - I will have the gf read, and possibly join the thread. Hopefully she doesn't tell any bad stories on me.

Also, a clarification from my posts above.
It's not just the gf that cuddled and tried to console him when he was feeling nervous, I did it to, thinking I would be helping him feel better. Is everyone fully in agreement that is wrong?

Sounds like I was wrong,
Thanks for the advice so far,

Looking forward to more.
Personally, I agree that both of you were wrong cuddling him thinking that that would make him better. Like others have said, if he acts up just let it go as if nothing happened. Just be patient ... it'll work out just great.

Wishing u the best of luck
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2005, 07:26 PM
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The most important thing, is for both you and your girlfriend to be in complete agreement on any course of action.

This is a dog which is entering into the later stages of his life. He has been a loyal and devoted friend and companion to your girlfriend. This WILL be harder for her, than for you, at least emotionally. This dog was also there for her during a break-up of another relationship, from what I understand.

Now, if you can both agree to do what's best for this dog, (even if it pulls both of your heartstrings a bit!), I can give you some pointers that may help you understand what you can both do to help her dog adjust to this new situation.

Please, have your girlfriend read this entire thread.

I will check back later.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2005, 02:29 PM
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When we console a child, chances are, that they understand what it is we're consoling them about. They understand our language, they are much better able to make a connection between what is going on, the thing that they're afraid of and our comforting them. We are of the same specie and speak the same verbal and body language. However, with dogs, being a different specie, having their own language and we, ours, we often, mistakenly assume they are thinking the same way as we are. In this situation, the dog is naturally uneasy with his new enviornment. He doesn't understand what is going on. There are many little things which he isn't use to and remember, those little things are human things...not dog things. There's the first bit of confusion. So, the dog is uneasy. You feel sorry for him....naturally and want to console him. BUT....he doesn't know what it is you're doing. He is NOT making the connection between his unease with the changes in his enviornment and YOUR comforting him, patting him, hugging, cooing. What he is most likely understanding from this attention from you is that he is being rewarded and made a fuss over whenever he is acting or feeling afraid. "Something must be wrong." He doesn't know what it is YOU think is wrong, but something is very abnormal that you're acting this way. And his reaction, the fear or nervousness is the way you like him to be, since you're reinforcing that with reward.(coddling). This becomes a condition/response habit, so that anytime in the future that anything worries him, he will respond like this. This also perpetuates a loss of confidence in himself....not a good thing.

This is why the suggestions are to associate his small successes in showing some confidence with reward....attention, treats, toys, games. AND, it is why it is important to relax yourselves, and take it all in stride, as though you're confident and that it's all fine, no big deal. If you're confident (not showing all that fussing over him) he will tend to feel more confident in time. When he is nervous, worried, anxious, you can try distracting him (get him before he gets too nervous)....go out for a romp in the yard, have some fun. Or...just do your thing and don't pay any attention to him for a while. When he settles and seems like he's relaxed, go over to him and play a little game, give him affection and even a treat. Show him that his being confident is what is a good thing. And soon, he will really, genuinely feel confident. But you have to be confident, sure of yourselves, standing up tall, decisive and cheerful. Show him that you're not concerned about anything. You'll have to be together on this. I bet if you do this, within a couple of weeks or a month, he'll feel lots better.
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2005, 02:44 PM
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excellent advice, i only have one thing to add:

you might want to try a DAP diffuser to help the dog get comfortable. DAP stands for dog appeasing pheromone and they often help tremendously to calm down a stressed dog.

the brand name that comes to mind right now is "comfort zone" and it comes as a plug-in thingie for an electrical outlet and as a spray that you can just spray on bedding.
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  #15  
Old 12-10-2005, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doberluv
When we console a child, chances are, that they understand what it is we're consoling them about. They understand our language, they are much better able to make a connection between what is going on, the thing that they're afraid of and our comforting them. We are of the same specie and speak the same verbal and body language. However, with dogs, being a different specie, having their own language and we, ours, we often, mistakenly assume they are thinking the same way as we are. In this situation, the dog is naturally uneasy with his new enviornment. He doesn't understand what is going on. There are many little things which he isn't use to and remember, those little things are human things...not dog things. There's the first bit of confusion. So, the dog is uneasy. You feel sorry for him....naturally and want to console him. BUT....he doesn't know what it is you're doing. He is NOT making the connection between his unease with the changes in his enviornment and YOUR comforting him, patting him, hugging, cooing. What he is most likely understanding from this attention from you is that he is being rewarded and made a fuss over whenever he is acting or feeling afraid. "Something must be wrong." He doesn't know what it is YOU think is wrong, but something is very abnormal that you're acting this way. And his reaction, the fear or nervousness is the way you like him to be, since you're reinforcing that with reward.(coddling). This becomes a condition/response habit, so that anytime in the future that anything worries him, he will respond like this. This also perpetuates a loss of confidence in himself....not a good thing.

This is why the suggestions are to associate his small successes in showing some confidence with reward....attention, treats, toys, games. AND, it is why it is important to relax yourselves, and take it all in stride, as though you're confident and that it's all fine, no big deal. If you're confident (not showing all that fussing over him) he will tend to feel more confident in time. When he is nervous, worried, anxious, you can try distracting him (get him before he gets too nervous)....go out for a romp in the yard, have some fun. Or...just do your thing and don't pay any attention to him for a while. When he settles and seems like he's relaxed, go over to him and play a little game, give him affection and even a treat. Show him that his being confident is what is a good thing. And soon, he will really, genuinely feel confident. But you have to be confident, sure of yourselves, standing up tall, decisive and cheerful. Show him that you're not concerned about anything. You'll have to be together on this. I bet if you do this, within a couple of weeks or a month, he'll feel lots better.
Great post and wise words! Worth reading more than once.
__________________
************************************************** ***********************************

Reward the good, ignore the bad, and always remember to duck during the temper tantrums!

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" Albert Einstein

Here's to you, Jane Goodall. So much insight into the mind of a species from someone who's never trained a single chimp.
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  #16  
Old 12-11-2005, 11:34 AM
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Thank girls. Yes....you can all just look up to me like the older, mature woman with all the wisdom...the matron. ROFLOL!

That difuser sounds cool. I've heard of that being used for calming. But I really don't see this as anything all that unusual for a dog. I know if I brought my dogs into a new place, they'd be a bit nervous, pacing around, wondering what's up. All their familiar stuff is not there etc. And then after a few days or a week, I expect they'd work into it.
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