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Old 01-18-2013, 10:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Very sensitive dog?

Have you all ever had one? Tucker is absolutely fine, fearless but I feel like Rocky is afraid of his own shadow(he is afraid of strangers, odd sounds etc). More-so, Rocky seems terrified of me sometimes and I have no idea why! It's frustrating and when I get frustrated I think he can feel it. He is his daddy's dog but I feel like he's so in tune with ME that it's ridiculous. I am careful to watch my tone of voice around him because if it's an octave too high he cowers or scampers away I don't beat him, I haven't beat him.

He doesn't do submissive peeing but I feel like he's always looking at me like he's expecting to get into trouble. I try to use the sickening 'happy voice' around him all the time and be extra sweet-often this helps. He still plays with me and picks on me sometimes (he's a riot, really he picks fights with us-play fights) but sometimes he just acts scared.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting?

He use to run to me to get brushed but runs and hides behind my husband when I bring out the grooming tools now. He HATES having his teeth brushed, I use the small end of the doggie toothbrush, but I wonder if I have hurt him. He use to come running to get a sweater put on, but now stays on his daddy's lap and doesn't budge when I call.

I just don't understand it, he's not abused by any stretch but he acts like he is. Even my husband notices how he acts around me. I don't know what to do to build his confidence, maybe he and I need to spend some one on one time together without Tucker and without DH? Before Tucker, Rocky and I were joined at the hip.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My Aussie was sensitive to my tone of voice. When he knocked the Christmas tree over, I did a fair amount of screaming at him. Then he was at vets for 3 days in a lot of pain. He never forgot that. After that, all I had to do was use a stern tone and he was gone.

I think some frequent one on one would help the little guy. Even if its picking him up to another room for some play time. Or a car ride to the bank. Cookies!!!! Nothing "bad" grooming, bath, etc, just fun stuff.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think spending some alone time with him might be good. Zoe will be that way with me sometimes because I am the one who does all the dirty work with her. Brushing teeth, bathings, combing/brushing her, all of the things she hates. I would definately spend a little more time with him and maybe an extra treat, I think he will come out of it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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We've always had Aussies and in my experience, they do tend to be a sensitive breed in general. They are very in tune to your emotions. My son has a Toy Aussie. This little guy is all Aussie in his working ability around livestock etc but he is a complete drama queen about other stuff. For examle, one day he kind of bumped into the couch. I know that it didn't hurt him. He was just running by and kind of brushed up against it but he started screeching like a bat at of ****. He does that screeching thing if you go to pick him up and you don't do it just the way he likes. He does it if you go to put his collar on and you don't do it just the way he likes. He does it when I hand him to the groomer or the vet or pretty much anyone who isn't "his family." I think he does it for attention or something. Its kind of crazy. When he first started doing it, I freaked out. I took him to the vet thinking something was wrong with him...that he was hurt or something. We did the full work up. Nothing is wrong with him. He just likes to be a Drama Queen and pitch a fit. Its actually somewhat amusing because when he is working, he is quite tenacious and a little tough guy and can hold his own around the mini horses, goats, etc. but in all other circumstances...DIVA...or DIVO, I guess, since he is a boy...LOL.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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All of mine are the opposite. Nothing seems to faze them. Even when my DH yells like a lunatic at football , they pay no mind at all. Violet may be more sensitive than the rest, but never cowers, just stays by herself if things gets too rowdy ! They all love people, but see people everyday.They go to my DH if I'm busy, but all come running to me as soon as I enter the room. You just wonder what goes through their mind , and why they act the way they do? These 4 that I have now, are more outgoing, rough, rowdy and sociable and rotten then any other dogs that I have had. I believe that they were all raised in the same manner as the rest of my dogs. I do 't know the answer, I guess I would spend some extra one on one time to reassure him.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My Bella does this too, makes me feel like a bad mommy but I know it's only because I am getting ready to either bath, brush, put on sweater/collar. All of the things she hates lol!!! She does it to daddy too so makes me feel a little better
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Very sensitive dog?

Cici is like this sometimes too, but not too much, and I also think its because I do all the "dirty work" with her so she knows mommy doesn't mess around when she's serious. Like when she's doing something "naughty" like ripping up paper or bullying my sister's Yorkie, as soon as I stand up she stops doing it and puts on an innocent face looking down at the floor, and I have never done anything like hit her or anything bad, I dont even have a loud voice, it takes a lot of effort for me to be loud lol. But it just lasts a few seconds and she tries to kiss up to mommy after I clean up her mess, like wagging her tail and rubbing on to my leg like a cat. She knows mommy just can't be mad at her cuteness.
With my BF she's opposite, she treats him like her playmate, she doesn't stop what she's doing when he tells her to stop, she'll bark back at every word he says like teasing him, and then wants to wrestle and keep playing. Then he asks for help sometimes and mommy just walks in the room and she sits and looks at me like "it was him mommy!" LOL.


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Old 01-18-2013, 01:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Very sensitive dog?

I just remembered something, in Cici's puppy class the trainer once mentioned exercises to build confidence in the pup, but she only did one example because that was for the next training class. The only example she showed us was having the dog be on unstable surfaces, like a teeter toter or a yoga ball and balance on it with your help, something about building trust with you knowing they won't fall and being confident in unsure situations. I'm not really sure about that, so this probably isn't much help, but it's just something I remembered right now. Maybe online there's more about that, because there was more different exercises. It just sounds like an interesting concept, kind of like the human team bulldog exercises.


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