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Old 12-30-2012, 02:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Shy and over protective

Zoey is a very confusing little girl. She has become very over protective of her daddy. Now this i understand as he is still dealing with the broken heel ( about 2-3 more weeks to go). If he gets up she follows... almost tripping him at times just to make sure he is ok, again i understand all this and so does her daddy.

But on the other hand she has become very people shy. i take her out all the time but she shakes like a little leaf when she is around people she dont know. Now if she is around other dogs she acts like any normal puppy would. Kinda timid at first then a little whirlwind of white fluff as she trys to play with all of them. I just dont know what to do to help with the people shy. I do take her out around other people ( when i can), and after awhile ... a long while she calms down. I just want her to feel better and not be so scared. I am not about to keep her at home all the time cause of the fear it isnt fair to her.


Now i hope the over protectiveness will go away once daddy is up and walking again like normal, but the people she i am just not sure what to do about it anymore. Any words of advice you guys can throw my way?... PLEASE? I want her to be a happy little girl not a scared one.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you tried giving her treats while around other people? I have heard that sometimes when a dog is frightened you don't want to be comforting in an "aaww" way because it reinforces the fear, not sure if this is true. You should try making it a fun experience whenever there are people around, instead of feeling bad for her, act excited and play the "go get it" game by rolling little pieces of treat on the floor and telling her "go get it!" and acting like its a fun game.
That is what Cici's trainer suggested I do to make her feel comfortable in different places, small dogs are really easy to get excited with just your tone of voice, so talking in a high pitched excited tone makes them think something fun is happening, and forget a little about what else is going on around them. That way they will associate fun things with whatever scares them. I'm not an expert though, just some ideas.


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Old 12-31-2012, 07:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would think just exposing her to more people, and treating would do the trick. Mine see people every day, so they're very people friendly.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaNotte View Post
Have you tried giving her treats while around other people? I have heard that sometimes when a dog is frightened you don't want to be comforting in an "aaww" way because it reinforces the fear, not sure if this is true. You should try making it a fun experience whenever there are people around, instead of feeling bad for her, act excited and play the "go get it" game by rolling little pieces of treat on the floor and telling her "go get it!" and acting like its a fun game.
That is what Cici's trainer suggested I do to make her feel comfortable in different places, small dogs are really easy to get excited with just your tone of voice, so talking in a high pitched excited tone makes them think something fun is happening, and forget a little about what else is going on around them. That way they will associate fun things with whatever scares them. I'm not an expert though, just some ideas.


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Tone of voice is the best training tool we have IMHO. Louie can tell from my voice when I am disappointed in his behavior. That tone is enough to get him to change what he is doing to get back to the "happy daddy tone" I never let him hear me in a mad tone, disappointed tone is more than enough to get him to want to stop and do something to make me happy.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think its a myth that comforting a dog "reinforces fear." Fear is an emotional state and I don't think treats or a soothing tone will reinforce that in any way. It sounds like she needs much more exposure and socialization to different people and environments. This stickied post is very helpful:
Systematic socialization of your new puppy

She needs to be exposed to MANY, MANY, MANY different types of people during the critical socialization period that she is undergoing. Maybe have some family members or close friends meet you outside your home and give her lots of treats when she sees them. Make it a positive experience each time. This way, it will help her to become more confident.

I think dogs have different personalities- some are super-outgoing, some are a bit more cautious... BUT they shouldn't be fearful-- this is not part of the desired maltese temperament. Socialization can really help even shy dogs be confident. My Obi likes people, loves other dogs, but I wouldn't describe him as the most outgoing personality compared to other dogs I know. But, the big thing is that he isn't scared of people-- I think this has to do with socialization.

Hopefully, with lots of new positive exposures, zoey will become a confident and happy pup in all situations!
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