We adopted a lovely 2.5 yr old dog last Sunday. He is quite nervous, esp around strange men but I took the whole week off work to settle him in and we had been making huge progress. My lovely neighbour had him for a couple of hours today while I went back to work (for a half day), and when he went to put his lead on him for a walk, my lovely dog got so nervous he peed everywhere. We've introduced him to this neighbour three times this week, building it up from taking treats from him, to a walk around the block and even visiting his home so nothing was strange to him today. I even settled him into the neighbour's home before I left for work. I think neighbour approached him from a height and didn't wait for the dog to come to him and petrified him. I feel so so awful and I'm worried it will have set him back hugely. This neighbour will be minding him during the day when I have to work. Neighbour means well but he obviously wasn't listening when I explained and showed him how to put his lead on, and how you can't push him.
I hope so. I'm trying to see the positive in that maybe now it will hit home with my neighbour how careful he has to be with him, but I'm so anxious about poor Ash and I don't want him to be scared and upset. Leaving work in 10 mins to zoom home to give him lots of cuddles.
I'm sure your neighbour will realise now it's vital he doesn't loom over Ash again. And every time Ash goes there and has a good experience, he will get a little more confident that what's happened to him in the past isn't going to happen to him now.
Well I'm home and Ash is fine but the neighbour seems to think he did nothing wrong. It sounds like Ash backed into a corner with nerves and neighbour still thought it was okay to try and put his lead on like that. Poor Ash. Think we're going to have to find a professional dog walker instead. If neighbour doesn't think he is doing anything wrong (although I must stress his intentions are good) then I'm afraid we may end up going backwards with Ash's confidence.
I think it's a good idea to find a prof walker, but don't assume they are all suitable. I would contact several and talk with them first. I have a nervous dog and make sure anyone taking care of her has a positive approach to training. You should be able to get a sense from talking to them as to whether they really understand and take on board the need to handle Ash in a way that causes him as little stress as possible and helps build his confidence.
Oh, that's not good news. If he doesn't want to moderate his approach then I think you'll have to look elsewhere, like SpicyPear says. You could always put it to your neighbour that it's just to get Ash used to different people and to build confidence, if you didn't want to hurt his feelings (the neighbour).
Must be very exasperating though - you've shown him how to put the lead on but he still insisted on doing it his way. I expect he wouldn't have done if Ash was aggressive to him, as that's a more overt signal that a dog really isn't happy with something you are doing.
We had our first one on one training with a lovely lady trainer on Friday night (Ash seems to take to women faster than men) who was really helpful and gave us some tips for the neighbour. He seems to have taken them on board and today based on these tips, let himself into our home and gave treats and gentle stroking for 20 mins before attempting to put the lead on and it was successful . I'm so relieved I could cry. Once the lead is on Ash is as happy as can be, it's just getting it on him. Neighbour is also participating in our next training session on Thursday so the trainer can help him too. Apart from Friday, Ash is settling in really nicely. Had a pub lunch with friends and children on Saturday and he was great. He got lots of cuddles (from me and DH) and lay under the table, and didn't seem too bothered by the children. I was so proud of him So it's just (mainly) a fear of men that we need to help him with.
Thanks for the tip SpicyPear. We're working on building his confidence and he's improved so much in the past week but you're right, the wrong person could undo it all.