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How do I help my 'victim' dog?

(7 Posts)
Pizdets Tue 01-Apr-14 22:37:51

My pup is 18 months old and is very well behaved and good fun but as he gets older I'm noticing more and more that he's a very submissive little dog and is always a target for bullying by other bigger dogs (he's very small - 5kg).

Tonight we tried agility for the first time and after a nervous start he got more confident and really enjoyed it - until the end of the session when a big dog ran over from another group and pinned him to the floor in its mouth. Of course things like this happening just knock his confidence more and mean he goes into situations with new dogs even more submissive - tail crammed between legs and hiding behind my legs.

It breaks my heart and I don't know how to help him - if I leave him to it with new dogs he often gets roughhoused and the more it happens the less good he is at dealing with it, but then I don't want to molly coddle him. If he meets a nice dog he'll quite happily play chase for hours but it takes him longer and longer to build up his confidence.

Any ideas on what I can do to help him be less of a victim? Or is that just who he is? Sorry for the extra- long op, would love some advice!

Ludoole Wed 02-Apr-14 00:29:53

I think its disgusting that a big dog pinned him to the floor at agility classes!!! Where was the owner???

My dog is 5 and a half POUNDS and the shock would probably have killed him!
Personally id look into other classes and build up his confidence with similar sized --and more supervised--dogs first.
I am really appalled that a dog is able to pin another dog at a supervised class....

Good luck to your boy.

Amy106 Wed 02-Apr-14 00:45:55

One on one play sessions with friendly dogs will build his confidence. Large groups of strange dogs might just be too much for him at least for now. Partly it's his personality but partly his experiences. By being patient and introducing new dogs one at a time, his confidence should grow. Good luck and enjoy your lovely dog buddy.

Pizdets Wed 02-Apr-14 07:17:31

Thanks both.

ludoole I was quite shocked. The dog was doing a course next to us and just ran over - there was some very over-excited dogs. I was told ' it's just noise' and made to feel I was being precious about it all. I try very hard not to react too much when dog a rough play as I don't want him to pick up on me being nervous for him but as I'm sure you can appreciate, if you have a small dog it's hard not to want to protect them!

Amy thanks for your advice. We have been meeting some nice dogs in the park so think we'll keep going and playing with them and hope he gets more confident with time. It's just a shame as he was really coming out of himself and having fun at the end of the hour, but I don't think we'll be going back.

cashewfrenzy Wed 02-Apr-14 07:48:33

It's not mollycoddling. It's protecting him from the idiocy of others who let their dogs behave badly. He's not a victim, the other dogs have just got careless inconsiderate owners.

Build his confidence by picking him up and removing him from scary situations. It's OK to do that. It's also OK to tell the other owners to keep their dogs under control.

Owllady Wed 02-Apr-14 08:17:43

I can't believe someone let that happen either
And the I was a bit of an idiot owner at obedience this week blush but nothing like that!

Also, one of my dogs was like this. She was just not interested in any other dogs, apart from those who lived with her. If out for a walk she would just walk past them nit gaining eye contact! We called her anti social dog grin but she was never going to be a player

Pizdets Wed 02-Apr-14 09:10:26

Awww, thanks guys, you've made me feel so much better! Every time something like this happens I get made to feel like we've failed some kind of 'dog test' by not being more robust and it's our fault somehow. He's such a good little thing and just wants to play!

We''ll take it easy and i'll give us both less of a hard time, then maybe later in the year we can try a different class.

Thanks again - really appreciate the support.

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