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Pup not confident with DH

(6 Posts)
diplodocus Sun 09-Feb-14 10:45:20

Hi all. We got a young rescue bitch around 5 months ago at around 4 months. When we got her home we found she was extremely nervous of adults, particularly men and was very stressed when out and about. Over the last months we've worked to try and build up her confidence, and she's now much better when out and about with me. However, things aren't improving with DH, despite the fact he is the one who is at home with her all day (I work), feeds her and takes her to training classes. She's fine with him in the home and at class, but doesn't seem to "trust" him when out and about. An example - I bring her with me when I take the kids to school one day a week and stop 100 yards from school entrance (very small village school). I then get her to sit at my feet and just watch people go by to try and get her used to them. She sometime cowers against me a bit, but basically stays fairly calm and sees me as a point of safety. With DH she would panic and start pulling wildly on the lead in all directions. He gives her lots of treats and there's no obvious reason for this difference although she's still noticeably more scared of strange men than women and we don't know what happened in her past. Any ideas to move her past this? DH is finding it very frustrating as it makes it difficult for him to walk her.

thedogwakesuptoodamnearly Sun 09-Feb-14 17:03:27

What happens if you go out together with her?

diplodocus Sun 09-Feb-14 17:47:36

She's better - a lot more relaxed than with just DH.

diplodocus Fri 28-Feb-14 12:35:38

Resurrecting this thread as it continues to be a problem. Her confidence is coming on in leaps and bounds when she's with me but she's still not progressing with DH.

moosemama Fri 28-Feb-14 12:41:35

How confident is he with handling her?

If he's anxious or worried about whether or not she's going to react he could be unconsciously giving her signals that there is something to worry about, iyswim.

Dogs can pick up on a change of stress hormone in our body and react to things like changes in breathing, tightening of the lead etc.

Even if he is just getting frustrated with it all, she will be reading his body language etc and it will have a knock on effect on her behaviour, creating a viscious cycle.

It's a pain when you are trying to rehabilitate them, because often you can't control your own unconscious responses to stimuli.

Can you try going out together more, but with dh doing the handling?

diplodocus Fri 28-Feb-14 12:45:34

Moosemama I think that might be it. It's fine when we go out together but we can rarely do it without the kids (which makes it a bit chaotic!). Will try and do it more when we can. DH is becoming demoralised about it all.

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