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We have a cavalier King Charles Spaniel, she is aged nearly 3 years old.
We didn't take her to puppy classes when she was a puppy which I bitterly regret and she is absolutely terrified of other dogs.
It's only more recently it's gotten worse, she doesn't want to walk near them or she tries to bolt (out of her harness once!) if they come near her.
We took her to a Doggy daycare for an introductory session and they said she was fine. But then she has been just as scared if not more so out on walks since then. She is due to go there for 4 hours tomorrow. I'm
Sure it's what's best for her, but she's such a skittish thing I worry it's too much too soon or the other dogs might pick on her just looking for some reassurance that she won't drop dead from fear
I think some dogs react different whether on lead or not. Mine is actually more confident on lead but more apprehensive off lead with strange dogs (known dogs are fine).
First do you trust your doggy day care to let you know if there is a problem. I have been to three, his usual one which he loves, a second one which they said he was terrified at and we both agreed he wasn't suited to, and a third where they told me he was reserved but has now settled into. If you can trust them to not say she has been ok when she hasn't then I would be happy to send her to get her confidence up.
As for when she is with you have you considered having a 1-1 training session with a good trainer or behaviourist who can observe how she reacts and to give you a plan on how to manage her behaviour?
That's my worry really,
I don't know if they just said she was fine.
I have thought about one to one but wanted to try this first. But I'll be worrying all day. She didn't seem distressed after her visit but this morning she literally wouldn't go into the park after seeing a dog in there
Do you drop her off at daycare? I know he loves his usual one as he pulls my arm off when he sees her and when she picks him up I see him on the camera going absolutely crazy greeting her. The third one he is pulling me to get to them and as soon as they open they door he runs in. The second he was so scared he did the biggest ever pee when I picked him up and was cowering by me and when we tried the second day he didn't want to go in the door. This told me all I needed to know that the second day care wasn't for him.
I would still try the 1-1 trainer as it's a different situation when out walking.
aunrey I think you need a proper, qualified behaviourist to help you with this.
I was talking to a behaviourist recently with a MSc in canine behaviour and her view was that fear of other dogs hardly ever just gets better on its own or through casual expsoure to them. It requires very careful management and training.
My concern, in your shoes, would be that your dog was really scared during her intro session and that fear resulted in her shutting down or supressing fear behaviours, maybe because she was overwhlemed or flooding with close proximity to other dogs. That might be why she is reacting even more fearfully afterwards. In your position, I would not be asking her to go back tomorrow. If it's true that she was scared in the intro session then my guess would be that 4 hours there will send her even further down the fear road. I cannot imagine it helping.
This could get so much worse, if allowed to, to the detriment of her (and your) happiness. Get real, professional help asap. Someone who can observe her professionally and help you understand what is going on.
In the meantime, do not ask her to get any closer to another dog than she feels totally comfortable with. You will not help her by doing so. If that means she must stay 50m or 100m away from other dogs then that's what needs to happen.
Absolutely do not take your dog to day care. If your dog is showing fear by flooding her you will make the situation 100 times worse and have a major problem to solve.
If she needs daycare research a trainer or day care provider who deals with reactive dogs and she is the only dog
You will need to get professional advice to work out a behavioural modification plan to help your dog move forward - this will not go away on its own