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drjeff1

New, very fearful pup

This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Dr. Jeff Feinman 12 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #2752

    Anonymous

    We just got a new pup (4 months old) that has had very little socialization. He was on a farm, and they didn’t realize they had pups for a month or so. Some of the pups would come close for food, but dash away if you moved toward them. They were working on socializing them, but it was slow going. I really felt that the best shot was get him now, and work on the socialization ourselves.

    Anyway, we have had him a week. (Border collie/Blue heeler mix) He is about 25 pounds, and already been to the vet for the initial check. He is basically healthy, and eats well. (We have had dogs before.. our last dog died this summer at age 12.)

    He is very fearful of anything new. If you move toward him, he often runs for his crate. (He does like the crate, but hasn’t been confined to it.) He is usually confined to the kitchen area with a toddler gate so he can see the activity and hopefully get used to us. The only way I can get him outside is to pick him up, and once he is outside, he cowers. I haven’t gotten him to successfully eliminate outside yet. He is not aggressive, nor food protective. He completely ignores the 5 cats (even when they are stealing his food).

    He sometimes comes to us for a food treat. We are using food treats as a bribe to come toward us. (We won’t toss him the treat if he doesn’t come.)

    Any other suggestions on speeding up the socialization issues, or is it just going to take time? There has been improvement this last week, but I guess I am just impatient! Hubby just thought of withholding all food, and sitting down on the floor with the food bowl in your lap, so he would have to come to you. (Don’t worry, I won’t starve him!)

    We do let him into the rest of the house when we are around, so he can get used to more activity, also.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Malia

    #2757

    Dr. Jeff Feinman
    Keymaster

    [quote=Malia]
    Any other suggestions on speeding up the socialization issues, or is it just going to take time? There has been improvement this last week, but I guess I am just impatient! [/quote]

    Hi Malia-

    Don’t be impatient with this poor timid pup. He will sense your frustration and impatience. This will slow the process down even more.

    It is an excellent idea to feed everything by hand. This will speed up the bonding process which wil then speed up socialization (the more he trusts you the more he will be willing to venture into new situations).

    Expose him slowly to every possible new situation. Use food as a bribe for now but eventually, as he comes to trust you, praise and reassurance will be enough.

    This process may be slow at first but will pay off within a few months. He will both bond with you and become an integral, and happy, part of the family. Take a look at [url]https://www.homevet.com/petcare/puppy2.html[/url] for more specific tips.

    Good luck!

    Dr. Jeff

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