View Full Version : Ruby is afraid of other dogs!! Help!!

1st April 2007, 10:09 PM
Now that Ruby has had all of her shots, we're trying to socialize her more with other dogs. She is supposed to go for a trial at a doggie daycare here tomorrow, and she starts puppy training on April 9th. I'm afraid they won't let her in the daycare! She always runs towards other dogs around our condo, but she stops in her tracks as soon as she gets very close and freaks out. There are 2 bassett hound puppies who are about her age and size that live down the street, and she is terrified of them. We keep trying to reassure her that she's okay, but she tucks her tail and runs away from them. They are just very playful and when she runs, of course they both chase her, which makes it worse. She wanted nothing to do with my sister's 2 dogs. One is an English Bulldog and the other is a small terrier mix. Both are very gentle and sweet. The bulldog didn't have much to do with her because I think she knew how scared she was. The little mix sniffed her and then he rolled over in submission. She just would not go near him. Anyone else have a Cavalier that's such a little ninny?? Any suggestions about what to do?? Do some dogs just prefer people as their "pack"??

1st April 2007, 10:30 PM
How old is Ruby? Be mindful of her fear periods.

I would begin with socializing her with an older dog that has really good "dog manners". Preferably one owned by a trainer (therapy work ect). This dog should be a balanced dog that is calm and trained.
When she is greeting dogs or any unfamiliar situation in the future, actually telling her or reassuring her can be harmful to her reaction of the situation. Meaning that if she is unsure or scared, trying to sooth her can be communicating to her that is ok to be scared when she is unsure.
It’s rather similar to when a child fall and looks to it mother to determine if he is ok or not. If the mother can see that he is ok and ignores the fall the child will get up and continue to play. But if she rushes over and begins to sooth him and becomes anxious then child is then like, “I am ok”?
I hope this helps!

1st April 2007, 10:38 PM
Ruby is 14 wks. old. We'll try to not soothe her. She just pulls so hard on her leash, and I'm afraid she'll get out of her puppia or hurt herself to get away from them. I thought that she might relax if we talked to her, but we'll try again later. Thanks!

1st April 2007, 10:57 PM
Next doggie introduction she has try taking her for a long walk or extra long play session before hand. Look for dogs to socialize her with that will largely ignore her, maybe she won't go into panic mode then.
A fenced in area could do her wonders, keep the older dog on a leash and just be patient. Ignore her completly until she has calmed down and end the session on a positive note. ( Like her coming close to the dog, sniffing, calming down.)

good luck, your girl is lovely!

2nd April 2007, 12:32 AM
Kodee was like that. We took her to puppy socialization classes starting at 12 wks. At 16 wks she finally came out from under the chair and played with one puppy she had been next to for the classes. They are allowed off leash play a few at a time at the end (this is only puppies 12-16 wks allowed so its pretty safe). Now at 17 wks she meet a lot of dogs this wk out on walks - she was playing with all of them. I think its pretty normal for some to be shy at first - just keep giving her lots of opportunity to socialize she will come around in her class in time.

2nd April 2007, 01:02 AM
Lots of puppies are very submissive with other dogs so that of itself is not an issue. It is really important to start socialising her now with other dogs though, so daycare etc is a good idea. Also be sure you are not by accident encouraging her fear -- she will likely look first to you on how she is to react when she sees other dogs. If you are calm and indifferent to approaching dogs, and friendly in greeting those dogs, she will take a hint from you. If you get anxious for her, start to try to get her to interact or take her away from otherwise fine situations (eg no one is aggressive), keep looking at her and making sympathetic noises etc, she will read you as saying, 'Hey, this makes me really nervous too' and that can encourage more nervousness. Right now she sounds like she is really curious and interested but just a bit intimidated by other dogs, which should pass quickly.

No dog prefers humans and avoids other dogs by choice. Lack of socialisation will produce a dog that has such tendencies and they can cause problems for both dog and owner, including fear aggression towards other dogs (I have such hassles at times with Lily, my rescue whose earlier background I do not know. She adores people and dogs she knows but is snappy with new dogs, a real headache to manage). That's why lots of fun interactions in puppyhood b-- ut not forced or scary -- are top of the agenda for puppy owners! :) She will almost certainly relax around other dogs very quickly once you get her out and abut, into a class, etc. :thmbsup: