View Full Version : I scared my pup =(

8th February 2008, 03:20 AM
Hello everyone,

I've had my puppy Henry for three weeks and have been working on socializing him. I made a boo boo tonight and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to help correct it.

I swear I am not mean, but I dropped a paper bag onto my dog's head while bagging newspapers, and he got totally freaked out. He has been so passive for the past hour or so when every other minute he's been here he's been playful. He whined and went and hid in his travel crate and is now lying on my lap without moving or biting, which has never happened.

So how do I get him to not be scared of paper bags anymore?

Edit to get a visual, from when I first got him =)


8th February 2008, 03:31 AM
I'm sorry you scared your puppy. Someone will have a good answer to help you. He should warm back up soon.

PS your photo didn't post.

Cathy T
8th February 2008, 03:36 AM
Oh poor little boo!! Next time something like that happens....pretend like nothing happened. Kind of laugh and say "oops" and make it a no biggee. My guys play off of how I react to things....if I act scared they get scared. Get his favorite toy and invite him to play. But don't coddle and nurture his insecurity, it'll only make it worse.

Hope this helps and someone else has some suggestions too.

8th February 2008, 03:56 AM
Thanks Cathy ... I had read about pretending like it's no big deal but in the heat of the moment I forgot. =) Thanks for reminding me.
I will try another time to post a photo, it seems to be eluding me at the moment.

8th February 2008, 04:02 AM
My dh has a way with working our pup to face his fear in a fun way. If the pup is afraid of something dh makes it like no big deal and plays along with the pup. Next time he sees the object he just pounces on it like it was a toy in the end.

Cathy Moon
8th February 2008, 04:08 AM
I would also try something like this, as soon as Henry is feeling a little better:

Fold up a paper bag flat and set it on the floor; if Henry approaches it, sniffs it, touches it, or stands on it give him treats.

After he's comfortable with the flat bag, open it and lay it on the floor. Give him treats if he sniffs it, touches it, etc.

I would do this with any new object that he seems hesitant to approach, to help him accept new things and not be afraid.

This is one of the first things puppies do in pre-agility classes; you're encouraging operant behavior. This really helps build a puppy's confidence!

8th February 2008, 12:44 PM
Yep what Cathy said! I'd just leave a paper bag laying in a corner. Curiosity will get the better of him and he will eventually go check it out. Sometimes it is hard to know what will frighten a puppy and something that seems like a bit of fun can have you feeling like a real fink. I remember with one of our puppies many years ago, I made a little buzzing noise down the cardboard tube from an empty cling wrap container. The poor little thing freaked out and I felt dreadful.