View Full Version : Minnie spooked

Claire L
29th May 2008, 10:10 PM
The other day at the park, Minnie suddenly got spooked and pinned herself to the ground. I pretended like nothing had happened and after a few seconds, she got up and walked again. Since then when we go out for a lead walk, she stops for no reason and drops to the ground. I don't know what has caused this and I'm at a loss as to how to resolve it. Anybody got any ideas?????

Minnie is a 5 yr old rescue who has been with us since January '07
She has a lot of baggage but the last couple of months have seen a great improvement in her. Her confidence has grown and she was doing fine until the other day :(

29th May 2008, 10:23 PM
My first inclination would be to talk to the vet. If she hasn't been that fearful before, I'd wonder whether there's a physical reason and she is doing this from pain.

Claire L
29th May 2008, 10:30 PM
I was going to take her in to see the Vet but TBH she is absolutely fine in herself. She was at the beach this morning and ran around like a march hare and even went into the water with me. She seems to be somewhat nervous of road walking now and I'm wondering if it might be that it's because (a) she is on a leash and (b) because other people are close by and she feels afraid???

29th May 2008, 11:06 PM
Im so glad that this post has come up, as I was going to post the same concern for our new pup Chloe. She is now 11 months old and we have the exact same problem when we are trying to walk her. She will randomly stop and glue herself to the ground!
As we only have her a month, Im thinking that maybe she wasnt familiar with being walked when she was living with her breeder.
Im hoping that with time and practise on the lead, she will get better.
We take her on short walks every day - mainly around residential/park areas where there is little or no traffic noise, as I dont want her to get even more startled - but we could be in the quietest of areas and she just stops and refuses to move! I have tried not to give in and pick her up, but she can leave me standing there for 5 minutes without budging :D
Any ideas on how to help with this would be great..

29th May 2008, 11:59 PM
Have you done a class with Chloe? It would be good for her to be exposed to the activity of a class situation rather than only walked in quiet places. Check out Dog Training Ireland (http://dogtrainingireland.ie) for current classes. A dog that isn;t used to being walked needs to be gradually introduced as well. Halting or flattening on the ground is a common reaction to a harness/collar and being walked when this is not a comfortable activity for the dog.

Claire, I don't know -- if you are at all responding to her when she is worried, even without realising it, she will learn or may have learned to react in order to get the attention. But if this is happening now out of the blue and nothing else happened to start it I'd be talking to a vet and as part of that, having them check neck and shoulder areas for pain and be sure they know about SM. Given the incidence of SM in the breed, and the fact that it is progressive and such a high number of research sample dogs do have syrinxes as they get older (35-70% in different samples, the lowest number in the youngest research sample), if she is in a harness or collar on a lead, she may be feeling some discomfort only when on harness/collar and lead and not when running around. Leo always looks fine in himself, but he lives with chronic pain despite the fact that he runs around and can be touched and handled without reacting 99% of the time -- however a neurologist would spot his sensitivity in certain areas and his limb weakness right away. If this reaction in Minnie is caused by pain, then it makes sense to try and determine that, as there are several ways of relieving it. Just something to keep in mind. Dogs usually don't start doing odd things for no reason so am suggesting what to me would be the route of investigation.

30th May 2008, 09:33 AM
I am definitely thinking about signing up to one of these classes for her. I currently have her on a collar, which I know isnt ideal but she is so tiny that I have found it difficult to get a harness to fit her little frame. I have ordered a Puppia jacket style harness from Tara and am just waiting for it to arrive. Hopefully it might be a bit more comfy on her as I dont think she likes the feel of the lead tugging at her neck when we are walking. I think it frightens her a bit and that could be the cause of her stalling.
I will keep trying with her when the jacket arrives, but if things dont improve I will sign up for a class.

Claire L
30th May 2008, 04:47 PM
Well, it finally dawned on me as I was trying to get to sleep last night; When Minnie came to us first, she walked along on the lead but every time a car started to move off she got very jumpy and moved to my inside, as if to hide. She did get used to to it but I realise now that I haven't taken her and Cara on a lead walk in quite a few months now. They've been to the park in the morning and the beach in the evening or vice versa depending on the tide. This morning we took them to the park and we parked the car in the park carpark - Minnie was fine. She walked along without any problems but then the park warden drove up behind us and Minnie dropped to the ground!!
I am going to take her and Cara out every evening for a lead walk around our neighbourhood from now on and get her used to the sound of traffic.

I took both girlies in to the Vet this afternoon for a check-up and apart from putting on a few extra pounds :shock: icon_blshing they are both healthy so I'm relieved.

30th May 2008, 11:26 PM
Glad to hear they are both doing well and I'm sure the walks will help Minnie.