View Full Version : fear of puppies and small dogs, what to do???
30th May 2010, 09:29 PM
i could really do with some suggestions as to what to do with bentleys fear of small dogs and puppies. ever since we lost our lab sullivan 2 months ago bentley is terrified of anything small. as long as they dont approach him he is fine and will ignore them, however if they so much as take a step towrds him he panics and struggles to get away (once resulting in him gettin our of his harness!!!) he is the worst with puppies, i guess i can slightly understand as they can be erractic but i dont understand where this has come from. we were in our local pet shop the other day and in strolls this cocker spaniel puppy, bentley freaked out so we walked away. moments later he is confonted by a great dane who he contently made friends with!!!!! i just dont understand him. as long as the dog is bigger than him he is fine. hardest thing is, us that myself and my husband have looked into getting a cavi puppy but this is out of the question if bentley is going to suffer as i can see him sitting on the sofa refusing to get down....
30th May 2010, 10:05 PM
any suggestions would be a great help xx
30th May 2010, 10:16 PM
Sorry to hear you are having these problems - I'm sure others will reply too, sometimes it takes a while as we all have lots of other things on too.
I think Bentley needs carefully controlled introductions to puppies and other small dogs - you need to be able to get his attention, teach him to watch you, and reward him when he does.
When you see a puppy or small dog, stand a distance away where Bentley is comfortable and reward him for remaining calm. Step towards the dog, praise and then away again. Gradually you can build up how near you can get to the dog.
Ideally find some positive reward based training classes near to you to take Bentley to.
30th May 2010, 10:16 PM
When I first took Rylie to puppy class there was a small puppy and two large ones. Rylie was terrified of the small pup and loved the two biggies (they were all about the same age) - I took him to a different puppy socialization class and he was afraid there as well. I just kept taking him places and praising him for calm behaviour. We went wherever I thought there would be dogs We did obedience this winter and my two were asked to stay and play with the puppies - this time Rylie did fine. There is no doubt that he's more comfortable around larger dogs, although he is able to enjoy himself now in the small dog section of the dog park. I think that's partly because nearly all of our training has been in classes with larger dogs.
I'd say just keep exposing him to situations (for small amounts of time) and don't react when he makes a fuss. Also get a harness he won't squirm out of. That could be really dangerous.
30th May 2010, 10:36 PM
thank you for your suggestions, i am trying to take bentley everywhere i can think of that will have a wide range of dogs. i will enroll him in some dog classes, i think that will be my best bet. its just come on all of a sudden, he used to be fine wih every dog, but now has an aversion to little dogs and puppies. as for his harness, i have tightened it and it is ususally fine but this one time my husband was holding the lead while i went to say hello to the puppy and bently backed up and up (even though he was kept at a distance) and just pulled and pulled till it went loose and then he backed out. he can be a strong little dog when he wants to be (just to ease everyone, bentley has a harness which also has a link to his collar so he wasnt running free, sorry if that bit was mis leading) i just want my little guy to be ok and i am worried there is an under lying problem xx
30th May 2010, 11:00 PM
It's worth just getting him checked over by the vet in case there is anything medical going on too.
31st May 2010, 12:33 AM
When our Golden died my Mindy seemed to have a sudden fear of dogs too. She wanted to greet them but when they came close she'd go between my legs. I think when small dog has lived with a large dog for a long time they may consider it as protection. She did get over it though.
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