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Thread: going through the fear stage..?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default going through the fear stage..?

    Hi guys,

    I have a new cavalier in the family and he'll be ten weeks old tomorrow. I have noticed that he gets so spooked and scared of the most random things, like us talking in different voices and stuff like that. I can't remember our other cavalier ever being timid like this. And if i catch him having an accident I say no in a stern voice (I don't pick him up or scold him I just say no) and hell squeak and run away with his tail between his legs. I make sure not to scold him unless i see him physically having an accident. I feel bad that he's so scared but at the same time i don't want to nurture that behavior because i don't want him to think that being scared is a good thing. So i usually just give him a minute or two and then distract him with a toy or do some training with treats.

    Any suggestions? anyone else notice a similar behavior? I read online that puppies go through a "fear stage" from about 8 weeks to 10 weeks, how should i handle these moments when he's scared? Should i just ignore them? I know puppies are impressionable and I dont want to do the wrong thing and have him be an anxious dog when hes older.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Hampshire, UK
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    Hi Emma, I'm a bit of a novice, having only had one puppy experience with Jazz. I'm a big believer in positive reinforcement with dogs which I learnt from bringing up Jazz. It's too much to expect a puppy to know instinctively that you're telling him off for an accident... Instead, make a big fuss of when he goes in the right place, lots of praise and reward.

    as for the fear, I would suggest you ignore it as best you can - any kind of reaction is a reward for the behaviour., thus encouraging them to repeat it... I remember one experience when jazz was only @5 months and we were out for a walk. It started to rain and then there was an almighty thunderclap and she bolted... It made me jump to heavens know what it must of sounded like to her... Anyway, once I got her to come back (offered her a treat!), I clipped her back on lead and carried on walking back to the car as if nothing had happened....kept my voice happy and cheerful. Anyhow, we've since had other thunderstorms and jazz shows absolutely no fear whatsoever....

    its all a big learning experience and when you look back over the puppy stages once they grow up, you realise how tough it really was.... But they are so adorable as pups and I'd happily do it all again!!
    Nicki
    Proud owner of Jazz

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Just continue on as if nothing happened when he is scared. You may have a very soft puppy that needs more positive than negative correction. Praise, praise, praise when he does something good and reward with treats often. Don't tiptoe around him but don't be overly harsh if he needs correction. Teaching him obedience will give him a boost in confidence. If a dog knows sit or down command, or even a trick it will give him something to focus on other than the big scary thing in the corner.

    You know I wanted my last dog to startle when I caught her piddling in the house but she always politely finished her business while I was clapping my hands and shouting "no". It would have been a little nice if it frightened her pee back inside her.
    owned by BratBoy ^see avatar

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    I think that youre right he might be a soft puppy, although hes pretty tough when he plays with our other cavalier. Ive already started teaching him some obedience, he knows how to sit, come, down, and roll over. I think hes pretty smart, just very sensitive which im not used to because our other is a tough cookie. i give him positive reinforcement and hes already learned how to go up and down stairs, so hopefully hell gain more confidence as he grows and we wont have an issue. hes too cute, black and tan!

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