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Sun Feb 23, 2014, 03:35 PM

My new standard poodle has serious problems

I got her from a breeder in another state. No idea whether the breeders abused her or her own mother neglected her. She is not only full of fear, but almost schitzoid. I have her now for half a year, and she has become better.Still, if I take her to training class she starts drooling and hides behind me.She is now 2 1/2 years old. If I walk towards her, she runs away. She has found the backyard is her safe haven. On the other hand she trusted my old Boxer immediately. In the beginning I tried an anti depressant drug, but stopped that very quickly, because she got worse. Now she still gets car sick and I have to give her each time a pill before we go to class. I want her to listen to me and accept me as her master instead of my Boxer. Mostly I want her to lose her fear. My trainer says that Rosalind ( her name ) lets her fear overwhelm her instinct to please. She is smart by the way., and comes to me for affection.
Any suggestions are more than welcome.

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Reply My new standard poodle has serious problems (Original post)
sadoldgirl Feb 2014 OP
MuseRider Feb 2014 #1
sadoldgirl Feb 2014 #3
MuseRider Feb 2014 #5
sadoldgirl Feb 2014 #8
MuseRider Feb 2014 #11
Curmudgeoness Feb 2014 #2
sadoldgirl Feb 2014 #4
mopinko Feb 2014 #6
sadoldgirl Feb 2014 #7
mopinko Feb 2014 #15
sadoldgirl Feb 2014 #9
mopinko Feb 2014 #16
jtuck004 Feb 2014 #10
sadoldgirl Feb 2014 #12
jtuck004 Feb 2014 #13
sadoldgirl Feb 2014 #14
jtuck004 Feb 2014 #17

Response to sadoldgirl (Original post)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 03:58 PM

1. Awwwww.

I am sorry this has happened to her, and to you as well. I have two Standard Poodles and have found that they are incredible dogs, make great farm dogs. One thing I do know is that they like to have a job. Is there any way you could figure something that is just hers to do? Start easy like taking her to the mail box with you every day so she knows she has a job. One of mine helps us put the goats away, a very easy job but she starts to remind us when the sky starts to turn to twilight it is that important to her. She is also my short errand girl and just rides with me when I go to do something short (she was very car sick as a puppy but frequent short trips stopped that). The other Spoo is learning to be my horse barn buddy since he is big and protective and I am often out there at night alone. I have found that they really really like doing that and it does give them confidence. They are very smart dogs. I am so sorry to hear about this poor sweetie but you seem determined to help her and that is wonderful, so many would not.

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Response to MuseRider (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 04:06 PM

3. Thank you,

Yes, she was a rather expensive effort, but I was for years a dog rescuer, and think I got another one in her. I will try the job thingy, however it is hard to keep my Boxer away. good idea though.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 04:23 PM

5. You could maybe start

with both of them since the Boxer seems to comfort her. Then maybe split things up. Just any old thing can be a job for them. Just going somewhere with you, to the basement or sitting at the 4 corners while you make your bed. Does she respond to your praise well? Treats?

I wonder if for her it would be a really good idea to put into everything little steps that somehow make her feel special. You could take them both out to get mail (just an example) but she could wear a little bag you rig up around her that the mail would go into. That would single her out, make it just a little more special for her. I am assuming your Boxer would be OK with that, that may not be the case.

How is she with grooming? Do you clip her yourself? It is a HUGE job and I don't know too much about it but I do do that myself and that has made really good relations (I do not pull her ear hairs, I let someone else do that job).

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Response to MuseRider (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 04:55 PM

8. When I got her

she would not be bribed with treats even with the Boxer around. Now she takes them when he gets one too, although then of course she wants both. I wished I could run with her, but at my age I walk, and with ice and snow I can't. Do you think I should walk her alone without the Boxer? Up to now I have taken them both with me.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 05:40 PM

11. I would just be sure not to make her afraid.

I agree with mo, treats are a big thing and reward her lots. She needs her confidence built. Now saying this, I do not know anymore than what I have done with my dogs. I too have rescued a lot and had some that were never ever truly whole after abuse. Good luck. If she can feel comfortable with you, as she seems to be, then that is certainly a good place to work from.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Original post)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 04:04 PM

2. I have no experience with dog behavior,

so I can't help much here, but I hope someone can help you. I do want to welcome you to DU, and to the Pets Group.

My only suggestions are to give love and affection and make Rosalind feel safe with you. You might also enlist your boxer to help with making Rosalind my comfortable around you. I am a cat person, so I can only relate experiences with cats, but my current cat took over a year to show complete comfort and affection to me. He was 1-1/2 years old when I got him and I also did not know his prior experiences. But I did not fret over his behavior and I just gave him love and attention. Sometimes, it just takes a long time for a bond to form if the animal was not raised in a loving environment. I would bet that this will come in time with work and love.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 04:11 PM

4. Thanks,

She obviously had not been allowed to be a puppy. Perhaps I was too strikt with her, but after 4 broken reading glasses, chewed up pens, and spilling coke over my carpet I did get annoyed with her at times. Okay, I will be patient, after all I have never returned a pet I had adopted.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Original post)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 04:24 PM

6. do not correct this dog.

for at least a short period of time, a couple weeks, forget about training and spend time playing.
if she doesn't retrieve, try to teach that without correction. carry treats with you all the time, and toss them around freely. give her reasons to want to please you. until she has that motivation, most things you try will make things worse.
and make sure that boxer is not bullying her. is he jealous? does he keep her away from you?? try to outsmart him on that if you can. make him stay while you talk to her, give her treats. they are great dogs, but they can throw their wait around.

i have been watching a lot of videos from leerburg lately. while i think the guy is way to harsh, i give him some leeway because of the kind of dogs he trains. but his positive, motivational stuff is pretty right on.
look around for some of the videos about rescue dogs, and you will get some good ideas.

i would not take a dog to obedience class that is a mess when there. it can only make things worse. and that boxer can spend some time contained somewhere daily while you spend time with this kid.

i have 2 little terriers that i tried for years to whip into shape. my son beat it into me how to reward good behavior, and redirect away from problems rather than always confronting them with correction. they are really changing their behavior. especially their nervousness, which they came to me with.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 04:46 PM

7. Rosalind loves to play,

but only with the Boxer. He is a runt just as she is and super protective of her; also he is a gentleman with her. If she wants his toy he gives it up. On the contrary Rosalind is the one who wants to play rough with him.
The training is at Petsmart and is only used for getting her used to be around people and other dogs. For grooming I had to choose a guy who does it right in front of my drive way.
Sorry, to be so ignorant, but what is leerburg?
I was looking for a dog psychiatrist, but the price of $500 per session has stopped me.
I will try the treat method, but cannot do it if she has to get into the car afterwards.
Thank you for your suggestions.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 06:56 PM

15. get her away from the boxer.

i have the same problem. multiple dogs always take some juggling.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Original post)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 05:19 PM

9. Okay, I googled leerburg

I will see whether they have what I need. I have handled a lot of rescue dogs (Boxers) pretty successfully, but never found such a skiddish and fearful animal before. After all I have her since last July.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 06:57 PM

16. they have awesome toys.

the best around.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Original post)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 05:37 PM

10. I've had more than one dog like this, and it is a matter of patience. The obedience

 

class, and agility course are great for helping them develop a sense of confidence. If this class isn't helping, consider another. That says nothing about the class, more about her needs right now. You can always come back if you like the instructor.

Above you were counseled to not correct her, and I think that is good advice. Engineer it so you don't have to. Don't get in a hurry so that you feel you have to compel her to do something. Get someone else to drive you, while you comfort her and giver her an occasional high-value (chicken, beef, hot dog - something other than manufactured/cardboard animal food or treats). Put additional thought into how you are doing things. If she runs away when you walk toward her, don't walk toward her. Get some chicken, or beef (good stuff, or even small slices of hot dogs) and invite her over for one, or a dozen. Become a pez dispenser of meat treats. Over time and at random times you will dispense with them, but your goal right now is to develop a relationship with your dog, and associating good things like treats with you will help. Chicken can often be stronger than fear, but you must be patient and not insist on change until YOU learn more.

Speaking of learning more - http://www.shirleychong.com/keepers/lessons.html is a good place to start learning about and understanding any dog, but especially fearful ones who need to regain trust.

Great book to help you understand her... "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson. By the head trainer from the SFSPCA, who dealt with a LOT of that. Easy to read, in depth book on changing dog behavior while having a good relationship.



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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 05:56 PM

12. Thank you very much

I will see where I can get that book. I just reread Bonnie Bergin's book, but it deals mostly with normal dog behavior. Alright, the general consensus is: PATIENCE! I thought seven months were enough, but obviously I was wrong. I want to thank everyone for their advice and promise you that I will keep working with Rosalind.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 06:05 PM

13. I had a big rott/lab/who knows what mix that I found in an adoption crate.

 


When I took her across the store to look at her, she peed nearly the entire way because she was so scare. (Taller than most of the little kids). Got her home, took me three weeks to get her to come to me for food.

Took 6 months of obedience classes b4 she finally seem to relax a little, and then another 6 months of agility to get her to shed that. Another year or so after that and she became a therapy dog, and spent the rest of her life bringing comfort to people, letting them pet her, going up to them - a completely different dog than we started with. I miss the hell out of her, but she taught me a lot about this, and most especially that nearly everything they do was engineered to happen by me, intentionally or not.

Once I figured that out, the path became much more clear.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 06:31 PM

14. Hurray, the book is in my library

I may have to wait a few weeks to get it, but that is okay! Thank you again! At my age I should not have gotten such a young dog, but a) my Boxer drove me nuts with his whining after I had to put my 17 year old poodle down, b) I was told that she was 1-2 years older than her papers later on showed. Perhaps for her sake it was meant to be this way.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 07:14 PM

17. If you don't mind, and get a chance, let me know what you think

 

after you get a chance to read it, or part of it.

It has been my experience that it has the power to change most people's outlook towards and knowledge about dogs in a very good way. I would be interested to hear what you think.

Good luck with her. I think she's gotten lucky with an owner that will put in the work she needs.

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