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Question
Posted by: Georgina | 2007/06/11

Nervous puppy

I recently accidentally dropped an ice tray full of ice right next to my 5-month-old Golden Lab puppy. Naturally, the loud noise really startled her and she ran like hell! Since then, she has been very nervous of me and will not come to me when I have anything in my hand. Even if she sees me reading a newspaper, she runs for the door!
What can I do to stop her being so nervous of me? It breaks my heart because I would never harm her.

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Our expert says:
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Get down onto the flor and call her over to you and give her treats and praise when she comes to you. Gradually move to calling her when you are kneeling and then on a chair and then standing. Treats help her associate being with you as being a pleasant experience.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2007/06/11

You need to take action, and do it soon - in fact, you should have resolved this as soon as it happened, because this is exactly the sort of thing that is going to mess up your dog's life.

The dog isn't nervous, she's SCARED - and who can blame her? You need to get her to come to you, you need to soothe her, you need to make her understand you're not going to harm her, and as soon as she gets the idea, you need to throw something else (small!) that makes a noise on the floor WITH HER WATCHING so she can see what happened. She'll skrik again - keep soothing her, and do it again - until it becomes a game, and she fully realises she isn't going to get hurt. Do all of this gently, repeat the exercise every day until she's figured it out, and NEVER end a 'session' on a negative note - always make sure she's happy and playful before you stop.

She has now learned to associate you with something terrifying, and if you don't take action NOW that will never go away, and she's going to be skittish around you, and possibly other people too, for the rest of her life.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Youls | 2007/06/11

It will take time and lost of tender care and love. You have to show her that she can trust you.

Reply to Youls

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