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Thread: Pup scared of situations during socialization outings

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    Member jde512's Avatar
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    Default Pup scared of situations during socialization outings

    My 9 week old lab pup has been on several outings with me as we go through the socialization process. I've ran into a couple of instances when he absolutely locks up with fear: crossing thresholds of doors when entering a building and going down a set of stairs while inside a building. When we exit the building, he crossed the threshold with very little concern. At home, he navigates stairs on our outdoor deck easily with no apprehension. When he locked up on the thresholds, I simply eased him along with the leash or by reaching down and scooting him across with my hands - trying to keep things positive and enthusiastic. On the interior stairs (7 steps total), I tried moving his front legs down, followed by the back legs, since I know he is physically capable of doing the motions. I did this for each step and he would not take a step on his own - all 7 steps. Instead of trying to get him to conquer it, I just moved on to let him get some attention from the folks at my office, bringing it back to a positive experience.

    Should I have done anything differently, or just moved on with our walk and try it again another day?

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    This too shall pass! My lab even at a year old...and even though he is VERY bold in the field, he just would NOT jump up into the back of my SUV. So, I got a ramp...which I will put back to use in his old age. He used that for a couple of months and then I stopped using it and put a large cooler on the ground in front of the entry to the SUV and he used it as a step. A week later, he was leaping into the rear bay like a champ.

    IMHO it's just a "phase" that he/she will soon get over.

    (-:

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    Quote Originally Posted by jde512 View Post
    My 9 week old lab pup has been on several outings with me as we go through the socialization process. I've ran into a couple of instances when he absolutely locks up with fear: crossing thresholds of doors when entering a building and going down a set of stairs while inside a building. When we exit the building, he crossed the threshold with very little concern. At home, he navigates stairs on our outdoor deck easily with no apprehension. When he locked up on the thresholds, I simply eased him along with the leash or by reaching down and scooting him across with my hands - trying to keep things positive and enthusiastic. On the interior stairs (7 steps total), I tried moving his front legs down, followed by the back legs, since I know he is physically capable of doing the motions. I did this for each step and he would not take a step on his own - all 7 steps. Instead of trying to get him to conquer it, I just moved on to let him get some attention from the folks at my office, bringing it back to a positive experience.

    Should I have done anything differently, or just moved on with our walk and try it again another day?

    Just keep up the introductions ..He has a lot of time to master them....between now and 6 months of age ....Make them as positive as possible but sometimes they have to overcome fears on their own...pick them carefully...It will bold the dog up when they occur...Steve S
    "Your dog learns as much by doing his work right,by your praise and encouragement, as he does by your displeasure and correction." DLWalters

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    I would not "force" him to do anything or go any where he was not comfortable also don't coddle him as you may a human as this is praise to the dog for being scared. Sounds like you did just fine. In a week or two this may not be any worry.
    I personally don't take my pups out into to many public places with out more shots for protection. Certainly NO dog parks or where other dogs have been for a while. Have a ball, they aren't puppies very long.
    Training Isn't Expensive..... IT'S PRICELESS!

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    Member jde512's Avatar
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    Just wanted to give an update on 12 week old Jake. Took him in for the next round of puppy shots and brought him to the office with me for the afternoon. We walked the same path that we did three weeks ago when I posted this topic and today, there was zero hesitation at the door thresholds and he didn't break his stride on the set of steps inside the building. Time and confidence brought him around. Thanks for the advice and encouragement!

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    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jde512 View Post
    Just wanted to give an update on 12 week old Jake. Took him in for the next round of puppy shots and brought him to the office with me for the afternoon. We walked the same path that we did three weeks ago when I posted this topic and today, there was zero hesitation at the door thresholds and he didn't break his stride on the set of steps inside the building. Time and confidence brought him around. Thanks for the advice and encouragement!
    Thanks for posting this update.

    This is a great reminder for all, both newbies and experienced, that just because it is not perfect today, it is not worth shining a spotlight on it. With patience, time, consistency, persistence, you can work through lots of things that seem like an issue at the time.
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

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    Senior Member Sharon van der Lee's Avatar
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    Puppies go through their first fear period between 8-12 weeks. Things can upset them for no reason. The trick is not to traumatize them as it could affect them later. They will grow out of it.

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    Great post. I have a question about the exact opposite trait. My pup is about 12 weeks old. She is not afraid of a darn thing. Can this be a problem in the long run. As far as her getting into situations where she could be hurt?

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    Senior Member Jeff Bartlett's Avatar
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    There's no shame in being a cookie trained puppy )---

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