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Thread: Putting the breaks on before bed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default Putting the breaks on before bed

    Hi All

    I haven't posted here since my girl was a pup. She is now 18 months old and a long and lean beautiful thing. She has an incredibly soft nature, very clever and curious.

    I am happy with her behaviour for the most part and I know what I need to improve on. Pretty much all of it can be trained out, but one thing has me stumped. Out of nowhere, she has started to freeze when I have her follow me to her bed in the laundry and seems afraid to go any further.

    It was never a problem until maybe 2 weeks ago. She stands up and gets as far as the corner before the laundry then stops there, watching me. I call her and call her. Sometimes if I crouch down she will take a few steps, but nothing more. When I approach her she'll run away through the kitchen and stand in the dark staring at me with pretty bizarre stiff body language.

    She can be fearful of objects like plastic bags, brooms, plastic containers but that has started improving as she ages. I just can't find the source of this problem.

    Not sure if it's related, but occasionally she cowers when I give her a command as though she is afraid of me. This also happened out of the blue.

    Coaxing her in there with a treat works. She'll go anywhere for a treat but if she knows there is no treat involved she won't budge. I have been slack in phasing out treats so she is overly food motivated.

    I would love to hear thoughts on this. Am I doing something wrong? Should I just keep going with positive reinforcement/treats?

    At a loss here! Thanks in advance.

    Taija - My bit of everything girl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    12,583

    Default

    Out of nowhere, she has started to freeze when I have her follow me to her bed in the laundry and seems afraid to go any further.
    Do you leave her in there with the door shut when you're out? Maybe something happened while you were out that freaked her out.

    I would try some training that involves her having a good time in there while you're home and it's not bed time so she has a few happy thoughts about the space other than being left alone in there. I know laundries are usually easy clean but they are also usually cold and hard and unforgiving spaces and sometimes smell bad (bleach and methylated spirits).

    So I'd be feeding her dinner in there and doing some trick training that involves a lot of food in there too. And maybe leaving her in there with something that takes a while to eat like a kong with frozen chicken in it or a cow hoof or beef ear.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default

    I like those ideas, thank you very much.

    She is only in there to sleep, from about 9pm til 7am then next morning. She usually doesn't want to leave by the time I let her out! It's getting past that threshold that's been the challenge. Once in there she isn't fearful - yawns and goes straight to sleep.

    She's pretty easily spooked though so something definitely could have happened overnight. It occurred to me that it might even have been the screen door banging in the wind. Thanks again!

    Taija - My bit of everything girl

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    SA
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    Default

    Maybe she is just a little late with her second anxiety period and something in the laundry scared her?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default

    I think you might be right; I have heard that large dogs can be late bloomers. A lot of her oddities are growing out but this could be a late anxiety period.

    I will do some reading up on that. Thanks!

    Taija - My bit of everything girl

  6. #6
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    Jan 2011
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    SA
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    Our Nero was pretty late with that too. He was late with everything tho: cocking his leg, growing out of his fear, learn 'leave it' or 'come here NOW'...

    Taija looks gorgeous BTW. What mix is she? I love her eyes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Melbourne
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    That is comforting to hear! She has only just grown out of the lanky awkward stage, she was very stubborn to train but I've found it's getting easier. Selective hearing is still an issue though

    Isn't she beautiful? Her mum was Bull Arab x Staghound and her dad was Great Dane x Bullmastiff. She is very Dane in my opinion!

    Taija - My bit of everything girl

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne VIC
    Posts
    607

    Default

    Renbird, do you have an update for us?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pawfectionist View Post
    Renbird, do you have an update for us?
    Ty is going really well! I made going to bed a big game, complete with treats and toys and now she trots in there with no issues.
    Thanks for everyone's advice!

    Taija - My bit of everything girl

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