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Thread: Our Dog Hates Us? :(

  1. #1

    Default Our Dog Hates Us? :(

    Sorry this is a long one........

    Hi there, we've had our lovely dog (Australian silky X) for a about 5 years. She was a rescue dog and came with some issues.

    She is timid, but very loving & friendly to both us, our friends and strangers. She is scared of most things, loud noises, yelling, bangs around the house (ie. if you drop something), chopping food on the chopping board, shaking the washing before you hang it on the line, thunder, lightning, heavy rain, flashes on the TV (she thinks its lightning), the flash on the camera (and now just the look of a camera as she knows it has a flash on it), fireworks, looking at a hammer (as she associated it with loud noises)....this list goes on and on. I wouldn't say she is a nervous wreck but just VERY cautious.

    Some years ago my partner and I had a verbal argument and because the door was closed to the room the dog couldn't get out of the house. Since then she has always been scared of yelling, parties with loud people etc.

    Over the last year my partner and I have started a business from home which is great as the dog has company all day. However working with your partner we sometimes have discussions of how to run the business or don't see eye to eye on a decision. I wouldn't say we fight but just trying to get your point across you may slightly raise your voice or say it in a different tone and she picks up on it and freaks out. Our dog has slowly began to not like us being together. She is even scared of swear words, even if you say it in a normal tone. She is also now scared of a deep breath and sigh if something or when you 'tut' or huff at something. She is VERY sensitive and picks up on everything!

    She is normally fine when its me and the dog or him and the dog but during working hours 9-5 she doesn't want to be near us and will sleep outside all day long until it gets dark and one of us brings her in.

    We then will all sit on the couch and watch TV together at the end of the day and she will be fine. Its like she knows that we've finished work and she can relax with us.

    We often take her to my parents house for a retreat as she LOVES them and their dog and lived with them for 1.5 years while I was overseas. They have a 'normal' routine, get up the same time, eat the same time each day, walk twice a day, treats, pats, trips in the car, all the good thing she loves. Its very much routine for them however I don't have much of a routine except feed her at the same time each day, and walk her a couple of times a week. A dog behaviorist told me that routine isn't good for them anyway so our lifestyle shouldn't bother her. Mum said to me that when she is at their house she listens out for cars in case its mine and is always very very happy to see us.

    We denote days to her which was call "Smidge Day Sunday........or Monday etc" and we do fun things for her all day. Take her to the beach, park, for a run, a drive in the car, just general things she likes to do, play chasey etc.

    On New Year we went away camping and took the dog. There was someone nearby who had fireworks which she is scared of. We locked her inside and put some music on to drown out the noise however it didn't work and she was still very scared. A couple of hours later (2am) she started to settle down.

    Its now been 9 days since then and she still seems a little freaked out, and seems to hate me and my partner even more. Staying outside all day (in 41 C weather), and evening, and when you walk up to her she cowards down, looks frightened, and hides to be away from us. We have never been mean or rough with her or tease her, we don't hit her or rarely tell her off as she never does anything wrong (she is very well behaved). When we bring her in she just wants to go outside and be by herself.

    We've tried letting her be alone, comforting her, do something fun to take her mind off of it, taking her to my parents for 2 nights. They said she was absolutely fine and couldn't see anything wrong but as soon as we got back to our house today she is the same.

    Why does she hate us so much and how do we make it better for her?

    I am sorry for such a long question however needed to tell you the background.

    Thanks and hope someone can offer some solutions

  2. #2
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    Oh my.

    I have some questions if I may?
    1) How often does the dog go to your parent's house? How long does it stay? A day, a few hours or several days?

    2) What do you and/or your partner do about all this insecurity your dog appears to display? Do you make a fuss of her when she appears stressed?

  3. #3
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    My dog Blackie was exactly like that. Fearful of anything and everything. Luckily we are on a farm so he coped very well. He would go to the hay shed if visitors, kids were here so he felt safe. In your situation I would be wondering if the dog would be better off, as in happier, no reflection on your care, with your parents?

    Is there a safe place to make for him? Maybe with a radio on for when he is frightened?

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil's Advocate View Post
    Oh my.

    I have some questions if I may?
    1) How often does the dog go to your parent's house? How long does it stay? A day, a few hours or several days?

    2) What do you and/or your partner do about all this insecurity your dog appears to display? Do you make a fuss of her when she appears stressed?
    I'd like to echo these questions. Would love to know the answers!

  5. #5
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    Dogs are creatures of right now.

    They really don't get "Doggy Sunday" as making up for what goes on the whole week.

    Somehow you need to desensitise her to things that upset her. Comforting her when she freaks out, will make her worse - because you are rewarding the freak out. Rewarding her - ideally with food like really "high value" food like fresh roast chicken - when she's doing what you want like being calm, might help. Lots of repetition, starting with small things and lots of treats so she starts to associate your noises with good things.

    I don't know what you do when you huff and she freaks out, again trying to "reassure her" by picking her up and patting her (loads of attention) will probably make things worse. You could try dog calming signals - like yawning, stretching, looking down and away from her and licking or smacking your lips together - pay attention to what dogs do when they meet new dogs. All sorts of calming signals like looking over there, and sniffing the ground and licking.

    You might want to read as much as you can of this site. Turid Rugaas wrote the book on calming dogs.
    Turid Rugaas - Calming Signals Community

    You need to make things fun for her or pleasant for her in little sessions every day, not just once a week. Ignore the behaviours you don't want (like freaking out) and reward the ones you do want with pats and attention - like calm sitting or lying down.

  6. #6
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    I agree with Hy in never reassuring when things happen, just carry on as normal then reward the calm times.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  7. #7

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    I have some questions if I may?
    1) How often does the dog go to your parent's house? How long does it stay? A day, a few hours or several days?

    2) What do you and/or your partner do about all this insecurity your dog appears to display? Do you make a fuss of her when she appears stressed?
    Thanks all for the advice. The answer to these questions are:

    1) My parents live only a few mins away so they might pop in to say hi for 5-10 mins, or sometimes (say once a month) they'll drive by and collect her whilst taking their dog to the park. As far as staying over there if we were out for the day we would drop her off for a few hours, upto say 8. This might happen once a week on our rounds. Then when she seems depressed we leave her there say once every 3 weeks for one night. We only left her 2 nights this week because she hates us so much and thought it would be good for her.

    2) We have had a dog behaviorist come for some of the problems so we know the correct thing to do it ignore it when she is stresses. They said for example when i take a photo with the flash on. She freaks out, and will leave the room to go outside. For training they said to put her on a lead. Flash the camera, when she is scared of it we say "bahhh" at her. Keep on flashing and when she is calm we praise her. Repeat with other scary things.

    I understand what to do but for example on NYE when she heard the fireworks (they were going off from 9am till 1am). Do I tell her off every time a banger goes off? Every time i chop vegetables on the chopping board Bahh at her, every time she hears me any my partner talk. I would be doing it all day if this was the case.

    One thing that i believe may not be helping is that we very often talk to her in a kiddy high pitched voice as she likes it, thinks its fun and it makes her happy. Perhaps when we talk in our normal deeper voices she related it to that time when we had that argument....???

    I often believe that she would be better off with mum and dad, because she has another dog to play with, a routine and lots and lots of love and walks. Not that we don't give her lots of good things as well. She does love us but just scared of us at the moment..

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    I think you need to seek the services of a professional in the field and not seeking advice on an internet forum. I feel it is beyond the internet. It sounds as though she leads a miserable life to be honest, not that is your fault but I think you need to learn more about her behaviour and how to deal with it.

    I also strongly disagree with the first trainer you saw who said routine was not important.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  9. #9
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    Sorry to go all Cesar Millan on everyone, but Smidge when your dog is stressed is it when you or your husband are stressed (about work, life, anything)? And when you know there's going to be fireworks etc, do you get all stressed out in anticipation that your dog is going to freak out? She might be picking up on the way you are feeling and then "acting it out" so to speak. Dogs are very perceptive.

    Dogs love routine and consistancy. I'd start working on a routine for her that happens every single day and then I'd be calling in a behaviour professional.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by smidge View Post
    Thanks all for the advice. The answer to these questions are:

    1) My parents live only a few mins away so they might pop in to say hi for 5-10 mins, or sometimes (say once a month) they'll drive by and collect her whilst taking their dog to the park. As far as staying over there if we were out for the day we would drop her off for a few hours, upto say 8. This might happen once a week on our rounds. Then when she seems depressed we leave her there say once every 3 weeks for one night. We only left her 2 nights this week because she hates us so much and thought it would be good for her.2) We have had a dog behaviorist come for some of the problems so we know the correct thing to do it ignore it when she is stresses. They said for example when i take a photo with the flash on. She freaks out, and will leave the room to go outside. For training they said to put her on a lead. Flash the camera, when she is scared of it we say "bahhh" at her. Keep on flashing and when she is calm we praise her. Repeat with other scary things.

    I understand what to do but for example on NYE when she heard the fireworks (they were going off from 9am till 1am). Do I tell her off every time a banger goes off? Every time i chop vegetables on the chopping board Bahh at her, every time she hears me any my partner talk. I would be doing it all day if this was the case.

    One thing that i believe may not be helping is that we very often talk to her in a kiddy high pitched voice as she likes it, thinks its fun and it makes her happy. Perhaps when we talk in our normal deeper voices she related it to that time when we had that argument....???

    I often believe that she would be better off with mum and dad, because she has another dog to play with, a routine and lots and lots of love and walks. Not that we don't give her lots of good things as well. She does love us but just scared of us at the moment..

    Thanks
    I have never in my life heard a person say that their dog hates them so much. I honestly cannot comprehend that you could believe this, but it seems you do.

    She is a dog, not a human, and no, talking to her in a high ptiched kiddy voice is not fun, and if it makes her happy how can you then say she hates you and your partner? I'm lost, I'm sorry.

    Stop with the whiney kiddy voice. Stop with the babying, because that is what i think is happening here.

    I also agree with Anne comment regarding the intitial advice from behavioural professional - dogs perform well when their life has some routine, just like children, and many adults. This dog is all over the place.

    I thank you for answering my questions - I wanted to be sure of how you relate to your dog before jumping in and answering.

    I hope I haven't been too blunt here, as in truth I've wiped out most of what I had answered because in all fairness I didn't think it was polite enough!

    This dog sounds like a physchological mess, and yes, I agree the dog would be far better off with your parents or others who have a more established routine. Particularly someone who is pretty dog-savvy, as your dog has a lot of fear anxiety that is just not being resloved at all. If anything, as you said, it is getting worse all the time.

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