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 Post subject: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 1:16 am 
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Ahh! We have a dog and he is so cute and sweet! He has some issues like being afraid of a lot of men, but today we walked by a couple out for a walk and he didn't bark, so maybe there's some progress! I love him! I've never gone for this many walks in my life.

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 5:56 am 
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Hello little cutie!

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 6:04 am 
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he is cute! One of my dog is wary of most men, and it is funny, even boys of a certain age, she isn't sure if they are men or boys so she has an off/on attitude with them. She has never really outgrown it but she feels more confident when we are with her and especially if we are outside. Inside the house though, she isn't having any men and gets really upset.

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 7:51 am 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
Ahh! We have a dog and he is so cute and sweet! He has some issues like being afraid of a lot of men, but today we walked by a couple out for a walk and he didn't bark, so maybe there's some progress! I love him! I've never gone for this many walks in my life.

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He may have not barked because he knew he was safe with you. He looks lovely & quite at home on the sofa.

Anne whose cats have never consented to go for a walk ...

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 7:57 am 
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Bigby! He is adorable!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Yay! He's so cute.


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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 5:56 pm 
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thanks guys! i think he's already developing separation anxiety. I'm trying to just go about my day and do my normal stuff. sometimes he sticks SUPER close to me, but then other times he's fine chillin on the couch while i do other stuff. When I left yesterday just to run some errands for about an hour he was barking like crazy when i left, but then not when I came back. Today, I left for an hour and he only barked once when I left, but then when i got back he was barking like crazy and running around like a little maniac! We have him gated in the laundry room. It's a pretty small space and he hasn't destroyed anything. I already had to leave him for 8 hours one day and he was fine when I got back, but I feel like because he's so freaking cute and i just want to snuggle him all day, that i'm making it worse. I think he was previously crated at his foster home and we have a crate for him, so maybe I should do that? Maybe crating him makes him feel more secure? I dunno! It was kind of a bad weekend to get a dog because my husband is away on a business trip, but that was just how it worked out. /rant

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 6:40 pm 
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I think crate trained dogs do tend to feel very secure in them. I don't think lots of snuggles when you're home are a bad thing at all. When Amos went through a couple months of separation anxiety (we had just moved and I had cut his dad/my ex out of our lives) the best advice I got was not to make a big deal out of your comings and goings. No big kissy snuggly scene when you leave and (harder to do) none when you first get home. Once he's done barking and running around then you can give him snuggles and attention. Amos got to the point where he was no longer tweaked out by our "new normal" and we got back to being able to have our happy homecoming scene. I still keep my leaving low key. I just tell him "I'll be back" and leave.

He's very cute!

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 6:52 pm 
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Argh - I love him!! So cute!

I agree w/Monkeytoes - keep your leaving low key - maybe give a special toy/treat and leave quietly. My dog would freak out when I got home (jumping, crying, trying to lick my face)- I was told by our trainer to ignore him for a full 15 min when I come in. It worked great - I would leave him in the crate if he was in it or just give him no attention at all if he was out of the crate. Now I come home and he greets me (mostly) calmly. I no longer follow the 15 min rule, I just greet him as soon as he's calm.

You can also do practice leaves/returns while your home - leaving him for just a few minutes at time so he learns you come and go and everything is fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 7:37 pm 
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I'm testing out a trial leaving right now. I just said bye and left, but he's been barking for 15 minutes. I'm supposed to go to dinner, but I don't want my neighbors to get pissed. His barking is so loud. I know he'll be ok, but I feel like it's unfair to. My apt building. Yeesh! I'm sure it's just the new environment, so hopefully he'll settle eventually.

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 7:46 pm 
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I came back in and left him in behind the gate. He's making the saddest whining sounds and it's breaking my heart!

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 8:35 pm 
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Can you ask the rescue whether they have any ideas? They may have some tricks that would work based on his personality. Maybe they'd be willing to lend you a crate to see if it makes a difference or suggest other kinds of diversions like Kongs maybe?

Congratulations on getting him, he is adorable!

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 8:42 pm 
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Thanks tofulish I'm going to email the rescue. Good idea. We have a crate for him and have tried that, too. Doesn't seem to matter if he's in the crate or laundry room. I gave him a Kong which helped for about 5 minutes and then he started up the barking again, but yeah, maybe there are other puzzle type toys!

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 3:32 am 
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Oh wow, what a cutie.....those big beautiful eyes!

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 12:16 am 
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well, one good thing happened today! i started teaching him to sit and he's doing pretty good! not sure if he'll do it without the treat incentive yet, but good progress. He came to us knowing no commands at all, and i hadn't actually seen him sit at all, so we made some good progress today. I'm going to practice sitting with him a bunch in the morning and hopefully that'll give him some good mental exhaustion and then my husband can take him on a run which will hopefully tire him out enough that he won't flip out when we leave.

our back up plan if he won't stop barking is that my husband will take him to work in the crate, but it's unclear if he'll tolerate that since he's skittish around crowds.

edited to add: actually lots of good things happened. he was just really cute and snuggly every time i let him come up and cuddle. his anxiety is just super stressful right now!

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 4:06 pm 
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Such a cutie! I hope his anxiety gets better soon!

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 6:14 pm 
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The first few weeks and months with a new dog are always a little tough. Just be patient and consistent and he'll soon begin to understand how things work in his new home, and that he is safe and loved in his new home. It's just as much a matter of you getting used to his habits and preferences as it is him getting used to yours. I love him, he's adorable! He looks like he's already right at home. Congratulations!

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 8:36 pm 
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thanks erika! he's so freaking cute at home, but.... i took him to the vet today and he was so aggressive. He would definitely have bit the tech and the vet. They were super gentle and patient with him and tried sitting on the floor and giving him treats, but ultimately they couldn't do anything because he got so freaked out when they even made a slight move to touch him. So, i called a trainer that they recommended for his type of fear aggression and she's coming over to work with us on Monday. he scared me cause he was so aggressive. he ate treats out of the vets hand, but just absolutely flipped when she tried to touch him at all.

I do really think he'll be trainable and he'll be able to be less fearful once he gets used to us and we do a better job of being consistent with him. That was just so freaking scary cause we haven't seen him like that at all.

The good news is, the barking when we leave stuff has gotten better. he's been ok left alone for about 4 hours at a time while we are at work, so that's something. i cried at the vet cause i felt so bad that he was so scared!

Right now he's just chillin' on my lap like nothing happened, so at least he's not completely traumatized! Thank you for reading my venting on here! I dont want to have an aggressive dog that we can't trust around people that's just bad for him and us!

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 9:49 pm 
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Aw! It's a lot of change for a little guy, and although he seems to be taking a lot of it in stride, it's understandable that anything that doesn't involve treats or cuddles from his new humans might freak him out. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience at the vet. I can't tell you how lucky Bigby is that you are willing and happy to do everything necessary to help him with these issues, including a trainer specializing in fear aggression.

I've had Biscuit almost a year now, and it's taken just about that long for her to get truly settled in. Even so, she straight up peed on someone's bed during our camping trip this weekend! Thankfully it was while she was taking the linens off to pack up, so I snatched them right up and had them in the washing machine as soon as I got home and the host's mattress was not soiled. But it was a good reminder that it sometimes takes a long time for a dog to be completely 'trained.'

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 10:19 pm 
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Thanks Erika! That's encouraging that it sounds like he's doing ok with some stuff. I really think he'll be ok eventually. I think we really need some training to learn how to treat him so he doesn't develop more of these aggressive behaviors/fear. Poor little pup. He was rescued from an orange county high kill shelter and was probably a stray so who knows what he'd been through.

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 5:32 pm 
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Tungsten was pretty reactive when he was younger so I tried all the vets in one practice until I found he really preferred one doc over the rest. For the longest time we only used her. Now he has mellowed and is better with men but personal chemistry can play a big role with the nervous guys.

Sounds like he has some pretty standard fear aggression, you guys will do great! It just takes time. Remember to not let yourself get too stressed out when he is being reactive, just take a step back and a deep breath and note all the small improvements he is making.

He is adorable, congrats.

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:34 am 
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Guys, the trainer the vet recommended came over and was horrible. She provoked our dog to "see how far he'd go" which was pretty forking far in terms of aggression and then told us we should give the dog back. She was only here for about 15 minutes. The dog is fine after that, but I am traumatized. After talking to friends and the woman from our rescue we were able to calm down and the rescue woman recommended another trainer who we are going to try. He still has these aggressive fear reactions and I feel like we mostly need a trainer to help us learn how to manage his issues. But anyway, I'm so upset about that woman because she made me think our dog is beyond help.

Right now he's just snuggling up on his bed as cute as can be. I'm just so worried that we are going to find out something bad about him or that some other type of training will damage him even more.

Aaanyway, this is just a vent. I do feel like we can move past this at least in dome fashion. I appreciate everyone's advice on here.

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:20 pm 
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I recommended Ahimsa and Grisha Stewart in the thread on separation anxiety but I just wanted to mention her again. Even if this other trainer works out, they have a lot of good resources on positive training. Intentionally provoking a dog sounds bonkers. And cruel.

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:09 pm 
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monkeytoes wrote:
I recommended Ahimsa and Grisha Stewart in the thread on separation anxiety but I just wanted to mention her again. Even if this other trainer works out, they have a lot of good resources on positive training. Intentionally provoking a dog sounds bonkers. And cruel.


Thanks, MT! I looked them up and they have a specialist for aggression issues, but she's booked up till august! I sent them an email about it, too, so hopefully they'll get back to me soon. I know this trainer that the rescue woman recommended is not a positive reinforcement guy, so i'm super nervous about it. but we figure we'll try one session with him and if it seems too harsh, we'll start talking to everyone else. we'll also just make sure if we can't handle what he's doing we'll make him stop and take bigby home. according to the woman from the rescue he hasn't been like this before, so i want to get it figured out quickly so we dont reinforce his behavior.

he's so cute and sweet with us it's heartbreaking to see him so stressed out.

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 Post subject: Re: Bigby!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:49 pm 
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That trainer sounds terrible. I hope you let the vet know you had a very negative experience! I'd hate for them to recommend her to anyone else. Sounds like she watched too much stupid Cesar Romero or something- just terrorize the dog until it's too overwhelmed/traumatized to fight back anymore! Problem solved! Uh, no, dickface.

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