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Border Collie Puppy is fearful/afraid of me...

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by TR0Y, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. TR0Y

    TR0Y New Member Registered

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    Hi all!

    My second time posting here.

    I have a Border Collie which is about 15 weeks old. She loves my wife and this kids very much and it’s clear they have the dog’s trust. Myself though, the male, is another story altogether...

    The dog won’t come near me unless my wife is in the room. If everyone goes too bed and I’m downstairs watching TV, she will hide behind the sofa and won’t come out until I got too bed. She won’t even go and use her toilet mat. I can’t let her because she runs away. My wife has tried to bring her to me while in her arms. The dog will allow me to touch her but only from the neck down. We don’t even attempt to do this anymore because it’s clear she looks very unsure and afraid under those circumstances and I don’t want to force the dog by any means.

    On a more positive note, she has warmed up too me a little. She will accept treats from me and will even play fetch or tug-o-war with me but that’s it!

    I’m not sure what other trust building exercises I can try but I am concerned that this will lead and stay into adulthood of the dog’s life.
     
    houseof_fraser likes this.
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    What do you know of her previous life? Is it possible there might have been men who were less than kind to her? Or is it possible she hadn't met men before? Also, can I ask if you're a relatively large person with a deep/loud voice?

    I think you are best backing right off. Don't try to touch her or approach her, and try to position yourself/her so she always has an 'escape route'. You don't say where she sleeps, but maybe settle her there before the rest of the family go to bed?

    If she'll take treats from you and play tug, that's a good start. I would throw treats for her rather than get her to take them from you though, unless she seems 100% fine with this - sometimes a dog can be lured into a 'scary place' by a treat, and then once the treat is gone, they suddenly remember that they're too close to this big scary person... :eek:

    For now, trust is built best by ensuring that she can always rely on you not doing anything worrying. Build on tug, do some other fun training with her, play ball with her, so she associates you with fun and all things positive.

    BTW, training pads aren't ideal - they can confuse a dog as to whether it's OK to toilet inside the house or not, and they can mistake the texture of a carpet/rug for a training pad...
     
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  3. TR0Y

    TR0Y New Member Registered

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    Thanks for the reply!

    Don’t know much of her previous life but from what the wife says, when she collected her, the environment was rather unhygienic. She came from a house with young children though.

    As for my physical description... I’m not very tall. About 5.5ft maybe. I do have a deep voice though and I have tried softening my voice but it hasn’t helped much.

    She does have a dedicated bed to sleep on but doesn’t use it much unless she’s in the room with the wife.

    The training pads were a temporary thing until she has had her vacs which are now all sorted. Outdoor training is underway.
     
    Ragsysmum likes this.
  4. DixD

    DixD Guest

    I didn’t worry too much about training pads. We had a very small breed youngster, who couldn’t go out for a month because of snowfall. He made the transition fine, and always used his puppy pad in the house when he couldn’t go out. It just depends on the dog.

    For dogs that are very timid, even looking at them straight on, and even gentle coaxing, can be too much pressure. Like the previous poster said, throwing treats on the ground can be a goid way of giving them. It’s good to associate yourself with all the pleasant things in a dogs’ iife, such as making up the food, the noises and smells tgat mean dinnertime. When you see her taking an interest, you know you’re headed in the right direction. Think of her a bit like a fawn, watching you from behind a tree, and ready to hide away. I imagiet tgat’s a bit like she feels. :)
     
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  5. Alexliu

    Alexliu New Member Registered

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    You should invest just as much one-on-one time as possible together with your frightened canine. This is the simplest way to assist your dog acquire your trust!

    Some pet parents advise that in case your canine won’t come near you, then you definitely should bring a few treats in your wallet all the time. Your dog will scent these snacks and eventually be curious enough to approach you.

    Once your pet is happily arriving your decision for love regularly you should start playtime. Playtime having a tennis ball, a tug plaything, a Frisbee or perhaps only a really long walk are great bonding actions you may enjoy together with your pet.
     
  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    No. People with, for example, a fear of snakes don't overcome it by being thrown into a snake pit. By spending one on one time you are forcing the dog to do something she is uncomfortable with. OP, follow the earlier good advice and try to ignore your dog, let her choose when to come to you, and her confidence will grow as she learns she has the control not to be forced to do anything she is unhappy about.
     
  7. houseof_fraser

    houseof_fraser Member Registered

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    hey,

    just a little personal experience here to add incase it helps. Our collie was very afraid of men in peaked hats in particular but also afraid of all men and very wary of them. He wouldn’t let them touch him or come anywhere near him. Fortunately my father and brother both own and frequently wear peaked caps so we were able to gradually expose him.
    Basically, in the beginning dad just played ball with Eli and as he knew he had to bring it back to play he would come up cautiously and sort of toss it back to my dad. Dad just let him do that and kept throwing. He also gives him a piece of toast every week day morning (I know it’s not ideal but it’s just their ritual) and I think that has greatly increased the bond. I never give him toast so it’s just their thing -perhaps you could have something like that? Like it’s only you who ever gives the pup cheese or sausage or something similar and agree that no one else in the house ever does. That way it’s your special thing.
    Collie’s are ever so easy to scare, once our other collie wouldn’t come near me for a few hours because I was kicking the ball for her and it accidentally hit her :-( so I would just be super careful not to push her.
    I haven’t read through the comments but I bet there are a whole heap of really great suggestions so I just thought I’d add mine about the ball playing and the toast ritual hehe. Oh I forgot to add the results though - now Eli loves my dad to bits! He actually seeks attention from him, bending under his arm for strokies and would follow him anywhere, there’s no fear there. He is still wary of men in flat caps but it is much better and he is never afraid of my father or brother when they wear there’s.
    It took a while by the way and I’d say it’s only recently that Eli has been actively seeking attention and cuddles from my dad but it was lovely to see their bond growing over time. You’ll get there, you’ll see! :)
     
  8. TR0Y

    TR0Y New Member Registered

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    Update: 2 weeks later, I didn’t think I’d see this coming...

    684D5C06-E001-4FD0-AF45-C4993A845F96.jpeg
     
    Biker John, Ragsysmum and Mad Murphy like this.
  9. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    :):):)
     

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