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Regular Contributor
Posts: 246
Registered: ‎01-29-2015

Re: Does anyone have experience with a puppy who is afraid to leave the yard / house?


@juanitalinda wrote:

Oh yeah ... my German Shepherd was/is just like that. 

 

We had one routine that  often worked with her when she balked.  I would walk up and touch  the gate/fence/leaf/door .. or whatever terrified her at the moment.  I'd make try to be very happy and light-hearted.  Pretty soon  that good old German Shepherd protectiveness would kick in.  

 

Once she saw me touching that scary thing she would approach it slowly and then sniff or lick it.  She wanted to make sure it was safe for me.  

 

As to prozac ... I hear ya.   We use CBD oil and patience.  Sometimes Composure Pro helps, but not always.   We were prescribed prozac, but decided to go with CBD oil.  It has gotten us through, but I have to say she is still  hyper vigilant at almost 2 years old. 

 

One other thing that worked when she was in a fearful situation was to put on soft music.  It seemed to short-circuit her anxiety.  Come to think of it ... I need to start doing that again.  

 

Re the other comments on fear periods.  I agree there are fear periods, but in Juneau's case, they went on for weeks and  months and affected her ability to get socialized.  So ... every dog is different. 

 

 

The bolded areas are steps my mom and I took too. It made a HUGE difference in Orla. 


 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 246
Registered: ‎01-29-2015

Re: Does anyone have experience with a puppy who is afraid to leave the yard / house?

We're so happy things are working out for us. She still has "crazy days," but they're fewer than they were. Now that the weather's starting to get better, we're spending more time outdoors too and that's helped as well. 

 


@juanitalinda wrote:

@KaliaMonet wrote:

Your puppy does NOT need Prozac. A good, reputable vet would know about what I'm going to tell you. 

 

German shepherds go through two "fear periods." Yours is going through her first. She is going to be afraid of A LOT of things. This is just something German shepherds go through. You need to be extra patient and introduce your puppy to things slowly, praise her, and let her know that the objects she's afraid of aren't scary.

 

We went through it with my mom's shepherd, Orla. She was afraid of the weirdest things: Lawn bags, leaves, t-shirts (she was  fine if we wore long sleeves since we got her when the weather was still cold, so we didn't wear short sleeves), spoons, and even the neighbor's dog she was previously friendly with. 

 

The fear periods are annoying, but you'll get through it. Just introduce her to things, let her check them out, praise her when she does well. She'll go through another period in a few months, but you'll be more prepared.

 

Just so you know, my shepherd was an absolute demon when we got her. She's over a year old now, we trained her at home, and she's turning into a wonderful companion. Shepherds are a hard breed and take extra love and dedication. You're going to come across some WEIRD issues and issues that will make you want to rip your hair out. You'll be fine!  Hang in there!

 

Also, if you're on Facebook, I recommend joining some of the GSD-specific groups that will be more helpful than the QVC forum. The groups "My GSD" and "Me and My GSD!" got me through our first year with Orla. The tips and discussions were valuable, and you have a strong support system behind you. Check these two groups out! 


 

 

Hi there.  I am so glad things worked out with your mom's dog.  I remember how stressful it was last fall when you were unsure it was going to work out.  You guys did good! 


 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 246
Registered: ‎01-29-2015

Re: Does anyone have experience with a puppy who is afraid to leave the yard / house?

You're going to be just fine! Our girl was nutty and massively terrible. My mom and I looked like abuse victims with the biting and grabbing phase, but we kept pushing through. GSDs are not easy dogs, but once you get past the weirdness, there's a great dog there. It takes LOTS of patience (and wine after the poor dog goes to bed, lol!). But, you'll get there. Just make sure she doesn't push you around. Stay firm in being her mama while gentle when she's unsure about everything. 

 


@Bubbles219 wrote:

@KaliaMonet wrote:

Your puppy does NOT need Prozac. A good, reputable vet would know about what I'm going to tell you. 

 

German shepherds go through two "fear periods." Yours is going through her first. She is going to be afraid of A LOT of things. This is just something German shepherds go through. You need to be extra patient and introduce your puppy to things slowly, praise her, and let her know that the objects she's afraid of aren't scary.

 

We went through it with my mom's shepherd, Orla. She was afraid of the weirdest things: Lawn bags, leaves, t-shirts (she was  fine if we wore long sleeves since we got her when the weather was still cold, so we didn't wear short sleeves), spoons, and even the neighbor's dog she was previously friendly with. 

 

The fear periods are annoying, but you'll get through it. Just introduce her to things, let her check them out, praise her when she does well. She'll go through another period in a few months, but you'll be more prepared.

 

Just so you know, my shepherd was an absolute demon when we got her. She's over a year old now, we trained her at home, and she's turning into a wonderful companion. Shepherds are a hard breed and take extra love and dedication. You're going to come across some WEIRD issues and issues that will make you want to rip your hair out. You'll be fine!  Hang in there!

 

Also, if you're on Facebook, I recommend joining some of the GSD-specific groups that will be more helpful than the QVC forum. The groups "My GSD" and "Me and My GSD!" got me through our first year with Orla. The tips and discussions were valuable, and you have a strong support system behind you. Check these two groups out! 


Thank you for sharing your experience ~ I found it very encouraging.


 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,190
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Does anyone have experience with a puppy who is afraid to leave the yard / house?

You just need to build the pup's confidence. Vocal rewards, affirmative contact (petting, stroking scratching whatever your pup likes) and even food rewards for going just a bit farther can all help. Watching and learning to recognize when the pup starts to get stressed out and responding before he's in panic mode helps also. See the first signs of stress and get down on the ground with the pup and reassure him it's okay. Take a favorite toy along on the walk also and play a bit if you see him getting stressed. Dogs have far better senses than we do and strange smells, sounds and sights can be very scary to a young pup. Another dog that's marked a territory is like a no trespassing sign to a dog. Think how you'd feel walking into a space marked "No Trespassing. Violators will be shot" and you can get some idea of how a marked area feels to a pup. If you've walked through the no trespassing zone everyday and never gotten shot or confronted, it becomes less and less scary to you. It's the same with the pup. Building his confidence is the key. It just takes time and patience. Rewards in the form of vocal praise, petting/stroking, and food can help him overcome his fear, but it won't happen quickly. Just be patient and understand he senses the world around him differently than you do.

Fly!!! Eagles!!! Fly!!!
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,536
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Does anyone have experience with a puppy who is afraid to leave the yard / house?

@Bubbles219 , My Sheltie puppy was exactly like this.  I got her at 12 weeks old. She’s now 7 and the only thing that’s gotten better is she can now survive a trip to the groomer without being on a drug to calm her down. 

 

Loud noises and vehicle engines make her crazy. She runs around the house barking and getting all worked up. She spins in circles and given the chance, she’d chase the cars that travel our road.  Because of this, I never take her off our property except for vet or groomer appts.

 

Thankfully we live on 10 acres. She has a perimeter collar that keeps her near the front porch. Our house is set up on a hill and the road is a few acres down. She’s fine outside unless a delivery truck comes up our long driveway or dh mows. Then I have to bring her inside because she will run past the perimeter to chase. She’s only outside when we’re home and can keep an eye on her. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,213
Registered: ‎07-19-2013

Re: Does anyone have experience with a puppy who is afraid to leave the yard / house?

Your baby hasn't much confidence, or so it seems... I agree with a few other posters - take very small steps, consult a breed rescue for German Shepherds and ask someone for a few vital pointers to help your pupper. (usually the breed rescues deal with trauma of all kinds including shy or fearful pooches)

Don't give up/be too forceful/or act short with him.  Kindness, compassion and love along with a tad bit of research will hopefully result in a new and improved lil bub!

Keep us posted on the progress and kiss 'im on the forehead for me....y'know - the soft spot between the eyes!

Contributor
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎06-17-2010

Re: Does anyone have experience with a puppy who is afraid to leave the yard / house?

We adopted a dog from the Humaine Society that was rescued from a puppy mill. Our situation was the same but different than yours. We took small steps with training using bits of food (Chicken breast). We used bits of food when we went for walks because everything terrified her. So as we walked, she was was rewarded with food and praise. Gradually there was more distance between the food and verbal praise until we just started the praise and removed the food. It took a bit of time, but it worked. We used this with going up and down stairs and going outside. She never walked on grass before, so it terrified her.  Hope this helps

Contributor
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎06-17-2010

Re: Does anyone have experience with a puppy who is afraid to leave the yard / house?

We found some good suggestions from the ASPCA on line