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Chloe refusing to go outside

2286 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Mikey T
For the past day, Chloe has been refusing to go outside. I say outside and she comes to the door but as soon as I open the door she lies down. She eventually comes out but then it is a huge struggle to get her go down the hall. She used to love going outside. The only thing I can think of that changed was that she met up with another puppy yesterday and he was jumping at her. Chloe had the tail between the legs. I quickly got her out of the situation. Do you think this could have caused her setback?
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Maybe. Pups go through a couple fear stages before they are fully grown. Its important that you don't baby her. If you coddle and give attention when she becomes afraid you are reinforcing the fear behavior. Just go about your walk or what have you as if nothing is wrong because nothing is wrong. You can try to make things that scare her more fun for her such as by taking treats with you and working on training for treats.
I had a dog who got jumped by a pit bull getting off the elevator in our condo. He wouldn't get on the elevator after that for several weeks. The manager loved my basset so much, and was so upset that this mean dog had upset my guy, that she evicted the other dog.
Its important that you don't baby her. If you coddle and give attention when she becomes afraid you are reinforcing the fear behavior.
Where this idea got starte i don't know but more than likely by those that thing think dogs are status seeking members of packs as well. This is a very persistent myth that has no basis in reality.
It is impossible to reinforce fear
Myth of Reinforcing Fear
Copyright 2007, written by Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D. and Daniel Q. Estep, Ph.D., Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists.
There seems to be a persistent belief that it is possible to reward fearful behaviors without rewarding the emotion of fear. This may be true in people. We all know individuals with a “martyr” mentality who will act fearful and helpless just to get attention and have others take care of them.
This doesn’t seem to be true for animals. They don’t pretend. If they don’t feel afraid, they don’t act afraid. When their emotional state changes, so do their behaviors.
You Can’t Reinforce Fear; Dogs and Thunderstorms
Patricia McConnell, a certified applied animal behaviorist and dog trainer
: “You mustn’t pet your dog if he runs to you because he is afraid of thunder.”
That’s just wrong. Totally and completely and utterly wrong, but it has gathered gravitas, as things often do, because it has been repeated over and over again

On the other hand coddling is limited in usefulness as wellReinforcing Fear II, Thunder Phobia III
Indeed, there is research that some interpret to mean that our petting has little effect at all: As I mentioned in a 2008 Bark column (and an alert reader posted), Dreschel & Granger (Applied Animal Beh Science, 2005) found that cortisol levels, a measure of stress, did not decrease when owners pet their dogs during storms. (The most important factor in decreasing cortisol was the presence of other dogs.) However, note that a study by Odendaa & Meintjes (2003, Veterinary Journal) found that cortisol in dogs doesn’t decrease when we are petting them at other times, (although it does in us when we pet them!). However, it is important to remember that cortisol is not the be-all and end-all of indicators of emotion. The authors found that other indicators of internal affect, such as feel-good hormones like oxytocin and prolactin, increased when the dogs were petted, which suggests that stroking did indeed have a positive effect. And hey, if a dog’s behavior changes such that he is no longer pacing and panting while I rub his belly, I’m going to rub his belly!

In dealing with fear there are too basic techniques. On that is often Demonstrated it limited effectiveness by Cesar Milan is known as flooding. THe is making a dog face his fears. i.e. forcing the dog outside. This is like putting a person with archnophobia in a room with 10,000 spiders and not lettining them out until they are no longer afraid. Flooding comes with a lot of consequecen it can cause compete emotional shut down, Can it work yes but when some one recommends you need to keep in mind the consiequense and be willing to deal with them as well

Training jargon
Flooding: By forcing a dog to deal with something that scares it, you are using ‘flooding’ as a technique to try to get them to get over their fears. The problem with this is that it often doesn’t work the way you want it to. A dog may get over their fear of something, but they can instead become sensitized to the thing they fear or merely habituated to it. Even worse in my mind is that the dog looses trust in you. The best way to train a scared dog is to help it learn how to control its world without behaving in a fearful or aggressive way. Flooding teaches many scared dogs that their only way out of a bad situation is to shut down.
Don't flood fear

What does work is classical conditioning to change the dogs underlying emotional state in a particular situation - counter conditioning and desensitiving.

Desensitization and Counterconditioning[/quote]

for example if you are araid the dog migh bolt out the door you can use a lead but it should never be tight it is your job to make that happen. Otherwise it is best to star with the dog not on a lead at all. Set the dog up in a sit farther back from the front door than wher it stop when it refuse to go out. Open the door give the dog a treat. it move forward reward the dog. the idea is to show the dog good thing happens when it approaches outside, but alway allow the dog to retreat on its own. Giving the dog the freedom to retreat gives them the confidence to expolre further. knowing they can retreat if the experience becomes to intense. It may take a couple day but you should to proceed pretty quickly in getting the dog back outside.

The socialization periond in dogs development cycles were once called fear periods because it was first noticed that they were more sensitive to things during these times. It is sort of a doubled edge sword you need to exposed the dog to new experience so in the future they weill not be afraid. when the dog gets older they will naturaly react with fear to thing they have not been exposed to. At the same time a bad experience durring this time can create fear in the dog. So you need to try and make all experience pleasant. Keep in the real world this is actual impossible. one can not control what others emotional reaction will be like the Child that is afraid of clowns. You jst need to deal with fears as they come up in a kind and gentle manner.



The most important thing to remember when dealing with fear is that the dog must never be forced, held or made to "face his fear." Panic can be permanent. Terror can be irreparable. "Coping" equals "flooding." A tight leash or being trapped when afraid creates sensitivity. Over-intensifying results in SENSITIZING. Sensitizing increases the negative reaction to the original stimulus and can create global fear. The dog must not be overwhelmed
The Unfortunate Popularity of Fear
Puppy buyers are often misled that poor temperament is "just a fear period," or "all puppies do that," or "that's normal for this breeding" when in fact it is not "normal" for a pup to show protracted, chronic fearfulness of age-appropriate, common environmental stimuli. (As opposed to assaultive, injurious, or otherwise significantly traumatizing experiences, such as a rough mauling by another dog, which has a higher risk of imprinting a fearful association. Pain matters.)

... a 9-week-old pup shows fear and seizes up the first time it encounters, say, a reflective floor, and this fearful reaction persists unabated on the fifth, tenth, and twenty-third time the pup encounters this same floor -- heads up. This is not the emotional or cognitive wariness of novelty or the unknown as intended by the concept of "fear imprint period." This pup has experienced this non-life threatening stimulus many times, and the pup with well-balanced nerve and cognative function should by now be fully conditioned to co-exist fearlessly with that environmental element.

This is the area of temperamental weakness where we see the term "fear period" most commonly misunderstood and inappropriately applied. The chronically fearful youngster demonstrates a lack of capacity to intellectually categorize a benign environmental element (a reflective floor or the wind or the furnace vent or the toddling child or the wet grass or the car horn or the door closing or . . . .) as something that is not a threat to survival and therefore should not be feared. This pup fails to sequentially resolve and integrate the sensory encounter, even after repeated opportunities to do so. The stimulus is never successfully processed and categorized in the pup's brain as something "known" because of faulty cognitive function and insufficient association with and memory of prior life experience.
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