By Jove, I think I've got it!! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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By Jove, I think I've got it!!

I think I may have figured out Gryff and his dog-fear thing. We went for a hike today and met four dogs along our journey.

The first was a miniature Australian Shepherd. They sniffed and the other dog moved away and Gryff and the A.S. shared the space for a few minutes until we moved on.

The next was a Yellow Lab. He walked past Gryff and paid no notice and neither did Gryff.

The third dog was a King Charles. Gryff ran toward him and HE RAN TOWARD GRYFF. Immediately, game over. Gryff was cowering and trying to get away from him. He even growled.

The last dog was a West Highland Terrier. Gryff ran toward him and he just stood there. They did the butt sniff and then Gryff was jumping around like a maniac doing his Muhammad Ali dance and having great fun.

I think the story here is that Gryff likes to make the first move. He is afraid of any dog that appears to be aggressive even if it's just "Hey, I want to play." This even happens with his gal pal Maggie down the street. Gryff is either terrified or they play like maniacs. I will have to pay close attention next time, but I think it's when Gryff makes the move that he likes to play.

I don't know what to do about it, but there you have it. I'm very interested in your thoughts on the matter.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 05:35 PM
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That reminds me of Pablo tucking his tail in, getting the look and running screaming when little kids run towards/past him. Since you now know what's causing his fear, you can start treating him the moment you see another dog running towards him before he gets fearful. Don't know how easy it'll actually be to do this but it sounds great

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 06:08 PM
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You could be right about Gryff. Maddie loves other dogs. However, the only time she doesn't go up to a dog is when a large dog (and especially a large black dog) comes bounding at her. Even if the other dog is being playful, you can tell she's unsure and not happy. I think that's actually a good thing as these little dogs could be hurt by them. There is a huge Bernese Mt. Dog near us that wants to play, but swats at other dogs with his huge paws. He is pretty much uncontrollable in his exhuberance. Maddie does not like him. She absolutely loves the Goldens, labs, etc. that she works with, but not an out-of-control large dog bouncing at her. Gryff might just not like dogs that make the first move. Every dog is different.

Jeanne (Mom to Maddie)
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 08:12 AM
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It sounds like you just may have figured it out. I wish I had advice, but I can't even get Marble to share space with another dog unless I'm giving him a treat every 2 seconds. I'm sure someone will know what to do.
Gina

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 08:22 AM
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Ivy, it sounds like you're on to something. Cody becomes aggressive with big dogs when he's on a leash, but is fine (for the most part) when off leash and fine with small dogs. I spoke with a personal trainer who said it sounds like a fear issue, and recommended I read "On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals" by Turid Rugaas. The book just arrived yesterday so I haven't gotten very far but it describes the various ways dogs signal being uncomfortable/afraid and their signals for trying to calm themselves, other animals, and humans. Now that you've discovered what makes Gryff so uncomfortable I'll let you know if there's anything in it that might help him get over that fear.

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much Jill. I'd love any advice you can offer. It makes me sad to know Gryff wants to play, but is afraid to.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivyagogo View Post
Thanks so much Jill. I'd love any advice you can offer. It makes me sad to know Gryff wants to play, but is afraid to.
Tess is like that. She's just getting to the point where she'll stand still to allow dogs she know smell her (without looking like she's absolutely frozen with fear). Usually she's hiding behind me. But once she's in the house.... look out Cody - she's chasing him, nipping at his butt, trying to steal whatever he has. It's almost like she's doing everything she wanted to do when she was outside with the other dogs.

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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