A forum for owners of the Siberian Husky.
 
HomeFAQSearchRegisterRegisterLog in
Congratulations Sierra and Jen B!, our December HOTM winners! HOTM - January : TBA!
Husky of the Month
Congrats Sierra and Jen B,
our December HOTM Winners!
Winter Fun!





Thanks to all for this month's entries!
Forum Rules
1. Here we prefer clarity to agreement. Obviously not everyone is going to agree on a topic; here we prefer to talk out our differences in a respectful manner to ensure mutual understanding and respect.
2. Read the Stickies and Announcements. Each sub-forum may have specific rules which trump the Forum Rules in cases where there may be conflicting information. Read the rules of each board before you post so that you are clear on the expectations of the staff.
3. Respect ALL Staff and Admins. These people volunteer of their time and MUST be respected as well as their word adhered to. They are responsible for maintaining a free, open, clear and organized forum. Anyone found to be openly undermining any official ruling by a staff member will be warned.
4. Signatures: One picture only and no links. Images: To keep the forum looking neat and tidy, we ask that members insert just one picture only in their signatures. The picture should be no more than 200x500 pixels and should be of an appropriate subject, for example, your dogs and their names. Should you need assistance creating an appropriate signature, please PM an Admin and we would be happy to help! This is to ensure that signatures remain a welcome addition to our forum instead of a cumbersome distraction. Links: Hyperlinks in signatures--unless to a personal blog or photo stream of your dogs (like Flckr or Piscasa, for example)--are strictly prohibited. Please PM a staff member with any questions or concerns regarding this rule.
Rescue Spotlight
Our current rescue spotlight is:

Texas Sled Dog Rescue!

Top Dog Website Award Winner!

Top Website
for
Siberian

Huskys


Share | .
 

 Puppy freak-out---need advise

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Loki_Weston
Puppy
Puppy
avatar

Male Join date : 2016-02-08
Location : Windsor Ontario Canada

PostSubject: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Wed May 04, 2016 9:24 pm

Today i took Loki for a morning walk. We usually go for a walk in the morning, after Jenn goes to work, as i work nights and he needs some exercise after breakfast. He usually does great on walks and listens very well, however a new stimuli today caused a bit of a meltdown.

Towards the end of our walk, the street we were going down had a garbage truck coming towards us. When the garbage truck got to us, Loki went berserk. It was a fight or flight moment for him and fearing he would back out of his harness, i got down on my knees and grabbed him as he was trying to run away. Knowing that the truck would pass, i tried to just sit with him to get him to calm down, but once we tried walking again, he was in full escape mode. He was pulling as hard as he could, much harder than he ever has, to the point that his harness was to an extent making it harder for him to breathe. I stopped him multiple times to try and break him out of his fear but nothing would work. I even picked him up and started carrying him because he needed to catch his breath but was so scared he was still pulling like a horse.

It was a long stressful walk back to our house, and his body language the entire time was that of a frightened puppy. I got him home and gave him lots of water, and put him in his crate so that he could feel safe.

My question is, what could i have done in the moment to comfort him? Or calm him down enough that he doesn't feel so scared in the moment?
Back to top Go down
Tigerlord
Newborn
Newborn
avatar

Join date : 2016-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Wed May 04, 2016 9:33 pm

I haven't had a situation like this before, so take my advice with a grain of salt (or even a whole pinch).

My guess is something that would possibly help is giving him a 'heel' or 'come' command, trying to get his focus on you instead of trying to comfort him in his fear. I think being distracted from it in such a way would help. I also feel that stopping and holding him there to try to calm him down might have increased his fear as you reacted to the truck as well, holding him may have been seen as protective and giving him more reason to fear the truck. In the end, my suggestion is to use a very firm 'heel' or 'come' command to get his attention and continue walking normally so he doesn't feed off your reaction to the source of his fear.

I don't know the extent of his going berserk either, and I understand he may not have been in a state to even be able to listen, so you may have done the best thing possible.
Back to top Go down
TwisterII
Senior
Senior
avatar

Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Wed May 04, 2016 9:35 pm

When I first got my male he was scared of everything. To help him out I carried treats to try and redirect his attention when needed and give him something positive. When I didn't have food on hand I would get down on his level and pet and talk to him. We would sit for a long time if that's what it took until he calmed down and could continue forward in a controlled manner. We sometimes also paced back and forth in an area to try to build his confidence in the area instead of letting him flee as he wanted.

_________________
Back to top Go down
Artic_Wind
Senior
Senior
avatar

Male Join date : 2014-07-23
Location : San Diego, California

PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Wed May 04, 2016 11:51 pm

I actually would have done exactly as you did Steve, in fact I have done it that way with one of my past huskies. I'm not disagreeing with what Tigerlord advised you though, I never thought of it that way and it's good advice! And something you can probly do *now* that you know Loki might react that way with a trash truck, but in the moment, before you know he's going to react that way, I think you reacted well. In that moment, huskies anxiety level gets so high they pretty much zone out, you can see it in their eyes, and really, in my opinion, all you can do is keep Loki safe by keeping him as still as possible, until he calms down, otherwise the pulling can break the harness (it's happened to me), he can slip out of his harness (it's happened to me) if you're caught off guard, you can even stumble/fall, etc. in other words, a lot can happen in a moment like that, where Loki can break free from you and in his state of panic, it's not a good thing. But as I said, you are now kinda prepared that a trash truck or similar loud machine could make Loki panic and both TwisterII and Tigerlord gave you good ways to work him through it.
Back to top Go down
Loki_Weston
Puppy
Puppy
avatar

Male Join date : 2016-02-08
Location : Windsor Ontario Canada

PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Thu May 05, 2016 3:11 am

Yea, that's some good advice everybody. I know i reacted to his reaction to the garbage truck and that was not the best thing to do, however he reversed so fast that he was already starting to back out of his harness, and my first priority once i seen what he was doing was to arrest him from getting out of his harness. If he had slipped out, he would be gone. We have walked him next to busy roads, and never had something like that happen. His reaction just completely blindsided me and nothing i did even remotely calmed him down.

That being said, i had tried some verbal commands such as "sit" and "woah". I also tried to get him to turn around but he absolutely refused. I could see it in his body language, normally when i walk him his tail is curving upwards or even right up, with his ears very erect and facing foward, unless i issue a command, at which point he will turn his ear/s back because I'm speaking to him. Once he lost it, his tail was not between his legs but very close, and his ears were both turned back in case the garbage truck came back to get him. Maybe if i had tried some other verbal commands it might have got his attention but as Artic said, with how he was pulling I was starting to worry that he could break his leash or harness.

However, if i had some treats, that might have been a much better result. He is highly food motivated and I think he would have maybe calmed down with some treat distraction. I had actually gone down to his level when i tried to get him to sit and to talk him out of his meltdown but I might have given up too quickly.

Mind you I am a larger man, 6'3" and 215lbs, and how hard he was pulling was unbelievable. I knew I could hold on but I was getting very worried about an equipment failure. After i carried him for a few minutes he was not pulling as hard but I think that was due to how winded he was.

The garbage truck did have some very loud brakes, and the garbage man stepped off the truck almost right next to us. Any time a human is even close he wants to say hello and be friends, and I was anticipating him going towards the garbage man. But instead (the garbage man was to my right, and the leash was in my right hand) he went left and tried running the opposite direction we had been heading, and by the time i swung my head around he had already reversed his direction again and was trying to back out of his harness. It was like watching a car accident in slow motion, except I was just fast enough to prevent him from escaping. I stayed down with him as the garbage truck was going in the opposite direction until it went to the next house, at which point he decided our original route was his escape plan.

I have been looking at new harnesses for him (hes almost grown out of this one) and i think after this I'm just going to go ahead and order the Webmaster. His current harness is a step-in style with a broad fabric chest portion to prevent too much pressure on his chest when he is pulling, but is very easy for him to back out of. I watched him do it when Jenn had him on lead leaving our house, she was going down the stairs of our porch and in 2 seconds he was out. I was right behind him but it has been something i pay extremely close attention to when walking him, to never allow him to get the time or position to do so.

Thank the Husky Gods that garbage day is only Tuesday..
Back to top Go down
MiyasMomma
Senior
Senior
avatar

Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Thu May 05, 2016 12:56 pm

Steve, everybody gave excellent advice, now is the time to build confidence, or he will do this for thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. Get the better harness, carry treats, practice calmness and focus on you. Can be done on walks. Every so often change your course, have him sit once he is focused on you (you can try Loki watch me) and treat when he makes eye contact. When the garbage truck goes by your house, I would practice that type of drill with him in front of your house, some place he feels safe already and then practice the focus. Changing direction with the focus, will keep him on his toes so he will become used to change, and by teaching focus, he will eventually look to you for direction, so you can train calmness. Good luck, Miya was this way as a pup, she refused to walk under over passes, because of the loud trucks, so I understand how tough it can be. They become freakishly strong, haha, when they are scared.
Back to top Go down
lepp1892
Teenager
Teenager
avatar

Male Join date : 2014-02-18
Location : Hoschton. GA

PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Fri May 06, 2016 12:28 pm

When Gabby was around 6 months old she start to be afraid of Vans and SUV. Never really anything but the larger vehicles. I did start to notice when I would have treats on the walk she would care less about those things so i just made her focus on me when cars were driving by (as other people have already said). She eventually was broke of that fear. Sometimes I wish she was more fearful of cars driving down the road though. She is a pretty fearless dog now with the one exception being boat docks and deep water.
Back to top Go down
RedFlashFire05
Senior
Senior
avatar

Join date : 2015-05-19
Location : manteca, ca

PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Fri May 06, 2016 4:30 pm

Leo when did that freak out thing also, but instead of running he would nip me. i had to step on the leash and wait for him to calm down. treats, commands when out the window. and the roofers and table saw noise all at once freaked him out one time too but that time he just wanted to run, cause he could see what was making the noises.

i also started to leave the door open when the garbage truck passed by and he got curious and peaked at it i would give him a treat wail we were inside the house. i would also wait for the truck to pass by are house. if we saw it across the street and no freak out happened he would get a very special treat like jerky lol.
sometimes we would sit out in the front yard and wait for the truck to come and i would let him back up until he was conferrable and stayed calm and he would get treats too. also taking Joey with us also help him very much, and i noticed that he was calmer. eventfully he was okay with them just passing. we're still working on the big garbage truck that picks up the big metal bins, that come by the area and make banging noises when the bin is picked up. he's okay when they are across the street and he get a bit jumpy when the bin is lifted as it very loud. but his getting better.
Back to top Go down
Loki_Weston
Puppy
Puppy
avatar

Male Join date : 2016-02-08
Location : Windsor Ontario Canada

PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Tue May 17, 2016 4:11 am

Ok, well truthfully we have been avoiding these situations until his new harness arrived. It was just too much of a risk and knowing he has slipped out of his old harness before i just couldn't justify taking that risk. However, his new Webmaster harness is in, and i feel MUCH more confident with this. Wednesday is garbage day, so we will try to re-create the event and see if i can handle it better.

 It took him a few days to adjust to the Webmaster, he really protested at first, even refusing to walk for Jenn. He did better when i walked him but he was clearly not happy about it, but is much better after a few walks and spending almost all day Sunday in it. Overall I am really happy with the harness, and he will have a hard time backing out of it.

Back to top Go down
Loki_Weston
Puppy
Puppy
avatar

Male Join date : 2016-02-08
Location : Windsor Ontario Canada

PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Thu May 19, 2016 8:49 pm

OK, well couldn't find any garbage trucks but they are doing construction a few blocks away with some dump trucks and backhoes and I brought some handy treats to help. But they didn't help. I ended up getting him to walk back and forth a little bit and then got him to sit and focus on me. He didn't care about the treats at all. When we started walking again he went into pull mode, so i kept stopping him and calming him down and making him focus on me.

I think this will be something that will take a lot of exposure and time to desensitize him. The harness helps a lot, it gives me enough confidence to not panic when he panics and start immediately calming him down, and I noticed things are getting better already. He pulls like a horse already and the bigger he gets the stronger he will get. So hopefully my efforts will pay off. Thanks everyone!
Back to top Go down
amymeme
Senior
Senior
avatar

Female Join date : 2013-12-20

PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Thu May 19, 2016 11:49 pm

@lepp1892 wrote:
. She is a pretty fearless dog now with the one exception being boat docks and deep water.



lol!   we have a sailboat in a marina.  I thought we would be taking him out with us...ain't gonna happen. He's ok on the dock, it's wide and sturdy.  But to get to the boat you have to walk on a catwalk that's only 2 ft wide, probably 5' above the water and on ours, a bit rickety as well... I've tried a couple times but he just pancakes, legs splayed, toenails clutching at the dock for all he's worth.  Getting him to go further out on the catwalk is impossible.  If I turn around and head back to the main dock, he eagerly follows but is all slinked down and walks at half mast.
Back to top Go down
Artic_Wind
Senior
Senior
avatar

Male Join date : 2014-07-23
Location : San Diego, California

PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   Fri May 20, 2016 3:05 am

I like that harness. Even better that it secures him enough now that if anything freaks him out, you can concentrate on keeping him calm. I think this harness, and a little time experiencing *life* on his walks, this will all just be a memory Smile
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Puppy freak-out---need advise   

Back to top Go down
 

Puppy freak-out---need advise

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

 Similar topics

-
» Puppy refuses to eat..... Seeking advise
» Suzie B's Old Puppy :-)
» Tips for new baby with puppy
» how much should i bet feeding my puppy?
» Puppy climbing on other dogs heads

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
It's a Husky Thing - Siberian Husky Forum :: Advice and Discussion Forums :: General Discussions-