Bichon Frise afraid of husband

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vikkybear
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:23 pm

Bichon Frise afraid of husband

Post by vikkybear » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:28 pm

I need help so bad! Our newly adopted Bichon is afraid of my husband. We were told that she is not familiar with men, she has not been around them all 6 years of her life. Yet, she is ok with other men, just not my husband. We have tried all of the things that Victoria suggests, and she just doesn't seem to be coming around. I need Victoria so bad! Can anyone suggest anything other than treating, avoiding eye contact, turning sideways...we've tried it all...

Any help would be appreciated!

Vikky

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Nettle
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Post by Nettle » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:42 am

These things take time. How long have you had your dog?
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

vikkybear
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Post by vikkybear » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:42 am

We've had her for 1.5 months. I just see how awesome Victoria is on her show, and I feel like it should be getting better by now. We're definitely hanging in there, I just wish she'd be doing filming in WV! I'd be begging for her help, then! Now, I'm only "just desperate". hahahaha

My husband is also the only one who feeds her, and when it's time to take her outside, i put the leash on her, then hand it over to him while she see's this.

I read conflicting info, tho. One person says to try all these things, and the next person says for him to just ignore her and let her come to him.

Oh well, we'll keep plugging away!

Thanks for your help,
Vikky

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Nettle
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Post by Nettle » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:31 am

Just relax and give it time :D The less pressure you put on her, the faster she'll come round.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:44 am

Sometimes it takes years for a dog to learn to trust, it took my Greyhound 3 years to trust me. Just accept what she will offer and don't put any pressure on her, she will come round eventually.
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vikkybear
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Thank you

Post by vikkybear » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:47 am

Thank you so much for the advice. So, the best bet is to give her space and ignore her?
Please Spay or Neuter your pet.

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Noobs
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Post by Noobs » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:40 pm

Is she afraid of him all the time, or just at certain times, like when you hand him the leash? I think the answers depend on when she's being fearful.

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Nettle
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Post by Nettle » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:31 pm

Yes, give her space and let her come to him in her own time. When she does, don't make a big deal of it or she'll back off again. Just a little chest scritch and a few quiet words will do for the first few times. Don't touch her head unless she offers it by pushing it into your/his hand.

Once she gets her confidence, she'll be all over him :D But it will take time.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

vikkybear
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:23 pm

You guys are awesome

Post by vikkybear » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:44 pm

Wow, such great advice! Thank you so much!!!!

Noobs, she is afraid of him all the time unless they are on the leash running around. If he walks into a room, she leaves, or goes behind the sofa.
Please Spay or Neuter your pet.

Maxy24
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Post by Maxy24 » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:57 pm

How much does she like treats?
You could try clicker training her to approach him. Just have hubby sit down on the floor away from her, you sit on the couch and wait. for every step she takes in his direction click and toss the treat away from him so she has to walk towards him again after she eats the treat. First click for one step and then work up to multiple steps. Make sure hubby does nothing and does not try to touch her or lure her or anything, let her do it herself.

If things go really well and she'll walk within a few feet you can get a target stick. It can be a regular old stick, I use a walking cane actually.
By yourself teach her to poke the end of the stick with her nose. once she gets good at that (dogs pick up on that one fast) and will touch it if you lift it over her head and will follow it if you move it away from her start incorporating it into the training with walking towards hubby.

Go back into the living room and again have him sit and wait for her to realize it's training time. get back up to the point where she gets pretty close to him (should not take long if she's done it several times before) and after you click and toss the treat away have your husband hold the target stick. It should be out as far as it goes. Click and treat for her poking the stick. SLOWLY if she seems calm, have him bring the stick closer and closer. Once she gets to about a foot away from him, hand him the treats and clicker. when she touches the stick he'll click and he should drop the treats, not hand them to her but drop them with small movements.

If she does well end the session. once she gets really comfortable with this, session after session you teach her to target your hand. It'll be the same as the stick, just poking your hand instead (dogs naturally sniff something that you offer them so offer your hand for a sniff and click then remove hand and repeat over and over). Once she's really good start the session with your hubby again, getting back up to where she walks up to him and touches the stick very close to him and he drops the treat. Then as she eats have him hold out his flat empty hand and wait for her to touch it. If you used a command you can see if she'll be okay with him gently saying the command, if it worries her then just have him wait. When she touches it click and treat. move on from there, have her get really good at touching his hand. he can eventually, once she really enjoys it, start moving the hand around, beside her, on the ground, away from her so she has to chase it and LASTLY above her so she stands to touch it.

from there the sky's the limit, teach her to touch his knee (have him put his target hand in front of his knee and then slowly remove finger after finger (as in go from open palm, to four fingers open to three to two and then just the pointer finger, the rest are in a fist) until he's just pointing to his knee so she'll learn pointing means to target something) and reward her for touching the knee then point to the knee, and pull finger away and see if she figures out that even when the finger is pulled away after pointing she should touch where he pointed. You may need to point a few times at first and click for attempts at touching the knee even if she pulls away at the last second. eventually she'll get that pointing means touch.

once you are there he can start pointing everywhere on him, his foot, his arm, his other hand, his face (close eyes) and then any object. it's a useful command.

Anyways using hubby as a prop can make the dog calmer, I've used it to desensitize a dog to loud noises (dropped a book on carpet (less intense than hard floor, we'll work up to that) and then offered her the book, she shied away and I told her to "touch" it and she did. Eventually as soon as i dropped the book she's run up and poke it for a treat, yay!).


The most important thing to remember is not to put a time on it. Don't expect it to happen in a month or two months or ever. Don't EXPECT anything. just do it and wait and wonder and see if anything happens, it might and it might not so try your hardest not to get frustrated.


I would also have both you and your hubby carry treats and a clicker on a wrist band at all times in the house. this way if she walks towards, sniffs, greets, licks or does ANYTHING to your hubby other than running and growling and shying away one of you can click and reward her for it (clicker is especially helpful since the moment may be really, just a moment, not enough time to get the treat to her mouth before she's done doing the positive behavior). Even if she jumps up on the couch on the opposite end from him it's something.

make sure he does not do anything detrimental to the relationship. no yelling or punishment from him and no touching, she is in no way ready for touching.


I really wish you luck, I can't imagine how heartbreaking it must be for you and your hubby, not only that your dog is afraid to be in her house with hubby but also because your husband must feel hurt. i really hope she gets better and comes around. keep us updated!

vikkybear
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:23 pm

great advice

Post by vikkybear » Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:27 pm

Thank you so much for all of that information. I will be going out and buying a clicker right away. I've always seen Victoria use it, but I never really thought to use one in this situation. We are definitely going to do that. I can't thank you enough for all of your help, and I will certainly be posting updates on how things are going!!!!

Thanks again!
Vikky
Please Spay or Neuter your pet.

Maxy24
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:08 pm
Location: MA, USA

Post by Maxy24 » Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:28 pm

yes clickers are great, they allow you to mark and reward even the smallest steps in the right direction, from a step forward to a quick glance at someone's face, really great tools to tell the dog "hey, that was right! a treat is now on the way!"

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