Max is Misunderstood Questions

Discussion in 'General Dog Chat' started by Vanessa Fragoso, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Vanessa Fragoso

    Vanessa Fragoso New Member

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    Max is Misunderstood

    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if you guys have experience with really anxious, scared, vocal, and just lonely dogs in general?

    My dog, Max, just turned 8 months and he lives with my boyfriend and I in an apartment. He has always been scared of everything. He is an excessive barker and has no confidence and no self-esteem. Currently, we are working with a behaviorist (Dr. Sueda/Dr.Cho) at VCA West LA Hospital and they prescribed Peroxatine and Trazadone. He has been on medication for about a month and a half and some of his behaviors have been changing a bit. I have seen improvement with meds and his daily training that I have been taught to do (because he is way too anxious with the trainers) but I feel like it is unnatural for him to not be in a social environment--with other dogs.

    I took him to the Culver City dog park (boneyard) last night and he was very vocal but he seemed very curious towards the dogs on the other side of the fence. He was scared but he was happy. I took him off his leash and he followed me everywhere and we walked and ran to each corner of the park several times jut to keep him distracted and active. The other dog who was also in the small dog area was very timid so he left Max alone and Max was content. Everything was fine until 2 small dogs came and one of them (10 months) was very curious about Max. He chased Max and Max did not want to get caught so he ran faster than I have ever seen him run. He then got up on the bench and was snarling at the little dog. The dog, Oreo, was confused but still interested in playing with Max but Max was just barking/growling/snarling. He didn't bite Oreo or hurt him in any way but Max didn't know what to do--all he knew was that he didn't want to touch the ground or the puppy. Like a cat, he even tried climbing on top of my head.

    I am reaching out to you guys because I have been doing everything I can to help Max build his confidence and I feel I may have sparked something good in him last night. I like hearing from different people because it gives me different perspectives and I know his behaviorist is going to raise an eyebrow when I tell her that I took him to a dog park and I even took his leash off but something in my gut knew that he would be okay and that maybe other dogs can help him break free and learn how to be the playful puppy he is with us at home.

    Do you have experience with these types of dogs? Do you think that Max could ever be comfortable with other dogs and people? How does everyone feel about excessive dog barking at parks? I feel like Max being around other people besides his 2 human parents would do him so much good but I also know that every dog is different and that different situations could arise.

    I really hope to hear some feedback, stories (whether good or bad) or advice/thoughts/concerns about what I did last night.

    --Vanessa & Max
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  3. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    Why pay for a behaviorist when you choose to ignore their advice

    You say he was scared but happy, a scared dog is not a happy dog and the dog park is the last place you should be taking him to.
  4. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    I have read your post on here, also the one with a little more background detail on our sister forum, and I second the people who are asking why you are not following your behaviourists advice. It is not your fault, but by not leaving his mother till 12 weeks, it seems that Max has missed some of the early opportunities to learn socialisation skills. However, he is still young and he should be capable of making great strides if you are prepared to be patient with him, and do not try to push him beyond his comfort zone before he is ready to move on to the next stage.
    I would follow the advice that you are paying for, and if you haven't already done so, do a little reading up about current methods. A really excellent small book to start with is, The Cautious Canine - How to help dogs conquer their fears, by Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D. Best wishes for Max's future progress.
  5. Vanessa Fragoso

    Vanessa Fragoso New Member

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    I should have clarified that at the time that he was being chased--he was scared. However, before--when it was just the other timid dog and his owner he was happy because he was off-leash and was able to run around and be free AND the other dog was leaving him alone. He was also very curious about the big dogs on the other side of the fence. It was late and I did that on purpose.

    You make a good point in why pay for a behaviorist if I'm not going to listen to her. I am not a first time dog owner but it is the first time getting a dog and living in an apartment. It's the first time even hiring trainers and behaviorists. It's the first time giving my dog daily medication. We have avoided socializing him and have just stuck to basic training and his daily schedule/walks.

    My goal for that night was for him to just see other dogs play since he never sees that. I was never going to even go into the park but he was so curious and he practically led me there himself. He's an animal. My fear is that his puppy months are coming to a close and he doesn't ever get the freedom of being off-leash and I think maybe that's a huge reason why he is so insecure. I have email communication with his behaviorist and she emailed me yesterday after reaching out to her about his medication and how his training is going. I have yet to hear her reply. :)

    Thanks for replying. :)
  6. Vanessa Fragoso

    Vanessa Fragoso New Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    Yeah, I needed to hear the voices of other dog owners. Max has changed my life drastically---I miss my family very much--I miss being able to have them come over and just say hi. I miss being able to leave the house and not worry if my dog will be okay on his own. I hate that I can't take him everywhere with me. I especially hate that we live in an apartment. I have been working so hard since the day we got him and there are times when I feel like giving up. However, he is a sweetheart and a cuddlebug and I can't see myself NOT helping him.

    Thank you for recommending that book--I saw the title on Whole Dog Journal and have been meaning to get it.

    I went to the shelter the other day because when I picked up Max they told me a couple just took his brother. They found them on the street together--if it were me to see them first I would've taken them both home. :( I told them about Max and they were able to give me the owners name---low and behold I found his brother on instagram! The family lives 15 minutes away and I was hoping to see if we can schedule a very organic meet and greet and hopefully Max remembers his scent. They are happy to do it and I am going to call his behaviourist about this to see what she thinks.

    Thank you for your input! :D

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