14 Week old puppy scared of people

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Jess H, May 27, 2019.

  1. Jess H

    Jess H Registered Users

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    Hi,

    I have a 14 week old male Labrador he has been going on walks for just over 1 week now and he gets scared when we meet people that we don't know and even family members that we don't see often. He has only started being like this since starting to go out for walks. I was at the vets and they have met him over 3 times and he walk acting scared and even starting to bark at some people. I am going to puppy classes but not until Thursday as in my area there are not many. Can anyone recommend anything until then.

    Thanks

    Jess
     
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  2. Debs

    Debs Registered Users

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    He's only a baby, let his take his time. Let him see people, dogs, etc at a distance, don't over whelm him. He doesn't need to meet and greet every one he sees, including dogs. Just take things slowly.
     
  3. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    Do you have a Petco near you? Every Saturday and Sunday they have free puppy socialization group. It’s really good. They have a certified dog trainer that runs it.
     
  4. Jess H

    Jess H Registered Users

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    No nearest one is 5 hours away from me
     
  5. Jess H

    Jess H Registered Users

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    Thank you for the advice, think I may just be worrying too much
     
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  6. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    @Jess H you're not worrying too much.

    This bit of what you said concerned me though:

    Does this mean he's only been down on the ground away from the house for one week? So, only from 13 weeks onwards?

    The thing is that the socialisation period begins to end at 12 weeks and puppies really need to have experienced everything they are going to face in life, by the age of 12 weeks. If you have kept your puppy at home until he is 13 weeks old and only now taken him out, well that is a highly risky thing, in terms of him going on to develop behaviour problems later. Whilst there are some precautions to take until vaccines are finished, by no means does that mean you should keep your puppy at home until then....

    Have a read/watch of some of these links on socialisation:

    Now that you have identified that your puppy has a difficulty, it is extremely important not to just plop him in the middle of a busy class or surround him with things he cannot cope with. I would be very concerned about attending the puppy class and would suggest that you speak with the instructors first and perhaps ask if you can sit at a distance with him on your lap and just watch the class and monitor his behaviour. Leave if you feel he is scared. The reason for all this is that you will very likely 'sensitise' him further to these things - which is the opposite of socialisation.

    I would highly recommend that you enrol on Grisha Stewart's online puppy raising course and try to learn about some BAT principles (BAT was created by Grisha to help dogs and puppies that are afraid) so that you can help him in the world: https://grishastewart.com/empowered-puppy-raising/?s2-ssl=yes
     
  7. Jess H

    Jess H Registered Users

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    Thank you for this info, I have spoken to the instructors at the classes who are aware.
    Yes, he has only been going out walking since 13 weeks due to having his injections a week later than he should have due to the breeder not being truthful. But he hasn't been staying in the house constantly the whole 6 weeks I've had him, we have been out and about with me carrying him and going to different public places.
     
  8. Dallas

    Dallas Registered Users

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    In my experience, a lot of puppies go through a similar phase around this age, even if they have been consistently socialized before now.

    My little guy was only 4 weeks when I brought him home, because the mother tried to eat her pups, and the owners didn’t have time to care for the pups anymore.
    Because of him being so young, he needed me SO much more than he would have if he were 8 weeks. So he was with me everywhere I went, except the grocery store where he wasn’t allowed (I kept my grocery trips short, because of this)... so Dallas has been in many many social situations in the last 10 weeks, and has done pretty well. However, in the last week or so, he’s reverted to behaving as if he’s never been exposed to anything.

    I ignore the fearful or other unwanted behavior and say “Come on, silly boy. Try again” and go about my business as normal. Dallas realizes by my calm behavior that there is nothing to fear, and settles quickly. Geese honking is his biggest fear so far (thank God. That’s an easy fix!) yesterday we had a flock of Canada Geese flying overhead as Dallas was coming out the door to go potty, and he turned and ran back to his crate. I had to laugh, and carry him out the door. I knew he was going to stick to me like glue instead of going potty, so I walked around the whole yard the entire time the geese made noise. Eventually Dallas relaxed and went potty while the “scary” noise was going on, and he got tons of praise.

    This is not the only age that a puppy will seem to “lose” what they’ve already learned... around 6-12 months of age, they go through a “teenage” phase, where all their manners go out the window. They push every single boundary they’ve ever had put in place. It can drive a person crazy! But, thank God, we have this forum to come to for reminders that we’re not alone, and we can get helpful advice.
     

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