Nervous 11 week old puppy

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Titan2020, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Titan2020

    Titan2020 Registered Users

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    Jun 28, 2020
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    Hi everyone!! I am so incredibly happy to have found this forum as this seems like a great place to get quality advice regarding labs. We have an 11 week old silver lab who we absolutely adore. We got him when he was 8 weeks old and began obedience training at home after giving him a few day’s to adjust to his new home. I have previously owned a Doberman, but this is my first Lab.

    Titan is very eager to learn and please. He knows sit, stay, come, play dead, shake, and leave it. He sits and waits for his food, as well as at doors and is walking well on a leash with some pulling which I will begin addressing next.

    My issue is that he seems to be regressing in terms of socialization. We have exposed him to MANY different environments since bringing him home. He has been to the beach, different parks and trails, Petsmart, Petco, a small family owned pet store near our home, many walks (in different directions) around our neighborhood. We have been working hard to ensure proper socialization while doing our best to keep him safe and of course adhering to social distancing guidelines.

    Up until about two weeks ago he seemed to be a very well adjusted puppy. He was happy to greet and be approached by strangers and seemed confident overall. For some reason, this changed. He did not have any traumatic event or bad experience but yet he now does not like being approached by strangers. He does not react aggressively, but he does cower and back away when approached. If HE approaches them, he’s fine and sniffs and wags his tail, but if they try to pet him he is afraid. Today at his first puppy obedience class he was very nervous and urinated when the trainer approached him(this is a first). He was also fearful of the other puppies although he has no issues with our neighbor’s dogs or other dogs on our walks. Thankfully the trainer was very patient with him and he did warm up to her by the end of class.

    I have read that puppies sometimes go through a fear stage around this time, but I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this with their puppy. I did not have this issue with my Dobie. I don’t want to push him, but I am also worried that this is a crucial time for socialization and want to make sure we aren’t doing something wrong.

    I have been sure to make walks and new experiences very positive with lots of praise and treats for good behaviors and have also been asking people to give him treats on our walks.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated! I don’t care if he just becomes the type of dog that doesn’t want to be petted by random people, maybe he will just be shy and that’s ok. I just want to make sure the nervousness doesn’t turn into fear aggression. Thank you for reading!
     
  2. sarah@forumHQ

    sarah@forumHQ Moderator

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    Hi there, welcome to the forum - I love Titan's name!

    It sounds like you're doing everything just right :) A fear stage around 8-10 weeks old (give or take) isn't unusual in puppies, but some puppies do seem to experience them more profoundly than others. I think you're right not to push him into situations he's nervous of at the moment - it would be such a shame to have all your good work so far undone by a single overwhelming event. Keep making sure his encounters with new people and dogs are as happy and rewarding as possible, and hopefully he'll regain his confidence very soon!

    Good luck, and do come back and let us know how you're getting on!
     
  3. Titan2020

    Titan2020 Registered Users

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    Jun 28, 2020
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    Thank you so much for the advice! My 12yr old son named him as he is technically his dog

    We will keep working with him and being patient. His next puppy class is not this weekend but the weekend after. I planned on getting there a little early and letting him sniff around so he’s a little more calm by the time class starts.

    Have also been teaching “watch me” and “touch” which I hope will help him focus on us if he’s nervous and be more accepting of outstretched hands.

    Thanks again for the reassurance! It’s been so long since I’ve had a dog I often wonder if I know what I’m doing anymore lol.
     

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