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Scared of outside; Oscars progress to date
Topic Started: 16 Oct 2012, 18:36 (607 Views)
Muppett
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The only sensible one here....
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Oscar just in case you don't know is our 2 and a bit year old boxer boy (haven't worked out how to do pics here yet)

He arrived at 7 months old a very scared and shut down boy, time and lots of patience taught him that he has nothing to fear from us and in the house and garden you would think he is a perfectly 'normal' boxer.

He is less nervous with visitors and even begs for treats from my SIL now :grin:

He was initially terrified of leads - any lead - anywhere in the house :unsure:

We spent months getting him used to them and literally had piles of them in every room :lol:

He will now walk quite happily on his lead around the house and in the garden but hits the floor or panics as soon as either the front door or back are opened :(

Now other than trips to the vet etc he doesn't 'have' to go out so if he never gets over this fear it's not the end of the world but he is a lively lad and I know he would love wandering over the fields and through the woods

So if you have survived my waffle so far how can I get him over this hurdle and out into the big wide world?

Yours hopefully

Me and Oscar
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jackied
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I think you've been very wise and patient getting him this far and not forcing him to go out. I have a dog that doesn't like going out either, though not as bad as Oscar as long as he's sure he's going on the normal walk he knows well and not in the car.

I'm not an expert, but I would begin with putting the lead on - or maybe even just picking the lead up - opening the door, yummy treat (if he'll take one), quickly close the door, lead off, all without making him take a step towards the door. Start with whichever door he is least scared of, and at the far end of the room from the door. I wouldn't do anything else until he's completely happy with that. Then you could start doing it a bit closer to the door or leaving the door open for longer (not both at once). Do you clicker train? You could also try clicking him for looking at the open door - I do a lot of that with Twix and Scary Things.

BAT is very good with scaredy dogs. http://functionalrewards.com/ I'm sure you could adapt the idea to going out through the door - one step through the door is rewarded by immediately going back inside again. After a while he would be able to take two steps before getting the reward etc. It makes them feel more in control.

Having said that, last year I spent weeks desensitising Twix to having his harness put on at odd times and teaching him the fun game of 'sniff the car keys' . I thought we were doing really well but the moment I had to take him out for real it all went out the window again!
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BunterJo
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Witchy Grumpy Cow
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Hi Trudi :)

I second what Jackie is saying and that you've done a wonderful job so far :goodjob:

Next steps would be building up really positive associations with the door, then it being opened, then one step outside, then two steps. Literally building it one step at a time, so he is never asked to do more than he can cope with.

If you pair the scary thing (the door) with a yummy thing (goodies) then he will build a positive association with it. You want the scary thing to become a predictor of the yummy thing, so need him to look at the door for a goodie, then when he is OK with that, move onto him taking a step towards the door for a goodie, gradually building up to being right next to the door. Once he is by the door, you could then just put your hand on the door handle and give him a goodie, then moving the door handle, then cracking the door a bit... Basically break everything down into tiny steps, reward Oscar at every step and ensure he is comfortable before moving on.

Hope that helps :)
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Muppett
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The only sensible one here....
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We will be spending this weekend armed with sossidge and camped in the hallway :)

Thanks both :flowers:
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Athel
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Nothing constructive to add but will you send Oscar a hug from me.
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Muppett
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The only sensible one here....
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Oscar accepts all hugs stoically but sossidges he just inhales :biggrin:
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