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This is a post out of desperation.


Those of you with fearful pups that barked at everything and consistently developed new irrational fears every time anyone even so much as looked at them different... please, please, please tell me they grew out of it. I need to know they grow out of it.


When I contacted Kim about a second puppy I had a long conversation with him about why I didn't think a fearful puppy would be a good match for me (he had offered me a pup he said would need some help and I declined). I explained to him about my own anxiety issues and how I really benefited from having a confident dog like Tamarack who I can depend on to be calm and collected in every situation so that I can draw off of that energy when I myself am lacking. He said he understood. He said I need a pup with a 'therapy style' personality. I agreed.


Rune could not be any further from this.


I can't even walk him down the street without him becoming frightened of every single thing that is different than the last time we walked that street. He fear-barks at every single human form he sees...and I live in a close-quarters mobile home park. He is becoming reactive to other dogs on leash because he is afraid and anxious about potentially meeting them. He has been afraid of other dogs since he was a tiny puppy and despite my bringing him to dog daycare with me every day (where he is fine with other dogs) and thus his having met hundreds of dogs in his 6 months of life, the sight of another dog approaching at a distance has him terrified. A large fluffy dog will have him panicking at the end of the leash in his effort to escape.


He develops completely irrational fears all the time and it takes me forever to desensitize him to them, if I ever can at all. For months I couldn't run my microwave or the furnace in my house without reducing him to a shrieking screaming pacing mess of anxiety that would last all day. I tried all kinds of desensitization... and different methods worked on different days but only for that day.. one day he would randomly sleep through it, but the next day he'd be 3 times worse than 2 days before that. Only in just the past few weeks have I been able to turn the heat in my house on overnight... because before then he would wake up screaming every time it would come on and I wouldn't get any sleep.


Today I had to borrow a car because mine was in the shop for the day, and so Rune rode in a minivan to work. He whined the whole 4 minute drive to and from, and now that I have my regular car back he is panicking when I open the door to put him in. Because of this he is in 'anxiety mode' which means he is now whining again at everything he used to be afraid of and has since gotten over (or so I thought) - microwave, furnace, etc. This is normal for him... every time we take a step forward one week we take 5 steps back the next.


After 5 months of this I am an anxiety-laden wreck. Every ounce of the calm and patience I was able to foster over the past 4 years with Tamarack has been obliterated, and it's affecting every aspect of my life.


Please tell me they grow out of this...!

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It sounds like my Mystery. She is three years old now and much better but she will never like new things right off of the bat. It takes her time to adapt to new people/things/situations but she is much better. Thanks to Kim and people at the gathering 1.5 years ago, we have made great strides forward. If she is on leash, she is not allowed to melt down. I hold her on a very short leash, where she cannot run around and must stay close to me, and I hold her tail up in a positive position. I stay in that position with her until she calms down. I encourage strangers to pet her (she is NOT a biter but she is not happy with this either). While they pet her, I hold her tail up in a positive position, talk calmly with the person petting her, telling them why it is important that we do this. I also keep her on a very short leash so she cannot back away. Mysty will NEVER be a stranger lover but she is so much better. And I have learned not to coddle her nor to encourage her negative, fearful behavior. I have a squirt bottle with plain tap water in various locations throughout the house. One quick squirt with a firm no, calms her right down. I have three other dogs and two cats and this same reinforcement goes for all of them. My main suggestion is to be sure the tail is up when meeting new situations and do not reinforce the negative behavior. I was reinforcing Mysty's negative behavior by trying to hold her and keep her calm. I can tell you by first hand experience that is the wrong path to take. Do not give up. It is as much a journey for you as for the pup. I have attached a picture of my grandaughter, Murphy, and Mystery. Mysty was sure that she was terrified of the pontoon boat but we took her anyway, ignored her, and within 15 minutes she was having a good time.


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...sounds familiar, but with Kaposia it is not so extreme. Funny you should mention fan motors...she's afraid of them all...the bathroom fan, the over stove fan, the furnace fan, and some noise my oven makes that I can't hear but she can. When she was a much younger pup, I turned the oven on, and she went tearing around the kitchen, went to the far corner, took a running leap and flew over the gate. Once she was in her crate, and I turned the stove exhaust fan on...she flipped out in the crate, peed herself, just went wild. Once when I came out of the bathroom, I found Denny babying and comforting her. I said, "What's with this?" He said, "She's shaking like a leaf from the sound of the bath fan." I told him NOT to baby her, it reinforces the idea that there is something valid to fear! We've been just telling her in a firm voice, "You're fine, get over it!" She still at almost 9 months doesn't like fan motors, but there are no more extreme fear reactions. She is O.K. meeting new people (just puppy excited) but fears other dogs we meet while out walking. She rides in any vehicle just fine...loves the adventure.


Did you by chance have Rune shipped to you? I've wondered whether 9 hours in the cargo section of the plane with those jet engines roaring and droning have something to do with it.

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Jeanine, great post. Can you take a picture of this tail position and post it?


Woodrat I am sorry to hear that. Karen Hyams had a lot of issues with Danza. Maybe look through her posts (Karen and Danza key words) and see if anything resonates. Possibly you can reach her via the email function.


Have you talked to your vet?


Both mine have had some fears and oddities. Sounds like this is in a whole other league, though. Still a few things that worked for me below:


Cake is not the bravest dog. Kim almost didn't want her for us because we asked for a go anywhere dog and he was concerned about her lack of bravery. She would go through odd fear cycles during growth spurts. She's funny - totally brave in some situations and not at all in others. She's great with other dogs and people but the other dog thing went through some phases - great - terrible - ok for smaller dogs - then mostly ok with all dogs except larger dogs specifically in the state park trails down the road where she is very suspicious of them. Waki also had his share of things he feared - like wooden bridges, gun shot noises, the trash barrel when we move it (it's on wheels) and the curtains in the bedroom. Kept on exposing them both to the things they feared and both grew out of most fears. Waki still dis-likes thunder but the gun noises (constant here during hunting season and from our neighbor's yard) seem to be working out just by me naming it. I make sounds for chipmunks, turkeys, ducks and other things he sees often and likes and I found that naming the gun fire noise and imitating it seems to work for him. Cake doesn't like doorways. I have to really watch her - lead stays on until she's in and the door is closed. She's getting better - and I even can move things around near the door - which use to be a problem. I have no idea why after 2 years the doorways are less of an issue. I can say that Waki passed a milestone around 3 and just became a more mature and brave dog. I am holding out hope for Cake but ok if she always needs to be on lead. I agree with the just keep exposing them to what ever it is. It seems like with mine, over time the issue stopped or lessened quite a bit.


You might be able to use some calming drops - I use to use some with Tara my GSD. i think they had chamomile and other calming herbs I can't recall. She didn't like living in the city. The noise made her neurotic. We move do the country and it was a game changer. Still used the calming drops for kenneling when we went out of town. I also believe there are anxiety drugs of various kinds for dogs - much to think about there and certainly pros and cons.


Good luck. Last thought - probably one you don't want to hear - if this is a situation where you can no longer take care of Rune because of your health, you've done your homework and are at your wit's end, there is a clause in your contract with SKD about returning the dog. If your health is taking too much of a hit and you are satisfied you have exhausted every avenue there's no shame in it.

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Lake Girl I forgot about the vacuum. I had to put Cake at the barn for the first year because she feared it so. Now she just goes into the bedroom into her safe spot. The change happened about 6 months ago. She just seemed to get over it - at least the extreme part. My other two dogs - I have to move them out of the way and I think that sort of helps - seeing the other dogs could care less.


On the other hand Waki could face almost everything if I picked him up when he was a pup. It wasn't that I would comfort him. I'd just pick him up and say "I got ya". With fall walks during hunting season he'd want to run back home or to the car at the first gun sound but I'd make him keep going with - "don't dilly dally and I got ya" and we'd stop at a bench at the half way point and he'd sit with me and get pets. Then we'd go on and he'd be happy he went on the walk after all. Now he's mostly ok with the gun noises but he still wants to go to that bench every time - even if it's not hunting season. Babying no but it's possible there is some way you can re-assure the dog that you got it's back.

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Good thoughts Sherab. Didn't want to sound callous in my post. Having suffered badly from anxiety in my younger years, I'd never tell a person "get over it" but it seemed to work with the dog. I'd just tell her that and go about the business of the day. She's always with one of us (to the point of being under foot!) and just the words and moving on seemed to work. She doesn't mind the vacuum, thinks it's a big game created just for her.

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So sorry to hear about all of things going on with you. My Hawk will be 11 Christmas day and he still hates the vacuum cleaner. I either let him in the back yard or he goes to our bedroom and lays down. Yet on the other hand he walks next to me when I mow the lawn, go figure!

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Well this is a side of the breed I was never aware of. I just assumed they were predominantly like Tamarack, who is the most even-keeled, least-fearful dog I have ever met.

Rune sounds very similar to all of your (collective) stories of your own dogs. The exception to Jeanine's Mystery being that Rune doesn't actually dislike people, he actually quite enjoys them, but for whatever reason if he sees someone at a distance he is immediately startled and quite frightened. Starts barking, worried pacing, etc. Funny thing is - this is only true for certain scenarios. If I'm walking my small-town roads that are mostly vacant most of the time, or in the woods or anywhere where there isn't a constant stream of people, a single human appearing is alarming and terrifying. But I can bring him to a busy downtown area (which I have been doing routinely since he was a small pup) and he has very little problem with the people. He'll go up and say hi and rub against them like a cat and be relatively gregarious if only for a short period of time. At work it's the same, people are fun. But out on a hike? Nope, no can do. He is similarly situational with just about everything. Crate training has been an absolute hell (he is currently in his crate whining away as I type, having just run in there happily to eat his dinner), but no matter how bad he got in his crate in the house, he was always still fine in his crate in the car. He could be shrieking his brains out in his house crate and I could move him and put him in his car crate, and he'd go right to sleep. Both wire crates.


I try as best I can to ignore his fits. There is no coddling involved. Like this incessant whining I'm listening to... months and months and months of incessant whining. He goes through phases where he'll get better... and then he'll suddenly and randomly go all the way back to the beginning and we start all over again with crate training. For a while the squirt bottle worked wonders. One squirt and he'd shut right up and go to sleep. Then he started whining through the squirt and the more I squirted him the louder he'd whine. Then he started to be very responsive to a very stern and loud, "ENOUGH." That worked wonders for quite a while, but just this week he's started whining through that and now we have the same deal.. if I continue shouting he just keeps whining more and more frantically to the point I fear he is starting to fear me. The only thing that truly works is the straight up ignore... but can you maintain sanity through hours of high pitched whining day in and day out? I sure try. But as anxious and stressed as I am now after the past 5 months, my patience has worn very, very thin. And the ignore it only really works if I'm home and can monitor him because he will occasionally start to chew the crate bars in his frustration. I have not seen him do this for quite a long time, but while doing his nails tonight I found symmetrical swollen areas on his lips which means he must have been doing this during the 2 hours he was crated while I was at work earlier today.


I have tried every trick in the book with crate training by the way. The general rule I follow is 'suck it up and deal with it you DON'T come out until you are quiet.' He does not ever get let out of his crate whilst he is whining, but he is a stubborn little thing and that doesn't seem to make him want to be any quieter. I now firmly believe that he thoroughly enjoys the protest. He always has plenty of chews available in his crate, and usually has some delicious marrow bone or his dinner in there with him. He loves going IN the crate and will go in there whenever he wants to take a nap.. but shut the door behind him and the world has positively ended (unless it's bed time, he's good overnight now, but only after I slept outside in a tent for a week so I could actually sleep). But again, it's all just for show now, not true anxiety anymore. I once put him in there with his dinner and he shrieked and howled and screamed and chewed the bars for two hours straight and when he finally wore himself out and I went over and opened the crate door... and he casually turned right around and started eating the dinner that had been right next to him the entire time. Truthfully, I just sat down on the floor and cried. That alone sums up my entire relationship with him.


Case in point - while writing this he finally stopped whining, so I let him out of his crate. Ten minutes later, and he just now went back into his crate and curled up to sleep. He is going to put me into an anger management program.


Re: making him deal with fears - I did start to go that route for a little while thinking it would help. I thought if I could just force-show him that nothing bad was going to happen when he dealt with these things, that his reactions would cease. This has worked for some things - inanimate objects like trash barrels, logs, rocks, out of place leaves, etc. But with other dogs it seems to have backfired. At the park we had a big fluffy Pyrenees approach us and I held Rune's leash real tight and wouldn't let him retreat. He was terrified. Eyes bugging out of his head. The Pyrenees was friendly, but not adept at meeting other dogs on leash. Her owner's opinion was 'oh my dog is so good with other dogs, she can help fix your puppy!', but the Pyr was all but dragging (albeit slowly and gradually) her owner toward us, straining at the leash and leaning face first waaay into Rune's space. Anyone who knows dogs knows this is not considered a polite dog greeting. Still, I held him there and he tried to skitter around for quite a while and then finally tried to sneak around behind her to sniff her rear so I gave him more leash to do so. His attempt at bravery made the Pyr turn towards him again, which made him continue to circle behind her faster in fear. So now, in his mind, she's chasing him. Still, I held his leash until finally he'd worn the anxiety off a little and he managed to sniff her a little. We walked off and he met another, smaller, dog on leash just fine. But now any time he sees a big fluffy he immediately starts an alarm bark. And of course he does. In his mind he was trapped and assaulted by a big fluffy. So when a giant Newf finally came into the dog daycare I work at, Rune circled and barked and barked at that dog for quite some time, which I had never seen him do to a single dog there before or since.


I am also running into the problem wherein because he is nervous about meeting dogs on leash, he tends to have a hard time taking his eyes off of them when they're approaching us. Especially if they're looking at him (I noticed he's super sensitive to dog eye contact and dogs barking the day I brought him home). So that creates a situation where he's staring the other dog down, and if the other dog is in the slightest bit a 'reactive dog'... that dog starts barking because eye contact is usually perceived as a threat. And if they bark at him, that is reaffirming his fears that the dog is in fact scary. So my number one thing has been to focus him on *breaking that eye contact* and checking in with me before he can meet another dog on leash. It's a work in progress.


I also will pick him up if I know a situation is simply too much for him to handle and if I think that it might do more harm than good to have him there. I just scoop him up with purpose, not to coddle, but to simply move him from a location I think may be detrimental. This has an interesting calming affect on him, possibly because I force-restrained him so much as a puppy because he put up a holy blood curdling stink about any form of restraint (imagine that!). The old 'you're not getting put down until you calm down' routine did in fact work. So now I can use that to my advantage in certain situations, though I suspect if I overuse it it will cease to work entirely.


Sherab, I think it's interesting that Kim was so concerned about Cake's lack of bravery as a consideration for you. I used the exact same words when describing my ideal puppy - a 'go anywhere dog'. I said I wanted confidence without being cocky. I wanted a dog I could have off leash without having to worry about a nervous flight instinct. I wanted a dog who had no qualms about approaching the world head on, that I needed this quality in a dog to give me the confidence I need to succeed in public with my own anxieties being what they are.


Rune is the exact opposite of the imaginary puppy that I described. Obviously I know that it's impossible to know exactly how a puppy is going to turn out.. but when I flew out there to pick him up he was the only puppy there who wanted nothing to do with the visitors and who wasn't playing with the other puppies. I was concerned right then and there and Kim said 'he's a little shy but he'll grow out of it..." I asked about any of the others available because on the phone he'd said there would be plenty of pups at the time. But when I was there he said that was the puppy he'd picked for me and the others were spoken for. I honestly didn't think that much of it at the time because everyone here has always said 'trust Kim, trust Kim... " and he got it perfectly right with Tamarack, so I had no reason to question. But my gut feeling at the time was 'wow this does not seem like the personality I was looking for...' And I had spent so much money and time and effort to fly out there from across the country that I wasn't simply going to decline. I can't afford to do that.


I'm honestly very saddened by all of this. A pretty large part of my reasoning for getting these dogs is being able to take advantage of the fact that there is someone out there who is SO good at selecting specific dogs for specific people. If I'd wanted to gamble I could have gone to my local shelter and picked out a husky/shepherd x and probably gotten a dog that was better suited for me than Rune is. That being said, I don't think I have it in me to give up on him. I thought long and hard when he was younger about talking to Kim about maybe sending him back. But I know I would never be able to do it. As ill-suited as he is for me, I still fell in love with him anyways. He still has some truly wonderful qualities. He is sweet, and silly, and a great cuddle buddy which is something T has never excelled at. He's ridiculously brilliant and learns fast. Yes, that means he figures out how to push my buttons that much quicker, but he still learns the good stuff sometimes too. His overall training is coming along pretty darn well all things considered. He's a star at puppy class when he can get over the fact that he's in a room with other leashed dogs. And truthfully, even if I wanted to send him back, there's no way I could afford to do so and have another pup sent out here. I don't think I could even afford adopting a shelter puppy at this point after everything I've put into Rune, both mentally speaking and monetarily. It's a pretty tough call, because I would be lying if I said my life isn't turned upside down right now because of this puppy. And admittedly incredibly frustrating because I knew exactly what I wanted and didn't want in a puppy and talked so thoroughly to Kim about it.. I don't know what else I could have done to try to facilitate a successful match. I know Kim is an experienced hand at this so I don't question his methods, but I have a hard time understanding how I ended up with someone like Rune. I have sent Kim a couple of emails one of which touched briefly on some of my difficulties, but never got a response to either. I guess he is probably busy with all of the pups and I understand now with some family issues so I do not wish to bother him presently. Maybe in another couple months I will try to contact him again if things are still just as upside down on this end.


Sorry for the literary vomit.. I've been refraining from posting about him for so long because I was afraid of being too negative and how that would be received on the forum. But I really have my hands full here and I suppose there's no sense in hiding it anymore.


Here's a photo anyway. At least he's a good lookin' bugger, even if he is a bit of a turd.

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Have you had his sight and hearing tested? Some of the things that you've mentioned, especially leery of strangers at a distance, give me the feeling that could possibly have something to do with it.


May not be that at all, but its worth finding out.

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By all means post. We aren't here to judge you and say how bad you are and how good the dogs are, we are here to try to help you sort things out. The best thing for everyone is to sort things out so life is good. The thing is nothing works 100% and we all have to find our own chemistry with these guys.


First this dog needs A LOT of exercise. A tired dog is 50% of the battle.


I think you have a very intelligent, easily bored, dominant dog and I thought that well that before getting to your paragraph where you say as much. Actually he reminds me of my GSD Shiva who is easily the most intelligent dog we've ever had. Cake is the most submissive little thing I've ever seen. She doesn't make strong eye contact and goes into the submissive crouch with almost every dog we meet. Your dog was dominant in the approach you described.


I don't know what to make of the standing off away from everything part at SKD. Some dogs like to watch things first and assess the situation. Maybe someone can comment on that. At any rate he is cuddly enough with people and with you. I had a GSD that was a fearful pup. She would hide under my legs and refuse to socialize with anyone and anything (she was a great guard dog which worked for us). This isn't what you described. Both my AID dogs have had their times where they stood back and watched a person or a dog and maybe came round or not at all when young. I wouldn't put too much import on this. Cake had a period where any dog that was bigger was "bad" and then one day that was over. Not due to anything I did or didn't do. It just happened. They take in a lot of information while they grow and sometimes we have to just shrug and go with it - ok no fluffy dogs for a while. In other words, don't over think it. A problem at 3 or 4 is more likely a problem. Things with the pups are fluid. Just press on and act normal - hope that makes sense. In other words keep socializing but don't be attached to the results and be wiling to back off or skip over a person or dog based on your dog's queues.


Both my AIDs also have strong stubborn streaks. You may need to come to more of a partnership with this one. Give him less crate time and more at your feet time. Work his brain as much as you can. Put liver treats in your pocket and make him sit - a lot. It's not the perfection of sitting, nor the duration, it's the habit of that little bottom touching the ground and that little brain just for a moment working. Sit for the food bowl going into the crate. Consider letting him sleep near your bed on a pad or even on the corner of the bed. Once a day do "find it". Take a favorite toy and put it somewhere for hide and seek. Make it easy and hold your pup back with your hand at first until he gets the hang of what you are doing, then put him in the crate or have someone hold him (I cover the dogs eyes with my hands) and do it again - easy to more challenging. Work that brain.


Try to be more schedule driven and less random. The dog eats at the same time. The walk happens at the same time, bed time is at the same time. This can help prevent how does the day go for me anxiety. Announce things. Mom works today. This is the week end. Bed Time. In other words talk to him more, using the same key words to let him participate in how the day goes.


Give him jobs, procedures and expectations around things. These dogs are great at forming and keeping habits. When you walk in the woods, consider it a running conversation of interaction and expectations - start pointing out things and naming the things he points to. Tell him yes I see now leave it, walking. Whistle at forks to indicate what direction you want to go. When you see a person - name it and say yes I see them, lets walk. I often make my dogs "sit" by the side of the trail, especially soon when they were young, even if that meant waiting for quite a while for the person to pass and quite a bit of "deetling about" with very imperfect sitting. I tell them "don't get sqashed" and I use the same thing for sudden appearances of bikes. You could try enlisting a friend with liver treats to pop up in the woods. Also pick trails you know are busy. Mt Monadnock is grand central if I recall.


What is T doing in all this? Do they play? How are they with each other? Do you walk them together and 1:1?

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Hi Woodrat,


Rune is from Azteca's second litter (summer 2015)? if I read an earlier post correctly.


He is a littermate of Houston (who is a laid back character from what I've heard) and a brother to my Tayamni (09/13/15) Azteca X Jay.

Then of course where Houston went, her older brother Boone is (littermate if Tayamni).


I think Boone was skittish when he was a pup and has mostly grown out of it.

Houston, I don't think is afraid of anything or much.


Tayamni, wasn't afraid as a puppy but is VERY submissive - so required a soft approach in training.

There are only two things she is really afraid of: the compressed air can - spraying IN the house - will send her into shakes.

Outside, she is OK with it and it is an attention grabber (a refocusing aid).


The other thing is the lights from the fireworks. 1/4 sticks, thunder and other loud noises don't make her shake but the visual of the fireworks will make her VERY uneasy.


I have also seen her go off to the bedroom either to her crate or onto my bed if there is a bad thunder storm.


I also noticed that she will get down off my bed and sleep in her "crate" or in the hallway, away from the TV lights if I fall asleep with the TV on at night.

(Note: there is no crate, in it's place is her own personal orthopedic dog bed complete with a headrest - long story - she has good taste .... and Coffey (Nozie X Tonto Summer 2015) is using the crate now).



I felt it was worth noting because there may be nothing really wrong with Rune's eye's or ears EXCEPT that he may be extra good at hearing, and his sister from another litter has some sight and sound quirks, too.

If you can have them checked out - it may be worth it. We've been to doggy eye doctor's for other dogs (not AI).



My sister has a disability and she has anxiety frustration bouts sometimes. (not telling on you Kell, just stating facts and trying to help out as I am also describing our house and some of the trials).

I got Coffey for Kelli, when we knew her ESA dog Roger was crossing over this year.


Boy the pup energy of AI Dogs is really something else! Basic training goes on for a while and I'm sure the Service certification will come after he calms down with age and continued training.


This is probably not your situation but when Coffey got to first testing Kelli as an Alpha, Kelli would make requests instead of exerting confidence. To me the energy was like a dove cooing and Coffey did not respond in the wanted manner. Kelli has gotten better at this and is in a training class with Coffey to help them. Coffey is responding better to her when Kelli is being an assertive calm alpha.

Both Coffey and Tayamni were affected by the energy before training class.


Coffey is definitely a snuggler! He will be a GREAT ESA dog SOMEDAY. He has some hurdles.

He HATES the crate. Although he does calm down after 15 - 20 minutes and hasn't started biting the crate - but we found that putting a cover over the sides of the crate helps, and not putting him in unless he's tired.

Also, he needs a bigger crate than should be for his size. At night for everyone's bedtime it wasn't a problem but during the day we cut the barking & whining from 20 minutes to 5 minutes with a oversize crate and draping the sides.


He barks a lot at anything he doesn't like or he wants to play with.

He is like a toddler that can't keep his paws off anything that gets his attention.

He jumped up on a window ledge cat perch because there was a fly in the window.

He doesn't discern what he's going through (the path he's taking) in order to get to something he wants to investigate. Crash, bang, boom.



Tayamni is very smart and I think Coffey is even smarter! He is also more willful and stubborn.

This makes it difficult sometimes because he needs TOUGH Love and Tayamni always thinks we are correcting her since she is sensitive - so it has caused her to become a little less well balanced.

Exercise and more praise and treats helps with this as well as individual training & group training giving her the lead.


That brings up something else:

Coffey just at 6 months is showing his dominant traits on her and she is shying away sometimes.

Like she doesn't want to go out for potty with him because he bites her neck and she has always been a private potty dog - I would have to pretend I wasn't looking .....

The fence line just got moved closer to the side of the house so now Coffey thinks it his personal 'terrorize Tayamni shoot'.

We are trying to counter this by letting them out the door individually and also keeping Coffey on a leash when both out for potty.


I echo some other's words: Exercise - tired dog has a quieter mind for training.

Hmmmm, Tayamni gets bored with basic training pretty quickly - unless working for high value treats.

Tayamni will also just quit - if something is bothering her - unrelated to training. This started after Roger passed. Now, it can be Kelli & Coffey away visiting Mom, or not enough dog park exercise, or she has gas.

Tayamni is very submissive to other dogs - especially aware of hierarchy. She submits to every dog in the park when we get there and then stands to meet the dogs coming in afterward.


echo of the question: how does Tamarack - interact & teach? What is he involved in with Rune?


Thought: When at the dog park, do they need to meet on a leash? maybe I read that wrong. I'm just wondering if Rune is actually feeding off the leashes tension?


I agree with Sherab, the body language eye contact that Rune makes - seems dominant. I think you are on the right track getting him to focus on you first. OR trying - Coffey has even less focus than Tayamni as a puppy - or rather he has strong focus for his desires without checking with us first. MAJOR work-in-progress.


If you find a trick for that, please let ME know! :)


On the leash, I wonder if a short dog bungee strap would help at the end of the leash near the dog collar. Just a musing, don't know if it would actually help your situation.


The crate during day: can you put a gate in the doorway of the room and let the crate door be open so he only has access to that room when you want to limit him - or try an oversize crate?


Have you neutered him yet? Testosterone may make him more willful.


Is there someone else at your work or a knowledgeable friend that you trust that could take him overnight or for a couple days and they assess him and report back to you?

It could also give you a break to regroup.


With Coffey, he definitely needs an alpha and with Tayamni we need to be teammates. I've have to be adaptable in my leadership as she does to and also be very aware of her needs/energy.

Her recall has disappeared, but I can yell from a distance at swim park for her to turn around and come back and at least she comes toward me away from the exit gate.

Then at the park, she doesn't like to come but when we are going if I get into the double gate open the park door for her and tell her we're leaving, it's time to go - she will enter into the pen for leashing up.

It took a while for me to figure this out with Tayamni. It seemed like for ever as a puppy that we just weren't bonding. I thought Kim sent me the wrong pup.

With the changes in the give and take between us now - Is it perfect? NO, but it's a work in progress and the compromise for now is I get what I want when I really need it.


That's all I've got for now. I hope my earful helps you - even if it just is another example of different situations we are all in.

Oh yes, Tayamni and Coffey are like night and day personalities - which of course means different training methods. Just got adjusted to one and BOOM!


Please keep us posted. I feel for your situation.












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PS - natural calming aids do work to help while you are trying to desensitize. Many are water soluble (make sure) and you can give him more at first to get his system to calm then wean off.

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Do you not trust him outside the crate? Can you leave the door open, or off?

When I finally stopped trying to crate my first dog, he was so happy. Never chewed on anything.


Also, that staring at other dogs while on the leash, I have had experience with. It was a struggle, but finally, I found if I walked with a hat, and covered his view from the other dog, we could get by them, then over time it got better. I used it like blinders on a horse.


There was a long time we did not walk too much in dog populated areas. Lots of hikes. Oops. You're having trouble with those, too.


I would walk with one dog at a time, so you can concentrate on him.

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Felix - I had thought about that as a possibility for a little while, but I have a hard time believing this would be the case. He sees everything.. tiny leaves wiggling on branches in the distance - things I wouldn't really notice. And the fact that he is just as alarmed by noise as well as sight indicates to me that he just has a tendency to be easily alarmed in general rather than lacking in any one sense. I have interacted with dogs that have sight problems and hearing loss and I have not noticed any of the telltale signs, even slight, in Rune's behavior at all. But it is definitely something to keep in mind for sure, and if he gets progressively worse or shows increasing suspicious symptoms I would not hesitate to have him checked out.


Sherab, thank you for always being there with such helpful and well thought out advice.


Yes, he's smart, easily bored, needs to work his brain... yes, all true. And I DO do all of these things with him. He gets copious amounts of exercise, between 4-6 hours of doggy daycare 4 days of the week and both short 'training session' walks and long woods walks every other day of the week. We've done nose work exercises, he's in training classes. Every single second of every interaction with him is constant training - sit first, no - wait here, let T go out through first, nope LEAVE your dinner until I say 'ok'.. etc etc. He does great with training. He walks on a loose leash for the most part, 'falls back' when I ask him to walk behind me... unless there's something super stimulating nearby in which case he has a hard time, but understandably so - he is just a pup after all. This all does help - to an extent. Yes he'll crash for a couple of hours after exercise IF he is in a 'sound mind' stage. If he's in one of his high anxiety modes, it almost seems like exercise makes him worse - overtired.


But I do have to disagree about him being dominant. He's cranky, endlessly stubborn, sassy, and extraordinarily manipulative... but his body language does not indicate dominance in any way shape or form. He's like a cranky child who knows how to work the system to get his way, but that just means he's cheeky - not status seeking. Most of the time when I correct him sternly he listens immediately - and I do get the lowered ears, appeasing eyes/low tail wag response, etc. But if he is in high anxiety mode and I correct him, he cowers and quickly skitters away to a 'safe zone' with his eyes bugging out of his head like he thinks I'm going to do something awful. This is a fear response, there is no doubt in my mind.


As far as his behavior in his litter - this is where it gets complicated. Rune has a certain combination of personality traits that I believe produce very specific behaviors. He is a. Fearful and b. Cocky. I see this combination all the time in dogs at work, and they can be some of the hardest dogs to work with... because deep down they are incredibly insecure and afraid, but they don't outwardly show it unless they're really pushed there. Instead it's almost as if they try to prove that they're NOT afraid of The Thing by being the tough guy. Think of school yard bullies.. the biggest bully is usually the kid who thinks he needs to prove himself - the old 'no one can get you if you get them first' mentality. And on the flip side, if you're not afraid of being 'got' you don't feel the need to 'get' anyone (this is the happy world where Tamarack lives).


Puppies are insatiably curious by nature, and any puppy without any reservations is going to be in the middle of every situation, checking things out, generally getting in the way, etc. But a puppy that tries to avoid or ignore something, to me, is a warning flag. Puppies SHOULD be curious, this is how they learn about their world. So when I saw puppy Rune hanging back avoiding eye contact and segregating himself from the other puppies... I made a mental note of it. I brushed it off, said oh he's probably just tired or whatever. But I also noted that the only interaction he had with another puppy was when one flounced over and tried to pick on him and he told it off very quickly and very loudly and then went and sat in a corner. Sibling puppies are pretty rough on each other (again, this is how they learn of course), and from what I've seen there is very often one puppy that gets picked on more so than others for whatever reason. Knowing what I know of Rune now and judging by how fast and severely he reacted just to one pup trying to play with him a little rough (in a way that made me think that wasn't the first time it'd happened), I have to wonder if he was that pup that routinely got picked on. Because he's got the 'fearful tough guy' personality - the only sign you'd see would be avoidance.


When I brought him to work the very first day he was so small he squeezed right through a gate and walked right into a pen of adult dogs. Now I have never, ever, in my life seen a puppy that young not give adult dogs the time of day - but that's exactly what he did. He strolled right in there and just kept walking right past the quite large adult dogs that were walking towards him. Even a young puppy with dominant tendencies should recognize and eagerly submit and appease to an adult dog. Right then and there - my third day with him - is when I first thought 'crap, I'm going to have a reactive dog on my hands'. (I have a long, anxiety-laden history with owning reactive dogs so if you think I might be a little paranoid, you'd be right. I know myself enough to know that if I have a dog who is at all predisposed to reactivity that my own anxieties will create that reactive dog. This is why I stressed to Kim so much that I did not want a fearful pup.)


But anyway, and here's the kicker - when I next put him in a pen with two puppies his age, he wasted not a split second and pummeled those puppies to the ground and postured over them and wouldn't let them get up until he was good and ready. This is of course something that most people will call dominance on, and I did too at the time... but the more I analyze it, the more I think it's not. I think it's again fear and insecurity that manifests itself in bullyish behavior - this is where 'I get you before you get me' comes into play. He wouldn't dare try this with an adult dog he was afraid of because he knows it won't end well for him.. but with a pup his own age he can get away with it.

So if you assume that this was indeed a fear response, then you would have to assume that as his fear of the other dogs dissipated, then so would the bullying behavior. This, I am happy to say, is exactly what happened at daycare. It took quite a while, and I had to keep him separate from puppies his age for quite a while because he bullied them so badly I couldn't risk traumatizing our clients' pups. At a mere 4 months old I had him being integrated into the big dog pens under my supervision, and at first he ignored them all. Gradually, as he realized they weren't out to get him, he started interacting with them. And low and behold, he is submissive and appeasing like any normal puppy should be. Moreso actually than many of the pups that go through our daycare. And now that he's at ease with the adult dogs and honed his social skills some more, I've been gradually reintroducing him to all of the pups his age and he is doing SO much better. Their play is much more back and forth, give and take as it should be - as in they take turns being the 'aggressor' and the 'victim', etc. And he is not excessively pushy with them, no more so than any of the others. He has trouble containing his excitement and that of course makes him act over the top at times, but of course that is to be expected with young dogs, and if someone tells him off he listens and doesn't push it. But even still you can tell he is still pretty wary of the other dogs. A lot of the adult dogs who are less mentally stable tend to school the puppies excessively to the point of being bullies themselves.. and those dogs he will avoid - gives them a wide berth and a lot of side-eye when he walks by them where most of the other puppies just ignore them. If anyone barks at him he tucks tail and heads for the hills. But this I think will at least go away with time as he gains more confidence.


The problem is that when we're out on walks, I can't guarantee that any dog he's going to meet is going to be an appropriate dog for him to interact with. There are very few 'safe places' where I can take him where I know we will a. see other dogs and b. not be rushed by rude off-leash dogs with ignorant owners. We've already had one incident where a dog appeared alone at the end of a trail while on walk in the woods..and the moment it saw us it froze.. and then charged full speed towards us. This was when Rune was considerably younger and this may have been what has made him start barking at other dogs on walks now. That dog was not mean but SO overexcited that she didn't even stop her charge when she got near, she just flat out tackled him. By the time the owner got to us I had her dog by the collar and Rune was hiding between my legs quaking in fear. I played it off like it was no big deal for Rune's sake, but I was so shaken up inside I'm sure he felt it. There is no state-wide leash law in New Hampshire. The law states 'on leash or under voice control' and so so so many people don't actually have voice control over their dogs, but let them off leash anyways. So trying to find a place to work on greeting other dogs on leash in a SAFE and minimally threatening manner is next to impossible. The one spot I feel relatively comfortable doing so is a field next to the local dog park, but that doesn't do much to mimic the 'encountering dogs in the woods' scenario that he has the most issue with.


Re: schedule...we're on a pretty set one. There is a difference between weekends and work days obviously but for the most part things stay pretty much the same. This is why its so frustrating that he'll go two weeks being fine at nap time (which is scheduled right when we get home from work and he is exhausted from playing) and then all of a sudden pitch a fit and protest nap time for a week straight. I need these nap times for my own sanity... and for Tamarack's. This is the only time of day I can get Tamarack out for a walk by himself without having to worry about Rune at all (when he's not protesting naps of course). Otherwise T doesn't get the one on one time he desperately needs. I take them for walks together in the woods and they do really well, but I feel immensely lacking if I don't spend alone time with T and I think he does too.


As far as T... he's not wild about Rune. When I first brought the puppy home T had to be rushed to the e vet a few days in because he was vomiting, drooling, and in so much pain he wouldn't do anything but curl up in an awkward position in the middle of my yard. All tests came out fine so they diagnosed him with stress induced stomach pain. He tolerates Rune, and in the beginning he instigated play a little bit.. but Rune is pretty obnoxious (typical younger brother stuff) and T would rather just ignore him. Every once in a while he gets fed up and puts him in his place, but for the most part he just ignores him. The exception is that when they do play, Tamarack beats the snot out of Rune, so much so that Rune will usually just hide behind me whenever T starts getting feisty. Sometimes Rune will get brave and do some crazy zoomies and they'll have a high speed chase, but that will inevitably end up with T clipping Rune mid-stride which sends him rolling so hard I'm afraid he'll hurt his growing bones. Whenever they do any kind of wrestling it's always T shouldering Rune into the ground and gnawing on his limbs (that's how T plays with everyone) and Rune in a slightly curled belly up position gently/submissively protesting by chewing on T's cheek. If Rune didn't already have such a fragile relationship with bullying behaviors in general I wouldn't think it to be such a problem, but I've learned from experience with dogs in group settings that puppies are outlandishly malleable and any puppy that gets overwhelmingly bullied has a very high likelihood of turning into a bully himself - again, 'I get you before you get me'. So I do interrupt their play frequently whenever I think T is getting overly rough and I see Rune's body language start to get slinky.


Re: enlisting the help of liver-laden friends.... this is definitely my next step. I need to really focus on this issue right now before it gets worse. I was watching a really interesting class hosted by Ian Dunbar on dog reactivity and one exercise he suggested was having a few friends walk their dogs at the same time and in the same direction, but spread out along the course of one neighborhood block. They all walk in the same direction and then the person with the reactive dog walks in the other direction so that there will routinely be dogs popping up around the corner ahead of you.. but they'll all be dogs you've seen before and over and over again and gradually the reactive dog will come to expect the dogs and better be able to cope. I think I will maybe try to get a couple friends to do that with me, but without the dogs even, this weekend. I think I just need a relatively constant but just-sparse-enough stream of people he already loves and maybe that will help. Once he's ok with people popping up then I can throw some dogs into the mix.. if I can find dogs that won't react to him staring at them.


I do think you're on to something when you mentioned 'squirrelly during growth spurts'... he definitely just went through one over the course of the past few days, which may explain why he's been having such a regressive week.


I think maybe we're pulling through it though. He just slept successfully through a nap time in his crate without a single whine which has earned him the freedom of coming into the living room with me and he's now passed out on the dog bed next to me.


Thanks again for all of your help, support and suggestions.

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Your dog is only 6 months old. There is still a heck of a lot of room for molding personality.

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Denise -

The sound sensitivities - YES. From day one Rune has been alarmingly sensitive to every noise, which is why I suspect there's nothing wrong with his hearing, but as you say, I think he just has really good hearing. And good hearing + fearful nature = a dog who notices and reacts to everything.


When he was a puppy I got into the habit of playing random youtube videos from my TV whenever we were in the house of just about every potentially scary sound I could think of. Hour long videos of city noises, train sounds, airplanes taking off, thunderstorms, construction sounds...even the entire video of The Matrix on full volume. He has slept through all of them with zero issue. Because of this he actually does quite well with continuous sounds, even if they're loud. I can bring him to a busy town center and walk him by a construction zone and he's...fine. Totally fine. He's all, 'Oh look at those men in the funny hats!' But bring him home and walk him around the block and a neighbor walking out to get the mail is the scariest darn thing he's ever seen.


The relationship between Coffey and Tayamni sounds pretty similar to between Rune and T actually. Tamarack is veeery sensitive. He is absolutely not submissive - I kind of think of him as the quintessential true 'dominant' dog - fearless, never submits, but is never intentionally mean or cruel to anyone. Aside from his puppy appeasement stage, I have never seen him 'submit' to a single dog in his entire life. But he has also never been in a fight despite living a life of constant exposure to other dogs of all shapes sizes and temperaments. If an adult dog pushes him, he will choose to walk away or defer to avoid conflict, but he never submits. I trust his judgement in just about every situation. His only downfall is that he grew up playing with only golden retrievers who were too soft to school him much when he was too rough at play... so he does have a very intimidating play style. But he always listens to my direction and if I tell him to back off of a dog, he will. He is very smart and learns very quickly, but he's not cheeky.


Rune is Cheeky with a capital C. And he is SO. SMART. You can tell just watching the way he processes the world. Little things, like the fact that he untangles his own leash without being prompted when he gets wrapped around things. When he was 14 weeks old he realized that he could make eye contact with me in the rear view mirror of my car while I was driving (this was when we were really focusing on eye contact exercises and you should have seen the look on his face when he realized he had located my eyes in a different location than the middle of my face). Ever since that day, now whenever I talk to him in the car he eye contacts the rear view instead of staring at the back of my head like most dogs do. At only 4 months old I had him on leash playing in a stream and he had his eyes on a leaf attached to a big long stick going across the river, but the only part of the stick that was in reach was the opposite end the leaf was on. He hit the end of the leash, voiced his frustration, and then he stared at the stick up and down and I watched the gears turn. He grabbed the end of the stick he within his reach and hauled it in a bit, then ran up and grabbed hold of the newly available section of stick and hauled that in even further. Kept doing this until the leaf was within reach and then pounced on it.


I have been training him in much the same way I trained T, but I almost find that he is more sensitive in a way than Tamarack was. Tamarack I could be quite stern with if it was necessary and he would simply accept that he wouldn't get what he wanted until he listened and that's just the way it is. With Rune it almost seems that if I am too stern I run the risk of doing more damage than good. If I am too stern too much of the time he will go into shutdown mode and start exhibiting stress signals that indicate his anxiety is starting to kick in. It's like he's got a constant battle going on in his head over the need to get what he wants all the time and his fear for what will happen if he keeps trying. I find it's a fine line we're constantly walking.


T, too, has suffered a bit in his own balance as well. He's a little more on edge and has less patience with the pups at work. When Rune got moved up to the big dog pens I couldn't let him play very much because every time he did Rune would run in and start barking incessantly at the energy of the situation and getting into the other dogs face and wreaking general havoc. His impulse control has gotten better since those early days though and now I'm starting to be able to recall Rune when T starts to play and I just hold him loosely in a sit while Tamarack can get some play time in. Rune still wants to run and join in (now he just stands right behind T and plays the cheerleader role but it drives the other dog nuts and will often make them lose their temper and take it out on T or someone else nearby), but for the most part he will stay put on his own and if he doesn't my hand is right there to insure that he indeed does. But for quite a while T was very depressed at work because I had to tell him to leave the other dogs alone so much. I've tried to counter that effect by giving him some more reward while out on a 1 and 1 walk just me and him. I've started a game with him on our walks wherein he is now allowed to actually chase the squirrels in the woods if he waits for me to give him the ok to do so. He LOVES this game, nothing gets him so excited as to hear me actually encourage him to do the thing I haven't allowed him to do his whole life. Of course, he needs to earn it, but that makes it fun. If he takes off without hesitation he gets a loud OY! which is his 'get your butt back here RIGHT NOW' command that has an undertone of 'you didn't do that right and I'm not happy about it'. If he sees a squirrel, freezes, and waits... then I'll give him an 'okay now GET IT' command and he shoots off like a rocket. Comes back a few seconds later panting heavily and slathering at the mouth with a big fat smile on his face. He loves it. I like to think it helps him cope with the decrease in fun he has at work now, and maybe it's all in my head, but who knows. He enjoys it anyway.


As for the daycare - yes it's all off leash. And leash tension may have something to do with the reactivity, but a lot of the time when I'm walking him he's dragging a long line and so he's not actually connected to me..or if he is there's no tension.. and he still reacts. Yesterday we were surprised in our 'safe zone' field by a neighbor walking her dog (a dog he knows from work) and he saw them before I did. He was way out of reach when he started wuffing, but he still recalled to me which I was very proud of. By then I'd recognized who it was approaching us, so I said lets go say hi! and just started walking towards her and let him decide whether to come along or not. He followed behind me and barked quite a bit, but then T ran up ahead to greet the dog and he followed a little ways behind. Once he realized who it was he turned himself inside out he was so excited because this particular woman always gives him cookies whenever she sees him, but he did bark quite rudely at her dog. He was pretty visibly shaken for a while afterwards though, presumably because even though it worked out in the end, the initial adrenaline rush he gets when he sees something scary takes a while to wear off.


Allison - yes and no on the trusting him thing. I've never seen him actually get into anything, but I've never given him the opportunity to do so. My house is so small I don't have the space to move things around enough to completely puppy proof one area. He's confined to the kitchen for the most part that's his space... but there's still a table in there and he could easily climb the x pen or the baby gate to get out if he wanted to. He doesn't, because they're established barriers. But he will still throw fits if I leave him in the kitchen and walk into my living room. And for the most part they're just huffy whiny fits, but if he's in 'anxiety mode' he did used to start pacing the gate and looking up at it like he was trying to figure out how to get over it. Also looking at the table top trying to figure out how to get up there. And given how frequently he regresses and has anxiety fits, I can't trust him not to have one if I leave him loose. His issue is not the crate necessarily, it's the act of being shut in with restricted freedom. When he was younger I could walk him into a small room and shut the door behind us and he would throw a similar fit, even though I was right there with him. I really think it has something to do with the feeling of confinement in general. So whether its a crate, an ex pen, or an entire room, if he is prevented in any way shape or form from having freedom, he is at risk of throwing a fit. And if he throws a fit he'll figure out that he can do things when I'm not there and not be reprimanded for them... and once he gets into that habit its a downhill slope from there. So crate it is until further notice. And yes, I also noticed that about the bigger crate thing, and that is something I will 'give in' on. I recently took the crate out of my car because he outgrew it and the next size up wouldn't fit. So I bought a seat cover that creates a hammock between two sets of seats... so that creates a similar visual barrier to what the ex pen creates so hopefully that will help train him to stay in his seat rather than climb up front and so far it's working out well.


And yes, we do lots of woods walks in 'safe' areas where I know we won't bump into anyone. It's upsetting to me, because the thing I like doing most is hiking but hiking involves meeting people and off leash dogs on trail, and the thought of having a dog that I cannot hike with is.. well, it seems absurd. I've owned reactive dogs my whole adolescence and the stress of having to deal with their reactivity in public triggers my social anxiety in a way that will make me stay home so I don't have to be in that situation. Reactive dogs are SO bad for me... my life has done a complete 180 since getting Tamarack because with him I could go anywhere, never had to worry about what was coming around the next corner because I had complete trust in his judgement. I was a recluse before T, with no friends because I'm such a dog person that the only people I want to be around are other dog people... and dog people have dogs. And the only time I got myself out of the house was to walk my then-dog, who was reactive, so I had to avoid all the places dog-people went. When I got Tamarack I could go to the dog park, I made friends. Now I'm back to where I was before I got him, because I can't leave Rune home for long enough to go on hikes with T and I can't take Rune anywhere where random dogs will pop up out of nowhere and potentially damage all the hard work I've put into him thus far. Thankfully I've got connections now, most of whom I've met as a result of Tamarack. But even just the thought of having to go back to living a 'reactive dog life' triggers these obnoxious anxiety attacks that I've been dealing with over and over and over again since bringing Rune home.


When I walk the dogs on leash I never have the two of them together. I can't focus on fine-tune training two dogs at once like that and dealing with leash tension issues and that kind of thing. When we do woods walks I can take the both of them off leash and have no issues. But I'm now realizing that it might actually be beneficial for me to let Tamarack be Rune's confidence boost. Tamarack was my confidence boost that I needed and continue to need, and Rune shadows Tamarack quite a bit. I've considered trying to let Tamarack bring Rune up to other dogs and hope that Rune will feed off of T's confidence and be excited about meeting the dog too. But I'm aware that that may backfire and Rune could use the confidence boost enough to fuel his fear to charge in and bully the other dog. I've seen that happen a lot at work, when two dogs from one household come in together, the more fearful of the two is always more of a punk when they have their buddy to back them up. So I'm not sold on that plan yet, but still considering it.

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Wow Woodrat, you sure have done your homework. I doubt this is comforting but perhaps you are the person Rune needed vs Rune being the dog you needed.


I'm not sure I've said anything that helped you with your problem, but your welcome.


If it's any help and this is only 2 data points - both my AIDs have had an odd period (maybe this is what people were calling "terrible twos?") and gotten significantly less odd as they enter adultlhood. Also they don't seem to follow the rules for regular dogs. By that I mean you can work them out of things like the fear of the curtains (because I was putting them up and they fell on him) vs having that fear for life. There was a period of time around 6 months that I call Zombee Waki. He was just in a completely different world than me when we walked and I didn't think he'd ever take commends or be off lead. He does now and can do it. Although I prefer him on lead off property more as a safety measure. He's so little. I totally understand the bit about idiots (ok lazy people) letting lose under trained and badly behaved dogs or dogs with bad temperaments. Waki just changed one day. I think some of it had to do with the two GSDs getting old and the responsibility he feels for Cake.


Cake, well the off lead thing will either just snap in place or it won't.


She's excellent with people and other dogs, mostly but some times she'll bark and puff up during 1:1 walks if we encounter another same size or larger dog in the woods. I think it's because we've had some close calls and some incidents due to idiots and off lead dogs. I will pick her up if I see an off lead dog, provided it's too late to scoot onto a different trail and I do call out to the owner and insist they put hands on their dog. I'm not shy about this. I haven't met a dog yet that is bold enough to charge me holding my dog in my arms and so there is no bad encounter. Maybe it's the old make yourself bigger?


The sound and sight thing - maybe he's getting too much input and can't filter it or tune it out as well as other dogs. I've found that white noise like a fan or certain brain wave inducing meditation CDs can help over-ride GSD hyper sensitivity to attack leaves, militant acorns and what ever invisible sounds they sometimes hear and react to. We call it "sleepy time music".


Good luck and keep us posted. If nothing else we can share tales of oddities and root for you.

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Take the weekend and lower all barriers (in the house). He's 6 months old. Give him the opportunity to be free, and show you that he can be trusted in the house. He only wants to be with you. He doesn't want to be separated. You'll get a break from training, and so will he.


Some dogs are good in crates, and some aren't.


If some training technique isn't working, especially after a couple months, don't be afraid to abandon that, and try a new technique.


I also have experience with the whining, and I know how it can get on your nerves. Will look forward to discussing it with you.

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Denise - The sound sensitivities - YES. From day one Rune has been alarmingly sensitive to every noise, which is why I suspect there's nothing wrong with his hearing, but as you say, I think he just has really good hearing. And good hearing + fearful nature = a dog who notices and reacts to everything. ......

Rune is Cheeky with a capital C. And he is SO. SMART. You can tell just watching the way he processes the world. Little things, like the fact that he untangles his own leash without being prompted when he gets wrapped around things. When he was 14 weeks old he realized that he could make eye contact with me in the rear view mirror of my car while I was driving (this was when we were really focusing on eye contact exercises and you should have seen the look on his face when he realized he had located my eyes in a different location than the middle of my face). Ever since that day, now whenever I talk to him in the car he eye contacts the rear view instead of staring at the back of my head like most dogs do. ......

When I walk the dogs on leash I never have the two of them together. I can't focus on fine-tune training two dogs at once like that and dealing with leash tension issues and that kind of thing. When we do woods walks I can take the both of them off leash and have no issues. But I'm now realizing that it might actually be beneficial for me to let Tamarack be Rune's confidence boost. Tamarack was my confidence boost that I needed and continue to need, and Rune shadows Tamarack quite a bit. I've considered trying to let Tamarack bring Rune up to other dogs and hope that Rune will feed off of T's confidence and be excited about meeting the dog too. But I'm aware that that may backfire and Rune could use the confidence boost enough to fuel his fear to charge in and bully the other dog. I've seen that happen a lot at work, when two dogs from one household come in together, the more fearful of the two is always more of a punk when they have their buddy to back them up. So I'm not sold on that plan yet, but still considering it.





such great explanations, I can really get a feel for Rune's cleverness!!!!


I like your considering of letting Rune learn from Tamarack and understand your concern about Rune being a punk with protection. Can you walk the both of them together on leashes in your neighborhood - not a formal training walk but to see if it after a few times it starts to help provide that confidence boost for Rune, letting him see how Tamarack acts?


I also understand the anxiety & reactive dogs narratives. Kelli experienced it with her last dog and had to have an aggressive dog trainer come in and help out. Roger was a daschund (sp) mix and it was fear aggression and he became anxious and resource guarding feeding on Kelli's anxiety. He was 3 years old before he got a trainer and she hadn't trained him as a pup beyond housetraining. (She did not live with me then). We did have almost 4 good years before he got sick.



Wow Woodrat, you sure have done your homework. I doubt this is comforting but perhaps you are the person Rune needed vs Rune being the dog you needed. .....

Also they don't seem to follow the rules for regular dogs. ......

The sound and sight thing - maybe he's getting too much input and can't filter it or tune it out as well as other dogs. I've found that white noise like a fan or certain brain wave inducing meditation CDs can help over-ride GSD hyper sensitivity to attack leaves, militant acorns and what ever invisible sounds they sometimes hear and react to. We call it "sleepy time music". Good luck and keep us posted. If nothing else we can share tales of oddities and root for you.


I like that idea of white noise tapes or the brainwave inducing meditation CDs for relaxing. I wonder if you could start that in the house and then if you could play it audible when outside if it seems to calm him in the house.

I know those meditation CDs put ME right out! It sounds weird playing the opposite of noises to desensitize him - but it could help soothe his nervous system and then hopefully allow you more peace in the house -or work to make progress / calm while you are out??????


I forgot to quote it, but I like Allison's words about taking a weekend off of training and giving him opportunity to be free.

Tayamni would back slide on me and I thought we'd never progress then I finally said - "OK, I'll give you more (room, what ever) and show me you can do it" I had to take a leap of faith with her - it mostly worked, so that method is successful with her. Also, she is one I can't be too harsh /stern /tough love - in fact if we "ehhht, ehhhht" Coffey the pup, she wonders what she did wrong. I think that is because there is only 9 mos between them so she hadn't matured to adult yet when we got Coffey. That brings in different dynamics that we had to adjust training to also.





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I have a neighbor with a large hunting dog. It weighs as much as me. They have a crate in their living room, but the door is no longer attached. We all love the dog, but he is intense, and sometimes they need to keep him away from the visitors and musicians with their expensive instruments.


They do a peanut butter kong thing, "take it in your crate", in he goes. He is there with us, and even after he is done with his treat, he stays in his den, with us but not cut off from us. Sometimes he falls asleep and starts to snore while we are trying to play music. Hahahaha!


He is happy because he is with us, not cut off, not segregated, just giving us space that his owner has determined is right.


Give him a chance; a first step.


They say, "Go lie down!" And he does. But he is not locked in. It is an agreement between them that he wants to keep.

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First off I am a country person on a small farm! I believe my girl would be this way if I made her stay locked up away from me, she is with me most of the day but as a farmer I am around to have her with me most of the time! Dogs make messes and that is something I feel one needs to learn to live with. My Elena has learned that she can't always be with me and she still barks! but She knows it will be ok! they are a pack animal and so am I ! lol my dogs sleep on my bed until they get in the way then I kick them off and they go find a kids bed to crawl into! So understanding what a pack animal needs and giving them it will really help. think of them as kids!!! they are almost as smart! lol

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Elena is Azteca x Jay (fall 2014), Tayamni's littermate.


I know all pups have different personalities but sensitivity seems to be a commonality at least to a point.

Tayamni can't stand being tied out but is fine in the house.

I used to try tying her out on a 30 foot lead while I was at ceremony - but she barked and barked while I was away from her and people were in site.

She does not like being tied out and unable to get to me. At least it sounded like there was almost a tune to her ongoing repetitive barking .... uhhhhh.

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Hi Woodrat,


I just want to let you know that things will get better.


We had the same problem with crating our pup Neon (Neo). He started hurting himself when he was in there, and lashing out at us for attention. Thankfully, we figured out early on that the crate was not for him (at least with the door closed). We let Neo have free range for a few days, and suddenly every one of the problems (anxiety, biting me, barking at strangers, tugging on the leash, destroying furniture, digging, whining in the car etc) disappeared. All he wanted was to be next to the pack without barriers. We feel strongly that these dogs long for constant companionship, and that their anxiety and our anxiety can be relieved by just sitting together without fear or anticipation of what might happen next. Sometimes we think Neo wants to be human. He is always telling us things with his voice and body language, and finally after two years together, we understand each other.


I would suggest letting Rune roam free for a few days, just to see how it goes. Our only complaint with free ranging Neo has been that sometimes he is bed and furniture hog. :D


All the Best,


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I know this is different, but try playing an instrument around Rune like a recorder or flute...I didn't notice if you tried (guilty of skim reading). They are 'song dogs' and this may give some peace. It does with Elena because she is more therapy....Ben is rough and tumble and sorta sings...just a thought

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Elena is Azteca x Jay (fall 2014), Tayamni's littermate.


I know all pups have different personalities but sensitivity seems to be a commonality at least to a point.

Tayamni can't stand being tied out but is fine in the house.

I used to try tying her out on a 30 foot lead while I was at ceremony - but she barked and barked while I was away from her and people were in site.

She does not like being tied out and unable to get to me. At least it sounded like there was almost a tune to her ongoing repetitive barking .... uhhhhh.

Elena is Ice Blue x Jay's 2014 Fall Pups but looks like these dogs :*)

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