Any tips for nervous Ronnie

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Any tips for nervous Ronnie

Post by charlottieg on Mon Oct 17 2016, 12:51

Hello,

We have recently noticed a couple of issue developing with Ronnie. Could anyone offer any advise/tips please?

The main issue is hes gets worked up/frightened around roads. When we are stood waiting to cross a road he goes into pull mode, pulling to get over so much that hes almost laid down on the floor. As hes getting bigger its getting quite dangerous. I've tried taking treats with me and making him sit but hes so worked up he wont listen or even sniff a treat (any other time he LOVES food!!). I've tried being confident/ fun/ relaxed walking up to the roads but that doesn't really help either, once he knows the road is approaching he puts his ears right back and pulls like crazy.
He doesn't really calm down then until he's off lead. We have being avoiding roads recently and talking him down to the field in our van but that wont solve the issue in the long term.
A trainer once said it could be excitement with him but i'm quite positive its not, you know when they are frightened don't you?

Another issue is that he appears to get scared when I get his harness out. Pixie is straight to the door jumping with excitement but Ronnie runs off upstairs and only comes down when we are about to leave. I can usually tempt him down with treats but do you think hes scared of the harness or could it be linked to the fear around roads? Once hes out and off the lead he loves it!

If hes had a really long walk and tired walking back crossing the roads isnt as bad but he still looks scared

Any tips on how I can make him more confident would be appreciated

Thanks Smile
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Re: Any tips for nervous Ronnie

Post by GRAHAM.C on Mon Oct 17 2016, 22:48

I notice that Ronnie is 1 year old.I ask the question,has he always been that way with traffic,or has it only developed recently?
If it has only started recently,some thing has obviously spooked him,could be the noise,or the speed of traffic passing.
You must find a way to gradually restore his confidence,you could try taking him somewhere where he can see and hear the traffic at a distance and when he seems happier with that gradually take him a little closer each day,or maybe take him to a shoppers car park where the cars are moving much slower and not so noisy.When he starts to get used to that,give him plenty of praise.
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Re: Any tips for nervous Ronnie

Post by LizP on Tue Oct 18 2016, 09:18

To expand on what Kit says, I'd suggest you work with Ronnie a bit further away from roads while not avoiding them completely. What he needs to learn is that he can cope.

We have an advice sheet on addressing fear (and I agree it is probably that):

https://staffy-bull-terrier.niceboard.com/t65450-addressing-fear

You should be able to work with Ronnie using that as your basis. Find quiet places with predictable but slow traffic - car parks can be good places to start as you have the cars but at very slow so less frightening speeds - where there is space to work at a distance. If you can get him relaxed around traffic there, then you should be able to build up gradually to quiet roads, then later to busier places. Avoid anywhere with very noisy or fast moving traffic until he's really good.

I know you said he won't take treats but that may well be because right up by the road the pressure is too great. In survival terms, keeping yourself safe from immediate danger comes above eating, but when you're not faced with something so dangerous you can again eat. If he's usually a foodie, then you can even use his ability to take treats as an indicator that you've got too close. If he can't eat, he's too stressed; if he can eat he's coping better.

Hope that helps!


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Re: Any tips for nervous Ronnie

Post by charlottieg on Wed Oct 19 2016, 12:27

Thanks for the advise and link Liz - helpful as always. I have printed it off and will put some of the steps to test.
Think you have hit the nail on the head with pushing him too far so that he wont want to eat.

Kit - thanks for the reply. Id say its been going on for around 4 months and gradually got worse. I guess its the noise and speed of the traffic as he's worse when crossing a certain main road (large lorries etc).

Thanks again
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Re: Any tips for nervous Ronnie

Post by -Ian- on Wed Oct 19 2016, 17:30

I can't offer any advice above the excellent replies already given but do let us know how Ronnie gets on.


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Re: Any tips for nervous Ronnie

Post by Mia05 on Thu Oct 20 2016, 22:06

get the dog used to a less busy road use treats a calm voice and relaxed arms and build it up to a busier road hope his problem sorted
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Re: Any tips for nervous Ronnie

Post by 9austin on Sat Oct 22 2016, 21:58

Poor Ronnie! And what a worry for you, Herbie occasionally gets spooked by noisy cars or motorbikes and shots forward on the pavement like he's trying to chase the vehicle! I know they have sensitive hearing, so perhaps, as has been said, he has had a shock. I also realised after a while that we don't do a lot of road-side walking, so am trying to do more. A little, more often has improved things, and sometimes we sit on a bench for a while near a local junction, slower traffic etc. Exciting life we lead!

Good luck and keep us posted!
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