Anxious Staff and over bonding?

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Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by ckgoddard191 on Tue May 16 2017, 23:48

Hi everyone. I have had my boy around 7 months now and to cut a long story short he came from a terrible backround where he was locked in a box bedroom with 8 other dogs who clearly were bullying him etc his white coat was yellow stained. When we took him on we took him to our vets for a full healthcheck and they said to let him settle in then have him neutered which we did and thankfully you guys here on this site put my mind at rest as I thought it might be too much for him to go through. Since his op he has changed so much for the better, such a playful little man now something he never done before.

So when I took him back for his follow up appointment to have his stitches out he got abit upset and started shaking this is something he has done a few times before as when we got him he was so nervous around humans. I held him so he was calm for the vet and she said after usually we tell people about dogs over bonding with the owners as it's not good for them but then said in his case she believes it was a good thing as his finally found someone he can trust. He follows me everywhere around the house etc and never takes his eyes off me. I have wrapped him cotton wool as people would say but only because I want him to know his now safe with a loving family and no one will ever hurt him again. Is this really bad?

Another thing I may have done wrong would be I have never left him alone. Me and my partner left him alone for 20 mins whist we went to the shops and wheb we came back we came back to both wee and poo. He knew he had done wrong because when he knew we has saw it he went and hid in a corner shaking. We told him naughty but didn't make a big deal of it as he was clearly distressed maybe someone hit him for doing this in his old place? Since then he has never been left alone but should we need to leave him for half hour or so it would be nice to not have to worry about him being upset etc.

Any tips I would really appreciate.
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Re: Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by -Ian- on Wed May 17 2017, 00:33

Most Staffies are very human orientated so what your experiencing isn't so strange, they do like to be our shadows. I don't think you've done anything wrong in getting his trust in humans back so now you need to make him feel more confident.

The accident may have been down to the stress of being without you and the fact he really needed to just.. Well... go.

So what to do moving forward? It'll take time but leave him for a few mins at a time over weeks, just building up the separation. You can leave him with treat balls etc to distract him initially so that he has something to occupy him and perhaps time it after a walk so that he's tired and may well just sleep.

What you're aiming for is for him to be confident that it's ok you're not there just now because you'll be back and a little distraction can go a long way. It will take time but you will get there.


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Re: Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by Mistys Mum on Wed May 17 2017, 07:01

Completely agree with Ian. Misty follows us around the house, to be honest I haven't gone to the bathroom alone since we got her!

Sometimes in the vets misty will also shake, it's terrible to see and we just stroke her ( she won't even take treats) and talk calmly to her. As soon as she's out of the examining room she is back to misty!


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Re: Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by gillybrent on Wed May 17 2017, 09:22

I don't think that he'll 'over bond' with you. But he does need to learn that he can trust someone at last, and that may take a while. In the meantime, let him find his feet as slowly as he needs to. When he follows you, don't speak to him, just get on with whatever you were going to do. Act normally & he'll see that 'normal' in your house means relaxed, loving & safe. When he gains confidence in you, he'll start to gain confidence in himself.

I would say that he became stressed when he was left and his stress made him pee/poo. He wasn't being naughty & he didn't actually do anything 'wrong'. He couldn't help it.

It might be an idea to start leaving him for very short periods, say just out of the front door, count to ten & come back in at first. Then go out the front door & out of the gate (if you have a front yard/garden), count to twenty & straight back.

Every time you come back, act as if nothing different has happened - no over-the-top fussing and praise, just say hello & go and get him a small treat. He needs to know that your going out isn't a big thing, just a normal, every day occurrence.

Gradually increase the time you're out, and if at any time he seems stressed when you come back, just go back one stage & try again. He'll get there, probably sooner than you think, but he needs to be able to trust that you'll come back.

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Re: Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by I❤dogs on Wed May 17 2017, 10:27

Louie is a lucky boy finding you. I agree with the advice given to you. He probably found in his last home mess on the floor causes an angry human reaction, I'd say nothing. I find when you return after leaving keep the greeting low key, that seems to reinforce that it's not a big deal. I try not to make a fuss of my dogs when leaving or returning
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Re: Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by ckgoddard191 on Wed May 17 2017, 12:03

Thank you all for your advice. I do mummy him I suppose because of what his been through. His such a lovely boy and considering what his been through he hasn't got a bad bone in his body. I wasn't a dog person but he has certainly changed me and even give me a new lease of lift with taking him out etc. Love this site found out so much with it being my first dog. It's great.
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Re: Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by gillybrent on Wed May 17 2017, 12:25

they do tend to grow on you, don't they? Love Struck Love Struck

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Re: Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by I❤dogs on Wed May 17 2017, 12:48

I think it's lovely you are making up for him having a bad start.
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Re: Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by LizP on Wed May 17 2017, 13:35

gillybrent wrote:I don't think that he'll 'over bond' with you. But he does need to learn that he can trust someone at last, and that may take a while. In the meantime, let him find his feet as slowly as he needs to. When he follows you, don't speak to him, just get on with whatever you were going to do. Act normally & he'll see that 'normal' in your house means relaxed, loving & safe. When he gains confidence in you, he'll start to gain confidence in himself.

I would say that he became stressed when he was left and his stress made him pee/poo. He wasn't being naughty & he didn't actually do anything 'wrong'. He couldn't help it.

It might be an idea to start leaving him for very short periods, say just out of the front door, count to ten & come back in at first. Then go out the front door & out of the gate (if you have a front yard/garden), count to twenty & straight back.

Every time you come back, act as if nothing different has happened - no over-the-top fussing and praise, just say hello & go and get him a small treat. He needs to know that your going out isn't a big thing, just a normal, every day occurrence.

Gradually increase the time you're out, and if at any time he seems stressed when you come back, just go back one stage & try again. He'll get there, probably sooner than you think, but he needs to be able to trust that you'll come back.

Nearly what I would say (except a lot shorter!). I differ on one point, and that is that I would give a treat when you leave but not when you come back. You want any positive association to be with you going. Scatter some yummy treats as you leave and return with no big deal. You might also want to think about using something like a stuffed Kong to occupy him, then move away and come back before he know's you've gone. Keep doing that and he'll click that you come and go and he doesn't need to follow you. When you can do that without him looking up, then go for a few seconds, and build up very gradually.

For me, there's a difference between over bonding (not sure you can have too strong a bond!) and rewarding clingy behaviour. It's brilliant to have a strong bond but equally brilliant to have a dog with confidence.


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Re: Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by Jenc on Wed May 17 2017, 20:03

Great advice given, all I can add is in agreement with Liz about giving treats as you leave. Katy is fine being left but our routine may sound silly but I tell Katy where I'm going & that I wont be long (believe me they do listen) I tell her I'm filling her Kong & she will go & sit on the living room step until I give it to her. Nice & calm I say bye & leave, not a peep from her Smile


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Re: Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by -Ian- on Thu May 18 2017, 01:34

Now I agree completely with Jen, if you tell them or show them what's going on they are fine, for instance, Flo always made a song and dance about having her advocate applied, it was a right palaver, but showing her and telling has made a huge difference, she now just lets me do it and waits for her treat. Now ask yourself how that works with a deaf dog i dont know


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Re: Anxious Staff and over bonding?

Post by Mia05 on Fri May 19 2017, 11:45

Its important to let your dog settle in but also to set some boundaries and not let them rule the roost . As your dog is still young id start the training with leaving your dog from a minute in a room on their own leave the door open and take it from there . Stand outside your front door and come back in increase the time left gradually. If you need more explanation let me know . All staff members have extensive knowledge in different aspects of their staffies. (Took me 2 years to rid mia of seperation anxiety).

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