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mydiamond

='( in serious need of help

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Some of you already know, some of you have heard it a thousand times, but some of you didn't know yet so I'll re-tell Diamond's past. Dime was previously neglected and abused--after abandoned by his "breeder" who suddenly went out of town; leaving her 13 huskies under the care of an old man (I later found out he has mental disorders) who constantly abuse the lovely dogs. At the age of 13 months old Diamond was rescued by his second owner. But because of his past, Dime needs some special care and behavioral training--which his first owner can not provide. Soon he was adopted by his third owner; who also owns a Golden Retriever that just can't get along with Dime. His third owner finally gave up when her Golden bit Diamond (and actually draw blood) and that's when Dime came to me :D Diamond used to be scared of everything: dog barks, little kids, umbrellas, old men, big vehicles, cats... :confused: but after 3-4 months of constant training and socialization he turned into a social butterfly. He loves dogs of all kinds and is great with kids :clap: but s-t-i-l-l....... His fear of large crowd of people hasn't changed :cry1: I've tried everything but his fear comes and goes it's hard to tell if he's trained or not :( At times when he's in a good mood (I think) he would ignore any crowd and would allow any kid come up and pet his head. But sometimes he would just pull and hide behind me as if I am forcing him to come near a man-eating monster =\ I've done an observation: Dime is only scared of people with dark-colored skin. Be it little kids, men, women... If they have dark-colored skin Dime would freak out in an instant. It's not as bad as his first day of course but I wonder if he will ever be 100% cured? :( I also tried to make him face his fear once by taking him to a dog show (I actually made my mom drive out of town to attend this event wow) and it actually worked pretty well.. He's freaked-out at first but 15-30 minutes later he would happily greet every dog he met and let anyone pet him :D but just when I thought he's cured he start to freak out again when I came across a group of men during night walk =\ it really is devastating to watch him desperately trying to break free from his leash :( it made me feel bad :cry1:how can I kick his fear out of his body?? I think the phrase "easy come easy go" describes his nervousness accurately.. Whenever I'm ready to restart his first-3-months-at-home training his fear went away like dust. BUT THEN when I think he's already cured, I'd come across a group of people and he'd freak out--again! :confused1:

What should I do? :anyhelp:

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Well i don't know exactly how to solve this problem but once i read in a sibe book how to train your dog to run along side a bike. i know that it is not the same problem that u r dealing with but it might help. in the book it said to have your dog on a leash and approach the bike (or person) slowly. i would suggest to use a friend with "dark skin" so the person will not freak out when the dog freaks out. let him/her sniff it and while he/she is doing this say things like: " u silly dog its just a bike" or "see sweety it can and will not hurt u" remember to say this in a nice soothing voice while petting your dog gently. u see this i read is just for a bike but i believe that it will be simaler to training your dog to not freak out. if u have already done this then i have no other ideas:)

Good luck:cheerleader::kimba2:

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Don't try to comfort him too much, though, as a dog will often take that to mean that there IS something to be afraid of. Treat any situation that isn't threatening very matter-of-factly - it isn't a big deal - because it ISN'T a big deal. Stop a distance away, let him look, stay very calm yourself, because he'll pick up on your anxiety. Then move a little closer, stop again, let him look some more, and then walk by at a distance where he's just a little concerned, but not really afraid. Repeat a LOT of times - lots of little exposures at low-leveles of anxiety, so that he can find out for himself that it truly doesn't harm him, gradually working your (and his) way closer to dark-skinned people - or anything else that is a concern for him.

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Also adding to what others have said when taking each stage bit by bit reward and distract with a squeaky toy or food which ever he prefers, as its not possible to feel pleasure and fear at the same time you are re-writing his associations creating a different reaction rather than crowds=fear=fear response change it to crowds=fun/food=happy response. over time you can get rid of the food/toy but the new response will stay.

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Congrats on bringing him such a long way!

I'm heavy in support of sutsibe 's advice. Even just taking him somewhere there is a large crowd, or a super busy pathway or something, and just sitting on the grass nearby and letting the crowd move around you. If you totally ignore him and just pat him when he's quiet and relaxed, it will probably help.

As for the fear of dark-skinned people, a bag of aromatic soft treats and some helpful randoms might be all it takes! Start by asking a few people that he doesn't show fear towards if they wouldn't mind feeding him a treat. Make sure he is polite and only gets it when he sits! Once he gets the idea that these strange people are sources of tasty tidbits, start looking for the scary dark-skinned people and do the same thing. Ask them only to look at his paws to start out with so that he isn't threatened by direct eye contact.

So long as YOU behave the same way with both light- and dark-skinned people, Diamond will start to learn that there is no difference. It could just simply be that he had very little exposure to dark-skinned people - they look a little different, and different is scary. He will eventually learn through repeated incidents of nothing bad happening that there is nothing to fear. Animals don't hang on to bad memories and bad associations the way humans do.

On a random but amusing note, this reminds me of my mare who used to have an irrational fear of miniature ponies and donkeys. When she first saw regular ponies, she would gawk at them as though she couldn't believe a horse could be that small. But when she first saw a miniature it blew her mind and she completely freaked out. Eventually my family got a miniature donkey, and it was hysterical to see this poor donkey bounding after the mare, who galloped away in abject horror from this bizarre perversion of nature! Now she's happily part of a herd that includes 2 miniature donkeys and one miniature horse.

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Congrats on bringing him such a long way!

I'm heavy in support of sutsibe 's advice. Even just taking him somewhere there is a large crowd, or a super busy pathway or something, and just sitting on the grass nearby and letting the crowd move around you. If you totally ignore him and just pat him when he's quiet and relaxed, it will probably help.

As for the fear of dark-skinned people, a bag of aromatic soft treats and some helpful randoms might be all it takes! Start by asking a few people that he doesn't show fear towards if they wouldn't mind feeding him a treat. Make sure he is polite and only gets it when he sits! Once he gets the idea that these strange people are sources of tasty tidbits, start looking for the scary dark-skinned people and do the same thing. Ask them only to look at his paws to start out with so that he isn't threatened by direct eye contact.

So long as YOU behave the same way with both light- and dark-skinned people, Diamond will start to learn that there is no difference. It could just simply be that he had very little exposure to dark-skinned people - they look a little different, and different is scary. He will eventually learn through repeated incidents of nothing bad happening that there is nothing to fear. Animals don't hang on to bad memories and bad associations the way humans do.

On a random but amusing note, this reminds me of my mare who used to have an irrational fear of miniature ponies and donkeys. When she first saw regular ponies, she would gawk at them as though she couldn't believe a horse could be that small. But when she first saw a miniature it blew her mind and she completely freaked out. Eventually my family got a miniature donkey, and it was hysterical to see this poor donkey bounding after the mare, who galloped away in abject horror from this bizarre perversion of nature! Now she's happily part of a herd that includes 2 miniature donkeys and one miniature horse.

that would help :D thanks lots! :yahoo: oh and it's nice to hear that your mare has been cured from her irrational fear (she's cured? good! so I guess I'm forgiven for laughing when I read she's afraid of ponies :P) guess it's gonna be Diamond's turn soon :D

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