Terrified Ranger last night - I am an awful owner. - Page 2 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 03:48 PM
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You may want to look at it from another angle.

You gave Ranger an example of making a striking move, a motion that terrifies him and then dropped your "weapon" got down to his level and offered comfort and love instead of violence. You may have taken a huge step in helping him recover from the frightening images of his past and move on. Don't beat yourself up over a purely innocent occurrence, use it to strengthen your bond and help him to recover from the bad memories. I think you made a huge move in building his confidence and his trust in you. Look for the positive I think your Ranger has.

BTW - I would love to see video of the "Wasp Dance"!

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 03:53 PM
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Don't feel bad. Iwas getting into my pj's and when I took off my belt Ciggy went running unde the bed. She too had been abused. I felt so bad. Now after 4 years she's getting better. She doesn't cower when I call her. It's so sad. Your story brought tears to my eyes.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 04:06 PM
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I understand. I would beat myself up over something like that, too. But don't!! We can't think of everything, all the time.

And you know, I have to agree with Muddypaws. You did the one thing that probably scares him more than anything and he had the opportunity to see that it was okay. Nothing bad happened to him. I don't think I'd approach it that way intentionally, but since it happened, you might as well look at the upside!

Incidentally, I lose all focus when there's a bee or a wasp near me, too. I've done my "bee dance" when out for a walk with the dogs. Gunner used to go on alert when I'd do that. Luckily, Riley just stands there looking at me like, "WTH is wrong with you?"
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 04:24 PM
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Awww... sorry you both had to go through that.

Might do you both some good to work on desensitizing him to swinging motions. Start with something benign and slowly raise it over your shoulder, while tossing awesome treats his way. Work up to a swinging motion (not aimed at him, just in general, with him near by) at speed with a benign object and then work up to the "scarier" things at slo-mo. Idea is to work so slowly, he's never reacting to it.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 04:40 PM
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I've swatted at little critters before only to see my buddy looking at me in frighten disbelief. But, my dogs have always forgiven me. Especially around dinner time.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, he's way better now with swinging sticks/bats etc after a few weeks of me "batting" his toys for him in the backyard. He eventually started to figure out that something "swinging" means a fun toy to chase instead of "go hide behind a tree".

He's a little wary when strangers make the motion but he's been fine with me or my brother doing it. We started off just a little a time to help ease him into it...which is why I'm so annoyed at myself for going crazy last night - I dont' want him to regress. I'll bat some toys for him today to get the connection "swinging obstacle = fun time" more firmly established.

I was talking to the guy at the pet store the other day and Ranger just LOVES this guy. Pushes his head into this guy's lap, stands to be hugged, is just a total love for him. Told the pet store guy about Ranger being abused (by a man) and he couldn't believe it. Maybe I'll see if I can get this guy's help in swinging something near Ranger and then treating...I'll keep working on it.

In the meantime, the doors are staying closed and only the windows are open!
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msdogs1976 View Post
I've swatted at little critters before only to see my buddy looking at me in frighten disbelief. But, my dogs have always forgiven me. Especially around dinner time.

When I swipe them my dogs jump and try to catch the travelling bug. They also love us to play cricket. Real English golden!
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 05:36 PM
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Oh, really, don't be upset! I'm sure be is fine and there are no worries.
I don't have a doggy story but I have a ferret story. Finn is a rescue, seemingly a happy, bouncy boy. One day right after I got him he was playing around, being silly. I walked up to him, threw my arms in the air and just yelled "Finn-Finn!!!!!!". Finn fluffed up and BARKED at me, completely startled!!!
I didn't know he'd been abused, I probably looked like I was mad at him instead of playing with him. But he was OK after a few days.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 05:51 PM
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Please remember...YOU rescued him. YOU love him. It was a bad moment last night. Then, you made it a GOOD (yummy Kong & snuggles) moment. It will help him when you move on from the bad moment (and I am SUCH a do-dependent member of the "beat yourself up club"). You love your dog. He loves you. That's all that matters!!!
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2010, 12:43 AM
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You're not a bad person, you wouldn't have posted this if you were. Actually, it may help Ranger in the long run if he learns that you can swat bugs without him thinking you're mad at him.
My Belle, who I lost last month at 14, had what was probably an awful past when I found her. She had terrible scars on her neck, a BB in her right ear (checked it with a magnet), and she learned to trust me completely.
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