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Remy's Mom!
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As most of you know from my postings on here, Remy is usually quite fond of my boyfriend and not of me. He's always loved us both, just obviously him more. It breaks my heart but I have been able to understand because he is gone all day and I am the one to discipline Remy... who wouldn't love the fun parent more? Well, recently, I felt like I had a really strong bond forming with Remy. My BF had started taking over the disciplining as he was home more, and I was able to really bond with our boy.

However, the other day BF was gone and Remy had just been out but decided to jump up on our bed and pee all over. I don't know how he had pee left... he had just gone a LOT outside. I'll admit I was angry and I did pull him off the bed by his collar (I can't pick him up and he wouldn't get off) and I yelled at him. My mistake, but I had just washed the sheets... you know that feeling. Pure frustration. I did not lay a hand on him other than to drag him off the bed (I try to never use my hands when punishing).

Now Remy is back to being afraid of me... but not afraid... terrified. He won't come near me. BF is back working full time and Remy will hide in corners, under chairs, under tables... just to get away from me. The only time he comes near me is when I have food. I'll try to give him treats and he will cower and submissive pee.... I have to throw them to him. He shakes when I am near... that's how scared he is. If I say "Remy! Kisses!" he shakes and runs and hides. I try to train with him to build bond, he cowers. I take him out and he won't walk with me... normally his favorite thing is to walk. He lies down and then cowers when I get near him... and people are watching... it's embarrassing. Nothing else has happened to make him afraid of me except getting mad at him that day, and I am so at my wits end with this. It makes me cry... he acts 100% normal, so happy, with my BF and with me he trembles. What did I do? What can I do? I've tried placing him on top of me to establish dominance (read that one online) and it terrifies him. I've tried bowing in front of him... scares him too. For two days I've been tossing treat after treat (unhealthy amounts) to get him to come closer to me. I've tried laying on the floor. I've tried... everything I know how to do. and no. Submissive pee and cower.

I can't do this much longer. I am seriously so sad... I cry multiple times per day because of it. I got a dog to be a companion and a best friend when moving to a new city... not to have it fear me and to have a miserable relationship with it while watching my boyfriend have that amazing bond that I've dreamed of since I was little (parents never allowed dogs).

HELP!
 

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Try the oppositie tactic. Ignore him. Go about your day, don't worry about where he is, let him come to you.

Or, tether him to you. No baby talk, no treats, just leashed to you so when you move he has to go with you, when you sit down he has to stay next to you.

Choose one and try it for a while, if it doesn't work, try the other. I think he will get over this with time.
 

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luverofpeanuts
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I think Remy is still young, and you have time to develop your own bond with Remy. Try not to "dream and wish for what isn't", but rather "love, appreciate, and cultivate what is". Easier to say, harder to do. But my point is that we are all humans and canines, and ultimately, wanting the fairy tale family experience will likely have falling short.

What we all have is hours/days of the fairy tale, and also hours/days of nightmares. We hope to have more of the former, and less of the latter.

My two siblings, Aspen and Spirit are quite different in personality. Spirit has been pretty well bonded within a few weeks. For Aspen, it has taken longer, and continues to evolve. She is a complex personality and loves on her terms and also tests boundaries when she wants. It doesn't mean we haven't cultivated a bond of sorts, it's just different. In the mornings, she's a total snuggle bug. At night she tends to want to be near, but have space...doesn't like to snuggle/cuddle. That's just her personality... it's my problem to have learn to deal with. It may change.. . it may not.

I agree with the other posts.. stop trying so hard and let things ride a bit. Dogs can sense your vibe...so the fact that your stressing out about this, is potentially making it worse because Remy can sense your emotional about it. Do your best to be feel happy and project happy thoughts around Remy.
 

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Wow... :(

How does he react with strangers?

Have you considered consulting with a dog behaviour specialist or trainer?
 

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Remy's Mom!
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Discussion Starter #5
Kristin - With strangers he is great, acts like they are the best thing in the world! It's specifically with ME... :(

We have done a basic puppy class and our trainer told us to wait until he gets past "that crazy teenage stage" to do the next class... so that is coming up but we do train every day at home.

mylissyk - I've been ignoring him tonight and he seems to be paying a little bit more attention to me, and a bit less fearful. I think I'll just do that the next couple days and see what happens. Then, after ignoring him, maybe I'll leash him to me and go from there!
 

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The book My Smart Puppy has a section on working with puppies like this. Something about dropping treats as you walk by them.

I don't know what you mean by disciplining, but my husband and I don't talk about who is or isn't disciplining the dog. We talk more about training than discipline. I guess I'm curious what discipline your dog needs.

Do you have any games with Remy? That was a suggestion from one trainer I worked with. Some dogs like the weaving between the legs thing. Casper likes to push balls down the stairs. My last dog would slap my hand with his paw. All our dogs have loved to chase popcorn.
 

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...dropping treats as you walk by them.
QUOTE]

This is a great suggestion. Just walking by dropping treats, no eye contact, no talking to him, just you walked by and something nice happened, can make a big difference in his perception of you. You don't ask anything of him at all, but your presence is positive.
 

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That's so weird. I won't lie that I sometimes have a short fuse and have yelled at him many times. Never the same reaction. In fact, it makes him even more "up my butt".. He follows me everywhere and has to be in the room I am in at all time and he js cinstantly looking for attention and affection. Never that way with my hubby. He sees me as boss I guess and I have never seen my hubby yell at him. I wonder if the same thing would happen if he yelled at Pilot. 0-o

Good advise here if he ever has the same reaction!

I really hope you and Remy can build a better bond. He shouldn't be running from you like that. :(
 

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When Bella was being really defiant and not listening, she would go into corners, behind things, under things just to be away from me. She would snap at me (not aggressively) when I would put my hand near because she did not want me around.

What worked for us was using treats. Any time I came around her, I would wait for her to calm down and give her a treat. If she were in a corner being defiant, I would persuade her out with a treat. Any time I picked her up, treat. Treats all over the place. She would get them for doing anything nice.

Now she has transformed. She will come better and hardly ever goes in corners.

I hope Remy feels better toward you. Dogs are weird sometimes, but they have soft hearts and will come around.
 

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My heart was breaking reading your post, Ashley. That would make me so sad, too.

Do you think you are feeling anxious at this point, and so Remy is "reading" that and reacting? You may not even realize it, and I know you aren't doing it on purpose. These dogs have incredible sixth sense. I think the idea of going about life, dropping treats, and being very matter-of-fact and talking to him in just a normal, non-sweety-baby voice are all great ideas. I think he'll come around, too.

What happens if your BF is home, and let's say, they're snuggling or playing, and you join in? Does he stay because your BF is there?
 

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Remy's Mom!
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Discussion Starter #11
Today has been so much better because my BFs family is visiting and he loves them! He has been interacting and playing with me as normal and he seems happy! For the first time today he actually greeted me with excitement when we came home from being out! I have still been treating off and on... But my BFs family will still be here tomorrow so I'm hoping that maybe this company will get him out of his funk! He's being happy playful Remy today... Although when I was here alone with him until everyone came he was still skittish... So we will have to see how it goes over the next few days!
 

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Daisy-Broken Heart Healer
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One more thing to consider is that Remy might have a urinary tract or bladder infection. The only times our dogs have gone in the house is when they have an infection. It has usually been on a dog bed or our bed or something soft to make them feel better. It's a long shot, but one to consider. It can also affect behavior. Keep on doing what you are doing, as it seems to be working:)
 

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We have an underground fence and one thing it made me realize is each dog needs a different amount of correction. When training our two cockers two years ago with it, Bailey didn't want to go outside after getting only beeps (no shock) and Duncan needed level 4 (5 being the highest) to respect the fence. When talking to Perimeter Technologies, they said you want to get where your dog respects the fence but you're not making them scared to go outside.

It could that Remy needs light correction to know he did wrong. Maybe be what you thought was a mild correction was harsh to him?
 

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Remy's Mom!
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Discussion Starter #14
estesbubba... I think you're definitely right! We know that Remy is a sensitive pup so we have been trying to use only positive messages... maybe a "NO!" if he's really doing something wrong, but mostly just a soft correction... a tap on the butt or a "Remyyyyy...."

I know I was in the wrong when I yelled at him and yanked him off the bed... he is such a baby and I know I hurt his feelings. Tonight since we are finally separated from family (in our bedroom where his kennel is) I have been sitting next to him in his kennel and giving him tiny treats for looking at me, showing signs of happiness, etc. That way he is in his bed, safe, but I am still here, near, and a positive presence. Today has been much better... I just hope it continues!
 

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Sweet Girl may be right that Remy is picking up on your emotions. Calm and steady is good if you can act.

I think hand feeding all meals might be good to try too. Without a lot of fussing and petting. Just sit in a chair and let Remy gently eat from your hand.

Another thing you might try is working with you BF to have him "stay back" when you're all home together. You become the major person in Remys life at all times unless BF is home alone w R. Might be worth trying for a week or so.

Good luck. I can tell this hurting you. You're not the first or the last person to scare their dog by losing their temper. Don't be so hard on yourself!
 

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Remy's Mom!
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This evening has been mixed. I've been trying to live and let live and Remy was really coming around until... I dropped a pot in the kitchen. Clumsy me... Ugh! He was very scared again even though he was in the other room when it happened. However, we made an hour car drive and he slept on my lap the whole time (I rode backseat with him) and he is now approaching me pretty well although still timid. It's the little steps that are encouraging though!
 

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Remy sounds like a very sensitive pup. Our Gunner is REALLY sensitive. When he was a pup my husband told him in a normal voice to get off the couch, he thought my husband hated him it seemed after that. So we never have to speak in a stern voice because it freaks him out and he thinks he is a bad dog. We used only positive training with him and it worked wonderfully. Still if we tell our other dog to go lay down, Gunner reacts like we are talking to him.

I believe you can train your dog with positive training and they will still know you are the alpha and be devoted to you. Please be patient with Remy.
 

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Glad things are looking up! I forget how old Remy is, but one of my books says there is a second sensitive period (can't find the book). Maybe that's part of it?

Also, my friend that raises service dog puppies was visiting with her new pup last week. I was talking about brushing the dog, and she said the puppy trainers say brushing is a really good bonding activity.
 

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Remy's Mom!
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Discussion Starter #20
I am very happy to report that over the past few days Remy has slowly been getting more affectionate toward me. He is starting to come near me... but not sit near me yet. He bears his belly every time I come near, but actually walked with me this morning! Slowly but surely...
 
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