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Hey guys, I've been reading on this forum for the past month or so but this is my first puppy and first post - which is very long - so hang with me.

I just got my new golden Jackie on Friday night. Everything seemed fine when I picked her up, but after the first few nights I'm starting to wonder if she came from a puppy mill or something similar to one. She was super friendly when I went to visit her both times. She was playing with the other puppies and had plenty of energy.

As soon as I put her in my car, she hopped out of the passenger seat, slowly climbed over the middle console and climbed into my lap. She dug her nose into the space between my leg and the door and barely moved the entire ride. You could tell she was very scared. I thought this was normal as she probably had never been in a car before and didn't know what was going on.

Ever since she's been home with me, she refuses to let me out of her sight. It doesn't matter if she is on the chair and I'm in the kitchen (she can still see me) she will whine and cry until she is standing next to me. If she's sleeping and hears me leave, she'll wake up and run next to my side. If she's eating and I walk in the next room, she'll stop eating and come running to me. She follows me every where I go. Not that I don't like it, but it seems like something isn't right.

I've been taking her outside every hour or so and taking her on short walks around my apartment complex. She is very scared of cars when they go by, she just stops and stares then comes running to me after they pass. She even started crying when I brought her into the local pet store.

She's never really excited and energized like I thought a normal puppy would. The only time she seems happy is when she's playing around in the leaves and grass when we go on walks. She doesn't even play with any of the 6 toys I got her! She usually just eats, and wants to sleep in my lap.

I'm hoping this is just an adjustment period and she'll start to warm up but it just doesn't seem right to me. I've read a lot about these circumstances and would really want to avoid going to a behavior specialist but I absolutely don't want her to grow up like this.

Can anybody tell me if this is normal and I'm just freaking out or if I probably need to see a specialist at some point. Thanks everybody!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Forgot to mention, I've tried to slowly crate train her. I keep the door open and sleep next to her while I put treats in there and pet her, but she absolutely HATES it. I've just started to close the door for short periods of times and she whines, cries, scratches, barks and freaks out to say the least....Which makes me think she's been in a crate her entire childhood.

She is 11 weeks old BTW
 

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Noreaster
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Where did you get her? A breeder or?

Some of this may just be her adjusting to this entirely new world without her littermates or mom. Did you meet her parents at all? Two days isn't very much time, especially since she's really just an infant.

It also sound like you may have a shy pup and/or one who was not socialized well, if at all. I would maybe think about taking a giant step back and not forcing her into high-stimulus situations like the petstore but instead just let her set the pace. Obviously you have to continue to take her outside to do her thing, but can you find a quiet corner with no scary distractions? Then be sure to reward her and praise her every time.

Once you see her personality start to emerge and she starts being a little more comfortable, then you can start over on the socialization but you will need to go very very slowly. Five minutes at a time with anything new, maximum, with lots of goodies and praise to make it as positive as possible. If you search on socialization here on the site there are some very good checklists and other information.

Do you have a puppy class instructor or a trainer available to you? Hands on help with this situation would be incredibly helpful. Please try to find one who has worked with shy dogs in the past and won't push her too far or too fast.

You can undo some of this damage but it's going to be up to you, if the breeder did nothing to accustom this poor little girl to the world.
 

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Lisa
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You've had her for two days, right? Don't worry. My puppy, who was from a reputable breeder, went into a tailspin on day three, walking around my house with his whelping box toy in his mouth, crying. He was also so afraid of the garbage truck that he would not pee in my backyard for a solid four hours (he could hear the "beep beep beep" as it backed up other alleys in the neighborhood). I had visions of bladder infections due to extreme fear on Wednesdays, our garbage pickup days.

He's over all of it now. He loves the garbage truck, because the guys give him milk bones.

Give your puppy a week to settle in before you start taking her places. Cars are an adjustment. Everything is an adjustment right now. She's just a baby, but she will progress quickly with lots of encouragement from you. It sounds like you will do a great job exposing her to new environments, but don't expect a lot from her during your first week or two. She's probably missing her littermates and her mom, and she's not ready for the puppy equivalent of Gymboree class just yet. :)

Is she eight weeks? Oh, and pictures...?:D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got her from a "breeder" but it was one of the amish farms in Pennsylvania. They wouldn't let me see her parents because they were in the Kennel and told me that they couldn't let me in there due to health regulations. I was told that her Mother is a little shy but nothing too crazy. I know this probably plays a part in her personality but I want to try and make her as social as possible. I understand that it was probably a poor decision but I almost felt like I needed to save her. I'm really not looking to get scolded on not buying from a reputable breeder, just advice on what I can do to help. She was the last one in her litter left so I don't it's because she isn't with her siblings, but I guess it could be.

I usually just take her in a small corner right outside my door where there isn't much activity. I've taken her on 2 walks a day for a little longer (15 minutes) to try and slowly get her socialized. I guess I could take the whole socialization process slower. I just always figured puppies would have so much energy and always be bopping around but again I guess its still very very early.

Also, is it getting late in the socialization process? I read that around 3-4 months is when they come to a roadblock and act like they do for the rest of their lives.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
She's 11 weeks! Her birthday is 8/28/14! Thanks for the encouragement! It makes me feel a lot better. Pictures will be up as soon as I figure out how it works! :)
 

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Lisa
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One more thing to add: even shy puppies can bloom in the right environment (which I am sure you will provide). Bailey was in puppy class with two extremely timid puppies, and by the end of the session, both puppies were as rambunctious as you would expect. Since she is already eleven weeks, she might do well in a well-run puppy class, once she's had a chance to settle in.

It's also very helpful to have a nice, well-mannered puppy to help draw out a shyer puppy. Puppy class is a great place to find a puppy like that. Or if you have friends with a puppy or a well-mannered adult, that's ideal.

One of our morning walk buddies is a dog named Mario from an Amish community. He also needed a little extra help getting launched, but he's a perfect dog now. He's a teddy bear, so he probably weighs a whopping ten pounds, but he's perfectly happy to play with my 75-pound dog. Take heart! All will be well with a little extra patience.
 

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Mom to Oatmeal too!
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If you got your pup from one of the amish farms, it is most likely a puppy mill situation that your girl grew up in. There is no socialization whatsoever at these farms as you would get with reputable breeders. You can't turn back time for your pup but you can start slowly exposing her to different things so she can become comfortable with the world. Start off slow with exposing her to a few friends who come over, sit in front of your house so she can hear sounds, see different things, walk on different surfaces. Praise and treat whenever she makes a step. If she's not ready, don't push her. Good luck!
 

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Congratulations on your new little girl Jackie.

I agree with getting Jackie into a puppy class. She can learn so much from that and may enjoy playtime - which is mostly what puppy classes are for : socialization and beginning to learn manners. You will be able to observe her in a setting with other pups.

Down the road agility is great for confidence building. It's a fun way to learn even if you have no plans to compete.

This link is helpful in getting Jackie the variety of experiences. I wouldn't go too fast though which could cause a confidence setback.
https://www.longmonthumane.org/sites/default/files/media/attachments/Puppy_handoutfinal.pdf

I give you a lot of credit for being so sensitive to your new little girl. When you think of how much they need to adjust to so suddenly, it's amazing how resilient they are!
 

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So sorry to hear that but she is lucky to have someone like you to care for her. With lots of positive experiences you can make a difference. Don't force scary experiences, but always gently encourage with lots or praise and treats.
Definitely a puppy class once it's safe for her.
If she is food motivated you can do a lot with that. A frozen Peanut Butter stuffed Kong is great for new experiences.
 

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She's adorable! We had a very shy puppy too, he followed us like a shadow every time we moved right up until he was about 14 months. He was very submissive with other dogs too until we sent him to daycare and now he's very confident, so the socialising will definitely help. Your little pup has been through so much and each day will get easier for here. I can't give any crate advice as we didn't use one, but I promise you this will get easier.
 

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We got our Maggie from an amish breeder in Lancaster Pa. We asked to meet her parents prior to taking her. They had no problem with the request and anwser all questions to my satisfaction. As hard as it would be, I would have not taken Maggie if he didn't let me meet the parents. This is are second golden form an amish breeder and Shelby was our first.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Mygoldengirl "As hard as it would be, I would have not taken Maggie if he didn't let me meet the parents" - Thanks for the response but obviously it is clear that I already made the decision to adopt Jackie. I'm not sure what the purpose of your post was other to bash me, keep those kind of comments to yourself. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all! :)

Everybody else, I appreciate the responses! Jackie is already doing better today. I guess I might've been overreacting and she'll just need a few weeks to adjust. I don't blame her! And I have tried the frozen peanut butter stuffed KONG. I tried the medium and large red ones. She wasn't too big of a fan! Maybe it was just because she was still so overwhelmed. I love the idea of her having a long treat though. All of the treats I've bought her are quick, small ones. What are some other options besides a KONG?

Thanks!
 

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Try it without freezing the peanut butter at first to get her interested. You could also plain yogurt (I use pain Greek yogurt because it's thicker).

A lot of people also use bully sticks, just have to supervise with it so they don't try to swallow it whole when it gets small enough.

Ella really liked Himalayan chews. Little pricey but when they get small you can put it in the microwave and it puffs it up and makes crunchy do they don't swallow it.
 

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She is a doll! As others say, and as you know, keep up the good effort on socializing her between now and 4 months. Even if she didn't have the most social start you are in control of this next window.

There is a great cd available called "scary dog sounds" and I highly recomend it to get her exposed to a variety of noises. Good luck!

Look at how long that tongue is!
 

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Lisa
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Mygoldengirl "As hard as it would be, . What are some other options besides a KONG?

Thanks!
At our puppy class, the trainer offered peanut butter on a spoon to encourage certain behaviors. You can also freeze peeled bananas, or freeze carrots, though those won't take as long to eat. Bailey is crazy about apple slices, which I sometimes use as a training treat.

We stuff half a slice of bread in a Kong, and it takes Bailey about 15 minutes to get it all out. Your girl might not have the patience yet to work it all out, but it's a great distraction when I'm preparing breakfast. I also stuff bananas in Kongs.

My puppy didn't get the hang of Kongs for a while, but now he loves them. He also completely ignored his Nylabone, and now he carries it around. They definitely go through stages. If she's not into the Kong yet, she might like it more later. She'll get better at getting the food out as she grows.
 
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