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Thread: Dog has Extreme fear of Backyard after accident

  1. #1

    Question Dog has Extreme fear of Backyard after accident

    My backyard has an 8 foot fence that encloses it, and the majority of the yard is a pool. In late June this year a truck drove through the alley behind our house at a high rate of speed, drove through my fence and into our pool. At the time this occured, my dogs were in the back yard. One was very scared, and ran through the now existing 45 foot gap in our fence circled arounbd to the front of the house and was trying to get in the front door. She had releaved herself, and in a nasty state so I put her in our laundry room. The other could not be found.

    My first objective though was to get the person out of the truck before he drowned.
    The police arrived with an ambulence, and took care of the person so I could focus on the dogs. I could not see anything wrong with her, so I cleaned her up and took her to the vet to be safe. I also had neighbors searching for my other dog that was in the backyard too.

    When they removed the truck from the pool is when we found the other dog, pinned under the truck. Nothing could have been done, but it was the other dogs constant companion since being a puppy. At 5 years old, she is kind of lonely. We borrowed a dog, for a few weeks to see if that woulkd help but the fear is so extreme.

    While we waited for the fence to be repaired, we took her for multiple walks a day. But found she was scared of any car/truck that drove by. We have not been able to get this fear out of her. She also will not poop outside, she waits and then sneaks into our parlor to do the dead, then burst out running to hiude because she did something she iknows she is not supposed to do.

    Since the fence is repaired, she will not go in the back yard. You can force her, which will leave a wet trail as he cowers to go outside. Once ther she will cry, wimper, and trys every means to dig out of the yard.

    The dog is a newfoundland. It was odd enough she hates water, but to hate going outside is difficult to handle. At 140 pounds she can leave a good size pile in the house.

    We have tried blocking rooms off, spray, pads, just about anything you can think of. All we can think of was that she was laying around where the truck came through the fence. We are at completely lost and what we can do? She still loves to go for walks, as long as there are no cars driving around. As soon as one drives by, she is in flee mode to get home.

    Suggestions welcome, and appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    37,387
    What a horrible situation, and you have our sympathies on the loss of the other dog. No wonder your surviving girl is traumatized, and I bet you are as well. Does she have any particular treat or games she enjoys? I am sure the back yard smells different, too, now.

    Walking her, it sounds like you need to do some obedience training and work with desensitizing her to cars. Try, when you see a car approaching, to have her stop, sit, down, do paw - any series of commands that will keep her focus on you, and relaxed until the car passes. Once the car is gone, continue your walk, still stopping sometimes to run her through her pace, just for fun.

    The pooping in the house is a bigger concern. Do you clean the spot thoroughly with a good enzymatic cleaner after she has gone? You need to retrain her to go outside, much like you would with a brand new pup. This will take time, and I know trying to outstubborn a Newf is no easy task. But after she eats, when you know it is about time for her to poop, take her out for a walk, and do not go back inside until she has done so. When she does either outside, praise, praise, praise!

    I would concentrate on these two things for now, and eventually, once life is better for everyone, work on getting her comfortable in the back yard again. (Bribery - whether treats or toys are her preference - is a good idea.)

    Hope this all helps! Keeping yourself as relaxed as possible on walks - even if it is purely an act - will help, as we all know our nerves travel right down the leash!
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
    Posts
    16,920
    Oh my how awful for all of you! I am so sorry for your loss of the one dog.

    For the 5 year old, she has had extreme trauma, and needs time, patience, and desensitizing to overcome this. You may want to phone a trainer for advise.

    I suggest you start slowly, use plenty of treats. Walk around inside the house with her, on leash, perhaps. As you and she approach that door to the back yard, treat and praise, celebrate! Do this 3 or 4 times not more than that, then let her off leash, training session over. Do this a few times daily for a week.

    As with any desensitizing exercise, you have to progress slowly. The next step may be having her closer to the door, or perhaps having the door open. Again do this multiple times daily, lots of treats and praise, don't force her to do more than she is ready to handle.

    Any adults, even teens in the house, can take a turn during the day working with her on the exercise.

    I don't know what is immediately outside that back door, a landing area, steps, but take it one 'step' at a time. Get her out on the landing, treats and praise and let her get right back in to the house.

    While you are working on this, step by step, try walking her on a regular schedule. Most dogs poop twice a day. If you feed her about the same amount at about the same time daily, you should be able to figure out when she has to poop, and set up walkies for that time.

    Work on a separate project while out on walkies. See, you have to break each bit down into small increments, bits which she can handle, and then slowly build on that base. As a car approaches, have her sit and face you, and give her lots of treats and praise. Resume walkies after the car / truck has passed by. See how she fairs best, with her sittting back to the road (maybe not) or facing you with the road behind YOU so she can see the car go past. Try it out and see which has her less nervous to start.

    It will take time, perhaps 3 or 4 months. But she is 5 years, you have lots of life together still, and you can work this through and help her over this so she can enjoy life in her home again.

    When she goes in the house, don't reprimand her for now. IMO that is just making things worse, getting her more nervous. Since she seems to prefer the parlour, consider this. I don't know if that room is carpet or hardwoods, if it is a room you and family use regularly or what. Can you set down tarps to cover that floor / carpet and protect it, then put out either pee pads or newspapers, for easier clean up. In time, when she is comfortable in her own back yard again, you will want to set the pee pads or newspaper out there for a time to encourage her to 'go' out there again. See, don't expect that she resumes her duties out there just because she is comfortable out there. Take it slowly step by step. Some she will work through quickly and it may be that by the end, this step will just fall into place.

    Prior to when I adopted my Sugar (now at Rainbow Bridge) she had been attacked by a bull mastiff, picked up by the head and shaken. At the time, Sugar was blind with age related cataracts so she never saw the the dog coming. Once she was in my home, I lined her up for cataract surgery to regain her sight. But that was not enough. Every time she heard another dog, she was in extreme panic and took off. I could be walking her on leash around the neighborhood, the dog could be a small chihuahua barking next street over at the mail carrier, and Sugar was terrified. Once she even slipped her collar and took off! Luckily, she darted to my home (she'd been living here about 2 weeks and had not had the surgery yet so was still blind at this point!) and someone at home let her in. It took lots of training time and treats, but 4 months after the surgery she finally was calmer when she heard or saw another dog near us.

    Good luck and do let us know how things progress!
    I've been BOO'd!!
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    San Diego, California USA
    Posts
    189

    Attack

    Our two Schnauzers were in our back fenced yard and the people next door had a PitBull, since we had a fence we didn't think anything about it. Then Perry and Daisy who have since gone to the Bridge were out on the Patio, the Pitbull was outside tied to a post. We left to go to the store and the Pitbull got loose and as we could see when we got home, he jumped at the fence until he broke through and when we got home I ran up to the Patio and he had got to Perry and Daisy and Perry's lungs were collapsed, Daisy had numerous bites especially on her shoulder, naturally we took them to the Vet as soon as we saw them.They both were o.k. after along period of time. However they never liked other dogs from that time on. My son and daughter in law had two Schnauzers also, but Perry and Daisy would never be friendly with them or any other dogs. We worked with them to play with other dogs etc, but they never did and we finally gave up and replaced the fence and the couple with the Pitbull moved out. So we could never take them to the any dog parks or at the beach as they would not get along with any other dogs.
    Jackie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    indianapolis,indiana usa
    Posts
    22,855
    Quote Originally Posted by jackiesdaisy View Post
    Our two Schnauzers were in our back fenced yard and the people next door had a PitBull, since we had a fence we didn't think anything about it. Then Perry and Daisy who have since gone to the Bridge were out on the Patio, the Pitbull was outside tied to a post. We left to go to the store and the Pitbull got loose and as we could see when we got home, he jumped at the fence until he broke through and when we got home I ran up to the Patio and he had got to Perry and Daisy and Perry's lungs were collapsed, Daisy had numerous bites especially on her shoulder, naturally we took them to the Vet as soon as we saw them.They both were o.k. after along period of time. However they never liked other dogs from that time on. My son and daughter in law had two Schnauzers also, but Perry and Daisy would never be friendly with them or any other dogs. We worked with them to play with other dogs etc, but they never did and we finally gave up and replaced the fence and the couple with the Pitbull moved out. So we could never take them to the any dog parks or at the beach as they would not get along with any other dogs.
    Jackie

    I remember when that happened Jackie.Your dogs, Perry I think, was very badly injured. It was scary to read about the injuries & many prayers were
    said here for their recovery. I underxtand why Daisy & Perry were fearful of other dogs after that.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted






    Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again.

    Eleanor Roosevelt

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