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Re: Fear of bed

Posted by:  Marie Evans
Posted on:  November 15, 2002 at 21:45:07

In Reply to: Fear of bed
Category:   Other
Posted by:  Michelle M
Posted on:  November 13, 2002 at 09:42:58

Question:

: Hi, it's me once again. My husband and I are at a loss with Simon. Until recently, Simon slept in his own bed on the floor at the foot of our bed. Unfortunately one night, the bed "gave way" and scared him to death. Since then, he hasn't gone to his bed, and we can understand why. We tried coaxing him by getting into the bed with him for a while (I know, what a sight!) and he submissive urinates. We moved the bed to another area and he still avoids it. We can't crate him - when we adopted him about four months ago, the people at the shelter told us that he was crated and abused while in the crate. Since we have had this problem, we decided to let him sleep wherever his comfort zone is, but its usually in bed with us. If we move during the night, it scares him and he submissive urinates. If we gently try to pick him up, he does submissive urination. We rock him and cuddle him, we don't hit him when this happens. Our vet said he is not ready for obedience school yet due to the abuse. What are we doing wrong? Thank you once again, your advice has been invaluable.


Response:

Hi Michelle,

Poor Simon! Well of course he's scared right now, I'm surprised you all aren't in the state of shock with the bed giving way :)

Anyway, seeing the Simon has crate issues at this point, and letting him sleep with you is turning out to be a rather wet experience for you, maybe setting up an ex-pen (which is much larger than a crate might help and putting his bed in there). I'm sorry I can't be of more help with this situation as submissive urinating takes a very long time to correct and usually you cannot totally correct it.

You might want to gate off a room for Simon and put his bed there. Maybe he's just nervous sleeping in your bedroom now and he might feel safer in a different room.

I also have to tell you that while Simon has had a rough life apparently, the more you coddle Simon the more it reinforces his fears. It's good that you are not correcting him for his submissive urination, but you should start to act more like everything is normal around him.

When Simon gets a little scared all you have to do in a pleasant voice is say something like "It's okay Simon, come on!" The more you move around your home in a normal manner the more Simon will relax. It might not happen overnight but it will happen.

This is one of the things we tell people that have dogs that are scared of thunderstorms. If you pick them up and coddle them it just tells them they are right to be scared.

When we first got Brody, our rescue, he was horrible during thunderstorms. We prayed we wouldn't get one in the middle of the night because we would be up all night dealing with a dog going ballistic (lots of barking related to fear)lol! Anyway to make a long story short, our other terrier that we raised as a pup has always been cool, calm and collected even during the most severe storms. Why? Because we never made a big deal out of storms, we just continue on with whatever we are doing. Okay we might cuss if our satellite goes out during a program haha! But you see what I am driving at? At normal, the dog acts normal. Well it took time with Brody, but now he is almost as calm as my other terrier, in fact both of them just lay around during one and the only time Brody will even bark (and not near as much as he used to) is if a crack of lightening hits very close to the house. Brody is a type A personality though lol!

I am not sure I agree with your vet about obedience school. Obedience school usually helps a dog build its self confidence. Just find one that offers positive reinforcement. It will probably be good for Simon to be socialized and it's a great bonding experience for you and him.

Regards,
Marie