I don't want a tsundere dog
January 27, 2014 8:03 AM Subscribe
Our new dog fears me and is generally seems to be fearful. He's already bitten the friend who would be watching him if we went on a trip! It would break my wife's heart to take him back but if his behaviors keep up I don't know if we'll have any choice. However I believe there are rarely bad dogs, just mostly bad owners. How can we make Fishstick part of the family?
posted by charred husk to Pets & Animals (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Just over a week ago we picked up a 3 year old red-haired dachshund from the breeder where we had gotten a puppy before. She was done breeding him and he wasn't quite working out as a show dog (his butt was too big or something) and he was free to any home she had adopted out to before.
He seems very fearful in general - he runs away from me and my wife if we approach him but becomes docile as soon as you get your hands on him. I assume the latter behavior is training for being a show dog. He has taken to my wife and he will approach her on his terms, snuggle, kiss and generally be excited to see her.
But he seems to fear me. If he sees or hears me come through a door, come down the stairs or move around in general he begins barking at me. Even when we're sleeping he'll sometimes walk to my side of the bed begin growling a bit and if I make the slightest movement begin barking. Yet at the same time if I'm sitting on the couch or sleeping in bed he'll happily snuggle up next to me so I doubt its anything personal.
I've seen a question similar to this before but I'd like to add that he seems generally fearful and nervous. Part of this is obviously being in a new home, part of this probably just his dachshund nature. The rescues we've had in the past were all abandoned and latched on to us immediately so we haven't had to deal with anything like this before.
The bite came when some friends were over. The one that acts as our dog sitter was holding him and seemed to really like him until someone else began playing our out-of-tune electric organ and he freaked, biting her on the way down. Hopefully she understands because we need her not to hate him.
How can we get him to stop barking at me and to help get him used to his new home and our friends? Will it just be time or are there things we can do to make it better?
Notes: We have three other dogs. A year and a half old dachshund with no off switch (who Fishstick was meant to be a companion for), a nine year old Scottish terrier who prefers to hunt and never really learned how to dog and an ancient, arthritic dachshund who we have keep the other dogs from using as a cushion. He ignores the old dachshund, seems okay with the Scottie and we joke that he seems to think he's our youngest's dachshund's dog and not ours.
He hasn't been fixed yet but will be. We were told he was crate trained but he runs from his crate - we're working on reinforcing that and he's begun going in for my wife.
I've trying changing how I approach him, showing affection when he willingly comes close and giving him treats when he's not barking. (Unfortunately giving treats to only one dog in our household can be... challenging.) If it was just him not liking me that might be enough but I'm concerned this is linked to his general fearfulness.
I have a beard but am not tall (my wife is actually taller than me).