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Dogs Afraid Of The Stove?

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Mr A, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    I see the pics of house pets enjoying the hearth, but my dog, a 12 year old rottweiler has become increasingly nervous the more I have used the insert I have. She is trying to warn me of danger and wont give up. I put the dog bed in the usual corner she retreats to. The dog comes and likes to watch the fire building process. She can't stand the crackling and popping of a fire once it getsd going, just stares at me, panting, like trying to warn of danger. She cozies up to the hearth when burned to charcoal, but until then she is an irritating SOB. I had the dog several years before I started wood burning, it is something she is not used to. Previously, we had a gas wall heater that she liked to lay in front of. She was initially afraid of the crackling of the gas wall heater,being a shelter dog, and became a heater dog quickly. I am thinking it is natural instinct for the dog to warn me of danger,. I would hope it not a mistake to condition a dog to accept the wood stove, but then ignore a fire! So what to do with a nervous dog? And not condition the dog so much that it wont warn you when something is really something wrong

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  2. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Ours kind of dislikes it, she doesn't prefer the heat-although I've noticed once of twice, she'll lay near it now. The only time she's really had a problem was our one overfire and she was pacing and grumbling. Actually, when it gets hot and the metal expands, she'll keep an eye on it too.

    She's a rescue with issues. She's learned she can trust us, so when she finds something new she's "afraid" of (thins she thinks might be a danger), we just work with her to show her it's ok. With her, you never know what that will be-the most recent weird issue was the tiger on a ringling brothers poster (all her hackles went up from neck to tail, she was barking and stamping at it). We had to touch it, and sit near it, then she'd get closer until she realized it wasn't doing anything. She's smart as a whip and a great watch dog that would have no qualms about going after anyone not invited in, but she needs some work, lol.

    Rotties are smart, I miss mine. I'd try working with her, showing her the stove is ok. If there's an opportunity for an outdoor fire if you don't plan on bonfires, perhaps allow her warn you of it and praise her. She'll hopefully connect the fire in the stove to ok, and fire outside of it as not ok.
  3. mtneer

    mtneer Member

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    huntington, wv
    The dog doesn't pay any attention to the stove. The three cats are a different story. As soon as I set my kindling down in front of the cold stove they gather around like I'm about to do a magic trick. Once the stove is up to temp they are conked out on the couch and end tables facing it.
    pen and firefighterjake like this.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Does the dog perhaps have an ear problem? If so, the popping and snapping might hurt the ear as it does not take much if they do have an ear problem. Something to check.
  5. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    the dog hates loud, sudden noises. Fireworks, engine backfire, vacuum cleaner, fireplace. Weird thing is the dog likes the lawn mower, and the chain saw. She will chase and bite the lawn mower tires as I push it. I tie her up when I'm cutting with the chainsaw in the back yard, dummy would try to bite the chain! Thanks for the suggestion about the ears, I'll mention it to the vet next check up
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It sounds a bit like a gun-shy dog too. I remember we had one. Actually we had 2 black labs. One was a super hunter and the other one could have been except at the first shot, that dog would high tail it to the house. Never could break that dog of that either but it was fine around machinery. Just banging. It naturally did not like hammers either. If we were building something, the dog found a shade tree far from us.
  7. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Nervous dog? My lovable mutt to the left is one of them. No problems with the fire, but plenty of other things he is skittish around. Patience, time and don't do the "oh it's ok" thing with him. Be calm, and I wouldn't address your dog at all during times he acts skittish. No positive or negative reinforcement. He's getting attention (which they want) either way. You act like nothing is wrong and usually the dog picks up on it and learns to be calm....usually.

    If he bites at something (tires) I've stopped and in a calm, not loud voice said no, and push them to the ground or on their back to show your dominance. Again without alot of loud or sudden movements. No striking or yelling.

    Some of this has worked for me...but again, time and patience has helped most. Good luck
  8. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    This doesn't sound like a nervous by nature dog. She very well could have extremely sensitive hearing. There is actually a hearing test that can confirm that, my mom had a shepherd they had to have put down because he had over sensitive hearing. It wasn't specifically that he was very effected by noise, but he reaction-he ate the seat cushion out of their truck, attacked things around the house. They were afraid he might attack a person, like a screaming child. When the test was done, he destroyed a toy left in the room with him.

    You mentioned shelter dog-was she a rescue? Another option is that while she might have sensitive hearing, this might be connected to a past life. Does she really "love" the mower, saw, etc or perseave them as a threat to be attacked (you said she'd bite the chain)? Our dog woud go absolutely off her rocker when someone would start a mower, saw, etc. We found out it wasn't the noise so much as the action required to start it (swift pull on the cord-which to her, was a swift raise of the arm/fist). Hammering was also a problem. We have surmised that at some point, either she or a previous owner (or both) were the victim of violence (which might explain her shortened tail and what appears to be a scar on her head). We bought the Cottage a few months after we got her, so we were doing a lot of construction at the time. It took a while to get her used to it, now she basically goes into another room rather than trying to attack whomever is using the hammer. She gets plenty of attention normally, so paying attention to her to work with what she's afraid of doesn't have a negative reinforcement effect (show that if she acts poorly that she will get attention). Another reason we actually paid attnetion to her fears and reacted, was we figured out it wasn't just an irrational fear and she needed to learn to trust that whatever happened before, it wasn't going to happen now. She wasn't afraid to jsut be afraid, she was afraid because something happened to make her that way. The only fear we haven't been able to conquer has been of stairs. We've gotten her to a point where she'll walk up/down a short run (like 3), but a regular set, no way no how. Our old house had 3 up to the front door, and the first time we tried to bring her inside, she pulled backwards and slipped out of her collar to run away she was so afraid of them. It took about a week before she was completely ok with them. Oh, that and she is freaked out by a friend of ours. She cannot help herself from barking at him, and her hackles will come up as soon as she hears his voice. Funny, our other dogs used to absolutely LOVE him, as well as our cat that pretty much was afraid of the world. He is rather tall with a deep voice, and she doesn't like men to begin with (when we went to meet her at her previous home, she barked and stamped at DH as well originally), all we can figure is he must look/smell/sound?? like someone from her previous life.

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