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My collie is a magnet to me everywhere I go apart from the sofa in the living room. If I'm in there she's 50/50 if she will come in and occasionally she will all of a sudden just skulk out. If I'm not there she is fine with my wife. In the rest of the house she is, like I said earlier, a magnet to my side. 

 

The issue is a few years ago she was laying on the floor by the sofa where I was sat and I spilt a coffee on my lap, I jumped up in agony from the boiling water and in turned landed on her tail which cause her to yelp and flee. She must have flashbacks from that because if sit on the far side of the room it's fine, it's asif she's scared something might happen if I'm on the sofa, even though it was an accident, but she doesn't know that. 

 

What's the best way to build back the bond we had in there? I've tried treats and toys and she does come but it doesn't seem the same as the rest of the house. 

 

Thanks Jonny 

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This is a tough one. I've done similar things accidentally to a dog. I've had to just take it slowly, and very very low key. I used super high value treats in sparing amounts and only cued the action once. Then praised, again very low key, keeping it 'oh this is no big deal, just practicing a bit' then left the dog alone for a while. Breaking through the 'superstition' that bad things happen  when she approaches you in that room takes some time. Her fright might also be compounded because you not only stepped on her tail but you were quite likely yelling in pain from the burn. So double scary for her.

Try sitting in a different spot on the couch, or sitting on the floor in a different part of the living room. Try once or twice a week, and see if anything helps ease her fear.

Good luck~

Ruth & Gibbs

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Good advice, above. I will just add one thing: whenever I even bump into one of my dogs accidentally I always reach down to pet the dog and apologize. This only takes a few seconds, and lets the dog know I am not disregarding him or her. It also sort of builds up trust, I think, and then if something more serious should happen, like what happened to you and your dog, it might be easier for the dog to understand it is an accident. I have, on rare occasions, tripped over a dog or stepped on a paw if I am being stupidly unobservant, and it seems they accept this easily as unintentional even if it draws a yip. Don't know for certain if my way of always apologizing to the dogs helps with this or not, but I think it does. 

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6 hours ago, Journey said:

Eh, rearrange the room :) Injured feelings of that nature are a long time in recovering, don't beat yourself up, accidents happen. 

I don't know if Journey was making a joke with "rearrange the room" (I say this because of the smiley face after it)....but if you consider doing this, I would be very interested to know if it makes a difference.  I find that to be a very clever way to approach the problem.  If the room is re-arranged so that the incident in the dog's head is no longer in the same location, I am curious to see if that corrects the problem.  So I'm not telling you to re-arrange your furniture, BUT IF YOU DO, please let us know if it makes a difference.  If it were me, I know I would definitely try it. 

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I can't really re arrange the room due to the layout but if I sit elsewhere it seems OK, or if my wife sits there it's fine, its me that's the burden haha. she seems alot better as of late though so just baby steps for now

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Dogs, (and a lot of humans) take cues about what's gonna happen from the environment. If you've ever been in a car accident and then found yourself a little sweaty when you approached that intersection again the first few times, it's the same darn thing. Changing the 'look' can make a big difference. Glad it's helping.

Ruth & Gibbs

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I think D’elle is onto something I do the same, I don’t know if it helps but at least I am being polite :)

all dogs have long memories, with time the trust and confidence will come back. My older dog went through a phase of being terrified of kids on wheels (scooters skateboards ride-ons etc) after being scared by a dump truck reversing, but the thing he was looking at was a couple of kids on wheels, it took time but the bad memory eventually faded and he stopped noticing them. 

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