Dog Food Chat banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,916 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My rescue Abbie is now 11 months old, and though she has come quite a ways in her socialization and shyness/fear issues, she still has quite a ways to go.

I have high hopes for her. She's SMART as heck, she blows me away with her smartness sometimes. She's also so willing to please, and tries so hard. You can tell she's doing her best to make me happy at all times. Even though I think she's mostly bluetick coonhound (in appearance), I think she's also got some border collie in her because of her intelligence, intensity when training, etc.

I really would love to get into some performance sports someday with her, but I know she needs to continue to become less fearful in public in order for us to do that. She's incredibly fast and athletic, and reminds me of a BC with her movement in those ways, so I'd love to do agility or flyball, maybe some obedience. The thing is, she needs to be comfortable in public before taking part in those sports.

So how do I continue to help her with her issues? I want to enroll her in an obedience class, but I think a Petsmart or Petco location is the best I can do. I don't know how much I trust those courses to really teach anything, so I was thinking of just bringing her into those places and doing mini session while going up and down the aisles. Seems like it would serve the same purpose?

What else can i do to help her? She has a ton of fun at the local dog park, you'd never know she's shy, though she is a little nervous around human strangers, but she loves other dogs.

I just have high hopes for her. I know she can be amazing in whatever we train in, I just don't have experience dealing with a fearful dog :frown:


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,128 Posts
If she is scared of strangers I would try and desensitize her to those types of situations. Do you have any local pedestrian malls you could go for a walk down? I would definitely go to petsmart and petco all the time just to do socialization. Maybe also visit a home depot or lowes, they all should allow dogs. I would just try and get her around as many people as she can handle without too much stress. Do this as much as possible!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,009 Posts
I agree with everything Natalie said, but also wanted to add: be sure in this exposure to make all her experiences positive ones. Don't be afraid to TELL people how to approach your dog and tell them what you're trying to accomplish. Most people are more than happy to help. When I was working through people issues with Champ, I stopped everyone that was approaching him, (when we were to the point he was even ready to let people approach him) and had them offer him a treat first thing. This helped him associate approaching strangers with yummy treats.

Desensitizing to strangers, and making a positive association is only half the battle though. You'll also want to boost her confidence by teaching her new things (with positive reinforcement ONLY, and setting her up for success each time) and going over tricks and commands she already knows. This will help her be more confident in general.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,965 Posts
Rocky was a VERY shy rescue puppy. I actually enrolled him in the Petsmart puppy program just so he would be exposed to more people. They limited their class to only three puppies and we made sure to pick a class that was at a time when the store would not be too crowded yet he would still meet people. We picked 5 pm at night for our class, NOT a Saturday morning when a lot of people and crowds would be there.

The classes let them work up to walking up and down the aisles with people but also kept the people away from the dogs at first since they were 'in class'. He was petrified of the store and parking lot in the beginning and I actually had to carry him in but by the end he was actually snuggling his teacher and walking all over the store. It was a really good experience for him.

I agree with Corgi.....we always take our bait bag of treats on walks with Rocky and everyone he meets give's him a treat first. Then they pet him by reaching UNDER his chin and petting him around the neck. He hates having strangers reach OVER his head where he can't see. After the treat and the pet under the chin, they are pretty much friends for life with him. It's all in the proper introduction. Rocky is two now and is still hesitant about strangers (he is a chow after all) but we crossed the country twice with him last year and he let every single person who came up to us pet him. We still carry the bait bag and still have them give him a treat first......probably always will.

I wouldn't hesitate to try a class at Petsmart with your girl. You can always go there alone first and watch one of two and see what intructor you like. It's not necessarily for the 'training' as much as the socialization time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
One tip you should try at the beginning is to just sit in a place where there's a moderate traffic of people and let your dog develop curiosity that could bypass her anxiety and shyness.

The thing I observe with my dog, which is not shy at all, is that walking toward people rise her excitation of meeting new people. So in your case to be static expose her to people and let her the choice to get nearer. The important key in that kind of problem is letting her make the first move, at the beginning at least.

Bringing treats and getting her to a class is always a good idea.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
One tip you should try at the beginning is to just sit in a place where there's a moderate traffic of people and let your dog develop curiosity that could bypass her anxiety and shyness.

The thing I observe with my dog, which is not shy at all, is that walking toward people rise her excitation of meeting new people. So in your case to be static expose her to people and let her the choice to get nearer. The important key in that kind of problem is letting her make the first move, at the beginning at least.

Bringing treats and getting her to a class is always a good idea.

Good luck!
You have been given great input already. The only thing I'll add/pose is that ur pup looks a lot like ausie cattle dog mix... They can be very suspicious of people. Basically, regardless of breed - patience is the best quality you can benefit from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I also can see the bluetick possibility... Beautiful dog. Blueticks can also have some natural shyness, but not the kind of suspicion of a cattle dog... I
May have been barking up the wrong tree.lol but still say be patient, never going far beyond the comfort level of your gougeous dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,085 Posts
Great advice so far!
I would just always keep things happy, light and positive. Don't reward and pet her when she is acting in a fearful way. I love the idea of having a bait bag with you at all times. Whenever your out and about with her give tons of praise and treats for good behavior that you want. Find a way to make everything a positive.

Get her out and exposed to new people and places as much as you can. The more the better. A training class or socilazation group would be great too.

BTW, she is so cute! :smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,916 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I also can see the bluetick possibility... Beautiful dog. Blueticks can also have some natural shyness, but not the kind of suspicion of a cattle dog... I
May have been barking up the wrong tree.lol but still say be patient, never going far beyond the comfort level of your gougeous dog.
Thank you :) I've always thought the majority of her is a herding breed of some sort due to her intelligence, learning style, movement and other things. I was lucky enough to get in contact with her rescue recently and got some baby pictures of her and her siblings. They were pulled from a high kill shelter in Arkansas when they were just puppies. Apparently mother dogs can have multiple fathers in one litter???? So it's hard to know....

Baby Abbie



(The one in front of her looks a lot like cattle dog to me...)


And two of her other siblings...




The only time she makes me think "hound" is when she alert barks and when she glues her nose to the ground on walks lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,267 Posts
cattle dog mix... They can be very suspicious of people. Basically, regardless of breed - patience is the best quality you can benefit from.
Agree totally. My cattle dog x is very suspicious of strangers and of other dogs she doesn't know. I knew this was a cattle dog trait so tried to over-socialise her as a pup, but once she hit 2 you'd think she had hardly met a stranger in her life. People and dogs she met before turning 2 are friends for life.
I've had to accept and manage the situation. I tell strangers to ignore her and let her approach them only if she gets curious, which she normally does, but it's at her own pace, never forced. We still constantly go to places where there are a lots of people, just sitting outside shops, going in pet shops, take her to restaurants. Patience and letting the dog know you are in control so she doesn't have to protect you or herself helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,791 Posts
I say do what you're already doing...Love her w/ every ounce of emotion you can muster. And introduce her to new people...slowly and subtle of course...no one running up on her and rushing into her personal space....GOD, I HATE THIS-so many people do this unknowingly. My guy, Harry, hates this and even snapped a couple time-people rushing up on him.

Yes, love her. Just love her.:biggrin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,916 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I say do what you're already doing...Love her w/ every ounce of emotion you can muster. And introduce her to new people...slowly and subtle of course...no one running up on her and rushing into her personal space....GOD, I HATE THIS-so many people do this unknowingly. My guy, Harry, hates this and even snapped a couple time-people rushing up on him.

Yes, love her. Just love her.:biggrin:
Sounds good :wink: She is my heart and soul. My soulmate in doggie form. I used to think it was my boxer Cooper, but now I think it may be Abigail. I can't imagine my life without her. And although she may never be a social dog (like the boxers in my past), and she may never be strangers favorite because of this, I adore that she LOVES ME with every ounce of her being, and is loyal and devoted to me. I know I can count on her. And the way that she thumps her tail while I talk to her, or throws herself in my lap with her head back looking for kisses....*sigh*....there's nothing better than my girl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,791 Posts
Meg,

I know many of the "pro trainer" types would poke fun at me and I may not have 10 degrees in Dog Training. But I eat sleep and breathe with 3 right next to me every day so I feel it counts for something.

I've seen great things happen from showering your Dogs with Love and respecting them like you would other people.

I had a good Trainer talk to me once...shortly after I got Harry and he had snapped at a friend and the VET. In both instances, they rushed him and got right in his face.

I was astonished...I thought the Trainer might say euthanize him, he's dangerous....

The exact opposite happened...he scolded ME!....he said, "kevin, why aren't you protecting Harry, thats YOUR job. You had no business letting those 2 rush up on YOUR boy and get into his face. You wouldn't let someone do that to you?"

Of course, he did advise more socialization for Harry so Harry could handle situations better but I found this amazing. It changed my entire outlook on how to handle our guys.

most of the time its not our Dogs that need the training ;)

It's us ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Since she loves other dogs, one technique I've used is bringing a shy dog to calm public places along with a very outgoing doggie friend. You won't see an immediate response, but dogs learn from eachother, so seeing a dog she likes and trusts getting along with strangers can have an impact on the shy dogs outlook... It has worked for me. Nothing dramatic but some difference for sure.
-Bryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
This is so true, Mitsou and the male Schnauzer of my girlfriend met and live almost always together for two years now and they exchange so much characteristic. And the two were at an advance adult stage.

Mitsou that almost never yap is now doing it slightly more when a stranger is doing something suspicious, which is good thing. On the other hand the Schnauzer tend to socialize more when he sees my golden in confidence with the approach of strangers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
This is so true, Mitsou and the male Schnauzer of my girlfriend met and live almost always together for two years now and they exchange so much characteristic. And the two were at an advance adult stage.

Mitsou that almost never yap is now doing it slightly more when a stranger is doing something suspicious, which is good thing. On the other hand the Schnauzer tend to socialize more when he sees my golden in confidence with the approach of strangers.
It does work, like any other method...takes time to see the result. (on a side note, that is the problem with some of these "reality" dog shows - is that they make things look like overnight)

BTW you really are lucky to get those early photos of ur girl... The one by herself on the grass is PRICELESS.
I also see some strong cattle dog looks in the others... But all in all it looks like ur on the way to a FANTASTIC companion either way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,916 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
It does work, like any other method...takes time to see the result. (on a side note, that is the problem with some of these "reality" dog shows - is that they make things look like overnight)

BTW you really are lucky to get those early photos of ur girl... The one by herself on the grass is PRICELESS.
I also see some strong cattle dog looks in the others... But all in all it looks like ur on the way to a FANTASTIC companion either way.
I know, I'm so happy to have gotten them, esp that one of her alone. That was the first one she sent to me, and when I saw it, I started crying. I got Abbie at 4.5 months, so seeing her so tiny, it was so amazing and heartbreaking to know that her and her siblings were in a high kill shelter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
I just wanted to add that I adoped a VERY shy lab/aussie mix about four months ago, and things have gotten a lot better. When I first got him, he wouldn't walk outside. Like, at all. He would freeze up and just stare at the door to go back inside. He was terrified of other dogs and strangers. My father came to stay with me when I was waiting to close on my new place, and it took him SIX days to be able to touch him.

Since I've moved (about six weeks after adopting him), things really started to turn around. I now live next to a big park, which is where I take him on long walks. He started getting curious of other dogs in the park, and after about a month, I started taking him to a dog park, which I now still do daily. He loves chasing and wrestling with most other dogs (some, he just doesn't like). He still won't let strangers pet him, but he's gotten better. My mom visited recently, and it took her only about 3 days to pet him. A female friend visited last week, and it took her only a few hours. But the fact that strangers can't pet him doesn't really bother me, honestly. If I see some idiot dive-bombing in to pet him, I'll just say, "He's unfriendly; he'll bit you." That gets them to stop. I used to say, "He's shy," but that doesn't always work. Everyone thinks they're going to be the one to break your dog of his shyness. You have to be more negative if the person is forceful or obnoxious.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top