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Thread: Timid dog training resources

  1. #1
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    Default Timid dog training resources

    Ok, so our new pup is very timid. We've only had her since yesterday, but her previous carer confirms that she does not like anything new. She didn't want to go into our house, then she didn't want to go outside... She's happy in the crate (and I'm so happy I bought that crate) and stayed in the same spot on a sleeping bag on the floor all night. She will come up and very gently jump up (won't be hard to get her to stop doing that by just turning around) so she's not a really fearful dog. Just a delicate little flower without much confidence.

    I'm more used to dealing with pups with too much self-confidence! Can anyone recommend any resources for training exercises to try boost her confidence?

  2. #2

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    I am presuming this is a very young pup you are concerned about. Have a look at this link regarding socialization:

    Steve Courtney Dog Training Socialisation? What is it exactly? � Steve Courtney Dog Training

    Don’t forget Kikopup:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AElTVoIPlOw

    Then there is Patricia McConnell:

    Patricia McConnell | Learning Center | Solving Behavior Problems | McConnell Publishing Inc.

    It is very early days for your new foster. If you have baby gates I would be using them to separate the 2 pups for periods of time apart when you are home. I would also be feeding separately for a while – use each side of a child gate.

    How old is the pup ?

    ETA – found some more for you:

    https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/th...-thunderstorms

    http://fearfuldogs.com/myth-of-reinforcing-fear/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOhpr3NO3TY
    Last edited by RileyJ; 08-07-2014 at 03:58 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Riley. I discovered Kikopup had some exercises after I posted. Just got a bit discouraged when I googled because there were so many Cesar Milan type pages...

    It is early days and I can tell she isn't a problem case. It's just kind of new to me to take in a pup that doesn't just storm in, ready to explore.

    I'm avoiding giving either dog lots of attention and am limiting stimulation and keeping everything nice and calm. She's a staghound so it's pretty easy as she would have pretty low energy levels anyway.

    I'll give it a week or 2 for everyone to adapt and use that time to think up a bit of a plan to work on her confidence and socialisation.

    She's about 14 weeks, I think. Just a guess, as I didn't get her paperwork. She arrived in rescue with her mother and sister. Her mother is quite timid too apparently.

  4. #4
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    I found the yahoo shy K9 group useful when I was dealing with my timid dog. I havent been there for a few years now but back then I found some of the advice and insights helpful.

  5. #5
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    Reading 'delicate little flower' reminded me of Rox when she came to us. She would very gently jump up on us - not pushy at all - just constantly looking for reassurance. I wanted to pick her up and cuddle her all the time because she appeared to fragile and destitute. Fast forward 1.5 years and there is nothing fragile about her anymore. She is feisty as, putting Nero into his Box if he gets too much and strutting down the road as if she owns the town. I noticed recently she also does most of the marking now when we're out. And it's very serious business - she does not approve of being rushed!!

    We didn't really do anything other than giving her plenty of space and time to come out of her shell in her own time. Never forced her into a situation but just waited until she was ready. Until she was ready to take a treat, run for a ball and go for a swim. Until then she was just melting into the background and watching Nero. E.g. she was scared of the ball to start with so she'd sit under the deck in the dark and watch Nero go crazy for it. After a few weeks of watching she started to come out and step by step she just started to join in. Now she is even worse ball obsessed than Nero.

    It's great if she likes the crate. It sounds as if everything is a bit much at the moment and she looks for a safe space. I have no doubt you'll figure her out See how she react to training. Maybe it's a little early. A few weeks after we had Rox I took her to our dog trainer for a basic training session. I thought it would help her finding her place in the household if she knew the ropes, and if she'd get praised for doing things right ... But it was a huge mistake. She was totally overwhelmed and just shut down. I think it actually set us back so we skipped all training until she trusted us.

  6. #6

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    Also don't forget about fear periods - as per the Puppy Development Calendar -

    http://www.dogforum.com.au/puppy-dis...-calendar.html

    Yep - easy as it goes - let the pup get used to things - still train - but she needs to feel safe.

    How old was the mum ? If also young - then not surprised she was shy/timid.

  7. #7
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    That's lovely to read, Margoo.

    I took her for a walk around the block tonight and it was funny to watch her switch between trying to hide behind a letterbox and next doing excited puppy skips. She wasn't too bad on the lead with a bit of encouragement though. Just had to watch out for the sudden pulling backwards against the lead. (Am about to watch Kikopup's video on giving on to lead pressure)

    I've only seen one photo of the mum. She could be quite young, maybe around 1? And dumped at the pound with nursing pups, so not from a great background. A 3rd pup suspected to be from the same litter was left at the pound a week or 2 later.

  8. #8
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    Theres the LAT stuff - book is "control unleashed" by Lesley McDevitt.

    There's lots of confidence building exercises in there.

    And the Susan Garrett stuff - lots of trick training...
    collar grab training
    IYC training
    Bed to Bed training or mat to mat or crate to mat etc.
    any kind of basic shaping and training - tho I wouldn't use a clicker...

    There is a set of instructions called a "protocol for relaxation"
    (something to google) essentially building up step by step training dog to ignore all the crazy stuff going on out there...
    heres some that somebody made mp3 of... there's a link to the document on that page too...
    Relaxation Protocol MP3 Files | Champion of My Heart ... a real-time memoir

  9. #9
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    Brian was a very delicate little flower when we took him.
    We also used the crate

    I played with Brian, stroked till i found this new dogs gooey legs spots, and stroked the way he liked it, whenever he asked, and when i wanted to. Rewarding allowing me. kept the energy in the house, below excited. Went for kind vibes. Confident vibes. Hand fed him a few meals, fed him and scratched his chest, for going into the crate. Allowed him time out, from all us freaks that live here. Allowed him time, to come around.

    I tried to end interactions, to exit games whilst he was still interested. Building drive to interact with me by being a puppet, he controlled, by pulling certain behaviours out, i would behave by reward him with rubs and praise in silly voice. Anything with him moving toward me was what i rewarded.
    Didnt take too long for a mastiff to suss, that chest rubs rock! Head massage is haven apparently. Find your dogs senory achilles heel.

    And walk out with the dog. as i know you will be.
    its a great thing you do
    thankyou

  10. #10
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    I've seen that protocol before. It's pretty involved, but looks well worth the effort.

    And I actually have Control Unleashed, but never really read it. Can't remember why. I'll have a look tonight. I was thinking Banjo would benefit from some shaping exercises to boost her confidence too.

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