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I got my Trend as a re-home about two months ago, when she was 5 months old. She is an amazing little puppy, except for the fact that she is very wary of strangers and other dogs. Her former owner said she thought she was just going through a fear period as when she was younger, she wasn't like this... It's been two months, and I've managed to get her to the point where she is comfortable walking near other people and dogs, but as soon as someone reaches down to pet her or another dog approaches her, she gets really nervous and scared. I'm trying to introduce her to a new, friendly dog each week, but so far it seems to no avail? Also with people, after she's been around them for 15 minutes, she's fine, but before that 'there's no way I'm going to let you pet me unless momma is holding me really close!'

 

Any help, suggestions, ideas? I'm kind of stumped....

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My recommendation would be to get the book The Cautious Canine, http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTB586

 

Also Control unleashed is a good book that has a lot of good games for timid or reactive dogs. http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTB943

 

for now do not pressure your dog to accept things it is scared of, but let her meet things on her own time and give her lots of rewards for doing so, but if she doesn't want to meet a new dog or person don't force her into it.

 

Some puppy playdates with similar age and playstyle puppies would probably be good for her. I sent my timid pup to a doggie daycare for half days to play in the supervised small dog/puppy room, they were there to be sure she didn't get bullied, but it forced her to interact with dogs, It really really helped. Find a good place if you go that route, be sure they are knowledgable about timid dogs.

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The advice to "not push it" is always my favorite. Allow your pup to make the first move. Ask people you meet to ignore her, although they may drop treats or hold them out in their hand behind their back. I have found the technique of "ignoring" the pup or dog to be one of the most useful things I have tried.

 

For a timid animal, our first reaction of "Oh, isn't she cute!", bending over, trying to reach out and touch, staring into her face - all scary, scary things! When I helped with puppy and dog class, we liked to let the timid, shy, or scared animals spend time over in a corner of the room. For small ones especially, it would be on top of a pause table, where the feeling of height could make them feel a little more confident. And then we would just sit and observe, sometimes for several lessons, always praising (mildly if that's what was best) and treat when the pup/dog would look at the other pups/dogs and animals calmly and without reacting.

 

Eventually, later that class or several classes later, that timid youngster would let us know that he/she was interested in getting off that table and so we'd make a stroll around the perimeter of the room, letting the pup/dog observe and, again, praising and treating. Finally, when he/she was ready, we'd pick out a gentle, laid-back pup or dog in the class to approach *at the timid dog's own pace* (never forcing or pushing/pulling).

 

In six weeks of classes, every timid animal I worked with was able to initiate contact with people and animals, within reason - and was prepared to expand his/her horizons to new places, people, and animals - but always with a care to do it at their own pace. Of course, some animals will never be able to be friendly or outgoing because of circumstances beyond our control (genetics, bad experiences) but most can be vastly improved with careful nurturing.

 

Remember to let the pup set the pace. Very best wishes!

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Could be genetics. Do you know anything about the parents ?

 

Both her parents are very outgoing and social. Trend and her brother were both owned by the same person before she decided it was best to rehome one of them. Trend's brother is the most outgoing, friendly puppy I have probably ever met. He loves people, other dogs, and basically anything...

 

Thanks for all the advice!

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Sorry for the late reply on this thread. This Trend pup ... I see there's an HN in front of the name. Is that Hob Nob? Is this one of the two pups Janice bought from Journey's End in Idaho?

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Best advice I ever got was not to force or push a meeting and have people ignore the dog. (That came from the experience and knowledge of people here.) My BC was extremely fearful and lacking in self-confidence. Even so, you could see he wanted to make contact but his fear overcame him.

It's not been easy and not been quick and I can't say my boy doesn't or never will have what I call his "Chase moments" but he's basically a different dog now.

Some that meet him now and know him now would never have guessed he was ever fearful. With some people, it's very hard for me to control his enthusiasm for greeting. Never thought I'd ever say that.

Chase also takes agility lessons and I do think that this has played a big part in building his confidence. He really thinks he's all that :rolleyes:

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Thanks for everyone's help! I'm happy to report that Trend has really come out of her shell this past month... It has me thinking maybe it was a fear period after all. 3 weeks ago I was at an agility trial and she was totally social with everyone, I was actually working on her NOT jumping on people instead of being afraid of them. About a week before this trial, she was still timid, but getting better, and then at the trial it was like 'Wow! Where'd that come from?' Ever since then she has been perfectly fine with people and other dogs :rolleyes:

 

Jodi, I PM'ed you

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