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Need recommendations for a Trainer/Behaviorist in the Midwest.

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Willow is my latest rescue, I have had her since mid November.

She and her sister were left at a shelter, someone dropped them off in the middle of the night, and left them inside the fence. So I have no history.

 

When we went to get her at the rescue, she was completely shut down, and on autopilot. All she would do is walk in circles, and try to get the hell away from me.

 

We put her in a kennel in the back seat, and headed home, a 3.5 hour drive. She was as quiet as a church mouse. We stopped for food about an hour later, and I let her out, and she was pretty much in a full panic becasue there were trucks and cars, etc.

 

I decided to sit in the front passenger seat, with her on my lap. She laid there the rest of the trip without moving, just slept.

 

Vet check was good, no issues with lab work, parasites, etc. She was only 19 pounds, so we started putting some weight on her.

 

I think she is about 16 months old, based on her behavior, and the fact she was unspayed, and not pregnant.

 

 

I started bringing her into work with me, and for the first few weeks, she just slept under my desk.

 

As she started to get more confident, she is starting to show "Stranger Danger" and will now lunge, growl, and snap at certain people. She's not a big fan of men, but she's a Daddy's Girl, which I like.

 

I have been working with a local trainer for socialization and confidence building, but it seems like the more confident she gets, the more she is willing to be aggressive.

 

Currently I am keeping her penned in my office, and using clicker training to try to reshape the behavior, but I think I may need professional help (for me as well as the dog).

 

I live in Iowa, but am willing to travel a ways if it will help her.

 

Dom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello, and thanks for taking on and caring about this girl who obviously needs help. I don't live there and cannot recommend a trainer, but I would recommend that you get and read the book "Click To Calm". I used the techniques in that book to work with dog-aggressive fosters I had, and had pretty good success. Maybe you already know the book, but just in case you don't I thought I would mention it. Good luck finding a professional to help.

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I probably looked at 150 rescues from Kansas City to New York until I saw her picture, and we picked her up the next day. her sister was the "outgoing" one, buy I knew when I saw her she was the right one. All of my previous dogs were adopted the same way, saw a picture, and decided they were the one. The Aussie had been returned 5 times for aggression, and he is a home dog, he's 15 now and happy.

 

I just want more for Willow.

 

I have ordered the Click To Calm, and am considering the Fenzi Academy classes.

 

Thank you both for the recommendations.

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We have a trainer here in Ankeny but you need someone who specializes in dogs who have abused. My heart goes out to you and the task you have taken on.

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Most university vet schools have a behaviorist on staff, so that would be a good place to start.

 

The IAABC also has a consultant locator where you might find a certified behavior consultant: https://iaabc.org/consultants

 

Wishing the two of you the best. And yes, many thanks for helping this girl find her way to a better life.

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I would look up Patricia McConnell. She has border collies and sheep herself in addition to her professional animal behavior training

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We have a trainer here in Ankeny but you need someone who specializes in dogs who have abused. My heart goes out to you and the task you have taken on.

 

Bill G, There is no evidence that this dog has been abused. She was dropped off at a shelter, and that is all that is known. She may never have been abused in her life, perhaps was simply not socialized, and then dumped in a strange place and perhaps has a timid inclination in the first place and all that made her shut down.

 

It is a mistake to assume that a dog has been abused unless you know that it has.

It sets you and the dog both up for assumptions and excuses and patterns that are not beneficial to the dog.

 

Just some regular training with a positive bent will very likely be all this dogs needs, along with, of course, lots of love and attention.

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I don't think she has been abused, I think she was partially/never socialized as a puppy and abandoned with her sister for quite a while based on what the rescue said.

 

I have worked with a number of dogs in the past, and she is the first one I have seen licking dew or rain off the grass while running. She was on her own long enough to develop survival skills.

 

Additionally within the spectrum of a normal border collies stranger acceptance I would say she is more reserved.

 

When I got her, she had never seen a toilet flush, power windows, roast beef, or most anything.

 

Almost everything is a new experience for her and she exceeds her ability to think and goes into a reactive mode very easily around strangers.

 

She is low confidence, high drive, with a potential hair trigger for self defense to strangers who approach her.

 

She is great at the vet as long as I am there, and a normal happy healthy dog at home with her people.

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Bill G, There is no evidence that this dog has been abused. She was dropped off at a shelter, and that is all that is known. She may never have been abused in her life, perhaps was simply not socialized, and then dumped in a strange place and perhaps has a timid inclination in the first place and all that made her shut down.

 

It is a mistake to assume that a dog has been abused unless you know that it has.

It sets you and the dog both up for assumptions and excuses and patterns that are not beneficial to the dog.

 

Just some regular training with a positive bent will very likely be all this dogs needs, along with, of course, lots of love and attention.

I am sorry but no one really knows what has gone on in this dogs life, it could have been abuse, neglect or what? The answer would be she needs help.

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