2 year old afraid of everything! - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 11-20-2012, 07:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2 year old afraid of everything!

I have two GSD, same sire, different moms, but moms are sisters, the first one Tia, is afraid of everything!, the second one Nikki isn't afraid of anything in fact she loves to investigate new things, but poor Tia, will hide if you pick up a fly swatter,if you call her she will run away,if you put down her food she will hid, my husband brings her the food in the bedroom, I have five dogs all have been raised the same way, anyone have a GSD that is so shy?
Don't know what to do to get her to be braver!
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My Sting is usually too bold for his own good, but he had a phobia about sidewalk gutters. We'd be walking along - start to cross the street and there would be a gutter. He would stop suddenly - won't want to go by it. So I got out the treats, and went up to the gutter, bent down and "petted it" - and put a treat (his favorite) close by it- he would slink closer, and grab the treat. With practice, he started to ignore the gutters. So that's the idea, introduce her slowly and confidently to new situations. For the fly swatter put it on the floor put a treat about 2 ft away away. When she even comes close (like 4 ft.) reward her. Also yawn (that is a calming signal) - yawn when you pick up the fly swatter. For her food, well with five dogs - and she is timid, I would feed her in the bedroom. Take her for lots of walks in different places - that helps. But keep her on heel or close to you so she gains confidence by being walking next to you "two against one". If she likes to play fetch, do that with her - you can put some of those scary fly swatters on the playing field -she can be so caught up in the game, she'll run right over them. Try not to soothe her, like saying "it's okay" that will have the opposite effect - she will think there is something to be afraid of. Turid Rugass's book "Calming Signals" has some good ideas.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you so much I will try, I am willing to try anything at this point, she is just so timid
She does act brave when it comes to climbing hay bales in the barn to get to the cats, but I don't encourage that.
She loves to play with the other dogs , if I take her collar off she will coward in a corner.
She is just so timid.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You're right she shouldn't chase the cats, but since she is climbing over hay bails to get to them, she may enjoy some agility. That would build up her confidence. There would be some ideas on the agility threads for making her own little course. She might enjoy tug the way my Sting does. Take a tug- or you even use an old towel, toy, those cat toys that are made out of rabbit fur or rope - tie it to a about a 6 ft. line (make 2)- you run ahead with one - scoot it behind a hay bail -she may be interested enough to pounce at it - then you tug it just a bit - drop it and run with your 2nd tug. Let her win by keeping the tug and praise her. Also since she cowers in corners - she needs her own den or a place she can retreat to when life is too much. If she has a crate - it could be left open so she could go in there at any time unless the other dogs would tease her. Just giving her some quiet time on a regular basis or when the situations come up (like if there is alot of noise or other people) that seem to make her more fearful, being able to remove her for a bit and give her a break. She can't be pushed into getting over her fears, but more like eased into becoming more confident. Since she loves to play with your other dogs, maybe it is only people that make her nervous?
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