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Old 03-05-2014, 11:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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A startle reflex wouldn't concern me as long as the recovery is quick. She's only 5 months old so she's still young. A willingness to investigate new things, and recovering quickly after a sudden loud noise are good.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Alright. Thank you guys for your input. I think I'll avoid the dog park/Petco for now, and just keep her on the outskirts of the places I take her, so she's not overwhelmed. At the first sign of discomfort, I'll engage her in play farther away, treat her on a good moment, and take her on home.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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honestly your definition of good nerves could be completely different from mine. but i'd be careful of how much and how fast you expose her to stuff. it's easy to overwhelm a dog that is already nervous.

if she recovers quickly from stuff then thats good. if she barks at stuff all the time thats bad. if tail is between legs then thats super bad.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I would say this has to have a genetic component. You can continue to work with her; however, she will most likely never be easy going in all situations. Aside from genetics, the critical socialization window closes at 12 weeks. If she didn't have appropriate exposure from 4 to 12 weeks and/or if she is genetically fearful, you will likely be dealing with a slightly sensitive/fearful dog for the rest of her life. Fear of noises and fear of people and fear of dogs can all be completely separate things. The good news is that slightly fearful dogs can do just fine in environments they are familiar with and with people and dogs they know. The bad new is that, if not properly managed, fear can lead to fear aggression.

Manage her carefully, use lots of positive reinforcement training to build her confidence, find the best trainer you can, and with lots of hard work and some luck, you'll end up with a decent dog.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchcthrn View Post
I would say this has to have a genetic component. You can continue to work with her; however, she will most likely never be easy going in all situations. Aside from genetics, the critical socialization window closes at 12 weeks. If she didn't have appropriate exposure from 4 to 12 weeks and/or if she is genetically fearful, you will likely be dealing with a slightly sensitive/fearful dog for the rest of her life. Fear of noises and fear of people and fear of dogs can all be completely separate things. The good news is that slightly fearful dogs can do just fine in environments they are familiar with and with people and dogs they know. The bad new is that, if not properly managed, fear can lead to fear aggression.

Manage her carefully, use lots of positive reinforcement training to build her confidence, find the best trainer you can, and with lots of hard work and some luck, you'll end up with a decent dog.
I've never actually had this issue with her. I got Loki at nine weeks, and immediately began to socialize her. She was comfortable after a bit of treat/play, and from then on she was a champ. She was excited to meet new dogs, to explore the parks and areas I brought her, and Petco was one of her favorite places. She had proper socialization guided by the trainer I was working with up until about two weeks ago, when he moved away. She had no issues up until yesterday, when I took her to the dog park.

It's why I named the thread a complete turn around, because Loki loved going to the dog park and meeting other dogs and owners. It's why I was wondering if it was genetics, that perhaps they kicked in somehow?
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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If it was really a dramatic change like that, maybe it's medical? Has she been to the vet recently? Could it be growing pains or teething or something like that that caused her to be a bit off?

If this pattern continues though, with no medical cause, it probably is genetics/socialization.

Are you sure as a younger pup that she wasn't slow to warm up in new situations, or to new dogs, or people? Often the signs get more pronounced as they age, but you can usually see it, even in young pups, it is just more subtle.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:38 AM   #17 (permalink)
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i'd also wager the pup was shy from the get go. good nerves to me is a pup that is bold and confident from the beginning (8 weeks). you dont need to encourage it to do things. it should be getting into so many things you have to discourage it from being so naughty.
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