Alexis - I agree with what you said.. for Aiden.
With Stark, he won't even engage a helper. If someone raises a voice, say my friends husband is rough housing with him, etc. and gets loud Stark will go to a quiet spot and shake. He will turn his body towards the wall, pant heavily and totally shut down.
We do not encourage this and ignore the behaviour.
I had stopped doing schH with him when he stopped going for the sleeve. This was during his reactive phase (I worked purely positive/ignored the behaviours for the reactivity). One day he stopped even engaging with the decoy. We had made sure to use a lot of prey with him but he sees anyone 'coming at him' as confrontational and shuts down. He will not bite or engage unless *I* am wearing the sleeve and even then he mouths it like crazy and will not grip it unless I slip it and then he carries it around for a few seconds.
If I am excited, Stark is excited. If I am frustrated or upset or anxious, Stark is pacing and extremely worried. My friends always laugh and say it's like he was an abuse case early on, when it is the extreme opposite.. funny to some people but not really to me.
If I am working on obedience say, and I ask for a 'heir' he will come into a sit. If he isn't in the position I really want him to be in (say he is too far away or not straight) and I correct him verbally with a "ah ah" or "nope" and ask for it again, he will try to jump on me and then shut down completely.
One time he was sniffing in a corner of the park and I was getting ready to leave, I called him to me and he kinda looked up, continued sniffing for a few seconds before coming back to me. I loudly said, "AH AH, COME!" and he ran to me, flattened himself on his side and went belly up.
It was that day when I called my trainer to explain what had happened that the e-collar was suggested.
If the correction isn't seen as coming from "me" than he is fine. He will not shut down or show any sort of avoidance behaviours. Lucky for me, Stark is a very well behaved pet and with the previous training we have done together has made him a little extra obedient than the average dog out there.
I am still a bit anxious today (having a bad few days) and can tell that Stark is "off". I am trying to ignore him when he comes to me all pouty and submissive jumping thing and only rewarding with attention when he is bringing me a toy or running around (which he hasn't really done today). He has been laying off by himself mostly.
Physically he is fine because I have checked him over for everything (gums, temp., poop, energy outside is FINE
, bathroom habits are normal, appetite is good, etc.). He behaved similarly when my Grandpa passed and I kinda went into a little bit of a depression for awhile. Once I snapped out of it, he did too.