|08-13-2013 10:47 AM|
Confidence building helps as well. There are small things you can do such as lay a ladder out horizontally (or build one from PVC, which I did), and have the dog step through it, have them walk on leash and find things that would be "obstacles" like stairs, big rocks, weaving between pillars of a building or circling around mailboxes, etc. to help make Drexler feel more comfortable when he's out and about.
I have a rather timid GSD that came to me as a 3 year old. Now he's almost 8, and his timidity has turned to occassional fear-based aggression. With lots of obedience work on leash, as well as our "obstacle walks," I've found that he focuses his attention on me and has gotten better at understanding that I am there to protect him, not the other way around.
I think predisposed genetics play a critical factor here, and understand that there may be only so much that you can do, but if you are cognizant of Drexler's peripherals, you should be able to anticipate in enough time to prevent him from developing a fear-based response due to his shyness.
|08-13-2013 10:21 AM|
I would back off a bit with people approaching him, and just work on him being around people in general and able to cope.
Have you been to positive dog classes?
Have you clicker trained?
Have you been able to use tons of treats and work with toy/engagement training?
There are more timid pups but you can make them more comfortable by giving them confidence in YOU and your judgement as well as ability to take control of any situations and be their leader. So how YOU behave. How YOU take control of other people and take the stress away.
You able to purchase and watch the DVD Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas? Huge help for you to learn to read your dog and deal early to help.
Welcome to Dogwise.com
|08-13-2013 10:16 AM|
I don't know if its confined spaces so much as he didn't like the proximity of the strangers and perhaps combined with his perceived lack of escape routes.
Next time you are taking him somewhere like the situation you had been in at the cafe instead of just ignoring it and letting him be (which wasn't bad per se) go ahead and have treats on you. Also make sure he is hungry. **** don't feed him until hes in situations where strangers are near. Also make sure they are high value treats (think steak or slices of freshpet or something meaty.) Then when he showed that stress when the people sat near him you can take him to his threshold range where he eats food and play engagement games like this. Then gradually work him in closer over time.
These are the kind of engagement exercises you will eventually work up to. Lots of movement with the food so that it triggers his prey drive and makes it fun. It combines food drive with prey drive and makes the food almost become like a toy. Just make sure you keep your hand flat and keep the food between your thumb and palm and then move your thumb away as he is pressing against your hand otherwise you might have him bite a finger on accident. The other good thing about this exercise is you can gradually increase your dogs ability to focus on you in different environments.
Another video you should watch is this. Its about environmental stressors but engagement around strangers works the same way, and the theory behind it is the same.
If when hes engaging with you near strangers is the only time he gets to eat guess what? When he sees strangers, and he's hungry, fear is probably not going to be his reaction for very much longer, and furthermore soon you will become his focus near strangers and not the strangers, as he will begin to look at you with the expectation that it is dinnertime.
|08-13-2013 06:07 AM|
|08-13-2013 06:05 AM|
Means so much that I can seek sought out assitance. Drexler, is extremely loving. In a park, or very open ranges he's fine. Today, I took him to a cafe. No one patted him, no one looked at him and I was happy because I jsut wanted him to see that people mean no harm to him in public. He was fine, he actually fell asleep, woke up drank some water and chewed on his toy.
When we got up to leave, a couple grabbed the seat nearby and three people walked past the cafe. He suddenly became really skittish and the tail ducked in between his legs. I didn't console him, I just let him be. Drexler, was fine after we had cleared that range.
Everything is suggesting that Drexler is scared of confined spaces, is there anything else you could suggest in addition to what you've kindly already told me?
Thanks again! xx
|08-13-2013 02:13 AM|
There are several ways to help the dog with this. One I'd probably use is to find people who will cooperate with you that are strangers to the dog. Also don't feed the dog prior to working with him so that he is hungry. You would want the strangers not paying attention to the dog, no eye contact, no speaking to the dog and definitely no attempt to pet when the dog is fearful or tense, just have them go about talking to each other or whatever.
Then you get your dog walking with you on leash and find the range at which the dog does not feel threatened and will take food (if he will not take food and is hungry you are too close). This varies per dog so you will need to do a little trial and error to find it. Once you find this range you begin to get engagement with the dog. Lure him around with food and play with him. Start to lure and reward him in the direction of the people and if he starts to show signs of stress or stops taking food go ahead and lure him back out further away. Use the leash just to keep him from running away from you. Don't tug him into a closer range than he wants. Don't keep tension on the leash. Use the food to lure him in by his nose.
The idea here is you want him gradually having a positive experience around strange people, but don't have him actually interact with them. Don't let strangers just pet the dog or attempt to force themselves on the dog when it doesn't want it. A nervy dog that gets approached with the wrong energy can freak and there are very few people out there that know how to approach those kinds of dogs in a way that wont intimidate. In the house if a person has the dog uncomfortable you could try sitting on that person and see how the dog reacts to it. Some dogs become much less tense when they see their human sitting on the perceived threat and at ease.
You are probably always going to have a nervy dog at this point. You can manage it, and you can mitigate, but it probably won't change. Doesn't mean he can't be a great dog. Some dogs are just sharp.
How are his environmentals? Is he often fearful of strange noises or objects? You already said hes great with strange dogs, so maybe he just had bad experiences with strange humans because they came on a bit too strong at the wrong time. Have to be very careful with dogs and strange people coming up without rules laid out for how they approach ahead of time. I've had a puppy in a pet store who was sniffing at something and some random girl employee came up behind him when he wasn't watching and was like HEY PUPPY! and kinda pinched at the base of his tail, and his initial reaction was that of OH ****! He spent the rest of the time avoiding her and was friendly with everyone else.
|08-13-2013 01:15 AM|
You probably would have mentioned if you had another dog.. though it might not be practical for you, another dog who acts more confident could help through modeling, by providing "pack support" for your dog, and leading him towards things he's scared of.
I would not recommend having people go up to him, at the same time, I would prevent him from running away. He needs to learn that he can be around people and not feel threatened or pressured by people coming up to him.
For now, you might try blocking his escape route and you and your guests completely ignore him. At some point you can get him to move towards the people by throwing food, have them hold food (while sitting down) so that he comes towards them. You do not want people to approach and handle him if he's uncomfortable with it, you want him to want to come to people on his own.
Hopefully others will chime in. Good luck.
|08-12-2013 12:36 PM|
Thanks. The parents were very confident. The Mother and Father both stood there and watched me, approached me at first and the Male, wouldn't move back as I kept walking. How can I socialize him more? What do you recommend?
|08-12-2013 08:29 AM|
|cliffson1||It sounds like the genetics of your dog is not as strong as it should be...there are things you can do to desensitize your dog to new environmental and people stimuli, ( extensive socialization and training), but these things will not turn him into a confident bold fellow, but over time it may limit the behaviors you see now as long as pressure or stress is not put on your dog. Good luck|
|08-12-2013 07:22 AM|
Need help for my timid gsd!
My name is Alexandra, I'm from Portland.
My male GSD is 8 months old. Drexler, since I first brought him home was a very shy and timid boy. I've tried many hours and constant socialisation aspect with him. He tends to run and hide near the backdoor when i have new guests come over and is very fearful of being near males. My partner is the only Male to who he is close with.
He rather sits back and watch what is going on, however if someone tries to pat him or acknowledge him, he runs away. I've tried getting random Males mostly but also Females that see him to stroke him, hold him and give him treats but nothing seems to help. He is very friendly with other dogs.
What can I do? I feel this is my second last resort before Cesar Milan