Almost 8 months old, fear issues?
I saw someone else post about a non-Shepherd, so since this is the only animal board I can access from work(home computer is dead and can't replace at this time), I'm going to ask here.
I have 3 dogs, my GSD mix that I posted about in the health section, a 9 year old Australian Shepherd and an almost 8 month old Aussie/Border Collie mix, Myka, that I am having some difficulties with. I adopted her at 3 months old and we had house breaking issues from the get go. I know all puppies differ, but it's just a little frustrating when you know they can hold it longer than they do becuase they hold it all night, but then want out every 10-20 minutes when not crated and there's nothing medically wrong with them.
I took her to puppy class and she did great in the class. I signed up for obedience from there and the first 2 classes she did great, the 3rd she ignored me for half the class, the 4th she ignored me completely. The only thing she did during the 4th class was a down stay, which was supposed to be a sit stay but she would not sit for me no matter what and the instructor said if we didn't mind they could do a down stay, so I figured something was better than nothing. The 5th we skipped because I was sick and the last class she again ignored me for half of it, but at least it wasn't the whole class. She also started doing what I've termed "slaying". I'd ask her for a sit, which she knew and did with no problem up till then, and she'd sit but them immediately go into a down/lay down. I tried what the instructor said which was stepping into her when she went to lay down, but she'd still go into a down regardless. Because of her ignoring me I decided to take a break from actual class and just work with her at home because it really doesn't pay to go to a class and stand there for an hour doing nothing because your dog won't do anything you're asking her to do. Now that she's a little older and her attention span is hopefully better, I will be signing her up for the next obedience class, but until then I hope someone can give me some advice.
I live in a suburb so she's heard all sorts of sounds since I got her, granted when I first got her I still lived with my mom as the house I bought had to have a few things done before I could move in(like a new deck with stairs going down into the yard put on so I didn't have to walk my dogs out the front door and around to the back when they needed to go out) and she had an entirely wood fence around her property so the dogs couldn't see out of the yard. I have wood on my neighbors side as they have dogs and the rest is chain link. But I digress from the topic, Myka's heard all sorts of noises since I got her and yet she reacts fearfully to noises, really just started in the last couple months, and barks at people she sees outside the fence and wants to run away, but she's not scared if she meets people outside of the house, a little timid, but not run away scared. For example of noise fear, Sunday night I was laying in bed watching tv and had the windows open. Someone pulls up on the street, gets out of their car, shuts the door and arms it. Myka gave a little bark, then jumped off the bed and ran out into the hall. She came when I called her and I praised her for coming. But I'd really like her to not be scared of every single noise she hears nor bark at and run away from people outside our fence for the rest of her life.
I've also been having some problems with teaching her to walk. She doesn't fight the leash, but she's scared to go on a walk. I unfortunately hurt my knee not long after I got her so I wasn't able to walk her as much as I would have liked. The first time I took her on a real walk instead of just a short one I took my Aussie too since I'd noticed some fear and my Aussie doesn't react fearfully to anything(except the vets office). Myka was scared, but not super bad. We did encounter a dog and my Aussie gets SUPER excited when she sees other dogs and will vocalize at times. Since I don't want Myka to start doing that I took her by herself the second time and she was scared of everything, even reacting fearfully to a parked car, that wasn't running, just parked on the street! She also won't do anything when on the walks and won't even react to a treat right in front of her nose. I would like to be able to take her places on her own and not have to bring my Aussie with everywhere just so she's not super scared, but I don't know how to stop the fear.
I've never dealt with this kind of thing before and really don't know where to start. The training place I take Myka doesn't just do obedience, but also deals with behavior problems and does private sessions so yes, I could do that. But if there is something I can do by myself, I'd rather start there and go to the trainers if I can't make any headway on my own.
I guess the place I start is with her fear, but where do I start? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.