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SonsofIorek 05-03-2014 12:23 AM

My 1yr old..
It appears I cannot upload the video, but I have a new (January) dog, 1yr, who I got knowing she had issues. She was returned to the breeder because she "chased the cats." She has good genes, but was left as a backyard lawn ornament (likely after the snot was beaten out of her) and has developed OCD type behaviors. I'm trying to get to a point of working her in sport, though I doubt she'll ever title in anything now that I've got my hands on her (she came from out of state).

I have been trying to change her obsession of chasing flying insects to chasing a ball, and have had some success.. however, when I try to interact with her besides kicking the large ball, she shuts down on me. I've had her roll on her back out of fear when I brought out my puppy rag and she also demonstrated same with the first time with a ball on string. Obviously, too much pressure. From other behaviors she's demonstrated, it's clear downright abuse was done to her. If she doesn't know what to do, she shuts down. I have to make sure and be very clear at all times and show her what I want, so she doesn't have to make choices on her own (even in the house, where she carries a ball around constantly). Any type of corrections are forbidden to her.

She wants to play, I see it in her, she is just terrified of making a mistake. For me, with HER, it isn't about the titles, but just trying to teach her its ok to play this game with me. I am not going to force her, but I am trying to help her to overcome her fears. At the same time, give her a positive for the drive she is directing towards flies..

I have tried placing her next to my two that are trained, letting her see them bark and chase the toys. She did bite at the ball on a string two times, then shut down. She gave no warning, she just couldn't handle it any more. I left her be and went back to my others, a few minutes later she started barking at us. When I looked at her (while verbally praising her) however, she stopped barking and laid down expecting to be in trouble. I'm not a quitter, so I won't give up on her, but I do NOT want to stress her. I see this fly obsession, and she needs an outlet, and yet she's scared.. I won't even touch trying to do obedience with her (no compulsion from me, but her and leash equals stess so we don't). I'm not sure where to go from here, so I'm asking for help.

Just as a note, I'm running a mile a minute in life trying to get a list of things done (working my pack of four is on there), so my internet time is limited. If I have to choose between internet and my dogs, the internet can wait LOL. So, it may be awhile before I get back to this posting.

Thank you in advance for any help! And be brutally honest. All my previous dogs have been puppies, so I got myself into a challenge here, but God said this was a dog I needed.. or maybe she needed me? I'm not sure, but here we are.

Castlemaid 05-03-2014 01:14 AM

Thanks for taking her! Does sound like she was badly treated previously. I can see where you are wanting to build her confidence by getting her some training and fun rag chasing, but considering her mental state, I would step back and just let her be. I would not put any demands on her whatsoever, and that includes trying to get her to play. It might take months, but if she has the drive, it won't shrivel up.

I know it is hard because having a pack, you need to instill rules and expectations, but it seems the slightest expectation from you shuts her down, so you'll have to manage her environment so that she ends up doing what you want and she gets to build her confidence because she is making 'right' choices.

It will take a lot of planning to go through a regular day, but I think that giving her a few weeks or months "off" will have a big pay-off in the end.

lhczth 05-03-2014 09:35 AM

It can take 6 months for a dog to fully settle into a new home and you are working with a dog with a bad previous history. I agree with Lucia. Give her time and try to spend as much time as possible, one on one, with her just hanging. Don't ask anything of her until you see her getting more comfortable in her new environment.

Castlemaid 05-03-2014 11:57 AM

Six months is exactly what it took my rescue to relax and stop being afraid. She was a stray I adopted from the shelter when she was about a year old. I quickly came to suspect that in her previous life she had been a tied dog with no exposure to the world beyond her chain.

At first, she was afraid of everything, and was afraid to try new things. I carried on matter-of fact, not making a big deal out of anything. She would even shy away from rocks, trucks, humming noises - growl at strangers, and try to run away at the sight of a stroller or bicycle. Then about six months later, she seemed to "click" that the world was a safe place, and she visibly relaxed, and all her fears turned into curiosity, and a desire to explore.

It was almost an overnight change, so be patient, and I'm sure your girl will make some great strides given time.

SonsofIorek 05-04-2014 02:24 PM

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Reading what you've written seems like a Doh! moment, but its true. She needs time to overcome one issue before working on another.

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