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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 04:52 PM
LuvShepherds
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Join Date: May 2012
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My older dog was a rescue at 4 months. When we met her, she seemed curious and calm, but by the time we picked her up they said she was not coming out of her crate and was hiding a lot. We took our older dog with us and the second she saw him, it was like she woke up and got her confidence back. She still was afraid of many things and cringed when I took her out in public. I refused to let that continue. I kept her with me for two weeks, only interacting with family or our other dog. Then I put her into puppy class and began taking her places where we could observe from a distance. Food is soothing, so I took her out when she was hungry and had a treat bag with kibble in it. Every time we explored something new, I kept treating her the whole time. I was careful to feed her when she showed positive behavior or curiosity and not when she was cringing. I used her regular food to soothe her and better treats to train. We did that for a year. She went through a full year of obedience classes and got a near perfect score at their graduation match. She still cringes away from strangers but has amazing confidence when she needs to.

I think this all started in the foster home. They had a toddler who was in a lot of pictures with her. They fostered for two months so she spent her most formative socialization period hiding from a grabby toddler and some pretty aggressive cats. She is still good with children, but we never got her 100% over the reaction. It’s Ok, though, it is who she is. I suggest a two week shut down. Then start gradual exposure to 1000 different things and 1000 different people. Reward her for calm behavior but don’t comfort her fear.

Last edited by LuvShepherds; 09-23-2019 at 04:55 PM.
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