A guy who rescue dogs and give them for adoption came to me, because my girl behave so nicely he thought I was a professional trainer which I am not, I just train my dogs.
However he came to me to ask me if I would be interested in adopting a pure breed GSD, he said have problems with the dog because is so scared to the extreme with everything, I went to see the dog and the poor thing was shaking and petrified, I thought she was a new arrival, but the guy explain to me she actually has been for a full month and she has not changed a bit.
I would love to help the dog, but positive training is not my thing, and I am afraid that any other method could be worst for the poor thing, but so far nobody seems to be interested in this poor doggie.
Is it possible for a non professional trainer, mean home pet trainer, to build/teach confidence in a extremely shy dog?
If so, how to do it?
Any Video recommendation?
Yes it is possible. I am not a professional trainer (thinking about it though) and I've restored my males confidence. He was somewhat the same. Scared of his own shadow.
It will take a LOT OF TIME!!!
What that dog needs is one person that he can trust and rely on.
Having that dog for a month doesn't mean anything. It won't just go away in a month.
What has he done?
How has he worked with her?
That is important information that we need to know.
Can you take a video?
I can only speak from my boy. He's been one of those cases.
My mom told me that shes looking for a good place and asked if I knew somebody. I looked at the boy and was like "Yes, ME!"
She agreed and told me"Let him get used to you first. He went through a lot, you can't just take him with you."
First of I thought she was doing her usual thing... because it's always hard for her to let go of a pet that she learned to love. But with the time I realized that he was different from all the dogs we ever had. He was scared and didn't have to do with weak nerves. So we went there for weeks, took him out for walks before we took him with us.
Once I took him home I saw how bad it was. He didn't even know how to play with a ball. He was scared of every individual out there, jumped from his own shadow (I kid you not), was especially scared of men and wouldn't play at all. He didn't enjoy life at all. He was scared of everything.
I took him for long walks on the leash only. I went somewhere, where I knew I wouldn't meet a lot of people because first the bond between us had to be sealed. I then took him to agility and obedience classes. First everybody was like "Oh man, we don't know if we can get him out of his shell..."
The first couple of times he was only watching and we walked up and down the training area. We didn't push him, we let him get accustomed to the club so he had a good experience. The secret is to NOT EXPECT ANYTHING!!! Let the dog show you what he is comfortable with. Don't do to much. BABYSTEPS, BABYSTEPS, BABYSTEPS.
It takes a lot of work, lot of patience and sometimes you have to go back and start all over again. But it is possible. I've been on here writing about Yukons journey and recovery ever since I got registered and others went through the same thing.
After the third or fourth time we first started with agility. He didn't know how to jump. Can you believe it? A dog doesn't know how to jump? He was four years old and didn't know ANYTHING but pain, beating and crushing him down.
I started taking him dowtown, to malls, but left him alone (meaning no expectations). Again, I didn't expect anything from him. I gave him the time he needed to adjust to the situation. I rode the bus and train with him and did lots and lots of socializing.
The hardest thing to get out of him was his fear of human beings. He wouldn't trust anyone but me so I started to tell people to give him treats. Usually you don't want strangers to give your dog treats but he was a different case. He needed to know that only good things come from strangers. Of course there were some idiots who thought they know everything better.
STAY AWAY FROM DOG PARKS!!! Do your dog a favor and stay away from them. I made the mistake and went there and it threw me almost back to the beginning where we started off.
Let him only get together with other dogs you know. And only while everybody is under control and on the leash.
It's been more than ten months that I have him. He is almost back to normal. He still has his moments but those are flashbacks and I am not sure if we will ever get rid of them too. However he even started to have fun with doing Schutzhund. Well you can't really call it Schutzhund yet because all we do is building up and do a little bit of bitework but that's it. We, again, do Babysteps.
It takes a lot of babysteps, sometimes you have to start over, lots and lots of praise, like more praise than you would give to a "normal" dog. NEVER EXPECT ANYTHING from him, lots of patience, like really a lot of patience. NEVER GET FRUSTRATED (Been there, done that... not good for the dog, absolutely natural because you think "Gawsh.. we've done it so many times why is he still scared?") if you get to the point, STOP!
Give the dog time, for example, I didn't went to any club at all during the wintertime. Instead I let him enjoy the snow. We went hiking, lots of hiking. I gave him a break from all the training and it was the best I could have done. He was lightening and completely opening up.
By that time I already had a second dog that gave him the security he needed. He had not only me to lean on but also a strong female on his side that gave him a lot of strength.
However, time, patience, consistency, no expectations and more time and patience is the key.