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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Panic stricken sisters

I was lucky enough to adopt 2 white GSD sisters back in September. From what I was told, they had been loose for over a year. They are fantastic with other dogs. However, they remain panic stricken when approached by people. They are not aggressive at all, when approached in the house they back into a corner (and no longer pee) but do shake like crazy. I take them out one at a time as they do feed off one another.
Out on walks, when approached they panic and bolt. I've taken to attaching a Y-leash onto their harness and the choke chain.
I had a friend come and stay in the house for several days, however they continue to panic when she approached.
At this point, I've run out of ideas and could use some help. I will resort to a trainer as a last ditch effort but would like to continue on myself for a little bit longer. Thanks in advance and HELP! Sandy
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Panic stricken sisters

FYI- I don't panic with them.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 03:46 PM
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Re: Panic stricken sisters

Hi Sandy,

There is a GREAT on-line resource in the shyk9 yahoo group:

FAQ: http://kimmurphy.net/shy-k9s-faq.html
Yahoo Group: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/shy-k9s/

I would strongly recommend joining--I learned a lot just from reading the emails and looking at the archives.

There are several people on this board who have rehabbed dogs with similar issues. Jean K is one of them. Her Anna has come a long, long way but still is not what you would call a "normal" dog. I think one of the problems with your two may be that they feed off of each other. A first step may be to take them out one on one for training. If you have a friend with a friendly and confident dog that might also help.

Have you tried clicker training? That can be a great tool for dogs like the yams. Here is a basic confidence building exercise to start out: http://www.clickertraining.com/node/167

And here's Karen Pryor's clicker home page: http://www.clickertraining.com/

I have fostered and adopted several shy dogs and found that mostly what they needed was patience, time, perseverance and flexibility! It took years before my Basu really began to trust people and even then it was only on his terms.

Thanks for sticking with these two characters!

Ruth & the 4 Legged Rescue Gang

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 08:08 PM
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Re: Panic stricken sisters

Like BowWowMeon I do foster dogs, but her comeent as follows is precisely right on.

"I have fostered and adopted several shy dogs and found that mostly what they needed was patience, time, perseverance and flexibility! It took years before my Basu really began to trust people and even then it was only on his terms."

From my viewpoint learn to love the shy ones, and hope for modest improvements.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 06:08 AM
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Re: Panic stricken sisters

I agree that they probably feed off eachother. I would do separate training with them and begin by not letting people approach them, but trying to allow the dogs to approach people and getting a reward for doing so. I think having a couple people come over- maybe doing this outside and just sitting down. Encourage the dogs to approach the people and get a treat from them. It will take some time, but I would do this as often as possible and encourage any positive behavior from them. If you think about it from a dogs point of view...they are scared and have someone hovering over them approaching them-maybe or maybe not- in a slow 'suspicious' manner...kinda scary for an already nervous dog. Good luck- hope to hear good progress reports!

Dianna
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 08:10 AM
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Re: Panic stricken sisters

Another thought I had.... do confidence building exercises. A good way to do this is get them on agility equipment. If you don't have access to this- childrens playground equipment works well. Also do positive reinforcement obedience.

Dianna
Argo vom Wildhaus SchH 3, AWD 1, P1, RN, TT, CGC, HOT
Eris vom Wildhaus SchH 3,IPO3 P1, OAJ, OA, NF, RN, TT, CGC, HOT
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 05:32 PM
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Re: Panic stricken sisters

I guess my best advice would be to have lots of friends over but they MUST treat dogs as "ugly couch"they don't look at or interact with.As a good bonus they could have a liver treat casually in their hand-don't offer to dog or look at him but if dog approaches within 3-4 feet drop halfway between and ignore dog-if he takes it you are starting recovery from fear.Please don't say yeahh/good just ignore.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Panic stricken sisters

I just got admitted into the shyk9 group... WOW what a wealth of information! Thanks BowWowMeow
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 06:07 PM
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Re: Panic stricken sisters

Hi Sandy
Just saw your post and had to chuckle at 'the girls'. I wish I was close enough to come over and hug and kiss them!

As their former foster mom I can tell you that they DO feed off of each other. They always did much better on leash when walked separately. My trainer had suggested that later on they would need to learn 'focus'. I never got that far with them, since they wouldn't even let me touch them in the beginning and I was working on calming signals. Walk with them with their favorite treat....something really special....and start it as soon as you go out the door. They are always focused on you looking for the next treat during the walk. The goal is that they are focused on you and not other people, noises, dogs etc. It puts their mind in a different state. Maybe that will help.....

CAMP PAPPY
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Panic stricken sisters

LOL, guess I'll be investing in more hot dogs, cheese and liver treats!
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