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Does anyone have any tips that may help? I have a 2 year old undersocialised, fearful GSD. We have been working through her issues and are slowly seeing improvement. She can be reactive but is getting less so. We spent the first 18 months in OB classes but have now moved to a new country (small island) where there arent any classes so at the moment we are just doing it by ourselves. At home and in the garden, she is very well trained-she will do all the basics like sit,stay etc plus a few tricks (all taught with a clicker and treats) I can get really good focus off her & can get her to heel perfectly
When I get her outside, she is so stressed by what might be waiting around the next corner that I cant get any focus from her, and therefore cant get her to do anything else. She is constantly scanning the horizon looking for the next scary thing(which can be anything-a dog, person or even a plastic bag that blows in the wind) Ive tried taking treats and the clicker and Ive tried with a toy but she isnt interested in either while on walks. Any thoughts for getting her to focus on me?
 

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Order the book, Control Unleashed ... it will teach you some games you can play. It is a book geared toward agility competitors, however, the focus games such as the LookAtThat! game and a few others are wonderful tools. Also the book, How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong is fabulous for fearful dogs, even though it is listed for aggressive dogs, also. There is so much information in those two books. There are also books specifically titled for fearful dogs Here

I have a fearful foster at home that has been with me less than 2 weeks and using some of the techniques from both books have helped him immensely already! Good Luck!
 

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I have a fearful dog. She was my foster and no one wanted her, and of course I fell in love with her. Our vet ended up putting her on people prozac. She has been on it about a month now and is starting to come out of her shell. I don't think I will see the total results for a couple more months, but that may also be an option if nothing else works.
 

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First great work getting her to where she is now. This is the tricky part with these dogs, you want to get them out and exposed to more things BUT you don't want them to get pushed into that fear zone in their head.

Try the outtings outside the garden in very very small steps. The more stress the dog feels the next time it seems worse. So even if your outting is a few steps outside the gate and return before the dog gets so locked in the fear zone that was a great outting.

A fearful dog isn't like a normal dog which I am sure you have found out by now. Small small baby steps, always always stop before the dog gets pushed into that fear zone in their head.

Even every tiny successful trip is a building block.
 

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Quote:Even every tiny successful trip is a building block.
I think that is key, that you have done great to improve the dog in the house and now need to start slowly to bring the same comfort level to outside the home. The 'Controled Unleashed' is a good idea, and I LOVE that you are using the clicker.

I'd continue to make sure I had a hungry dog and 'real' treats (human meat/cheese/leftovers) and then take one step out the front door to go thru your 'tricks'. Then in the yard, then at the edge of the yard, then near the car.................. only make things a bit 'harder' for the dog when he is doing well where they are. Some days you both may shine and some may seem like you never started but you both will improve!

Always end the session with a rousing success. So whatever or where-ever that means you are, that's very important.

GOOD LUCK and bless you for loving and working with this dog.

You may find useful info on this site http://www.goof.com/~pmurphy/shy-k9s-faq.html
 

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my female is also fearful of things when we are out in public places mostly other dogs and people, and we've slowly made some great progress. Keep up the great work and it will all pay off in the end! Take very small steps to encourage her, and like everyone posted before, go eally slow so as not to make her more nervous! and always end on a good note, even if it means only doing an excersise for a few minutes. you can do another one a little bit later on in the day.
 

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Thanks everyone, some great tips there for me to work with. Have had a read through the link too & it looks very helpful.Thanks for the book recommendations too- I have emailed the company to see if they will deliver here. In the meantime, will carry on working with her-she is the most challenging dog I have ever known but it is soooo rewarding when she manages to do something that she couldnt (or wouldnt!) do before.
 
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