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Working with a highly fearful dog

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Opheila

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 3:18pm PST 
It takes time...lots of time, patience, and staying positive. Don't worry about training quite yet. The first thing you need to build is trust. It took Sophie half a year to be able to walk onleash without trembling her whiskers off. Even now four years later she is still terrified by many things, but now that I've learned what some of them are,we work on them together.cheerYou can do it...hugs n' purrs
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 7:16pm PST 
With anxious dogs, I try to think in terms of what's the most pressing, what will improve his life and your life the most. In terms of basic obedience skills, Smokey would be at the bottom of the class. To my mind, dealing with his fear issues and separation anxiety is so much more important, especially because anxiety interferes with all his other learning. So, we work on walking or running away from scary things, forming a positive association with outside noises, staying calm when playing with other dogs, things like that. In my opinion, dogs shouldn't be forced to do anything unless it's absolutely necessary. But they should be rewarded for bravery. Being dragged into a new part of the house is likely to make him not want to go back there, but if he wanders around exploring and suddenly someone feeds him string cheese for the first time, hot diggity!
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