How to Help Shy and Insecure Dogs.

April 24, 2010 at 1:20 am 1 comment

Nina initially was a little on the shy side. We are not sure of her back ground, but Nina has trust issues. Think about this, if you trust someone or the situation you are in. You will do what is asked of you knowing that you will be safe. Nina had plenty of love to give but was always diligent to insure her safety. She needed to be in control. As stated before the first thing I did was gently teach her that she could trust in my leadership. This was accomplished by making her learn to walk on a loose leash. The next step was to teach her a static exercise like sit and than sit stay followed by down stay. It has taken many repetitions before she felt comfortable enough in me and her situation to sit.

Nina originally wouldn't even sit for a cookie.

Nina originally wouldn't even sit for a cookie.

Remember initially she would not even sit for a cookie.She is now doing sit stay and I am able to get over 15 feet away. The next step was to do the down and because we have already developed a trusting relationship she learned this very quickly.

Today we worked in different environments. It was the first time training occurred away from the facility and she did well. Of course with new distractions she initially thought that she didn’t have to listen.

Nina on Front Lawn Doing Down Stay

Nina on Front Lawn Doing Down Stay

The most important part is that she was very confident in herself. With shy or nervous dogs you want to take things slowly, so her first outing was just walking through the neighborhood.  Even when big trucks rambled by she stayed calm. I can’t believe that she is the same dog.

Buster as stated earlier will be the most challenging. It is such a shame, because he is an actual gem of a dog. It is so sad that he didn’t have a better start in life. He actually acts like a wild dog. I am so pleased that I have started noticing remarkable improvement in him. In the past when you would walk with him, he would constantly lean on you to insure you wouldn’t leave him or take him were he was afraid to go.

Walking Perfectly

Walking Perfectly

At our last session he walked perfectly by my side and never once leaned on me. Bless his heart he even did several automatic sits.

Yeah, I can sit!

Yeah, I can sit!

We also tackled something a little scarier, the down. For dogs like Buster the down is a challenge for two reasons. First is because to do the down he has to submit. I don’t care who you are. Even the shyest quite person doesn’t want to submit. The second reason is that it is harder for him to run away. As a trainer it was hard to get Buster to do a down, because he won’t take treats. I even brought several different types of lunch meat. So I simply kept placing him gently in the down and after about the 10th time he started going down on his own. Than came down stay and if you remember the first time that we did sit stay, Buster was like Velcro. I could barely get 2” away from him before he would panic. I know that down stay will be just as hard. Its okay I would rather take baby steps and slowly build his confidence than have him shut down. Believe it or not by the end of the session I was able to get over 6 feet away.

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Second Training Session with Buster, Gus, Nina and now Mattie Solving Submissive Urination

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. lindsaywarren  |  April 30, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Bonny, you truly have given these animals the chance they deserve. I’m certain they will find happy homes, thanks in large part to you helping rehabilitate them! 🙂 Their new found confidence and obedience in invaluable!


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