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Old 05-21-2012, 05:22 AM
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mrose_s mrose_s is offline
BusterLove
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: QLD, Australia
Posts: 12,155
Default Raising a dogs confidence.

I need help with Quinn. She has always been on the timid side but she's not really improving that much despite some of my efforts and I wanted to ask for more advice on what we can work towards.

She very timid of dogs and people.
Offleash dogs are a big thing that worries her - she's had a couple of scares with over friendly dogs getting in her face and now she starting to growl and bristle at offleash dogs she see's. She's still very controllable but I don't want this progressing. I've started arching out around oncoming dogs and trying to treat her while they're around but she's often too nervous in this situation to accept treats.
On top of this if I'm out with her I am often jogging or biking so treating isn't the easiest option as I don't even always have my treat bag.
Tonight she growled, bristled and looked about to lunge at a BC that came out of the bushes on our walk offleash but with its owners. She stopped when I told her to before she really started but its not great.

She also quietly grumbled at a guy tonight that put his hand out and leant down towards her - she's nervous of strangers and doesn't really like pats. She went over and sniffed his hand when he offered it a couple of minutes later without issue and we were both sitting the same place making small talk for about 20 minutes all up and she soon relaxed.

My biggest fear is having someone - a kid especially come and get in her face when she can't escape, I know she'll always avoid so long as she can but I worry that one day someone will be too fast for me and really scare her. If we are going somewhere a bit more crowded I have a harness with patches for her. I bought patches that say "Give me my space - do not pet" for when we are going anywhere especially busy.

I often have people give her treats when out if I can - but she will sneak up and take it and then back off again and not be any more inclined to let them near her. It doesn't help that once people see how timid she is they want to make it their mission to pat her.

She has a lot more confidence when you take her somehwere via car - a couple of days ago we took her pet shopping with Poppy and she loved it. Really relaxed and even took a couple of full face pats in her stride.
She was still nervous meeting dogs but I can deal with this - she still relaxed herself easily in other dogs presence and could get her focus back to me easily.

I think our main problem is when out walking - I often have real problems getting her attention back to me. She's nervy, distracted and jumpy. She feels really disconnected from me.
I really want her to have confidence in me that I will look after her in any situation but I don't really know how to acheive this. i feel we have a great working relationship in a lot of situations but when she's nervous I often feel like I she's off in her own world.

Advice? Discussion?
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