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  1. #1
    Clymb's Avatar
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    Dog Training HELP!

    If anyone has any advice, I would really appreciate it. I posted on some other forums too but I thought I would ask around here. Anyways, yesterday I got an Australian shepherd. Male, 6 months old. He's very fearful. I grew up with dogs my whole life, and I know they're always shy in a new home. But this one is beyond that. He won't move from a certain spot unless you make him. He hasn't peed once since I got him. He's terrified of the other dogs (he's never met big dogs, they always kept him out in the back yard, never really been in a car, never been on a leash, etc). A few minutes after we got him in the yard yesterday, he found a way out and ran. We found him and he actually came back to us, which I thought was a good sign. He tried to lay down every few seconds while I walked him back home, but when he did this I would just pick him up again and keep walking and say, "Come" and it worked relaly well. But now he's in my room and he just lies there looking terrified and occasionally hyperventilating slightly. I tried taking him to the yard to pee, and nothing. I don't know what to do. Cesar Milan says to be assertive and lead him to what you want. Everywhere else says that's too forceful and to let him do things at his own pace. I just don't know if his own pace will ever allow him to do anything. Please give me some advice if you have any--it's really sad

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    m.s
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    We've had Aussies for 20 years. Where did you get him (breeder, shelter, person giving him up)?

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    I agree with the positive method totally. He need some time first to adjust to his surroundings. I would just sit on the floor near him, maybe with some really smelly tasty meat and just sit and gradually see if he will hand feed, may take quite a bit of time. He needs to develop a trust in you before he can move on to anything else, and come to you totally willingly. I would keep the other dogs away totally for now. I would take him out to pee though he can't hold it forever, preferably with no animals or people around. Just my 2c, I am just thinking of what I would try.
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    Is he eating/drinking?

    Also, whatever you do, don't coddle a fearful dog. Don't hold it and tell it everything will be ok, etc... you never want to positively reinforce a negative emotion, mindset, or behavior

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    Quote Originally Posted by not on the rug View Post
    Is he eating/drinking?

    Also, whatever you do, don't coddle a fearful dog. Don't hold it and tell it everything will be ok, etc... you never want to positively reinforce a negative emotion, mindset, or behavior
    See that's where I'm getting stuck. This makes sense to me, but I also want him to be comfortable and to trust me. So where do I toe that line?

    And he will eat a little bit and drink now. I took him out at 9 am with no other dogs and he just freaks out and he didn't pee. I'll try again at 11. Going to put a harness on him instead of a collar. He really just wants to lie in my room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m.s View Post
    We've had Aussies for 20 years. Where did you get him (breeder, shelter, person giving him up)?
    Person giving him up because they said they don't have the space and may be getting an apartment. He is from a breeder though originally.

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    Assertive dosent mean the same as forceful.
    Think of it more as being a calm leader that he can look to and feel secure.
    Work on being calm and relaxed. Give him time to adjust,
    Im guessing that you've only had him a day or 2?
    I would give him a couple days to get a feel for things. ignore him when hes acting fearful and go on about your business as if nothings wrong.. you want him to see that you arnt scared (the mistake a lot of people make is to try an comfort the dog when its displaying fear or nervousness but from the dogs point of view your just telling it that its right to be fearful)
    no yelling, no baby talk. keep your tone relaxed and firm.
    Take him for walks in a mater of fact way. If you know someone who has a VERY calm, laid back dog you can walk him with would be optimal. he needs to get used to other dogs & socialize but you need to introduce him gently (so no hyper or snarky dogs etc)

    Only use treats or verbal/physical attention to "treat" positive behavior (so never treat when hes acting scared/nervous. only when hes relaxed even if its just a moment)
    DH
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    Last edited by DinoHunter; 09-08-2013 at 10:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DinoHunter View Post
    Assertive dosent mean the same as forceful.
    Think of it more as being a calm leader that he can look to and feel secure.
    Work on being calm and relaxed. Give him time to adjust,
    Im guessing that you've only had him a day or 2?
    I would give him a couple days to get a feel for things. ignore him when hes acting fearful and go on about your business as if nothings wrong.. you want him to see that you arnt scared (the mistake a lot of people make is to try an comfort the dog when its displaying fear or nervousness but from the dogs point of view your just telling it that its right to be fearful)
    no yelling, no baby talk. keep your tone relaxed and firm.
    Take him for walks in a mater of fact way. If you know someone who has a VERY calm, laid back dog you can walk him with would be optimal. he needs to get used to other dogs & socialize but you need to introduce him gently (so no hyper or snarky dogs etc)

    Only use treats or verbal/physical attention to "treat" positive behavior (so never treat when hes acting scared/nervous. only when hes relaxed even if its just a moment)
    DH
    (20 years of working with dogs )
    I was reading that I shouldn't take him on walks until he's comfortable with the house and the yard?

    We have a couple other dogs here that are my roommates'. One is a Weimeraner and he's a little much at first. The other is a lab/German shepherd mix and he's more calm but he just wants to play. Obie (my dog) is scared of them both right now. From what I understood, I need to get him to trust me first and then introduce him to the dogs? He was around them for a couple hours yesterday. He wouldn't move from his spot and just kind of nipped at them if they got too close to his face.

    So it's not being forceful if I literally have to force him to move from anywhere? Even to the other side of the room, you have to drag him, he's that scared.

    Right now he's just lying here resting. He's more relaxed here in my room with me and I'm just hanging out with him.

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    Oh and on the note of ignoring bad behavior--when he's freaking out on the leash trying to get out of it and laying down (for when I take him outside to pee), do I tell him no and correct it, or ignore it? I had been trying to correct it.

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