German Shepherd Home
Page 4 of 7 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#205182 - 01/12/12 10:03 AM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: Kayos]
DancingCavy Offline



Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 4067
Loc: Syracuse, NY
Likes: 115
I, too, own a fearful dog. And she's a MUTT so no one has any expectations of her at all in regards to appearance or behavior.



Risa has gone through oodles of training. We did every class our trainer offered when we lived in Montana (so that was about 2 straight years of non-stop training in classes along with our day-to-day lives). I've taken classes with her since then though less frequently (higher level classes are harder to come by). We train with others whenever we can. I train with her every day even if it's just working on her dog reactivity on walks.

As I said, she is fearful. New places scare her. New people do too. And she's afraid of other dogs. I have spent the last 5+ years working on building up her confidence through positive reinforcement based training. Showing her that the world isn't scary. That everyone isn't out to get her. If you knew her when I brought her home from the shelter, you wouldn't even recognize her now.

I compete with her in rally trials, in lure coursing, and canine musical freestyle. If you saw her with me there, in those huge buildings filled with tons of strange dogs and people, you would not realize she has any issues at all. She's made an incredible transformation and is an amazing dog. Risa has always had this potential; she simply needed someone to realize it and help her show it off.

I think your best bet right now is to learn to really appreciate the dog you have. I have learned SO MUCH by struggling with Risa's problems and working with her to become the outstanding dog she is today. It has not been easy. There were days when I don't think either of us liked the other very much. But it has been so worth it. She's taught me more than I ever would have learned had our lives not been a bit of a struggle at the beginning.

Early on in our relationship, I wanted to add another dog to the family too. I thought it might help her become more confident. But, y'know, I'm glad I wasn't able to at the time. I wasn't ready. SHE wasn't ready. You really need to have a solid foundation and most of the training done on your current dog before you should consider adding a second. A second dog is even more work and, if your first dog isn't solid on training, you have 2-3x as much work as you did before and less time to do it.

Seriously reconsider adding a new dog at this time. Work with Bruschi and learn to appreciate him for who he is. Not what you thought he would be.
_________________________
~Jamie~
Veteran MF-GrCH Dancing Cavy's Pain in the Butte W-FDM/MF MF-M Vet InS/E R-FE/N PCD BN RAE RL1 (AoE) RNX TKP CA CGC WCX3 Risa
Wylde Kitsunegari of Aesir CGC WCM Kyu
It Just Keeps Getting Better: Risa's Blog
Pet Portraits

Top Likes: 0 
#205185 - 01/12/12 10:09 AM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: Kayos]
GrandJan Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1972
Loc: NE PA
Likes: 71
Great post, Kathy, and I think it's also important to remember that no dog magically comes into our lives as Rin Tin Tin or Lassie - exceptional looks and perfectly trained. They are the luck of the genes and it took someone a lot of hard work to train those dogs to do the things that entertained us.

Don't. give. up. You may not have the aesthetic dog that you pictured, but you can have the well-behaved beloved family member that you always dreamed of. And my bet is that he will also become the most beautiful dog you have ever seen in your heart too! smile
_________________________
Jan - Mom to:

Beau & Chance - German/Anatolian Shepherds
Bailey - Labrador Granddog

Top Likes: 0 
#205189 - 01/12/12 10:25 AM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: GrandJan]
DancingCavy Offline



Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 4067
Loc: Syracuse, NY
Likes: 115
(FWIW, Risa isn't what I wanted in a dog either. But you couldn't pry her away from me these days if you tried!)
_________________________
~Jamie~
Veteran MF-GrCH Dancing Cavy's Pain in the Butte W-FDM/MF MF-M Vet InS/E R-FE/N PCD BN RAE RL1 (AoE) RNX TKP CA CGC WCX3 Risa
Wylde Kitsunegari of Aesir CGC WCM Kyu
It Just Keeps Getting Better: Risa's Blog
Pet Portraits

Top Likes: 0 
#205202 - 01/12/12 11:53 AM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: DancingCavy]
Mary Jane Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2698
Likes: 125
I guess we fall in love and then what others might consider flaws are insignificant compared to the profound affection and bond between person and dog. What is wonderful about person-dog love, as compared to person-person love, is you really can help a dog to change.

My dear Wolf was the most beautiful dog I have ever seen. He got compliments all the time, all the time about his appearance.
Unfortunately, he was also very fearful. After he bit a friendly neighbor and we recognized his fears, we began to do what inexperienced people could do to help him. Through a lot of desensitization, he was able to tolerate people-but his world was very small. We could have helped him more, I guess. I am sure he was happy in his small world.

For me, however, he was the perfect dog. He taught me about the world as it is, not as you imagine. He was always present for me.

So please give yourself a chance with Bruschi.

Mary Jane

Top Likes: 0 
#205514 - 01/13/12 08:43 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: DarkEyes]
jeasy02 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 143
Likes: 0
Originally Posted By: DarkEyes
Hi there! I have a few suggestions if your head has room fore more. There seems to be a lot discussed in here already! confused2

First of all, I understand the floppy ears thing. This is not a feature often seen in German Shepherds and those who don't know are going to ask you about your dog's breeding.
Your dog's ears have a weakness in ear cartilage, so it's not going to erect. I have heard of ways to help erect the ears at a certain age, but there's a very small gap of time to do this and has to be done during the puppy stages and it doesnt' always work (according to research I've done a long time ago). This might be a genetic thing, and sometimes it may be caused by a missing gene that causes the ears to be soft instead of erect.

If you want that perfect, noble image of a German Shepherd, you're never going to get it. You'll be so focused on perfection that you'll really miss out on the potential your current dog has to give you.

Now, onto the behavior and training!
Fear! Every one of us have a dog that deals with fear. They may choose to be aggresive toward it or choose to coward from it. I only know how to deal with agression from fear, not hiding, so I can't really help you there. Do your research, there are so many resources all over the internet about dealing with hiding from fear.

What I can say about fear is it can be minimized with training. When you have complete control over a dog, that dog will be more focused on you than anything else. He will listen to you, waiting for your next command. So training is quite essential to the management of fear. You don't have to send your dog off for formal training, but if you're not willing to put in the time for the training, then it's ok to send him to training. The reason I said this is because I put in a lot of time training my high energy hyper dog. My main reason for the training was to keep her from being aggressive toward anyone that steps foot into our property. I now have complete control over my dog and I don't even need a leash! People always ask me where I sent her for training, very impressed with her obedience, and I always say with shining pride "She was not trained by a trainer, I trained her and it was a lot of work".

About separation anxiety, do you think your dog has it? If so, why?
Dogs are always going to go nuts when we first get home. In fact, they'll go nuts after not seeing us for 5 minutes! That's the great thing about dogs, they live in the present and don't care what happened 5 minutes ago. Some dogs can be surrounded by toys all day and not really do anything until their owners are home, so they'll have all this energy saved up and ready to go when their owners get home. You can control the dog's hyperness by making him sit and stay. When he stops looking like he's going to burst out of his bubble and you can see him relaxing, then reward him by releasing him from the stay command and give him praise. As soon as he goes nuts and jumps all over the place, correct him by making him lay down and stay until he is relaxed. He will learn he can't jump all over the place anymore. He'll be hyper until you give him a toy to occupy himself with until you take him for his exercise.

I'm here for you as one first GS owner supporting another first GS owner. gsdbeggin My current GS is my first dog too, and she was a lot of work to understand and now she's a wonderful dog! She's almost 4 and her energy levels are still high!


Hi - thank you for your reply and it was very insightful.

I believe now I am realizing what I am missing out by not giving him the formal training he needs. I was the ignorant one for not putting him into formal training because party of his ears. It was wrong and I admit it and now I cannot dwell on the past but move forward.

I guess it's not separation anxiety. I was pretty much going off of what someone else told me. As a first owner the only thing I can do is listen to what others tell me and go from there because I've never experienced it. But now that I am going through the motions, provided that I ever do get another dog then I'll know exactly what to do, of course after training. I think he is sometimes fear aggressive and sometimes he is a coward but I never know when it will happen, it just happens. It is frustrating sometimes but being at his age now I know it's not too late for the formal training, but I should have done it awhile ago and I am paying for it now.

The one thing I must say is that he is not out of control. He is not a hyper dog at all. He is more of a couch potato. I know I'm not going to get the perfect dog out of him and I have to live with that. That is another small part of a reason why I want to get another GSD to hopefully get the perfect image. The word "hopefully" is a big one, but we'll see

Thanks again!

Top Likes: 0 
#205519 - 01/13/12 08:49 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: Kayos]
jeasy02 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 143
Likes: 0
Originally Posted By: Kayos
Nice post Dark Eyes!! Well written and helpful to the OP.

We all do have the image of the perfect GSD in our heads and if that expectation is not met it can be disappointing but we do have to move beyond that or we become mired in it and the relationship with the dog suffers.

Although my Havoc is gorgeous and has great ear set he is not the dog I hoped for either in terms of other things. It has been hard for me to move past some of the issues and see him as a great dog worthy of my time, attention and more importantly - love. I love hime to death, he is GREAT dog!!!

Kayos is a lovely dog and she too has not worked as I had hoped. She cannot do a lot of physical things that I had planned for her. I was crushed when I could not do agility with a dog I purchased specifically for agility. She is wonderful wonderful dog with a great talent for tracking and therapy. So she changed jobs and I got over it.

My first GSD was fearful and it came out as dog aggression. I had no idea how to fix that in 1990 when positive methods were "that book that Karen Pryor wrote and isn't she a dolphin trainer what does she know about dogs?" came out. No one use positive methods they used heavy compulsion and dogs suffered for it as it did nothing to help them get over fear.

Point I am making is every dog will be a little disappointing if they don't measure up to our expectations. The problem is not the dog, the problem is our expectations. The dog is perfect in who he or she is.

The fear stuff......

My Kayos did some of that cowering at loud noises, things that startled her and trucks driving by on the street while we were walking. She also lunged at dogs she passed and dogs in yards where the fence was pretty close to the street. She started this at about 6 months and it continued for about a year. Kayos was and continues to be well socialized. I do not think it was dog aggression, just being unsure at the stage of mental development she was in. However, not working on it may have may caused it to contiune and escalate and so is born dog aggression.

I have always trained my dogs and competed with them in many venues and I could not take a dog that lunged at other dogs or was so afraid of loud noises she shut down to a dog show. Not good. So we started to work on it at class and I set up opportunities with dogs in yards and in class where I could control distance. This post would be 5 pages long if I explained this thoroughly and I am at work so need to make it shorter. So I will just say there are many many great books on ths subject as well as many DVD's. Jean Donaldson, Pat McConnell, Trish King, and many otheres are great authors to go look at. DO SOME STUDYING ON THIS!!!!

Kayos is also one of those dogs that is very sensitive in her body. She still does not like it when something is dropped near her and creates a loud noise, she will jump and look like she is scared. But truthfully she is startled and recovers quickly. She still hates loud trucks rumbling by, she howls at sirens rofl I howl with her and we have a blast with it! rofl rofl2 I think this reaction is more of an inate instinct to protect herself not necessarily fear. I do not think she is an intrinsically fearful dog or if she is, I have covered it over with excellent training. She is a confident, outgoing dog, she is pushy, she is bitch! And I LOVE her for it. She is wonderful.

It is possible that Brushki (spelling?) is similar to Kayos in these reactions, teenage dog trying to figure out his world and there are some things that cuase him to startle. If he recovers well I would not worry about it, If he does not recover quickly, work with him at a distance comfortable for him and build his confidence.

So don't write this dog off, work on him, you owe him that and he will repay with as much loyalty and trust as any animal can give.

Go to training class with him, good for both of you! Good luck to you guys and I am happy you checked back again. Keep coming here you will learn lots!


Thank you very much I greatly appreciate the advice. I am a big talker (and writer) and would love to reply to this in a more detailed email but I have to go and feed my daughter - always hungry!

But seriously thank you. I do understand I have to fully work with my current dog with all of his issues that he has. Overall he is a great dog and I love him unconditionally.

I do agree with you that my next dog or any dog will not be the perfect dog. There will always be flaws and you are right that is something I have to accept. The ears thing really did, and still does from time to time but not like before, bother me. But again, there is nothing I can do about it and just move forward.

Again thanks and I will keep you posted!

I love the howling with yours - I might try that also

Top Likes: 0 
#205521 - 01/13/12 08:52 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: DancingCavy]
jeasy02 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 143
Likes: 0
Originally Posted By: DancingCavy
I, too, own a fearful dog. And she's a MUTT so no one has any expectations of her at all in regards to appearance or behavior.



Risa has gone through oodles of training. We did every class our trainer offered when we lived in Montana (so that was about 2 straight years of non-stop training in classes along with our day-to-day lives). I've taken classes with her since then though less frequently (higher level classes are harder to come by). We train with others whenever we can. I train with her every day even if it's just working on her dog reactivity on walks.

As I said, she is fearful. New places scare her. New people do too. And she's afraid of other dogs. I have spent the last 5+ years working on building up her confidence through positive reinforcement based training. Showing her that the world isn't scary. That everyone isn't out to get her. If you knew her when I brought her home from the shelter, you wouldn't even recognize her now.

I compete with her in rally trials, in lure coursing, and canine musical freestyle. If you saw her with me there, in those huge buildings filled with tons of strange dogs and people, you would not realize she has any issues at all. She's made an incredible transformation and is an amazing dog. Risa has always had this potential; she simply needed someone to realize it and help her show it off.

I think your best bet right now is to learn to really appreciate the dog you have. I have learned SO MUCH by struggling with Risa's problems and working with her to become the outstanding dog she is today. It has not been easy. There were days when I don't think either of us liked the other very much. But it has been so worth it. She's taught me more than I ever would have learned had our lives not been a bit of a struggle at the beginning.

Early on in our relationship, I wanted to add another dog to the family too. I thought it might help her become more confident. But, y'know, I'm glad I wasn't able to at the time. I wasn't ready. SHE wasn't ready. You really need to have a solid foundation and most of the training done on your current dog before you should consider adding a second. A second dog is even more work and, if your first dog isn't solid on training, you have 2-3x as much work as you did before and less time to do it.

Seriously reconsider adding a new dog at this time. Work with Bruschi and learn to appreciate him for who he is. Not what you thought he would be.


Oh absolutely I am going to wait until my Bruschi is well trained. I even spoke with a trainer the other day who will be training him and he said the same thing. He said it would be devastating if I brought a puppy in now while Bruschi is not 100% trained - so I am definitely going to take that path - thank you

Top Likes: 0 
#205523 - 01/13/12 08:53 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: GrandJan]
jeasy02 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 143
Likes: 0
Originally Posted By: GrandJan
Great post, Kathy, and I think it's also important to remember that no dog magically comes into our lives as Rin Tin Tin or Lassie - exceptional looks and perfectly trained. They are the luck of the genes and it took someone a lot of hard work to train those dogs to do the things that entertained us.

Don't. give. up. You may not have the aesthetic dog that you pictured, but you can have the well-behaved beloved family member that you always dreamed of. And my bet is that he will also become the most beautiful dog you have ever seen in your heart too! smile


Thank you - he is handsome just like his daddy! smile

But yes thank you for that.

I love this forum makes me happy!

Top Likes: 0 
#205524 - 01/13/12 08:59 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: jeasy02]
Schnickle Fritz Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 3129
Loc: Fairfield, Ca.
Likes: 79
Quote:
I even spoke with a trainer the other day who will be training him


you MUST go YOUR dog the training to be effective. your trainer will be trainin gyou to train the dog! no matter how good a trainer is, if you do not know what to do once the dog comes home, the dog reverts back to his previous habits because there is no one to reenforce the desired behaviour. i find training FUN. i hope you do , too!
_________________________
Have a great day!!!
NLS

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fritz vom Banach TR1 TT RN RA BN NW1 BH 10/10/09
Cuvee' d' la Maze ORT-BCA BH 01/14/11
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Top Likes: 0 
#205527 - 01/13/12 09:07 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: Schnickle Fritz]
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
Member First - Owner Second "The Watcher"

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 8724
Loc: Wisconsin
Likes: 263
I agree with Schnickle Fritz, you have to train together. I have had people ask me to train their dog for them and I said I don't feel that it is a good method of training. I know hunting people do it but the dogs are mostly trained to respond to a whistle, so they really don't care who is blowing the whistle.

If your dog is afraid, you need to work with the trainer, you need to become the leader that your dog is possibly missing. Most dogs really don't want to be the leader and in charge (some do), but most would rather have a leader because it takes the stress off of them. They like just following orders/routines and knowing that their human has things in charge. See that is a lot nicer for a dog than, Oh I am not sure my human can handle this dog heading in our direction, I must step up and try to scare the dog off.
_________________________
Val da Tiger

Fuzzybutt the cat.
Neilla the Big White puppy.

RIP Cheyenne - AKA: Digger, CheyChey Girl, Cheyenne Large and In charge. 2/16/02 - 2/27/16
RIP Raya - AKA: Raz-a, Ray a Sunshine, RayBestos, the little one, Silly Girl. 9/21/05 - 6/27/14
RIP Lakota - AKA: Bubba, Big Boy, BooBoo (the other part of the Binky and BooBoo team). 1/19/03-9/19/2011
RIP DeeDee - AKA: DD Poo, Little Bit, Binky (part of the Binky and Booboo team) 6/23/02-6/20/11

Top Likes: 0 
Page 4 of 7 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >

Monthly Photo Contest Winner
Newest Topics
Nothing, I hope, too serious
by middleofnowhere
09:59 PM
Sweet Kody turns into Cujo
by Shilohsmom
02/16/18 03:01 PM
Kody has the squirts (Help needed)
by Shilohsmom
02/15/18 03:19 PM
Shelter puppy temperament test results
by Molly1993
02/14/18 12:10 PM
Kody Bear
by Shilohsmom
02/13/18 07:21 PM
Update on Heidi (hypothyroid issues)
by Karin
02/13/18 12:49 PM
Renji: Somehow still alive and sassy
by Diana
02/13/18 11:11 AM
We're Not Spoiled
by Woodreb
02/12/18 09:53 PM
Unhappy puppy influence
by Shilohsmom
02/12/18 06:18 PM
Water Consumption, not drinking enough
by Wisc.Tiger_Val
02/12/18 02:30 PM
Help Support the Forum
New Topics - Other Animals & Chat
just a quick update
by MaxaLisa
02/15/18 11:09 AM
Could use some healing thoughts
by Islandgsds
10/16/17 12:53 AM
Who's Online
1 registered (Shilohsmom), 42 Guests and 2 Spiders online.
Affiliate Link
Newest Members
Erin, ekreinbrink, tapinho, Chantalsyr, Molly1993, Thunder, Mayhem, jill023, RobPac, HONOROFLINUS
2883 Registered Users
Forum Stats
2883 Members
100 Forums
20387 Topics
325210 Posts

Max Online: 137 @ 01/07/16 07:28 PM
Amazon Prooducts