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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9573
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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I'm interested in adopting a 3yr old Shepard mix. She was

Customer Question

I'm interested in adopting a 3yr old Shepard mix. She was found in Kansas just wandering. Not too much is known about her. She is shy, sweet, but very skittish and is not food motivated at all. I want to work with her, but I need guidance.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today.
I just want to give you some things to think about as many that adopt skittish dogs think they can change them which is not always possible depending on their background and the temperament they were born with. Please understand that I am not trying to put you off to adopting a dog like this but I would be remiss if I did not be truthful.
If you have children or have children that visit a skittish dog may want nothing to do with the. Kids run on impulse and do not know what to look for in dog behavior and dogs run on instinct which could mean that the dog may bite if it feels threatened.
Sometimes these dogs will not want to be around anyone other than a family member.
Sometimes these dogs sufferer from separation anxiety which can lead to eliminating in the home to destructive chewing.
If you are going to be home most of the day and if you will be satisfied with a dog that will not be comfortable with strangers so you can make a safe place for it when company comes over then by all means adopt.
There are some dogs that can be rehabilitated to a certain extent and I always recommend you try, but do it slowly. Build the dog’s self esteem by daily positive training so the dog always succeeds.
I would recommend clicker type training but rather than use a clicker as a marker which may frighten the dog use your voice . Use just one word such as yes or good as the marker. Chances are at this age the dog knows some commands, but this is not why we train, we train to build success in the dog. Keep that goal in mind. The more positive behaviors the dog is praised and rewarded for the more sell assured the dog may become.
Don’t rush meetings with other dogs or people, take it slow. IF company comes over they should ignore the dog totally, have a seat and see if the dog eventually comes to check them out when they feel safe. Rushing introductions can make a frightened dog even more frightened.
Make sure you know and remind people of the three no no’s, for shy dog approach.Do not make direct eye contact, or facial contact, look off to the side, do not reach out to pet, and do not continue to talk to a dog when it is frightened. All of the above are seen as challenges to dogs and are not safe for others to do to a shy dog.
I will be off line for a few weeks starting on the 16th of August, however if you have adopted this pup and need further help I will be very happy to assist you when I am back online.
Below are sites to clicker training to give you an idea of how it is done. But if you feel more comfortable using your voice over a clicker use the same premise without a clicker:)
Clicker training/positive method training/ print off
http://www.clickerlessons.com/
video’s to see how clicker training is done, scroll down to videos http://www.clickertrainusa.com/clicker-training-videos.htm

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