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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9567
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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My friend rescued a rhodesian ridge back from a breeder. she

Customer Question

My friend rescued a rhodesian ridge back from a breeder.
she is 5 Years old and has
had 5 litters
The dogs niggles hang way down and flop.
the dog rarely leaves her place on the couch... when she does she paces nervously,
Although she is a beautiful show dog, her expression is very sad. what can my friend do to help trina?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year 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.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

It is not uncommon for a breeder dog to not know what to do in a home or around people.

When was her last litter?

How long has your friend had this dog?

Has any training in obedience been done?

Is the dog nervous around new people?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
three weeks
no training....doesn"t respond to the word sit
the dog is nervous around new people and around the owner
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that information. As I said this is not uncommon at all for a breeder dog to be skittish around people and in fact can take up to a year to get acclimated in a new home.

Sadly a breeder dog is just that, used for breeding, rarely if ever allowed in the home and has little to no contact with humans at all.

So when someone adopts such a dog it is a long haul of work ahead of them.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Training using a positive method helps over time as it shows consistency with the family

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

These dogs need a lot of consistency , when the family schedule is tossed out a bit any work done with dog can be undone

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

I am going to put a few articles below on handling a fearful dog both in the home and when strangers come to help get them started.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Fearful of Strangers

Copyright Sally G

Unfortunately it is usually the human that is not educated enough about dogs. The person who was reaching out to pet the dog did a no, no. Dogs see that action as a challenge as they do making eye contact with them and talking to them. As a human it is natural to us to do all three of the above to make an acquaintance, but in the dog world it is a threat.

Dogs that are alpha or fearful will take that threat on if the person does not back off.

So I would not be putting the dog down,. I would be educating those you come in contact with that the dog is a bit fearful and so should not be approached. They actually make leashes and collars with the word caution on them specifically for dogs that are nervous around strangers.

What you can do is try to get the dog used to people in the area as being a good thing. Train the dog at a safe distance from where there are people such as a grocery store and praise and reward the dog for keeping its mind on you while obeying commands. Gradually move closer to the action as you see your dog is okay with it.

When people come to you they should not look at , talk to , or try to pet the dog but you can give them a treat to drop on the ground for the dog then have them walk away. This will have the dog begin to see strangers as approaching meaning something good coming its way. You can actually set it up first with friends who will listen to you as to what to do, this way you don’t have to worry about the general public to start with.

Have that person approach without doing any of the three challenges and just talk to you briefly then drop the treat and walk away. You would also do this with people who come into your home if your home is a problem. The dog should be completely ignored, but something dropped on the floor upon entering the home and leaving the home.

It may also benefit the dog to be in an obedience class because there the instructor can have others practice this with you in a controlled environment. Sometimes the local ASPCA gives Reactive Rover classes which deal with dogs that nip or are frightened of people or who lunge at people when walked.

When you are training the dog put it in a down stay at your side when people approach and as long as the dog is acting appropriately ,make sure to praise and reward the dog for that behavior so it understands this is the behavior you want to see.

As for the treats left behind by strangers it should be something the dog will only get from them, such as hot dog slivers or chicken slivers so the dog sees it as special. Keep in mind that the dog may not pick it up at the time the person is there at first but as time goes on the dog probably will once it people they are not there as a challenge .

Below I will include a link that will take you through positive obedience training step by step.

Clicker training/positive method training/ print off
video’s to see how clicker training is done, scroll down to videos

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Shy/ Fearful dog

Copyright Sally G


*Start clicker training. The clicker is about 3 dollars in a pet store. Use human food such as hot dog slivers for training.

*Don’t make direct eye contact, turn your head to the side looking away from the dog but keep the dog in your peripheral vision. (For street training: Tell people when they approach, that the dog is in training and to ignore the dog no talking to, no eye contact ,no petting. )

* Do not talk to the dog. Constant talking no matter how sweet of a tone of voice you use will still be a threat to a dog. The dog that is scared just wants to be left alone. (For street training: Once conversation is over with a person give them a treat to drop on the ground for the dog. They should not try to hand the treat to the dog, just drop treat and walk away. This will start to tell the dog good things happen when people come near.)

* Do not reach out to pet the dog especially over the head. This is another threat to the dog. A dog has no idea what your intention is when you are standing over it with your hand extended.

* Do not stand over a fearful dog. Try sitting on the floor at home and wait for the dog to come to you. Sitting at the dogs level is less threatening. You can put a treat in an open palm and lay your hand to the side of you to entice the dog but any sudden head turn or movement may move the dog back. Have patience and when the dog is feeling comfortable enough with you then you will see it approaching you in a happy manner.

Over time, as you see that the dog starts looking forward to people coming up to it , you will have people call the dog’s name and drop a treat. But still do not make eye contact or try to pet. All of this may one day lead up to a stranger being able to pet the dog but at this time you won’t know until you see a change in the dog’s demeanor and body language so don’t get ovet confident until you see the dog actually approaching the person in a happy manner.

The goal would be to eventually have a person hold the treat out to the dog and the dog take it with no fearful reaction.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

If you need further help please do not hesitate to come back and ask more questions. We now also offer phone conversations to customers . Please let your friends know in case there is something they would like to discuss in person.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

If you are satisfied with my answer please do not forget to rate so the company compensates me for my time:)

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