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  #1  
Old 05-17-2014, 06:54 PM
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Default very shy dog

Hi all. Bonnie is my 2 yr old spayed longhair. I got her from a supposedly 'wonderful breeder' in Oregon. She was flown here to IL at the age of 17 weeks. The breeder dropped off the internet a few weeks later. NO birth date, no registration (limited or otherwise) nothing further. Won't take my phone calls etc. As far as I know she is still breeding.

OK, now this little girl has been so shy she will not let anyone pet her, pick her up etc. We do this when we 'catch' her in her pen. Runs away from us and any other human. Does fine with the other chi's. I socialized her by taking her to puppy class where she basically hid beneath my chair for 8 weeks. I brought her to camp gone to the dogs in Vermont, where she went through the puppy class there. Basically the same behavior. Never aggressive, always submissive to me and others.

Is she a 'lost cause'?? Should I take her back to a puppy class and gently insist that she walk around? She seems very happy to be 'just a dog'!!!

Last edited by Wicked Pixie; 05-17-2014 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:53 PM
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I wish I knew the answer for you, Sue. This is way out of my expertise. In these cases I can only say what I would think if she were mine. If you don't have a problem taking her to the puppy classes, then I would think the more socialization, the better. I would think you can never have enough in her case--like you said gently insisting. It may do more harm than good if you force her against her will into situations that make her uncomfortable, but the more you and people can handle her and make her know she doesn't need to be afraid, I think she will eventually come around. She's still young.
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:25 PM
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No dog is ever a lost cause, look at how much progress Annie (doginthedesert) has made with Nova, and she was totally feral.
If her shyness is affecting her quality of life (ie a vet visit or similar really upsets her) or your enjoyment of her, then I would definitely work on it.
I would try and build her confidence at home first, if being in a group overwhelms her. Try hand feeding all her food, but she has to come to you to get it. Just basic obedience can help with confidence issues. Spending some time one on one without the other dogs will help her to trust you too.
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:35 PM
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I got my chi from Oregon too! She is the shyest chi in my group but is my also sweetest. The breeder I got her from doesn't have her website anymore either.

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Old 05-18-2014, 02:10 PM
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Give her space first. Try giving treats as you approach her, but leave considerable distance. Try to find her 'threshold distance' and keep it. Try inching closer if she stays calm. You may want to search dr sophia yin's vids and articles maybe you can pick stuff up. I saw a vid on conditioning dogs with other dogs. Maybe you can apply same principle to humans and modify a bit
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Old 05-18-2014, 02:29 PM
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Oh, Sue. I understand. You (and others here) have seen my countless posts about Ruby. She is classic shy/fearful/reactive. We have worked with 2 behaviorist groups. The last made a big difference.

People would tell me to go to a Pet store, give other people treats and let her come to them. With Ruby, I'd still be waiting. Her shy/fearful instinct trumps snacks.

We have taken her far but frankly it is about as far as she is able to go and we have decided that is okay with us.

Streaming works well with her (a series of beeping sounds as we approach her or reach fr her), telling her what we want ("Ruby, go downstairs") and what is going to happen ("Ruby pick up") works with her and our learning to "listen" to her has helped (we watch for yawning, licking lips and such, signalling stress). She is not coddled, must have good manners but when we read that she is uncomfortable, we remove her from the stimulus. She will be 4 late summer so there is no good in "insisting" that she will cope, learn or "snap out of it". That did not work for her.

Classes were not good for her. She learned behaviors we wanted to eliminate. She got "practice" in negative behavior. Having the trainers in-home and then ultimately the last 2 sessions at their training facility (they train all dogs but specialize in German Shepherd training and rehab). She learned to cope with other dogs, including some of the Shepherds.
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:31 PM
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Oh thank you so much for all your posts, especially Karen's. I am thinking that Bonnie is happy, and cute, and will remain the way she is. She will watch everything going on in the safety of her pen. Door is open except at night. Very curious. Like Ruby she does not want, nor eat when she is 'stressed', ie, puppy class, getting her nails done, or when she goes to the grooomer. The groomer says she just 'freeezes' when she is there. I am just sorry that she will have to go thru life, so shy. I'm sure this is genetic as the breeder never registered the litter, nor kept in touch with me after I asked about her temperment. My other shy pup, Emmie, has really come out of her shell alot, after she was diagnosed with focal epilepsy, and is on treatment. Again thanks so much all of you. You make me feel OK about Bonnie!!
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:39 AM
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What about making a yummy trail of her favorite treat? Or get her around a chi that she loves, and then pet that chi. It would show her how you treat the one dog. I think this will just take a lot of time. Gizmo wasn't that shy at first, but he definitely would freeze. I would lay treats next to him and walk away. I would just ignore him unless he initiated. I guess I would bother him with all of my affection. Now I can't get him off of me!
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