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Hello, My boy is two and a half years old. He was rescued from a shelter at 5 months and I have no back story on his life before we got him. He is a very friendly dog, loves people and other dogs, completely housebroken, doesn't bark too much. He knows sit, lay down, stay, come (although not reliable and he is NOT off leash), but I am really struggling to train him anything new. Every time I put him in a sit to try something he just lays down and gives up instead of trying to do what I'm asking (even with a treat lure). Sometimes he even gets a weird vibe and just leaves the room and goes and lays down (even if I have treats out). We have never used physical punishment, never yell at him, nothing like that but he is so timid with us. He is pretty noise phobic about sneezes and raised voices (even if never directed at him) and the typical dog stuff like thunderstorms and fireworks. I just want him to trust me and feel confident that I have his best interests in mind. I'd love to get him into agility or herding but without being able to train him/keep his attention I don't know how that would be possible. Anyone out there with a shy BC? How did you build trust and confidence?
Greetings and thanks in advance for any thoughts. We adopted Louie (formerly "Nosey") about 2.5 months ago at an adoption event. He's a BC/Lab/? mix, about 2-3 years old, very mellow, couch potato, no concept of toys or playing, extremely timid--even fearful--of people. Anyone. More so at the house, but also in the park. Goes nuts when he sees squirrels or rabbits. Not much of a barker, doesn't know from fetch or catch, LOVES other dogs. Escape artist, seems to have a high threshold for training collars and even a live wire we used on some fencing outside. We have to figure out how to contain him (he got out of the live wire) because he'll jump the fence and leave whenever he has the opportunity. Always comes home, but was brought home by police the other day and was almost hit by a car. We were looking for a smaller dog, maybe terrier mix, and explained our lifestyle: small children all the time, busy household, cat, gerbil, birds, lots of time with human's home, but not the type to jog or go for hikes. No dog like that was available and we were ready to go when we learned about Louie. We didn't know much about BCs beyond some perceptions and some misconceptions. It's been rough. Louie becomes afraid and hides whenever people come over. He warms up to children a little faster--if we go for a walk in the park immediately upon their arrival and he gets used to them outside first. Will this ever change? And is there a way to facilitate Louie not escaping all the time (or wanting to). I absolutely get that I didn't do diligence about this breed before adopting Louie. I was going based on input that he had many of the qualities we were looking for in a dog; and about 15-20 minutes together before making the decision. Louie's personality is different than other dogs we've had; and neither of us has ever really worked with a very timid/scared dog. Is this a wrong fit? Or are there things I'm not doing that I should be? (And then it's about whether I can or not). Louie is also a cuddler, and has a very Eyeore-like demeanor with such dignity. He's a sweetie, and I'd love to not feel like I'm floundering.