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We have a "Shy Dog" any advice?

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This post belongs in the General section, not the Working Stockdogs section.

Congratulations on getting your puppy. It seems clear that you love him, but you are not doing many things you can do to help him. I don't have time now to address everything right now, but I will quickly say that if

We are specifically worried about children. He is afraid of them, despite being around them regularly. They just approach him in a very bad manner, usually yelling and sometime "Hitting" him (they think they are petting) he has tried to nip at them several times. It's only defensive, but its not acceptable.

is happening, it sounds like you are doing nothing to help the situation and are in fact encouraging it to get worse. If your puppy is uncomfortable enough around children to nip at them, WHY are you allowing children to approach him in a very bad manner, yelling and hitting him? You are your puppy's advocate! Protect your dog!

I'll let others address the several other issues with your post, hopefully after Eileen moves it to the proper place on the boards. I'm sure you'll get lots of helpful responses, but if everyone's busy this holiday weekend, I'll give a more detailed answer later tonight.

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Hey Charlie,


I have two rescue border collies and one that I got from a good friend. One of the rescues lived homeless and had to be trapped to be caught. She was not only shy...she had HUGE fear issues. She lived on a long line of 300 ft for the first year of her life because whenever she got scared she would run. She taught me a few things...1) don't let people feed your dog if they have to beg to feed them or lure them. The food rewards the fear behavior. I have had people have treats in their pockets and the dog only got it if the dog instigated the interaction. I also tell people to ignore her and that takes pressure off the dog. Also, at Thanksgiving when there is a lot going on....my shy dog is in her crate. That way she is safe, I don't have to worry and she does not have to worry. I have been blessed with children myself so I take all the dogs that come to my place for socialization to football games and baseball games. I don't ask people to pet my dog until I have gone to a few of them. I do a lot of obedience work...play if they will and also some food rewards. One game I passed out string cheese and the dog got the reward only if the dog initiated the interaction. The dog I got from my good friend took three football games and once she figured out that all people equaled great things...well, she was a new dog.


So my last input would be to get that dog on stock. He might not be super keen on sheep but try for a place that might have some Indian Runner ducks in addition to sheep! I have found with all my border collies.....the second they started doing what they were created to do.....their personalities changed beyond my wildest dreams. I generally run USBCHA trials but the one fearful border collie is best at AHBA arena work. She will never make a great open dog.....don't even know if she can make it to pro novice as she is a bit weak on sheep and they read her in about two seconds flat! But she has come so far and is pretty normal now. Your dog does not have all that baggage that she came with so I do believe if you get to a good trainer you will see huge improvements!


There is also two dog books out called.. Help for the shy dog by Deborah Wood and also Your Out of Control Adopted Dog by Eve Adamson. I like them both but I really believe stock work for a border collie is crucial to helping them with confidence.


Hope this is of some help....



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