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I have just taking in a 2yr 3mth old BC, who to start with had the same name as our nr16yr old GS.

Sophie (new name) is sooo submissive, and is always playing dead, she is not house trained, or trained at all and seems scared of every noise. She came from a farm with acres of land, and is now in our yard which is a fair size. It must all be very strange for her, granted, but thankfully she gets on well with our older dog and our children, 10yr,8yr and 3yr. She is just so timid though, is this normal and will she stop peeing?

Please help.

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Sounds to me like she may have been and outside dog and is new to in the house. Does it seem like it is mostly noise from the children, and household that she is afraid of?

I would be very careful how you handle all this, a shy timid dog can go either way as far as attitude. They often don't know how to respond and need to be shown, "a little at a time". Even though she is good with the children now, NEVER, leave her unsupervised with the kids. Don't let her get into a situation that she is unsure of, that is your job to make sure of that as best possible. Especially with the 3 yr old!! The other 2 children "should be old enough", to listen and respect the dogs cues, which is something you need to make sure of. Is she sending them warning signals before a situation arises??? running away, hiding under the table or bed, growling, eyes wide, ears back etc... do you see them and know what they are??? if yes, make sure your children learn to.

My suggestion to you would be to try to find a good trainer that you could work with and get good advice from. It sounds like she is a nice doggy who you want to stay that way, and like I said, you need to handle gently but firmly the issues you mentioned, and a professional trainer can help you do just that.

If you even have a Pet Smart anywhere near you, you should be able to get good advice and training at a reasonable price.

Please be very aware and handle correctly this nice, little SHY, girl.

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PS.... peeing is generally very common in the timid dog. It sometimes all boils down to how they are approached and spoken to. Even something as simple as the pitch of your voice can start the peeing. It is a submissive jesture, and one that can usually be remedied with training.

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This reminds me of a dog I had for 11 years. Abused and so submissive. They were going to put her down if I did not take her and try and find her a home.


When I first went to meet her she wet all over herself. It took me close to a year to build up her self esteem. I took her in while I was looking for another breed actually. She was the best dog I'd ever had. I don't regret it. Yes they can come out of it. Don't give up hope.

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As you all know, I am a big scary monster with long, razor-sharp fangs and an insatiable appetite for puppy fritters - or so many of my patients evidently believe. :rolleyes: In order to make my evil fearsome self less fearsome, I try the following tactics:


* I do not look the dog in the face.


* I turn my body so that I am not squarely facing the dog.


* I allow the dog to approach me, not vice versa.


* I allow the dog to sniff me without me looking at it.


* When the dog has relaxed or I must approach the dog to do my exam, I lower my body and turn to the side so that I am not squared off with the dog, but obliqued to it. If possible I do not look the dog directly in the face, but view it from oblique angles or side views.


* I try to keep my voice soft, light, cheerful and soothing all at the same time, and praise the dog for any tolerance of my handling.


* I keep my body language as relaxed and my movements as slow as possible, as well as being as gentle and relaxed in my hand as I can be and still do the physical.


* I feel matter-of-fact and unconcerned if the dog urinates out of terror (if I allow myself to feel annoyed by this, even if there is no overt sign of it, the dog instantly knows I'm angry and becomes more upset and frightened.) If submissive urinations are an issue at home, I suggest that as far as possible, greetings take place outdoors so that submissive urination does not cause any distress or annoyance to the owner, which gives the dog a chance to have a greeting take place without the spooling-up of anxiety based on the owner's dipsleasure at urination in the house.


* I do not greet the dog by bending over it or reaching over its head to pet it; I offer an open, relaxed palm, and if the animal is amenable, I touch it under its jaw first. If the animal is simply too terrified to get over it, I maintain as above but try to do my physical with the dog facing away from me, but toward the (hopefully) reassuring sight and presence of its owner. FOr dogs that are food mitivated, I offer a treat (although this is often rejected, they seem to have a slightly improved opinion of me if I offer the treat.)


* If the dog appears to be afraid of an activity (such as going through the exam room door to the scale), I try to be matter-of-fact and upbeat about it. If I coddle the behavior, I'll encourage it, but if I scold the behavior I'll worsen the dog's anxiety. Instead I try to go with a sort of "Come on, silly, that's no big deal, let's go do something fun, I'll lead" sort of demeanor.


* For most timid dogs I suggest doing an obedience class to boost the dog's confidence. Learning to work with the owner in a way that gets the dog praised and rewarded for particular behaviors, so that the dog learns there are some things it can do that guarantee the owner's good will, makes them feel more secure. It also lets the dog learn to trust the owner's leadership, teaches the dog that distractions and new situations are manageable, and gives the dog some skills to handle the novel events of life. If the dog is newly-acquired, I suggest letting the dog settle in for a few weeks before beginning the classes.


* If the dog is pathologically shy, I advise seeking specialist advice (as in a board certified veterinary behaviorist.)


Anyway, that's maybe a few things to start with. Probably lots of people here can give you more specific advice, but that's what works for me; I have 15 to 30 minutes to get through the socialization and exam, so learning to read the dog's demeanor has been crucial for me, and I've had to learn to do it fast and move on along with the exam, so I try not to make things worse the minute I walk in the room by being too pushy with a shy dog. A little patience up front is amply rewarded on the other end.

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