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How do you break a skittish dog?

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100_0713_max50

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Posted over 6 years ago

 

Yo, what's up?  My wife and I rescued a (now) 8 month old Yellow Lab/Cattle Dog (maybe) back in May of this year and we named him Rookie.  He's an adorable dog, affectionate and very loyal, but he's really skittish about people.  He loves other dogs, but when he hears noises (loud or any other) or we have people come over he runs for the hills.  I know it's still a little early, but does anybody have any suggestions on how to break him of this?  We have pool parties with my wife's family and kids and they all love dogs, but Rookie runs the other way.  My last dog (Nico) was my first dog and he loved people, so I'm new to the skittish thing.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  As always, Be Good n Stay Safe!!!

Picture_005_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

Well I've been working with a dog that is like that, she's like 2 months old though, and a co-worker of my husband's found her on duty and adopted her and he brings her over a lot to play with our german shepherd. Your lab may have had a bad experience with people, and that's why he is skittish. The only thing that I would recomend, and I'm not an animal expert or anything, but just work with her slowly to meet new people. I've been told before by a trainer that public place are a good way to do that. Like taking him for walks in the park. And lots of positive renforcement. It will take time though. I'm still working with the little one too cause she would pee on the floor if you tried to pick her up and all I have been doing is holding her a lot and giving her a lot of attention hoping that it will teach her that not all people are bad.

Th_germanshepard_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

A good method for working with a dog with irrational fear such as you describe is to not overwhelm the dog. Have a friend come over and pretty much ignore the dog until it approaches the person. Then have the person give it a favorite treat. The key is to have the dog realize that good things happen when it comes up to a person. The dog has to make the first move though.


Beyond fatigue lies compensatory hypertrophy

Me_edited____max50

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Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

i agree to use treats because food over comes fear and dont overwhelm the dog. make sure to work with him at him own pace.  when a friend comes over have them give the dog a treat at first you may have to treat him for even the smallest advancement such as even lifting his head toward the stranger. eventually the dog will learn to associate good things such as yummy treats with strangers. be sure not to make a big deal of it when the dog gets scared. if you pick the dog up and baby it everytime it get scared with will imprint the fear. just distract the dog with a yummy food treat.