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Old 03-23-2012, 03:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
Mikey T
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Another thing I'm curious about as it relates to their fear of strangers...when we picked them up from the shelter
shyness/timidness is the only personality trait of puppies that is known to consitently transfer to them as adults. It is thought because is is a highly self rewarding behavior set is one of the reason why, also if nothing is specifically done to counteract it then the behavior tend to get worse over time.

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He will buck on his leash to get away from a stranger trying to say hi to him. If we're holding him and someone wants to get closer to pet him, he wriggles and cries. At a local river bank, a man knelt down to say hi (from several feet away, mind you, being cautious and respectful), and Copper slunk away, crying/moaning and not wanting to look at the man.
part of you job as a "parent" of shy dogs is not put them in a position where they get to reherse the undesired behavior. you need to be proactive and avoid those situation you know the dog is likely to act inappropriate in.

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From a distance they are fine, it's only when obviously being approached
that is alway the case there is alway a safe distance that the puppies will not react this is the minimium distance that you want to begin a counter-conditioning desnitivation program

a forum like this is inadequite to get into such a process and do it justice I recoommend the following resources

ON TALKING TERMS WITH DOGS - CALMING SIGNALS, 2ND EDITION
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Turid Rugaas is a noted expert on canine body language, notably “calming signals,” which are signals dogs use to avoid conflict, invite play, and communicate a wide range of information to other dogs and people. These are the dogs’ attempt to defuse situations that otherwise might result in fights or aggression.
very valuable in helping determine the emotional state of the dog.

CAUTIOUS CANINE - HOW TO HELP DOGS CONQUER THEIR FEARS, 2ND EDITION
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but fear-based problems can become worse if treated incorrectly. This booklet provides a step-by-step dog training program of desensitizing and classical counter-conditioning. It can help you solve minor dog problems and prevent serious ones, whether your dog's fears include the vacuum cleaner, people with hats, or the stranger at the door. Covered are the oh-so-important details related to identifying exactly what triggers your dog, creating a step-by-step treatment plan, monitoring your progress, and why you need to treat the fear and not just your dog's reaction to the fear.
Help For your Shy Dog
click here for a fair review
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The author gives useful, practical advice that embellishes upon only a few central themes. The primary concept around which the book is structured is that the key to helping a shy dog through life is extensive and continual training and calm leadership, "...A dog's basic personality doesn't change. However, a fearful dog can learn to compensate for her shyness. The more training she receives and the more situations she experiences, the better she compensates. Your goal with your dog will be to help with the compensation process."
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Can a puppy's fearfulness/timidness turn into aggression later or am I missing the mark
the puppies are show the flight response in regard to fear not the fight, general speaking a dog does what works from them so that is what they will continue to do if everything else stays the same. However retraining the dog/puppies and forcing them to face their fears no puts them in a postion that they can't run away which makes a more aggressive response much more likely because that is the only other choice they have besides complete emotional shut down.

Fearful dog

Shy-k9s

Last edited by Mikey T; 03-23-2012 at 06:08 PM.
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