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Discussion Starter #1
Hubby and I decided to step up and foster a pair of beagles through our local rescue who needed a place. They arrived on Friday, and it's been an interesting weekend- a lot of fun, and a little drama. In particular, the boy has a lot of tension and fear to work through. I think that he has a slightly anxious personality to begin with, and everything new scares him. He's doing really well at trusting us to help him work through it, all things considered, but I wondered if anyone had any suggestions about how to help him not be so fearful on walks, in particular. He reacts to bikes, strangers, other dogs, strollers, just about anything. I know that a lot of it is just going to take time and practice. When he reacts, he sometimes barks and growls a bit, but I don't think it's an intentionally aggressive stance- I think he's just terrified and wants to make sure that the object, person, or animal that he's scared of stays away. I intend to take him out on his own, so that I can work with him a bit one-on-one.
 

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I find obedience training/classes help a lot, as does agility training.
 

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I was thinking that something like that might help him, and as far as I understand it I am more than welcome to enroll him in whatever training I'd like to, but we've already had to buy him a crate and buy an extra dog bed so that there is somewhere for each dog to be, and the rescue can give us tax receipts but I don't think they can pay us back. And my husband really doesn't like the lady they have who does training and behaviour work gratis. She's nice enough, but she is a little unflexible at times.
 

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We've found a couple of ways to manage the walks, I've been just allowing him to avoid the object/person/animal that frightens him as I've now got a bit of a handle on what scares him most. His confidence seems to be improving as well. Now we've got the issue of family dynamics to work on- Jackson is jealous! He and the girl get along just fine, they play well, share well, generally just get along. The boy and Jackson are ok sometimes, but other times they have some definite issues with sharing affection, objects, and spaces. Jackson is scrappier than I'd like, so I'm more than willing to work on this from a point of view that my own dog needs to change somewhat. Does this just take time?
 

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yes it takes time but that does not mean time alone will fix it.


It could be the boys social skills as well ie not polite. but as a general rule males are highly deferential to females in this breed and not so much with other males. This is even more the case with intact males.
 

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Over time you can let him approach at shorter and shorter distances. the other thing is if you can reward the dog with treat in the presence of what the dog fears it will start to changes the dogs emotional response that is the presence of what the dog fears bring good thing so is desirable. Classical conditioning. here is an example
 

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Thanks Mikey- I've been planning on working on the leash reactivity from that angle as well, I just have to find a treat that he likes well enough when out of the house to be effective. I tried some of his kibble but he was not interested in the slightest, and in the middle of all of this I've sprained my ankle so have not been able to get to the store to shop for something else. All of the dogs are fixed. We've also been practicing Sit as that seems to be the only obedience type command that these guys have been taught so far. The boy is very proud of his Sits! The girl is funny- she'll sit easily on a walk but has more trouble with it at home.
 

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if he wil not take a food treat it is an indication that hiss stress level in that situation is to high to effectively counter condition. A beter treat would help some but not as much as increased distance.


dogs are very discriminating on things like this teach a sit in the kitchen means the dog sit only in the kitchen it is not until you start to practice in many difference places and situation do dogs start to generalize. and apply it everywhere. so you need to keep this in mind. It is not because the dog is defying you at home it is the dog does not know sit means sit at home obviously most of the sit training came when the dog was outside,. likely on walks.
 
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