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with people and it really bothers us.

We brought Tess home at 7 weeks, and she's always been a submissive wetter, but would eventually warm up to people and always enjoyed all the "ohhhs and awwws" with that came her way. She turned 3 years old last month.

She loves other four legged canines, and loves her family, which consists of my husband, my grown daughter, son and his wife. Only my husband and myself live here, but our children live nearby and are in and out fairly regularly.

Lately, Tess has gotten so painfully shy around people she doesn't know. Hugh, our other basset, is Mr. Personality and greets everyone, but poor Tess just shrinks away. Last week, I had a friend and fellow basset lover come over for a visit and Tess stayed hidden most of her visit and then last night, we had family and friends over for a cook out and she was miserable the whole time...I felt so sorry for her! I don't know what has happened to our little girl and it really bothers me.

My first instinct is that she definitly needs to be around more people on a regular basis, but I want to do it in a positive and productive way. I know that some of you out there are very familiar with behavioral issues and I would welcome and appreciate any advice that you would offer. Also, I know there are websites and/or books that might be helpful so any you could direct me to would be appreciated.

Thanks, Dawn
 

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Try small pieces of cheese -- all strangers should have a treat for her(from your pocket). She will get the idea that people might have a snack for her -- a beginners obedience class would give her a chance to get familiar with the smae group of people and dogs.
 

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I`ve nicknamed it Shy hound syndrome,I believe its genetic.I think it is like a mental condition, the hound senses a threat when there is no threat.
No I`m not talking about abused hounds in recovery.
I`m talking about a condition that I`ve witnessed in one of my Fathers hounds that passed down 2 generations.
Sussette was a shy hound around strangers,I thought because she was never around strangers it was natural.Her daughter Patty was shy around strangers,was raised out at the farm(Patty is deceased now)her daughter Katy has been treated like a princess exposed to the public early and never acted shy around anyone.When she turned 2 years old developed shy dog syndrome.
I was floored I could not believe it,I had given this little hound all the conditions I thought her Mother and Grandmother had missed out on.Now after two years of life this disorder has appeared.
I was thinking do you think drugs could bring back into balance their imagined fear.

[ July 04, 2005, 05:13 PM: Message edited by: mwfulkerson ]
 

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I've definitely found obedience and/or agility classes to be a big confidence builder.

I also used clicker training to help Rosie gain confidence around people.

First, I taught her what the clicker was for. There's lots of good clicker training sites to tell you how to get started.

Then we started a game I call "Say Hi". First I taught her to touch my palm with her nose. She always got a treat for this. Then I taught her to do it with people she knows. I can send her away to touch someone. Then I had her do it to people at class, first ones she knew, then others she wasn't as familiar with. Now she will do it with strangers.

ANY time she interacted with people at all I would click and treat her, even if it was behaviour I would normally discourage like jumping on people. I just apologized for her behaviour and explained what I was doing and gently took her off if she was being a pain. Being dog people they understood. At the beginning I would click/treat her for looking at people, then standing her ground, or moving towards them, or allowing them to touch her. Now she likes to jump up on people, then she looks at me wanting her treat.

You do need a dog that's fairly food motivated, and you need a "special" treat that they really, really want and don't usually get, something small so you can give lots of pieces. Suggestions are liver, cheese, beef, chicken, weiners, anything really special to the dog.

Make sure when you do have guests over that they ignore her and let her come to them without coaxing.
 

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Socialization is the answer but it must be done right to prevent making matters worse the following to books should prove helpfull

CAUTIOUS CANINE, 2ND EDITION
"How to help dogs conquer their fears with desensitization and counter conditioning. Step by step instructions to help you dog get over his fear of unfamiliar people."

HELP FOR YOUR SHY DOG
"Turning Your Terrified Dog into a Terrific Pet. Contents include: Understanding: The First Step on the Road to Recovery; Socialization: Teaching Your Dog to Cope; Little Things Mean a Lot; Training: The Best Gift You Can Give Your Dog; Tips for Training a Shy Dog; More of the Real World; The Worst Behaviors: Uncontrolled Urination, Nervous Defecation and Fear-Biting; Adding a Second Dog; Fun, Games and Activities. Each chapter is illustrated with a case history of a formerly shy dog. "

ON TALKING TERMS WITH DOGS: CALMING SIGNALS

"rom Terry Ryan's introduction: Dogs have a language for communication with each other, consisting of a large variety of signals using body, face, ears, tail, sounds, movement and expression. If we study the signals dogs use with each other and use them ourselves, we increase our ability to communicate with our dogs. Most noteworthy are the calming signals, which are used to maintain a healthy social hierarchy and resolve conflict within the pack. If we can carry these skills over to our own interactions with dogs, we can greatly improve our relationships with dogs. A practical, down-to-earth, logical understanding and use of the body language of dogs. "

atricles that can be applied

THE FINE ART OF OBSERVATION

Desensitizing Dogs to Other Dogs
 

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Has any one tried to apply Turid Rugaas' ideas in training? I have the book, and the only thing I got out of it (after a quick read, I admit) was that yawning was an way that dogs used to calm other dogs. And that dogs don't generally approach each other head-on, but arc towards each other. So has any one gotten any practical techniques to calm dogs from the book?
 

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Reuben is also very shy with strangers. The first basset do I took him to he sat behind a chair and shook. Once he knows someone he's a lovey. The best thing that has happened to him is the off lease dog park. He can investigate strangers but escape if he needs to....doesn't feel trapped by the leash. He has actually started to approach safe looking strangers and has even let a few of them pet him briefly.
Treats by a stranger won't work for him...only Winnie will take "candy from a stranger" and I'm actually thankful for that

Judy
 

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I've tried yawning at the grooming dogs, but it doesn't seem to help.
 

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That's what I tried too..yawning at obedience matches, under the assumption Pearl was stressed. Didn't do a thing for her, so far as I could tell.
 
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