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Training With Nervous Girl

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We have a very frightened girl. She's come on a lot but still very shy. We've got on well with recall training with our other, more confident dog because he's very interested in us and treats but we don't know where to start with this nervous girl. I just wondered if anyone had any experience of this or is recall training simply not possible until she's got a bit more confident?

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My personal opinion is that you need to work on building her confidence before doing recall work, you will probably find that she will be easier to teach a good recall once that is in place, the only trouble is it could take some time so just be patient. Your more confident dog should help to show her what you require, but be careful to train her in a safe environment.


My first ex racer Sadi was scared of everything and extremely fear aggressive to other dogs when we got her, after 10 months hard work she got over her fears and because I had spent all that time getting her to focus on me she had the most wonderful recall for the rest of her eight years with me. Wishing you all the best.

<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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My Luna is a very shy/spooky hound. I completely agree with scullysmom that it is more important to build a trusting relationship with her before trying to do any recall training.


With Luna, I was always worried that she would somehow get loose, and that I wouldn't be able to get her to come back to me due to her nervous nature. I discovered fairly early on that she LOVED going in the car. She would hop into the car at any opportunity. So, my backup plan was to open up a car door so she could hop into the backseat where I could safely approach her. It didn't take too long for her to decide that I was her person. As we built up our trust in each other, I introduced other training, including recall training. With my shy dog, everything had to be accomplished slow and steady and at her pace.


Good luck with your girl! Others will say the same, but there is no greater joy than earning the trust of a shy dog and watching them slowly come out of their shell.

Laura, mom to Luna (Boc's Duchess) and Nova (Atascocita Venus).
Forever in my heart, Phantom (Tequila Nights) and Zippy (Iruska Monte).

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I live with a very frightened dog. I find that he does much better with informal training at home than he did with obedience school, which just scared him. He does great on recall, but as others have said, he needed to have his confidence enhanced first.

Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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I have what I call a "cautious" dog. I only work on training indoors, except recall (on leash only) outside.


He has come miles and miles with his fears through walking with me, a confident protector figure.


It's important, I believe, that you really project a confident self when walking a nervous type. Don't let the leash out very far--keep the dog close, be ready to grab the leash near the collar if the dog spooks/jumps, and keep up the cheerful "let's go, it's OK" chatter.


Buck was just terrified at first, but now he actually enjoys our walks--granted they are in the wee hours of the morning and there aren't a lot of challenges for him! But I do also walk him on weekends during the day, and things that formerly terrified him (a rock painted white, a flappy flag, etc.) no longer bother him at all.


Last night he finally did a nice "sit" without me having to touch his hind end to remind him what I was expecting. I was so proud!


Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Start with something simple - find a treat that she will work for. It could be a food treat, or a toy, or ball - anything she likes and wants reliably Then, focus on small, easily learned commands - watch me, wait, leave it - simple for you to work on in short bursts throughout the day. The "watch me" command was really key for our anxious girl. Looking another creature square in the eye is a very confident behavior, so once she learns that it's OK, and she even gets rewarded for it, you should see a big change in her behavior.


Take it slow. She may not yet be in a frame of mind that she can accept any training. Time and patience.

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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