Friends one minute strangers the next.

Discuss behavior and temperament issues, including your favorite dog training techniques.
Louman
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:13 pm

Friends one minute strangers the next.

Postby Louman » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:30 pm

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Hello, I wanted to introduce myself as being new here and thank you all for what seems to be a great community. Also forgive any typos or poor grammar. I am using my phone and short lunch break to write this. :) I have had various types of dogs my whole life. I am 48 years old and my wife and I have 5 great kids 2 of which that live with us a boy 10 and girl 12.
About a month ago we took in a 1yo male sheltie. When we went to look at him I had read a little and watched some YouTube videos showing playful Shelties. The woman he had him said he was playful and well behaved, etc. We git him and took him home and he was nervous to be expected. After a few days though he still was the same. After a week the same. At two weeks he was better. At a month he is much better but incredibly confusing because he will sit and let us pet him and play tug a little etc and then you get up go get a drink and come back and he acts like he has never met you. We took him to my father in laws farm and relatives were target shooting shotguns and he was fine. Took him for a walk the other day and a really loud train went by with horns and all and was just fine. Took him home and was sitting and petting him and reached over and picked up a plastic grocery bag and he flipped out like I was holding a cobra. I don’t get it. I honestly didn’t expect this. I read great companion, great family dog, cattle dog, intelligent, easily trained, a little sensitive to sounds. This is so beyond that. He is sweet and not fear aggressive at all. He paces the room like a shark swimming back and forth when you do anything but sit and pet him. The only time he will come is when you sit on the bed and call him up. Occasionally if you sit on the floor he will approach you if you ignore him. Last night he got loose and ran through our town and the woods for two hours. He would come within two feet and bolt if you moved. He appeared to really enjoy himself out there. Terrified us because he had no fear of cars or road. I know he never received any socialization being on a farm with only 3 humans in his life for his first year of life, but I am afraid he will never be “that dog”... the one that isn’t afraid of his shadow, plays in the park, can walk off leash, plays a lot, etc. There are more idiosyncrasies that I won’t go into that just baffle me. I have read other posts, websites, etc and all say give him time but I am at a loss to how much time and what to do in that time. We love him and won’t give him up, but also don’t want it to continue like this for his sake and ours. Any advice would be much appreciated. At this time a training class is not an option but I have been watching lots of youtube on training. Also does anyone know of any good documentaries on Shelties? Thank you. God Bless.
wmildman
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 5:37 pm

Re: Friends one minute strangers the next.

Postby wmildman » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:50 am

I am no expert, however we have had 2 rescue Shelties and each came with issues similar to yours. The last one would jump up in my recliner (as she is now) and sit with me all evening but not come and the thing I found odd she would not make eye contact (that may sound funny but all of our others just hung on every word as you talked to them)
Both of our rescues were "shy" one got away one evening and we live in the country so it was not a problem. She wanted to come to me but would not get closer than 2 feet and then go running around the yard again. I gave her a handful of treats. After about 2 hours and me sitting/laying on the ground she comes up and lays down beside me. I fenced in our back yard and I can let her go play and she is fine.
The last one appears to have been for breeding and was never socialized. She will go out in the yard with the other 3 and has finally started being part of the family, like you described "when you aren't looking". We usually bring them in on the back porch and wipe feet so while I am preoccupied she comes in ans just walks around, I usually get her next and she is calm.
One thing I was told and thought it silly is "baby talk", it works. Something about it calms and relaxes the dogs and they tend to look at you. Something about that looking at you makes the connection. The new girl is making progress and as for the first rescue she is a rotten girl. Shelties are everything you read be patient and pay attention to everything that spooks her there may be a reason that you don't know. We had one girl that did not like children and we were told the previous owners kid was rough and scared her a lot, so there is history you have to figure it out, they are worth the effort (we have had 15 or more over the years)
















































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wmildman
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 5:37 pm

Re: Friends one minute strangers the next.

Postby wmildman » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:49 pm

Also for what it is worth, Shelties are wonderful, but think of it as adopting a teenager that cannot speak. You have no idea how their life has been to this point. The first girl I told you about will follow me all around our property and come when called. She is a 100% reversal from when she came. The newest girl is improving and comes in but not to me YET, she sneaks in when she thinks I am not looking. She will sit for paw wiping and is not anxious acting (big improvement) I think she is learning my language, both vocal and body. She did come in last night and stood with 2 others to get her bedtime cookie, (usually a little behind them) My point is they are great and worth the time.Each one is different. Just don't get frustrated he will come around and pay attention to the small steps and praise him. Even when you think he is not listening, he is.

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