Saturday, April 2, 2011

scaredy dog

I showed the video I had taken during our last rally class to our behaviorist.

Her impression?  Oreo was panicking.  I needed to help him out.

Her advice (in summary)... do only a few signs (1-3) & repeat until Oreo is "with me".  Work facing the people/dogs as much as possible, so he doesn't have to turn around in worry. 

I emailed her suggestions to the instructor of the class.

The instructor told me that she feels Oreo is much more at ease when we work with all the people/dogs in the ring at the same time.  That way everyone is busy, and not staring at Oreo.  She also felt the building, and changing class members are working against him.

Both the behaviorist and instructor gave me a lot to think about.  I really value their insight.

So today, I'll be trying these things and listening for more suggestions. 

Anything to help out my scaredy dog.

I had us signed up for a couple runs at a CPE trial tomorrow.  Even though we did really well at the last CPE trial, we're going to skip this one.  Oreo has had a lot of stressors lately, and I don't feel he's in the zone for a trial right now. 


Rob said...

It's funny because I never see Oreo as being scared so I can see why this imput it helpful. I think I would probably be scared if I was a dog living in a human world, in fact I'm scared sometimes and I'm a human living in a human world. I hope all goes well.

Ludo van Doggy said...

Some good advice there, I hope it helps. I think also it will take a bit of getting used to the new environment. When we changed training classes Ludo hid under the chairs, would freak out if an instructor came anywhere near him, but a few weeks later and he thinks he owns the place.
We've been asked to go in and be a demo dog on sunday for the introduction to clicker training seminar. They'll be about 20 people looking at him, so I hope he doesn't freak out!

Kathy said...

whew! It must be hard at times to figure out when you are supposed to be helping and supporting and when you are supposed to be helping him handle what is going on, are doing so well and seem to have such a nice handle on figuring out what to do, it must be so nice to have the behavioralist that can watch the videos and give imput even if it is to reaffirm what you think abou what is going on. I have said it before but Oreo is sure lucky to have you and boy he has to be one of the worlds best guys make a great team!

Dawn said...

awwww..hugs to Oreo. Though that might freak him out too..a hug from a total stranger. He never seems freaked out to me...but I guess what I interpret as interest might be freaked out. Which makes me think about Katie in class with the howling dog in the next ring, how she kept looking over there and ran faster when we were on the side of our ring closest to the other ring. And how she runs to get behind me when the loud instructor comes by, and always pulls her behind and tail in if that lady walks behind her. And how she's trying so hard to do what I'm asking, while always looking around to see what's going on.

I bet I have a scaredy dog too.

Reilly / Bree said...

Reilly use to be be quite timid too and would hide in the tunnel when ever we went to class - he eventually came out though and gravitated to the big dogs for some reason. Since "IT" came to live with us he has become quite the "he" dog and seems a lot more confident

Ricky the Sheltie said...

I am so glad you have your behaviorist to watch the videos and help analyze what is going on with Oreo - I would never get it right if I were left to figure it out on my own. It seems impossible to know whether to push forward or try again or ? Good luck in class today and I will be interested to see if Oreo is able to relax more.

I have a scaredy Sheltie too in many ways.

Sophie said...

Poor Oreo! He's such a good boy, scaredy or not. I hope trying this new plan out that your behaviourist gave you helps.

houndstooth said...

I think you're wise to know when to push Oreo and when to back off and take a breather. I don't know a lot about doing trials, but we've had our share of stressed and nervous dogs before. I wish you good luck in finding a zone where he's comfortable! He's so darned cute!

Helen said...

Good luck working with Oreo!! I sure glad Beckett is a friendly little guy. My Gryffon was a scaredy dog but it made him aggressive with other dogs too (except with Duffy and then with Tucker)

Marie said...

I enjoyed reading about the insights of the behaviorist and your trainer, but you know what I am most impressed with? Your decision to skip a trial you were entered in because you don't feel he's in the zone for a trial right now.

After Dare's experience at the last Obedience trial I have been struggling with whether I should enter the annual Utah Sheltie Specialty with her. I still haven't made my final decision yet. But I can say that on more than one occasion I've thought about how I could be more like you in how you continue to put Oreo's happiness first and foremost in your choices about competition. I really admire you.

Sara said...

Thanks Marie. You are too kind.