1 Year old Aussie - unsocialized- help

Posted by gacowgirl
Mar 13, 2008
Good morning.
I have two mini aussies now.
I have a two year old female and a 1 year old male.
I recently bought the male to be a mate for my female.
The male came from a kennel life where he was planned to be used as a stud dog and not to be sold therefore he had not been taken off of the farm or been socialized.
He is VERY sweet, but VERY timid. The quivering has finally stopped but I need some direction on helping him with his painful shyness.

Any suggestions?:confused:
Posted by Blue
Mar 14, 2008

I bet your dog will be much happier now that he is in a home rather then a kennel! Do you have plans to breed the dogs? If you don't, you may want to consider getting your male fixed sooner than later as this will help with stabilizing his personality - no influence of hormones and a need to be territorial and protective of his pack.

I have taken much of the following information provided by another experienced member of the forum, Todd. What he provided was directed towards a similar dog who is under socialized but shows aggression rather than timidness. The principles are the same, only rather than becoming alpha, your aim is to increase your dogs confidence through properly timed rewards.

Socializing a dog at this later stage can take a lot of time and tolerance but it sounds as though you are very committed and are taking this seriously so you are already half way there

It does sound like he needs some more socializing but before we get there we need to go through some basic ideas.

Before we try and stress him out i think it is vital that he is well trained and obedient. I want you to work with him for 15 minutes twice a day on the basic sit stay and come commands. Choose a quiet secluded area so that you have his full attention.

You need to be sure that when he is being socialized he will behave so this training is very important

Okay now that we have got that out of the way lets work on how we are going to socialize him.

*Get an adult friend to come and visit (make sure that you tell them what is happening!).

*As your friend knocks on the door or rings the doorbell, make your dog sit and give it a treat. Then put your dogs collar on and take it to either a crate or a secure room. If your dog is too much of a handful at even this stage then you will have to put your dog away before your visitor gets to the door.

*Sit your friend down in a room that is not often use by your dog. Give you friend some treats so that they can give them to your dog.

*Go to your dog and make it sit. Get your dog to heel then take it into the room that your friend is in. Make sure that your friend does not give any eye contact. Act as happy as you can while petting your dog.

*If he gets fearful and hides then you need to completely ignore him. This means no eye contact, no talking to him and no reassuring him. But the second he shows some confidence then you need to praise him to reinforce non-fearful behaviour.

*Make your dog sit quite a long way from your guest, perhaps in the doorway of the room. When your dog is calm get it to heel and move it closer, then get your dog to sit again. Praise your dog when it sits and heels properly.

*When your dog is calm and you have moved it and made it sit within 5 feet of the guest then get the guest to give your dog a treat. Make sure that the guest does not look your dog in the eyes.

Preferably you will repeat this twice a day for several weeks. Once he is happy in this situation you need to try him outside in the yard with more strangers.

From here you need to try him out in the public. Follow the same principles of either ignoring, telling off or praising. With time and patience he will learn.

I think it may be good to try a product like DAP or Rescue remedy during your training sessions to help him relax and not get stressed out.

This program will need you to get him to interact with people, other dogs and anything else he may be scared of. Take it slowly and with time he will improve. Please let me know how things are going and if i can help anymore.

A major factor in his rehabilitation is don't try to cuddle or soothe him when he's afraid (no matter how sad and forlorn he looks!) - this reinforces the timid behaviour, when you give him attention for unwanted behaviour, he thinks he is being rewarded, and therefore is right to act in that way.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!