Very Timid

Posted by Elaine
Dec 12, 2008
I have a wonderful 1 year old Border Collie/Lab mix that is smart, sensitive and trains easily.

She has been in my life since she was 3 months old, we have had very good results in training all the way around, but she has been very isolated all this time, living in a rural area with only two other neighboors and other dogs she interacts with on a daily basis.

She has always been very cautious around people and hides behind the couch when I have company she does not know, refusing to come out until they leave. These people are all animal lovers and we have tried everything including nothing....waiting for her to come out!

I just recently started to put her in the car and take her to town to walk her around our park and meet people, but she is very scared. Noises spook her and she will let someone pet her but she sits there as if something horrible will happen.

How do I build her confidence? She is the sweetest thing and she is very good with me and the few people she trusts.....but having said that, she is quite timid and sometimes backs off if I just reach out to pet her.

Have I done something very wrong for her to mistrust so much??

One more note, she has never been agressive in any way.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Dec 12, 2008
Hi there,

Border collies are different from golden retreivers. They are more cautious and reserved to start with so I understand the issue. However, it is good that she is not aggressive at all.

You said she has been trained very easily so I assume she is somehow food motivated. I would continue bringing her to public but not too overwhelming her or flooding her with that. It will take time but I am sure she will open up gradually.

I would start with your animal lover friends. Have them visit you with their dogs (I assume your dog can get along with other dogs). Have them give a treat to their dogs and offer a treat to your dog. They might have to just throw a little piece of treat in front of her to start with. Don't make them pet your dog at the beginning. Gradually let her take treats from their hands. Repeat this as often as possible. You might invest some really good treats like liver treats or duck jerky, etc.

Then, see if she comes close to your friends when called. It will be nice if she comes to them expecting some treats.

As she gets somewhat familiar with some of your friends, then make her sit and have your friends squat and pet her side, not on her head, as you pet her on her head and keep talking to her like "good girl". Don't force her accept the friends if she wants to back up.

This step might take a while.

I have seen quite a few timid dogs in my dogs' training classes but most of them opened up to their classmates' owners pretty much at the end of 8 sessions.

Good luck
Posted by Elaine
Dec 12, 2008
Thank you so much for your reply.

She is "somewhat" food motivated, but food is taken with extreme caution even from when she knows it's time to come in and bed down for the evening but she still wants to play with the neighbors dog!

I feel now I am on the right track since your reply, I have been going slowly as you sugessted and I will be patient.

By the way, I want to add a photo of my fur babies to my posts, I can't seem to figure it out, can you help with that too?

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Dec 14, 2008

Hi Elaine,

I am trying to attach a picture myself.
Hope this is how you do it.

If this is successful, I will let you know how.

OK, it looks like working. So, this is what I did:

I just click on the icon looks like a clip from the menu bar above.
Then, browse through your computer and pick a picture you want to attach and click on "attach" and submit. Isn't it easy?