July 7th, 2008, 11:13 PM
I have a border collie (Pepper)that I got from the SPCA a few months ago. He was rescued from New Orleans (still homeless from Katrina) He is a lovely dog, me and my two kids love him to death, but he is very timid.
Obviously he was in a threatening enviroment, he is terrified of his own shadow. Any sudden movement or noise sends him running scared.I wish I could let him know he is safe now, but I guess that comes with time.
Any input would be helpful.
July 8th, 2008, 08:08 AM
Welcome to the board, peppers mom.
When Pepper is frightened of something, how do you react?
July 8th, 2008, 03:17 PM
He bolts like the devil is chasing him if its a sudden noise. I run after him , catch him, and sooth him.
If he is just scared of a non moving object like a plastic bag, ironing board(seen some men act the same way,lol) or something he hasnt seen before we usually just say " its ok Pepper" and show him its not bad.
Dont want to give him too much attention or he wil start think hes being rewarded.
July 8th, 2008, 03:20 PM
wow, just read your profile, 8 setters? Impressive!
Thanks for the welcome
July 8th, 2008, 04:35 PM
Most people say "8 setters! That's crazy!" :laughing:
I've got a few suggestions about Pepper...I'm not an expert in this, by any means, but here's the sort of thing we do with our timid ones.
First, body posture--yours, not his. :D If you walk confidently, he'll read your confidence and feel more confident himself. So, when you're on a walk with him, your head is high, your steps purposeful, your shoulders square.
Set him up on his walk with 'safe' things that startle him...if he doesn't like fast motions, have a friend wave to you or flap a towel a little ways off as you walk by; if he doesn't like loose bags, have a friend rattle one as you walk by... As you walk by, remember your posture and walk by unconcerned. If he shies away, in a calm, cheerful voice just say "Come along" and reward him only when he's back calmly walking at your side again. Same goes for unplanned things that he startles at while you're on the rest of your walk.
No comforting, though. If you comfort him, you are reinforcing that whatever he reacted to really is dangerous and should be avoided.
Second, start teaching him. Nothing boosts a dogs' confidence more than being able to carry out a command when asked. The more you keep him busy learning tricks, no matter how trivial or silly they seem to you, the more you'll boost his confidence. In addition, the one-on-one training will help build trust between you and strengthen your bond.
Third, border collies are happiest if they get a lot of exercise. How does he do with other dogs? Think he'd do well in something like an agility class? He'd really enjoy the exercise. (And sleep well afterward :D)
A lot of the members here have much more experience than I do and I'm sure would have more suggestions. You might, however, want to start a new thread in the dog training forum so more members see it (a lot of them won't see your question in the Introductory forum). :thumbs up
And when you are able to post pictures, we'd love to see pics of Pepper! :D