April 23rd, 2010, 10:37 AM
I just got my 3 month old sheltie for a week. he is extremely fearful about cars and stranger. Since i'm living in an apartment in toronto, cars and people cannot be elimiate. Everytime I bring him down to potty, he show extreme scare towards people and car, sometimes pee and try to run away.
I keep talk to my breeder about this problem on how to handle him correctly.
She told me I'm putting my dog is big risk because he is soo young and shouldn't be contact things outside home. she said she won't introduce cars and stranger to her litter until 1 year old. She told me it is normal sheltie freaks out of cars, if hers doesn't like cars, she will just pick them up until the car pass by?!!
I mean we are living in a city and you can't ignore cars and people (especially I need to visit vet), I don't understand. If a boxer scare of car, pick him up toooo??????
She even told me if he got soo freak out in the car, I should give him Tranquilizer. I really dont' agree.
She is not a back-yard breeder, I found her in Dogs in Canada Annual.
I am totally gonna ignore all her advise. I am just wondering is there any sheltie owners in toronto and how you deal with their stress around cars and people?
I already hire a trainer to come vist and hope she can give me some good adivse on how to handle her fear.
April 23rd, 2010, 11:24 AM
These are great things to find out before choosing a breeder. Something important to look for in a breeder is someone that socializes their pups, and helps to match pup and owner. I dont think you chose the best breeder for you. An ad in a magasine means nothing at all and is far from a guarantee of a good breeder. The option to advertise in that magasine is given to all ckc breeders. That said you have the pup now, and you do not need to take her advice.
Do not pick up the pup and reward the behavior. Slowly start indroducing her to new things. Reward her when she is calm and accepting. Take her to classes and puppy playgroups.
How old was she when you got her? That may have a lot to do with it. You need to be patient and encourage her to experience many new people and things, now, you dont want to wait until she is older. Good luck.
April 23rd, 2010, 12:04 PM
snwong, do you have friends or family who have children? My sister is rearing a Sheltie pup right now and she invites her neighbor's children in to play with it. And, I must say, that a 7 year old sheltie dog I sold as a pup and had returned to me a year or more ago, was extremely well socialised because he'd been in a family with kids.
If your little pup is so scared of cars, do be extra careful that he doesn't get such a scare that he escapes. This breed can get rattled if they are loose and often won't even listen to the owner. I've heard too many very sad stories of shelties that have bolted and been gone for months. Can you introduce him to cars by sitting in one with him and making it a very rewarding, happy experience for him? I find it strange that the breeder wouldn't socialise him early. By that age mine have usually had a few car trips, been to the vet twice, the opthalmologist, and met quite a few people. Then there is the rule of 7. I will see if my sister can give me that. It's something like , by a certain age the pup should have met 7 people, walked on seven different types of surfaces, tried 7 different sorts of food etc.. Just a way of preparing them for life with their new owners. Oh, my sister takes her puppy along if another dog needs to visit the vet too. She gets the vet to give it a treat so it believes that visiting the clinic is a good thing. I wish you luck with this poor puppy, I'm sure you'll be patient with it and having a trainer will be a big help.
April 23rd, 2010, 12:16 PM
LuvMyLabs gives wonderful advice. Great post.:thumbs up
April 23rd, 2010, 02:30 PM
luvmylab is right, just because a breeder advertises in a magazine doesn't make them reputable, in fact it could mean they're less so. A reputable breeder usually doesn't have to advertise because people will find them and contact them about their pups. Often good breeders have TOO MANY potential owners so advertising isn't necessary.
In fact, I would venture to say that someone that advertises their pups in a high read publication (and from what I found that would definitely be one) probably is producing A LOT of puppies, and someone that produces a ton of puppies isn't MORE reputable they're generally less so. Good breeders don't generally produce more pups than they have time for.
Your breeder is definitely wrong about not introducing the pup to stuff until a year old. I kind of if this person works with dogs at all, or just pops out pups to sell :shrug:. Keeping any dog sheltered for the first year is a great way to end up with a fearful unsocialized possibly aggressive dog. The first year is when you WANT to heavily introduce them to stuff so they become confident and well socialized. You don't have to rush it so that they become overwhelmed, but you definitely want to get them outside around stuff, or at least start trying to do so. You also need to start introducing to other dogs and people and teaching him how he should properly react to them (try to do this in a controlled environment at first, a few trustworthy dogs and people you know, or in a small training class). Don't take him out on the street where he's already scared of his surroundings and start trying to introduce him to strange dogs and people (you don't know how he's going to react to new people, and you don't want a bite or something, and you don't know how he's going to react to a strange dog, or how that strange dog is going to react to him. It could end in injury, or at best a negative experience causing him to become fearful of certain dogs and people).
April 23rd, 2010, 07:07 PM
During my first week with us my puppy was a bit afraid to leave the front lawn. Luckily he had no problem being in the car so, what we did is get him in the car, drive a few driveways away and then walk with him back home -with treats, of course ;)
He figured out on his own that the street is an OK place to be and he's now quite confident to walk. Also, I let him sniff around parked cars in the neighbourhood to get used to the different smells.
Do you have any little grassy area in front or back of your building? Is the back of your building quieter than the front? Maybe try to take him to the quieter area first, to do his business and settle down a bit, then, when he's calmer, walk him a few steps up and down the street.
Do you have a balcony? could you spend some time outside with him to let him get used to the smells and noise before taking him out in the street?
If he was born/raised in a quiet, suburban/rural area, the big city smells and noise can be overwhelming and the pup needs time to adjust...
April 23rd, 2010, 07:49 PM
She is not a back-yard breeder, I found her in Dogs in Canada Annual.Unfortunately I think you've learned a sad lesson. While Dogs in Canada Annual is the premier issue for the magazine and a subscription to it is provided with membership in the CKC the CKC itself does not "inspect, certify, endorse or recommend any breeders." #1
"The best way to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable breeder is to visit them in person - ask to see where the puppies are kept and speak with people who have purchased dogs from them." #2
#1 and #2 are quotes from the 2010 Dogs Annual magazine, Directory of Breeders, page 133. That's all they say about the breeders and the question of reputable. I could not find even that on the webpage.
Further, Dogs in Canada Annual lists breeds and breeders the CKC does not recognize. Obviously these breeders will not have to adhere to even the CKC's meagre requirements. Your breed of course is recognized.
Some breeders do believe it is not safe for puppy to be exposed to strange dogs or places strange dogs might have been before all vaccinations are complete. That might be around 3 months or 4 months depending which vaccine your Vet uses. I have never heard of anyone saying to wait a year.
A growing body of evidence exists to suggest that puppies need to be exposed to all manner of people, places, things and dogs as early as possible in order to properly socialize them at what is viewed as a critical period. This is to avoid fearful or aggressive reactions in later life. Dr. R. K. Anderson's Socialization Letter (http://www.paws4training.com/content/SocializationLetter-1.pdf) advances this idea.
I think many of us try to work out a compromise between isolation from potential disease and the need to socialize. You have been given some very good ideas above on how to achieve this. I think your own ideas are bang on and better than this breeders.