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  #1  
Old October 5th, 2012, 11:58 AM
mittens1997 mittens1997 is offline
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Location: Edmonton
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How to train a timid dog

We got my girl Charlie about six months back,
She is a husky - border collie X and she just turned a year old.

Charlie was previously abused. We got her from a lady, whose brother found her, along with five other puppies shoved in a box in a safeway parking lot.

The brother split up the puppies betweem the family, for each of them to work with.

The lady i got Charlie from had her for a few months, but she had three girls under the age of four, and couldn't handle a puppy- a puppy who needed a lot of work.

So i picked Charlie up for free and began to work.

It started slow, it took at least a month for me to pet her when she wasn't cornered in a room.

But now, she comes for pets and even wags her tail now and again.


Charlie is still afraid with strangers, and i need to work on that next,

but before i do, i need to get her to listen to me.

Charlie is a selective learner. She only comes if i have something she wants, or if my other dogs come running.
She knows how to sit, and does it almost whenever you come up to her.


Charlie also doesn't understand praise, i try to praise her for little things, but she doesn't understand it. Usually she just runs off to play with the other dogs.

So heres the question:

How can i train her to come, when i want, not when she wants? and how can i praise her in a way she can understand? (i don't want her to only listen when food is involved.)

The Goal: Bring her to the dog park, where she can meet and play with other dogs (which she LOVES.) and even get used to the idea of other people.

I would love to hear some personal experiences if you've got them.

heres some random pictures of Charlie-Bean:





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  #2  
Old October 5th, 2012, 03:30 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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IMO food is the best and easiest reward partly because of the extinction burst you get when you fade it. If food works, I'd use it.

In my experience with other dogs in our training classes Charlie is a mix of two breeds for whom food is often not as good a reward as play. Obviously she likes the bubbles. So cute. They could be a reward once in a while. I see many using tug as a reward, does Charlie like tug?

What does Charlie really, really, really like to do? Can you use that as your reward and make her work for it? It's not always an easy thing to do. A Siberian in one of our beginner classes was not impressed with food or play. But he loved, loved, loved belly rubs. That was his reward. Man, it was slow. Every time that dog did something good the poor owner had to give him a belly rub. That doesn't sound so bad but he had to be lying on the ground on his back. While the rest of us were all quickly advancing, using our food treats and one other dog playing tug, the Sib's owner was working on getting him to respond to belly rubs given while he stood.

And therein lies another suggestion. Are you taking Charlie to obedience classes? They will help. The trainer should be able to help you discover what Charlie will work for. The other benefit is that you introduce new people and dogs in a controlled situation that is usually easier to start with than out in a park.

Did I say I love the bubbles?
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  #3  
Old October 5th, 2012, 05:37 PM
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LavenderRott LavenderRott is offline
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Location: Michigan
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Come is the easiest and the hardest command to train. A couple of quick tips - first, only use the word "come" when you can enforce it. Start on a standard leash and make it fun! Certainly use a great treat - responding to the command should mean that wonderful things happen! As she comes reliably on a short lead (and please remember - only use the word "come" once) then start using a longer one.

The second tip is this - only use the word "come" once! If you keep repeating it, then the dog learns that listening to it is optional. This is one command that is NOT optional!

Just out of curiosity - have you had her hearing checked? Is it possible that maybe she doesn't hear well?
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  #4  
Old October 5th, 2012, 07:39 PM
kitona kitona is offline
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OOOoooooo May I say, BEAUTIFUL!!!! She's a dead ringer for several sled dogs we had of the same mix! Amazing dogs and very, very smart. My advice to you would be to find a way to run her constructively. If you have a bike, you can check out ''springers'', if you are a jogger, check out ''canicross'', if you cross country ski, check out skijoring. There are also scooters made specifically for excersizing sled dogs. Build her up slowly and make your running time a whole lot of fun and you'll see her confidence and your bond with her increase in leaps and bounds.
Starting her out on a longish leash on walks will help. When she wants to, let her walk in front of you. When you want to make a turn, say "gee" for a right turn and "haw" for a left turn. Make the turn yourself and gently guide her in your chosen direction and reward with praise and fun. It won't take her long until she gets it. LOL ''Whoa'' (stop) is also useful. "On by'' means go past distractions like other dogs, people, etc. All of this can be taught at the walk and prove very useful if you proceed to running. The most important thing to do is to do everything with a light heart and joy.
All of this will help her develop into the dog she is meant to be and her rough beginning in life will soon be replaced with a confident, fun filled future.
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  #5  
Old October 5th, 2012, 07:46 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mittens1997 View Post
We got my girl Charlie about six months back,
She is a husky - border collie X and she just turned a year old.

Charlie was previously abused. We got her from a lady, whose brother found her, along with five other puppies shoved in a box in a safeway parking lot.

The brother split up the puppies betweem the family, for each of them to work with.

The lady i got Charlie from had her for a few months, but she had three girls under the age of four, and couldn't handle a puppy- a puppy who needed a lot of work.

So i picked Charlie up for free and began to work.

It started slow, it took at least a month for me to pet her when she wasn't cornered in a room.

But now, she comes for pets and even wags her tail now and again.


Charlie is still afraid with strangers, and i need to work on that next,

but before i do, i need to get her to listen to me.

Charlie is a selective learner. She only comes if i have something she wants, or if my other dogs come running.
She knows how to sit, and does it almost whenever you come up to her.


Charlie also doesn't understand praise, i try to praise her for little things, but she doesn't understand it. Usually she just runs off to play with the other dogs.

So heres the question:

How can i train her to come, when i want, not when she wants? and how can i praise her in a way she can understand? (i don't want her to only listen when food is involved.)

The Goal: Bring her to the dog park, where she can meet and play with other dogs (which she LOVES.) and even get used to the idea of other people.

I would love to hear some personal experiences if you've got them.

heres some random pictures of Charlie-Bean:





What a beautiful dog.
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  #6  
Old October 5th, 2012, 08:36 PM
mittens1997 mittens1997 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longblades View Post
IMO food is the best and easiest reward partly because of the extinction burst you get when you fade it. If food works, I'd use it.

In my experience with other dogs in our training classes Charlie is a mix of two breeds for whom food is often not as good a reward as play. Obviously she likes the bubbles. So cute. They could be a reward once in a while. I see many using tug as a reward, does Charlie like tug?

What does Charlie really, really, really like to do? Can you use that as your reward and make her work for it? It's not always an easy thing to do. A Siberian in one of our beginner classes was not impressed with food or play. But he loved, loved, loved belly rubs. That was his reward. Man, it was slow. Every time that dog did something good the poor owner had to give him a belly rub. That doesn't sound so bad but he had to be lying on the ground on his back. While the rest of us were all quickly advancing, using our food treats and one other dog playing tug, the Sib's owner was working on getting him to respond to belly rubs given while he stood.

And therein lies another suggestion. Are you taking Charlie to obedience classes? They will help. The trainer should be able to help you discover what Charlie will work for. The other benefit is that you introduce new people and dogs in a controlled situation that is usually easier to start with than out in a park.

Did I say I love the bubbles?
Thanks for the long reply!

Charlie's favorite thing to do is play with our other dog Dakota, but i don't see how i can use that as a reward.
Unfortunately she doesn't understand the concept of tug.

money is really tight right now, and i would love to bring her to obedience as soon as we can,
Another problem with that again is that she is afraid of strangers, and being in a confined space i don't know how well it will go.
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  #7  
Old October 5th, 2012, 08:38 PM
mittens1997 mittens1997 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by LavenderRott View Post
Come is the easiest and the hardest command to train. A couple of quick tips - first, only use the word "come" when you can enforce it. Start on a standard leash and make it fun! Certainly use a great treat - responding to the command should mean that wonderful things happen! As she comes reliably on a short lead (and please remember - only use the word "come" once) then start using a longer one.

The second tip is this - only use the word "come" once! If you keep repeating it, then the dog learns that listening to it is optional. This is one command that is NOT optional!

Just out of curiosity - have you had her hearing checked? Is it possible that maybe she doesn't hear well?
Thanks! I have a long weekend this weekend so i'll spend some time with her for sure and try this out!

Her hearing hasn't been checked, but i know she can hear, you say her name and she'll turn her ears towards you, but she just chose not to listen. She can be a brat!
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  #8  
Old October 5th, 2012, 08:38 PM
mittens1997 mittens1997 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitona View Post
OOOoooooo May I say, BEAUTIFUL!!!! She's a dead ringer for several sled dogs we had of the same mix! Amazing dogs and very, very smart. My advice to you would be to find a way to run her constructively. If you have a bike, you can check out ''springers'', if you are a jogger, check out ''canicross'', if you cross country ski, check out skijoring. There are also scooters made specifically for excersizing sled dogs. Build her up slowly and make your running time a whole lot of fun and you'll see her confidence and your bond with her increase in leaps and bounds.
Starting her out on a longish leash on walks will help. When she wants to, let her walk in front of you. When you want to make a turn, say "gee" for a right turn and "haw" for a left turn. Make the turn yourself and gently guide her in your chosen direction and reward with praise and fun. It won't take her long until she gets it. LOL ''Whoa'' (stop) is also useful. "On by'' means go past distractions like other dogs, people, etc. All of this can be taught at the walk and prove very useful if you proceed to running. The most important thing to do is to do everything with a light heart and joy.
All of this will help her develop into the dog she is meant to be and her rough beginning in life will soon be replaced with a confident, fun filled future.
That sounds like a lot of fun! I'll look into those sleds if we get a lot of snow this winter!
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  #9  
Old October 5th, 2012, 08:39 PM
mittens1997 mittens1997 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 33
Thank you very much ^^

I think so too.

i added the second picture just because she looks insane.
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