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PetGround >> My Rescue/Shelter Dog


8/26/12 7:03 AM
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TexasThai
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 he was only about 6 months old when we got him and that was about 7 months ago. He is a belgian malinois (sp) and not sure what hes mixed with. He is a beautiful dog but the problem we are having is him acting like hes afraid ALL the time.

The shelter we got him from claims he was born there and never been abused but he acts like he was and gets so scared so easily. I have never had a shelter dog so Im not sure how to respond to this or help him. It seems like nothing we do like being as nice as possible and not yelling aren't making him any better.

Any advice on how we can "man" him up a bit?

TT
8/28/12 2:25 PM
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The Adversary
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Ok, this is gonna sound silly, but... I watch a lot of Dog Whisperer and...

I don't have an answer, but maybe a possible direction to look in. Without knowing how you treat the dog, I have seen a lot of people on the show sort of cater to and be overly sensitive to dogs who were abused or are insecure. What we call being sensitive ends up nurturing or encouraging that insecure state. Like I said, I don't know exactly what the solution would be, this is just what I get from watching the show. Maybe you can look into how to rehab a dog with these issues. Otherwise, just watch a bunch of Dog Whisperer and you're bound to come across a dog with similar issues.

Best of luck!
8/29/12 11:18 AM
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MichaelVronsky
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very gradual exposure to stimuli that is currently unacceptable to him accompanied by praise for accepting it
8/30/12 7:48 PM
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The Adversary
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Here's some articles to check out from Cesar's website:

http://www.cesarsway.com/channel/dog-behavior/dog-anxiety
9/14/12 8:23 AM
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JasonKeaton
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 Consult a real trainer !

I have a friend that trains Malinois and states they need some careful training.  Even a mixed dog may have some of the tendencies of that breed.
9/18/12 12:30 AM
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El_Varaco
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I own a Mal/GSD mix, so I may not be entirely accurate but...

Mals are sensitive dogs, they tend to hang on to their anxiety a bit longer than other dogs. Like GSDs if you treat them negatively, like hitting etc, they will be affected negatively (sometimes exhibit destructive behavior).

The upside is that Mals loooooove to work, it's the one thing that they absolutely love doing. So my advice is to get him started on walks. Short walks at first so that you two bond, but progress to longer more active walks/runs.

A Mal has the highest drive level among the european herding breeds (Dutch Shepherds and GSDs are the others) and exercising a Mal, isn't like exercising a labrador. They need tons of it, they need to feel they're constantly working or they will be bored out of their minds and chew on everything.

Mals are awesome dogs, extremely loyal and very game (not pitbull game). Tell a Mal to jump and he'll ask you how high, tell a GSD to jump and he'll ask why.
9/26/13 4:54 PM
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TLM378
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It's influenced by hormones (genetics) and the experiences the dog has in the world.

FRAT WARNING

Just like people, some dogs are naturally shy or fearful. If they don't have the right kind of experiences (not necessarily negative experiences but positive or negative reiniforcement at the wrong times) it can stay the same or get worse.

Mals have been bred to be high prey working dogs. Their hormones are (usually) going to be in a much higher drive than even a pet GSD. Now most of us try to get the dogs worked up in an excited state of mind and reinforce the prey drive. Hence, these dogs see the world as prey and stay that way because they aren't actually eating what they are chasing/killing - now their hormones don't drop bc no food enters their stomachs telling their brains to calm down.

For a shy dog... I would kind of "disconnect" from him. Often times we want to treat our dogs like kids and be lovey dovey with them. This isn't totally natural for dogs. You can run the risk of reinforcing the fear, just like petting a dog when he's locked in and trying to kill another dog - you're to calm him down, but the dog takes it to mean "Yep, you're doing the right thing by wanting to kill that dog/animal/person.)

Your dog may not see you as a leader (sigh I sound like cesar) which is why his fear isn't "better" plus he may be genetically he may be that way, but it is fixable. Don't worry about treats or even petting or playing with him. That will confuse him.

Ignore him - NO BABYTALK. No petting. Ignore him for a few days. You always call him to you. You call him over to eat. You take him for walks but you are in front of him and decide when and where to go. No physical corrections either. Eventually the dog should know his place just by giving him a look, not a treat or correction (just like an alpha dog would)

To get him using his brain and nose more, play a game where you hide treats and have him find it.

www.brandonfouche.com
11/11/13 2:40 AM
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khaleesi
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I hope things are slowly getting better for your dog.


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