Tams that lack confidence...

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dcrunkle
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Tams that lack confidence...

Post by dcrunkle » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:18 pm

I have a 14 month old intact Tamaskan, that I have had since he was 5 months old. He's been well socialized to other dogs and people, but has gone from reserved around people to fearful. He is a confident friendly dog in my house, and in the homes of my friends. But, take him to the vet office, the training facility, the dog store, or any other place he has gone time and time again and he starts to act like the world is out to get him. He seems fine and confident around other dogs, it's people that seem to scare him. He will snub a person he knows well at the pet food store, and then sit on their lap and give them kisses the minute the person walks in my house.

I've been doing a lot of classical conditioning and management to try and facilitate a growth of confidence, but it's not going as I hoped. Any suggestions? Anyone else have an anti-social dog in public?

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Re: Tams that lack confidence...

Post by arianwenarie » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:20 pm

My lab used to be anti-social almost to the point of showing fear towards friendly strangers. I've taught her the 'touch' command and when I introduce her to friendly strangers (at parks, cafes, pet stores, etc). She's progressed from just touching my hand to any object that I ask her to...which helps a lot when she shows irrational fear towards objects or people.

However, if she doesn't want to greet a stranger, I don't make her after a couple tries...after all, we as humans don't like every person we meet. :P

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Re: Tams that lack confidence...

Post by Tana » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:52 pm

Do you have any videos of him in the public places? I have a dog from the shelter (malinois mix), she is still unsure sometimes, where there is a lot of people, children, music... I would suggest you to take him to the new places most often as you can. If it's possible for more than one day. Maybe with one confident canine friend, who can be his role model. And to continue classical conditioning. That's how I was doing. She accompanied me, when I went to visit a friend and slept there (I went with bus or train too), when I went for two or more day hiking and slept in the mountain huts or outside, visited dog shows, concerts, city centers. If I took her to the new environment for one day or shorter periods of time, she was nervous there, the whole day if it was necessary, and when we came home she felt relieved. If we went for more than a week for example, she had to relax, because you simply can't be in that nervous/ fearful state of mind all the time. It's too much for the body. At the begining she was scared/nervous, she didn't eat much. But then she slowly get used to and became more happy, outgoing, like she normally is and I rewarded her for that. I started teaching her tricks (for doing that she have to be in active, submissive state of mind) and at the end she was able to perform tricks anywhere, even with unfamiliar person.

Hope this can help you.

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Re: Tams that lack confidence...

Post by Eventide » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:47 pm

I do remember my Max going through a fearful stage just as you described. I asked the breeder and she told me that some do but generally grow out of it. She was right. It lasted a couple months at most.
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Re: Tams that lack confidence...

Post by Booma » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:16 pm

I'd say he's going through his second fear period. Continue the training your doing, and do some trick training too, it's really good for confidence because the praise is usually so genuine. And as Arian pointed out, we don't like everyone, so why should they? When people ask to say hello / pat Balto I tell them to let him come to them if he wants to and sniff them without them trying to pat him since most people do it wrong.
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Re: Tams that lack confidence...

Post by chelle784 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:25 pm

Pepper is a bit like this but only around certain people. We can't pinpoint what it is (not people wearing hats/ sunglasses etc) However it does seem to mostly be women which is strange. If a stranger who is a man comes into our house she will follow the guy around and want attention. If it's a woman, she gets a bit nervous.

The times when she isn't nervous is if another dog is present. If a random lady comes up to her I can predict that she will be nervous. However if the random lady has a dog, she will go up to the woman. The other day she was playing with her samoyd friend, rosie, and a lady came up to us and went awww can I pet them? rosie went straight up to the woman and Pepper copied Rosie, wanting attention from the woman. I know that if Rosie wasn't there, Pepper would probably have ducked if the woman tried to pet her.

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Re: Tams that lack confidence...

Post by Katlin » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:52 pm

Wylie is really good with almost everyone, he's had a few scares from Natives so he is a bit sketchy around them now (one hit him and another tried to threaten me at the train station so Wylie freaked). But he had a nervous period for a few weeks so I took him to a playground and let kids pet him. They were all in grade 5-6 so they knew not to touch or crowd Wylie until I said they could come forward. They all listened really well and I made sure Wylie wasn't stressed at all. After 2 days of that I gave the kids some chicken treats to give to Wylie. After a few days of that he's great around 99% of people. This doesn't work with all dogs, Wylie was pretty good to begin with, he just got a bit shy and I wanted to nip that in the bud right away. If your tam has no confidence whatsoever then I suggest starting much smaller.
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Re: Tams that lack confidence...

Post by dcrunkle » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:51 am

Thanks everyone. I have lots of good ideas, but if anyone has more, I will take them. I will start small, but yup, got to fix this now. At least as much as I can. I know he has a bit of a reserved personality, I can live with that, but it kills me to think he is scared, not aloof.

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