Questions about acclimating insecure dogs :)

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by PWCorgi, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    So I'm trying to get some things together for when Frodo comes out here (I have to do SOMETHING with my time or I'm going to go insane before June comes!), and trying to be as prepared as possible for his arrival.

    I'm beginning to realize that Frodo is a lot more insecure than I previously thought he was, and that bringing him to yet another strange place to start over again is probably not going to help at all.

    I plan on getting the help of a behaviorist if possible, to work on his reactivity and insecurity, but that depends on who I can find and if I have enough money to afford someone good.

    I found this site ( The Canine Coach Voted Twin Cities #1 Favorite Dog Trainer, behavior training, group classes in Minneapolis and St. Paul ) and was browsing, a lot of the trainers seem good (however I did read one review thanking a trainer for teaching them how to properly use a prong collar. I'm not necessarily opposed to people using prongs, but I want someone who is well versed in clicker training and positive reinforcement for Frodo!), and they charge $260 for 4 hours. Is that about normal? I've never had the opportunity to look at in-home training before and I do not think that putting Frodo in a class setting would be best for him.

    There are A LOT of trainers in the twin cities area, so I have a lot of searching to do.

    In case I am not able to get a behaviorist or someone to work one on one with me I'd like to be prepared in case I have to go it alone.
    I see Click to Calm recommended a lot on this forum and others as a good resource for aggressive dogs, though I wouldn't consider Frodo aggressive I think it may be able to help me to help him. Thoughts on Click to Calm for an insecure dog?

    I am also looking at On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas, The Cautious Canine by McConnell, Scaredy Dog by Ali Brown, and Feisty Fido by McConnell.

    If anyone has comments on these books or suggestions for other books they would be much appreciated.

    I do own Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson, The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller, and Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt.
    Control Unleashed I can use some information out of, but a lot of the activities I cannot do as I do not have access to other dogs in a controlled environment.

    Any other tips and suggestions on acclimating Frodo to living in the city would be appreciated as well.

    TIA :)
     
  2. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    You shouldn't need a prong collar at all with him.

    Keep in mind, he came down here, changing hands several times, spending one night at a strange house and then finally got here after a long time on the road, where he was greeted by four somewhat obnoxious beasts and a complete stranger of a hooman (although she did have yummehs and TWO couches, so that helped).

    He'll have you. And that will make a big difference. :) Also, when things get a little warmer, I can take him into town and let him see some of what a city looks like - people, traffic, etc.

    Click to Calm certainly won't hurt and will probably help. The training plan outlined in it is easy to adapt to whatever he needs to counter-conditioning with.
     
  3. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Also, while you're spending time waiting for him, scout out the city and the parks to try to find places that might be quieter or times of day/days of week when they're quieter so he can be acclimated gradually.

    By the way, he tried to initiate play with Ares this morning...which was nice (it's the first time he's tried to initiate play)...it was kind of a shame that he opted for the wrong corgi, so his attempts were not met with approval. I'm going to try later this evening to have just him and Morgan out for a while and see if he'll play with her. :D
     
  4. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Yeah, I don't think he needs a prong at all, and I wouldn't feel comfortable letting a trainer put one on him. It was only mentioned once on that site so I'd definitely be asking them a bunch of questions.

    The reason I want a trainer this time is because I think I need someone to be there and tell me what I need to do at certain points so that *I* can not get anxious or upset. Basically I need the trainer, not Frodo :p

    :lol-sign:

    There are a lot of parks out here, now I just need to figure out which ones allow dogs and which are slower. I will probably try and get in the habit of taking him out super early since there are usually less people out then and because Id like to have as much of a routine as possible by the time classes start up again.

    That is AWESOME!!!! :D :D :D :D Even if Ares didn't reciprocate lol
    Hopefully he and Morgan will start, corgis playing is the best ever :D
     
  5. Criosphynx

    Criosphynx New Member

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    keep it simple and predicable. Try not to mess with the routine much or at all for several weeks. He will feel better if he knows whats coming next ;)
     
  6. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    Frodo sounds like Fozzie! He is a very insecure little guy... not with people, but with other dogs, from bad experiences. Click to Calm is not for aggressive dogs exclusively. Every single exercise in the book has benefited Fozzie and helped his reactiveness and insecurity! Clicker training helps so much to build confidence, because it is SO reliable and predictable for the dog.

    $260 actually sounds really good for 4 hours. I paid $100 per hour. Why not get him into classes, though? If you find a great trainer who has small classes a good facility, group classes should be super helpful to you and Frodo. They were invaluable for me, and I still go to refresher obedience classes for free where he can get tons of positive experiences around all kinds of dogs. The problem with trying to condition/desensitize around random neighborhood dogs or whatever is the fact that most people are horribly rude... they let their dogs lunge, bark, stare and get in your dog's face. Now, I can walk Fozzie around even the most inconsiderate owners and he's good. Just today I was practicing heeling with him on a trail, and some one with two Corgis on flexis was walking by with them barking their HEADS OFF, and lunging/running at full speed inches away from Fozzie. He didn't even give them a second look but a few months ago that would have been a major set back for us! You really have to set him up for complete success.

    You're soooo lucky that CP is working with him! :eek: Jealous. Can I send you my sassy Corgi, CP? Lawl!
     
  7. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    I wish they'd re-title click to calm, the healing the aggresive dog part! I think many of the training excersizes can help many dogs!! :D
     
  8. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Send? Nope. You need to bring him out yourself, because I know you wanna meet Ares. :)
     
  9. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    Can we just trade? Yes? OK! ;)
     
  10. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    My biggest concern is that it's not just the other dogs that he is insecure about. It is "new" things in general, I just feel like that may be too much at him all at once. The facility, the other dogs, etc.

    They do have a dog-dog aggression class at the link I posted, and the "graduates" can come to like a relaxed group play thing for next to nothing to keep up their work and stuff. It seems really good, I am just worried it would be too much too soon.

    He gets scared/wary about things that are out of place in general. Street cones, garbage on the street, etc. and will growl and bark if they move or they are something he hasn't seen before.

    Does that make any sense? lol

    I do want to go to group classes eventually (would love to do a foundations agility course or something), but I feel like I need to start with really tiny baby steps first.
     
  11. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Not today. He's being very sweet and cute today. Check back tomorrow, k?
     
  12. protodog

    protodog New Member

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    Click To Calm isn't just for aggressive dogs. The exercises are also great for anxious or over-excited dogs, and the book includes a section on anxious, nervous, or generally freaked out owners. One of the great things about the book is that it addresses the emotions of owners of dogs who have issues, instead of ignoring the owner's feelings, telling the owner to get over it, or commanding the owner just to behave differently.

    I've used some of the exercises for over-excitement and for keeping my own stress in check.
     

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