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Bax's victory!

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by Shalista, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Shalista

    Shalista Active Member Registered

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    New forum poster, just had to post and say how proud i am of my little man.

    Baxter is a 4.5 year old rat terrier. i got him from an extremely scummy backyard breeder when he was about 8 months old. He was terrified of everything. he hid under chairs and snapped at people if they tried to touch him. it took me two years to get him to enjoy human touch and four years before he was potty trained.

    Now at 4.5 Bax came with me for the first time to work. I work in a nursing home where we bring residents in and out of a large room for their therapy. Bax was an angel. He came up to each resident with a wag and a smile and lapped up all the pets and cuddles. He never ran away or showed even the slightest reluctance as he came up for pets.

    If you have a fearful or shy dog you CAN do it. Underneath all that quake and snarl theres a cuddly lap buddy just waiting to burst forth! it's gonna take time but you've got this!
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    All that hard work does pay off, doesn't it? Well done both of you!
     
    leashedForLife likes this.
  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    :) nice work!
     
  4. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

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    A lovely post @Shalista :)

    Proof that dedication, patience and love can change a dogs life :emoji_dog2:
     
    leashedForLife likes this.
  5. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Brilliant work! :)
     
  6. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .


    I’m so happy to hear that Baxter is thriving, now, & truly enjoys human company, even contact with strangers. :) That’s wonderful, & congratulations to both of U.

    However, donning my trainer hat, there isn’t a “cuddly lap-buddy” hidden inside every genetically timid or traumatized or neglected dog. :( Some dogs do, indeed, have this potential, but many with inherited shyness or who were never socialized as pups, or not habituated properly, or the sad cases of actual physical abuse, will never be all that comfy with strangers.

    They may adore their owners, they may be friendly to those folks who are frequent visitors, they might even learn to trust their vet - but they’ll never be party animals, who can walk into a novel space with a bunch of strangers, & happily approach them, or BE approached BY them.
    They have a short list of ppl on their “friends” page, & that will only expand slowly & with time.

    This is not to say that their owners are lazy, didn’t try hard enuf, didn’t work at B-mod, or don’t care that their dogs are made anxious by change & strangers - it’s just recognizing that the dogs who can make that 180’ turnaround are not common.
    Shy is, like aggro, highly heritable, & breeders who carelessly produce pups without dutiful attn to temps are a curse to dogdom & to dog-owners, alike. :mad: They will never see the effects of shy studs or dams on generations unborn, & they don’t give a tinker’s dam about the persistence of these temperamental bad genes.

    I have had many clients who insisted that their dogs “must have been abused” in the past; some of them were perfectly normal dogs, who were just cautious, not timid or shy. Not every dog is a Larry Labrador, hauling their owner behind as they lunge toward another friendly stranger, & the next, & the next... endlessly eager to meet everyone, be petted & fussed over, & unfazed by novel environs. ;)
    And that’s a good thing - not everybody wants a Larry Labrador! — dogs who are more tolerant than eager, & more neutral than wildly enthused, are nice, too. :)

    I am always happy to see shy or timid dogs emerge from their shells like snails uncurling, but I wouldn’t want to set up unrealistic expectations of “every dog SHOULD” be like X, Y, or Z.
    Variety is a good thing, after all, in dogs’ temperaments as much as anywhere.

    Any improvement achieved in a timid dog is a huge accomplishment. Kudos!
    But how far that accomplishment can go, is not only up to the human; the individual dog must be able to make the change.

    - terry

    .
     
    Nanny71 likes this.
  7. Shalista

    Shalista Active Member Registered

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    Agreed, i think part of my post is a knee jerk reaction to all the people who told me my dog never WOULD be larry labrador. that he was doomed to shrink away from human touch because i got him to late or he just "wasn't that kind of dog". that if i tried to hard to socialize him id just be unnecessarily stressing him out, that it was just far to late to change him.

    but i didnt listen. i fought for him and we worked through millions of treats to change his view of strangers and now he really is larry labrador dragging me with all the might his 13lb body can pull towards random strangers for cuddles.

    CAN every dog become larry the labrador? No. But Bax nearly wasn't either. He certainly wouldn't have been if i'd listened.
     
    Biker John and leashedForLife like this.
  8. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I was also told that my plans for my puppy were anything from “extremely unlikely” (my vet’s prediction, when she was 4-MO) to “ridiculous” (another local trainer’s unsolicited opinion; he was a traditionalist who used choke, prong, & shock collars, in that order, to train & proof his own dogs, and his client’s dogs, & who specialized in 100% reliable cued behaviors),
    all the way to “crazy” — per another handler in our breed-show handling class, who was echoed by the instructor, LOL.

    Why? — I wanted my Akita bitch to become both my service dog, AND a therapy pet.
    She not only achieved both, she exceeded even my high expectations by also becoming an incredibly reliable stooge dog for dog-reactive & / or dog-aggro dogs... that’s not something U can “train” for, IME, as being completely disengaged & calm when a k9 stranger wants to maul or even kill U is more of a gift, than a learned skill.

    My vet thot Akitas were too stranger-suspicious to ever be bombproof & tolerant of strangers in close proximity, let alone handling her - petting, stroking, or patting her body w/o a lifted lip or even simple avoidance (duck, flinch, walk away).

    The traditional trainer said she’d either bite a stranger, or get p*ssed off & snarl at some innocent person, frighten them, & embarrass me.

    My show-handling instructor thot I was such an inadequate handler, my dog would never be anything but a half-trained pet, LOL. :p (She used to yell at me in class, “Hey! - are U taking that dog for a
    WALK, or are U showing her!?!...” :oops: ... I will here note that, 3 months later, Moon got 1 blue & 1 red ribbon in her 1st show, in the bitch puppy class, at the U.K.C. Centennial Show, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. :) Good girl! —- I take no credit for her ribbons, only for her manners.)

    I am definitely one of those ppl who believe that behavior is heritable, so I wouldn’t try to train a pitbull as a sheep-herding dog... just as I wouldn’t compete in weight-pulling with a BC, or hunt pheasants with a St Bernard.
    But my Akita was a dandy therapy-pet, & my own right arm, when working with dog-reactive / -aggro dogs. // God broke the mold, after She made her - i’ll miss her for the rest of my life. :(


    Dogs - even of unlikely breeds - can always surprise U by not following the script, & doing things we’d never have suspected they could do. There’s a Std Poodle who’s a very solid sheep herder, an Aussie who herds farmed trout, & a pit-bull (APBT) who’s a Guide Dog.
    Ya never know.

    - terry

    .
     
    Shalista likes this.
  9. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Nice one, from someone else who has (had? :)) a reactive dog who is now much calmer.
     
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