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My dog is about a little over a year old now. She had major separation anxiety when I first got her when she was a little baby. When I took her to the vet, the vet told me she was taken away from her mother too early and that the pound had lied to me about her age. She was 4 weeks when I got her, and they told me she was 6 weeks. To this day she is very skittish, timid, and shy. She won't leave my side for anything but she is terrified of strangers and other dogs when she first meets them. She does eventually warm up. She still has seperation anxiety.

I was just wondering how I treat this? I feel so so bad for her that she is always so scared. I give her extra love, pets, and encouragement. I always tell her she's a good girl, especially if she goes up to some one. She's picky with treats and only like soft ones and I would be giving her a lot more treats but all I have are hard ones. She never misbehaves because she is so timid.

She's about a year old now, and some kind of mix. She looks like a cross between a cattle shepherd dog and an akita. She's medium sized.

I just want to help her to be a little bit more carefree and not always so scared.

Thanks!
 

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You could have a potential for trouble here. If, when she gets older, she gets a fright she could bite first and ask questions later.
I would try and find a dog training club employing positive training methods and see if they have an instructor who you can talk to and ask them if you can bring your dog to socialise with people and other dogs.
You need to use high value rewards such as shredded ham, roast lamb or beef, or similar and have as many strangers as possible feed these to your dog.
 

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How much training do you do and what kind? I would recommend seeing a positive behaviorist (no "balanced", or "traditional" that means corrections and that will make this worse.) but until that time, clicker training could help build her confidence. Kabota was very timid when I got him, nothing like yours, but training simple obedience commands gave him success and helped him be more confident.

I also only punish through short removals of attention. Otherwise, I praise behavior I want, redirect to behavior I want and ignore unwanted behavior. Don't be afraid to use Hugh value treats. Cooked chicken is relatively cheap, nutritious and great for giving a dog positive associations.

For example, she sees a stranger, stuff chicken in her mouth- no matter what her reaction is. People will say "no, you're training her to be scared!" nope, not how dogs think or learn. You're training her that strangers mean the best treats ever. I give kabota a treat every time I groom him. Now, when he sees his brush, he drools. The brush means tasty treats, even if he hates having his tail brushed.
 
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