Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
i have a Jack Russel Terrier and she is...a year and some odd months old, i got her from a craigslist add in...november i think of 2011. They couple i got her from were giving her away because they had to take in their mothers dog and couldnt take care of 4 so they had to get rid of one and she was it.

They got her from a pet store that was closing down and they described it as "the guy who ran the place shouldnt have ever opened the place" and they just kind of described it as a place that was not good for animals and he possibly abused them/banged on the cage, im not sure i can only immagine what happened. They would have gotten her brother too but they didnt have the money.

She has been very skittish since they had her and passed her on to us. My family has always loved animals so we always had a few (even a goose i saved!). Now that im living with my GF in another state while going to college i got her and took on the challenge of rehabilitating her.

Ive done quite a good job so far actually, she used to be afraid of car rides but isnt anymore, shes learned i am the pack leader and "usually" obeys what i say lol. Shes afraid of people but im working on that and its going well.

My problem is her confidence doesnt seem to be that high. Shes always happy and playful until i try to teach her something, she feels like shes getting in trouble i think. So far ive taught her how to sit/speak/stand/walk while standing and spin, i want to teach her some new tricks such as rollover but when i try to show her how its done she thinks shes in trouble or something.

Overall she is doign much better but her confidence needs some small boosts.

On a side note, she is very independant and likes to do her own thing haha. Im trying to teach her to do tricks and things without treats BUT she seems to have the attitude of "psh if your not giving me a treat im not doing what you want". How can i get her to not..."expect?" a treat everytime she does something and still do it even if she doesnt get one.

thanks in advance.
Josh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
Sounds like you are making progress. I would use a clicker and shape behaviors rather than try to "show" her what you want. Let it be her idea! If she is skittish of strange objects, working on targeting with a clicker is invaluable!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
how would you say i "shape" behaviors? dont really know what that means lol. never used a clicker before either so that would be new to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
A good way to start "shaping" a behavior is to get a clicker, and when she randomly rolls over on her own, click, and you can reward if you want. She will start to understand that you like what she's doing and it's a good thing.

Both my dogs have certain areas where they have low self-confidence, and I am not quite sure why. I assume it had to be something that happened before i got them. Anyway though, when one of them starts to get nervous or shows anxiety I bend down and pet them for a couple seconds and talk in a happy voice and just give the command again, and gently show them what I want.

For example: my dog Perkins, gets sit and down confused. Sometimes I will give the Sit command and he will look around and give a small whine. I will just touch his rear with my finger and give the hand signal again, and then he gets it easily.

Dogs look to humans for guidance so you should be able to find a few things that work for you and your dog. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
A good way to start "shaping" a behavior is to get a clicker, and when she randomly rolls over on her own, click, and you can reward if you want. She will start to understand that you like what she's doing and it's a good thing.
.
IF you click, you should always offer some sort of reward. The only reason a click isn't just a sound to the dog is because you've paired it with good things. If you ignore that part, it can become just a sound again. If I wrote a post describing how you shape, it would be an extremely long and complicated post. I can recommend some good reading - Karen Pryor - "Cllicker Training, Getting Started" will give you basic skills in shaping. So will a lot of other basic clicker books. And the Kikopup Youtube videos are excellent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
Instilling confidence in a dog isn't difficult, it's just time consuming, and it's mostly about you, not the dog.

1. Have a routine and stick with it. No, you don't need to pretend to go to work on your days off, but your dog should be fed at the same time every day and receive the same amount of walking. A routine allows a dog to predict what's happening next, which is soothing to the unconfident dog.

2. Be calm and slow and quiet. Unconfident dogs are scared by people who are excited, make quick, unpredictable movements and shout. Slow yourself down, talk quietly and stay calm.

3. Clicker training is fantastic. Go to youtube and look up kikopup. She explains and demonstrates it beautifully. I've had my dog 6 months. When I got him, he was housetrained, that was it. He was scared of everything. Now he bothers me for training. The secret is to start small, reward heavily, keep sessions short (5 minutes a few times a day) and start and end with something the dog can do, even if it's just respond to their name. Success breeds success, so if your dog knows sit, throw a lot of sits into training so they feel accomplished.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top