Kelpie - Very shy, socialisation issues VIDEOI called this video "anxious" for very obvious reasons.
This is a dog that I sometimes get to pet sit. In the early days I would get him to run into the house, then go get him from one of the bedrooms and bring him into the lounge room with me.
This of course is a coping mechanism to make up from his high anxiety. However, it was good for him to be with a friendly human when his owner was away. In theory this could help take away some of his separation anxiety.
This kelpie was a rescue dog that already came with a lot of baggage, however the goal for a dog like this would be to work it up to being comfortable in any off lead dog park, with any social dog, with any handler.
After a few pet sits, the owner said that her dog was becoming even more shy and that I should just be a presence in the house, and leave the dog to its own devices in the back yard. So this is what I typically do.
Many owners of rescue dogs feel that just rescuing a dog and locking them in their yard forever is saving a dog. This dog's owner would often take this kelpie for walks, but I feel that many of these were on lead, where the dog would not get to build self esteem or social dog skills.
I wondered how far this dogs anti social behavior had progressed so I thought I would do some short filming of it in its own back yard. This video is the result.
As you can see, I have taken a stationary non threatening position in the yard (camera on high zoom), and still this dog is not at ease enough to either run around the back yard playing or to visit me.
This is not the dogs fault, nor is it the owners particularly. A dog like this can take a lot of expensive dog training or many extra hours of off lead dog walking with the owner until it is able to establish new natural behaviours. Many owners dont trust themselves or the dogs to safely break through these socialisation barriers, so you get a standstill in their training/ socialisation.
Ironically many people may think that this is a training issue, something that a human can teach the dog. But the reality is that this is most likely a time and gentle exposure thing, a dog walking thing, a daily long time social thing.
This is part of the reason why I began dog walking, for people who could not walk their dogs regularly or who had dogs that had some form of anxiety and needed to learn what it was to be social and free in a friendly dog pack. To become a dog again.
I just hope that dogs like this Kelpie can get the help they need to live a more relaxed and satisfying life! This video and article is made without judgement. This is where the dog is currently at.
Article by Bruce Dwyer. Like this article? Then please use a LINK reference to www.dogwalkersmelbourne.com.au
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