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Old May 9, 2014, 01:44 AM
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Caro Caro is offline
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Location: Canberra, Australia
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Default Shyness is for life

As many of you know, when Tully was younger she was timid sheltie dogs, and became an extremely fearful dog after an attack - wouldn't even leave the house. I did so much work to build her confidence, went through all the books and training, but I think it was ball chasing and flyball that were what did it. She still had her moments, but I could go out in public without being too disgraced. And anyone who has a reactive sheltie will know how exhausting that can be.

So I'm pretty upset she's gone back to her fearful ways. As soon as she sees a dog bigger than her (and most are) she goes into meltdown. Not sure if she's worried about being knocked because she's still sore from the hip, or a couple of months of not being around other dogs has un-desensitised her (not a word but I can't think of the right one). She was getting reactive over the months before the surgery, but now she is really bad. Twice this week I've tried to sit at our regular cafes and had to leave because Tully had a meltdown because a bigger dog went past.

I'm really disappointed she's taken such a huge step backward, and a bit surprised, I knew shyness is never completely cured but I didn't think it would be so easy to go backward. It makes me tired just thinking about all the work to get her back to how she was. I really hope it doesn't take as long - no ball chasing or flyball to help this time.
Caro and the pups - Deska and Tully
& Tully's cats.

Last edited by Caro; May 9, 2014 at 04:59 AM.
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Old May 9, 2014, 06:11 AM
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Hannah Hannah is offline
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Location: Western Australia
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I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. It must be tough. So infuriating that it all stemmed from a dog attack... poor girl (and poor you). Hopefully its quicker and easier this time going forwards from here.
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Old May 9, 2014, 08:31 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Ontario, Grand Bend
Posts: 706

She's been through such a lot - maybe things will improve along with hip. Do you live in an urban area where she has to be out with lots of people for her walks? Maybe try going out very early or very late when there isn't as likely to be so much about to worry her?

Mom to Hanna ( smerle born June 3, 2013)
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Old May 9, 2014, 08:51 AM
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SheepOfBlue SheepOfBlue is online now
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Likely she is just doing the back off I am sore thing some even if she is not still sore out of habit.
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Old May 9, 2014, 09:35 AM
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Jess041 Jess041 is online now
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Caro, can you describe what she does during a meltdown? I know what it looks like when I child does it, but I'm not sure what a dog does when they're having a meltdown.

I'm sorry you're going through this. I thought Missy was going to be a shy dog based on how she acted at the breeder. I think a combination of puppy classes and her energy (had to get it out somehow!) made her a more confident dog. I'm not sure what I would have done if she was a timid dog. It's obvious you've put a lot of time and energy into building Tully's confidence. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with her regressing. I'm sending my good thoughts to you and Tully!
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Old May 9, 2014, 09:56 AM
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Caro Caro is offline
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Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 4,593

Jess - She does that alarm bark - a really short repetitive continuous bark. She goes rigid and will run towards the dog if she can (she choked herself today doing that). Worst is she won't listen, doesn't hear me at all, just keeps barking and barking and barking. If I try to go near her she moves away from me and toward the dog. Unfortunately she usually sees the dog long before I do, but there's probably 2 secs between her going rigid and the barking.

Eva - funny you should say that. There's probably more dogs out during the day atm - we're in winter and the days are short but sunny. But even then there's only a couple we come across on each walk.

I really do hope it's her being sore. Don't want it to become a habit tho.
Caro and the pups - Deska and Tully
& Tully's cats.
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Old May 9, 2014, 10:26 AM
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Chris Chris is offline
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Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 7,194

It sounds so much like Beckon's fear aggression behavior. It may subside with time as Tully heals...but maybe not. She's been through a lot.
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Old May 9, 2014, 01:32 PM
Tagg Tagg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brantford, On
Posts: 1,339

I know this is difficult advice but try and keep her away from this for now until she is feeling more herself. The more practice she gets of this behaviour, the more it will become her go to behaviour. I suspect she is reacting to her fear and her discomfort - can't get away as fast so try and ward off the other animal. Plenty of time once she is healed to go to work on desensitizing her again. Good luck - I'll be thinking of you both.
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