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Discussion in 'Say Hello!' started by rastasmom, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. rastasmom

    rastasmom Forums Novice

    Apr 6, 2012
    st. louis mo
    I am new to the group. I joined because I am looking for some info on sheltie behavior. We have a 3 year old we adopted through a shelter 2 years ago. My best description of him is "autistic". He is smart, beautiful, and socially inept. He does not play with toys, balls, frisbees, etc. He is very loving with my husband and me but still skittish and will not come when called all of the time. He has stayed outside in the rain rather than come into the house when called and offered a treat. We only use positive training methods. We socialize him as much as possible but realize we need to do more. He has made strides since he first came to our home.
  2. danisgoat

    danisgoat Moderator

    Jul 23, 2009
    Welcome to the sheltie nation! It is great to have you join us.

    Please feel free to use the search button on the blue bar above and search for some topics related to your sheltie's behavior.

    If you do not find any topics already in discussion about your Sheltie, please feel free to start a thread in the Behavior sections of our forum.

    Here is the link to the behavior section:

  3. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

    Mar 29, 2008
    near Mobile, AL

    if your boy is a rescue then he may never have learned what toys are. Callie, my rescue girl has not played with toys either. but she loves food and we did lots of training that way and she enjoys that. She got her CGC and her RN title but she is now retired from any serious stuff:winkgrin:

    She was never really good at coming when called unless she wanted to- and now that she is older and has 'hearing loss', well, call all you want is her attitude:winkgrin:
  4. Meldor

    Meldor Forums Enthusiast

    Aug 15, 2011
    Welcome to the forums!

    My friend as a dog not a Sheltie but a mixed breed with some Australian Shepherd in it, with similar issues. For her, the one thing that makes the dog come out of her shell is other dogs. She just explodes of joy when she is surrounded by other dogs.

    How is your Sheltie with other dogs?

    Otherwise I recently read this article from Silvia Trkman about the dog she calls her autistic border collie : http://www.lolabuland.com/2011/11/07/my-sweet-autistic-bu/

    I'm looking forward to reading more about your Sheltie!
  5. lovemyshelties

    lovemyshelties Forums Enthusiast

    Sep 5, 2011
    Crofton, MD
    Difficult to say what makes them tick sometimes, especially since you adopted him. He may have been abused and that's why he doesn't trust.

    One suggestion I have is to buy a long 20' lightweight lead and work outside with him on recalls. Always use a high value treat (cooked chicken pieces, turkey hot dogs, cheese, whatever he'll go nuts over). Let him go the length of the lead and then call him once. If he doesn't come reel him in gently and give him a treat with lots of praise. A few minutes each day should be sufficient, but it may take weeks before his trust factor goes up so don't get discouraged.

    We have a female blue merle we got at 8 weeks old and even she has trust issues. I need to find our 20' lead and work with her again to build her confidence.

    Oh, and one other thing...always have him on a leash when outside in an open area. We wouldn't want to see a post about him running off because he got spooked.

    Good luck!
  6. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Welcome to Sheltie Nation! Patience and love -- and perhaps a Rally Obedience class? It worked wonders for Beckon. Also, in our class is a womam with an extremely shy Border Collie -- Rally has made all the difference in Lady's confidence.
  7. Tagg

    Tagg Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 4, 2012
    Brantford, On
    Start the recall in a room that is more confined using a new word and a special - only for recall - treat. For Tinsel, his word is "hustle" and his treat is cheese. It's the only time he gets cheese, which he love, love, loves! I chose the word "hustle" because I don't use it in everyday conversation, nor do I use it to call the dogs. I will be transferring it to a hunting whistle once I have the yard fenced in. My other dogs come to a specific whistle that I make with my own lips but they have learned the hunting whistle too. This recall should only ever mean good things - never for anything that the dog puts up with or actively dislikes. So, for example, if you have him come in with muddy paws you have to reward the response of coming and then ask for a sit so you can wipe his feet. You might have to turn your body a bit to get him to come or even squat down at first. Tinsel won't come if I am standing straight on looking at him due to his experiences at the puppymill but a slight turn on my part and a soft look past him makes a huge difference. Oh and yes, if I take the dogs out to the bush and recall them I make sure I have "the" reward with me. They always get the reward. Recalls are sacred. I want them to come no matter what is going on around them.

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