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Pure bread Shelty afraid of outdoors.

15 years ago

I got a pure bread shelty about a year and a half ago, he was the runt of the litter. He was initially timid about being outdoors (when we were at the house where we got him he immediately hid behind a rock in the pen they had set up). We brought him home and he was still sort of shy about being outdoors, but would play in the garden and weave throughout the bushes. Naturally I wanted to help him overcome his shyness and began taking him for walks every day sometimes with and sometimes without our other dog.

Every day I took him out he would get worse, when I started walking him he would pull to go back to the house for a little then he would co-oporate. Eventually he began pulling back to the house more and more (for a little 15 pound guy he had a lot of muscle). I eventually purchased a pinch collar to keep him from pulling (It worked with our other dog very well). But he would just bear the pain and keep on pulling. I tried to get him to heel, talked with him while we walked, stayed calm and relaxed but maintained an air of control, I tried keeping his attention focused with treats, but all failed. I realized that being outdoors for him was terrifying.

I took him to an obedience class (which was indoors), he was very frightened at first, but he began to get comfortable there. At first he wouldnt even think about taking a treat, but by the end of the class he began to eat them occasionally. But as soon as we went outside he became frightened again.

Now when I take him outside he will run off our front porch to go pee, but it is impossible to get him to go poo. I make my voice horse from calling him and encouraging him to go poo outside. It is nearly impossible to get him to do anything but pee (which is tough enough). Whenever he is finished he will immediately run back to the front door. His eyes and ears are always alert and his body is tense. If there is any kind of noise (leafs blowing, people talking, cars driving by) he will run to the door and I usually have to take him inside until the noise stops so that he will go to the bathroom. If I try and get him to go while the noise is going on he usually becomes too tense and frightened to even come off the porch.

Indoors, he is a totally different dog, yes, he is shy of strangers and is startled by loud noises, but he is typically calm and relaxed. But when I say "outside" he hides, or when he has to go to the bathroom he will hide because he knows it means going outside..

So how can I help him resolve the issues he is having? And if you have had a similar experience dont just say so, tell me what you did to help cure it?



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