Ollie is the most loving, affectionate Labrador I have ever know, he is also a Shy-Guy. *I was wondering if anyone else has a lab of a more nervous disposition? *
To give you some of our background. *We got Ollie as a gorgeous 12 wk puppy from a quiet farm. *At home he was lively and mischievous as every puppy is! *We soon noticed that when faced with something new he was cautious and took his time to investigate. *Taking him walkies was fraught with little phobias and tantrums. *With a lot of patience and hours and hours of socialising him, sitting on benches in town, playing with other dogs in the park etc he has overcome a lot of his nervousness. *
He is now 12 months old. We take him obedience classes. *He does well, being a quiet dog he doesn't start the fights ;D *He likes to just watch and get on with the lesson taking everything happily in his stride. * The instructors/behaviourists say he is just a dog of nervous temperament and we have done well to get him this far. *At the moment they are helping us with his one *"big hang up". *He is fine sitting at my side in a busy town situation but backs off when people want to pet him. *So far we've got to the point where he is willing to go up and sniff a strangers hand... progress
So I suppose what I'm after, is to know if anyone else here is in a similar situation, how they handle their dog's nerves and some encouragement! *It's been hard work with Ollie but I love him to bits! *
My Tucker is a nervous nellie, too. He's 5-1/2 years old and has been like that since the day we brought him home at 12 weeks. Don't know why. He hates car rides....he goes into a trance-like state, sitting and turning his head so he's looking out the back. He hates loud noises, he'll run and hide under the kitchen table shaking. He freaks out when my husband sneezes.
I just figure that's just the way he is. Like some people are shy, some are exremely outgoing....same with dogs
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
Thanks, That's what they say at training! They said he'd probably always be a bit nervous but at least we can help him to cope with life ;D Interesting to hear about Tucker not liking the car. Ollie was like that too, he wouldn't even get in the car! Nine times out of ten now he'll jump in and settles down ok. He's learnt car means park
Sadie puts on a good show ,but she is a scaredy cat..oops cat word... ;D she is very jumpy ....of course we find it funny! ;D
My GSD/Border Collie cross, Trick, is exactly the same. He can get very nervy over stupid things. Once, we got a new lamp for the living room...he was petrified of both the lamp and the shadow it made on the wall. : Nothing has caused him to act like this, it is just his personality. He got the same amount of socialisation as my Labs did who are very well adjusted. 95% of the time Trick is a normal goofy dog who is much like his Lab siblings but now and then his silly phobias flare up. I just ignore him.
It's good to know Ollie isn't the only one!! Until we got him I'd never known a nervous lab. There have been times when we wondered whether we'd done something wrong, but we socialized him fully and the same as we'd done before (without problems) so your comments have been very reassuring We're adopting an ignoring or encouraging method or confidence building (depending on the situation) but are certainly not pandering to his little phobias as this could make him worst.
Feel free to add to this post (it's doing us good hearing other people are in the same situation!) and I'll keep you posted on Oliver's progress.
Rory is a nervous Nellie too. But since we got Rio he has "mellowed out" considerably. Its amazing, Rory would see something unusual like a plastic bag blowing in the wind and would get all upset, hackles up, vocalizing. But when Rio is there, he notices Rios lack of concern and feeds off his mellow vibes. Its wonderful.
The best way to treat nervous, shy, or phobia dogs is ignore the behavior . Do not react, pet or try to comfort their fears. It worked for my Duke.