New 4mo scared of indoors & people

tamracloveOctober 24, 2012

Hi All! I've just adopted a 4 month old Collie names Wynn. After a few days it was painfully clear that she is scared of people, and mostly of being indoors.

At her home (a breeder who I think is doing the best she can/no neglect or purposeful mistreatment) She lived with lots of other dogs, and as she was born in June she was outdoors most of the time. Indoors, all those puppies and adult dogs did not have free run of the house, they had a large exercise yard in one room.

She was not able to sell all of the puppies at 8-10 weeks old, and 4 remained, along with the 2 parents and another 9mo puppy.

Wynn is very frightened of being indoors. Doorways and transitions in particular. She is cautious of people, and shies away from loud noises (including my 2&4yo daughters). Also, loud noises outdoors frighten her, hammers, flapping plastic or tarps, etc.

My theory is that with so many dogs in the house, she got very little "people time" and she is very comfortable and playful with my other dogs. Also, since she has only ever known the inside of a play yard indoors, She thinks that the rest of the house is off limits.

I actually nearly returned her because for the first week I could hardly get near her, but this week she is actually showing amazing progress - enough that I think I can recondition her.

She is really bright - sharp as a tack. Her outdoor training is going exceptionally well. Within the first week I taught her to heel, sit and lie down using clicker/treat training. Indoors, I have been using attachment leash training (not sure what the technical term for that is). I have a segmented leash which allows me to clip her to myself so she can follow me around the house. I usually do about an hour at a time before giving her a break - clicking and treating all the way.

So my question is this - what specific games/lessons can I be using to make her more comfortable with the indoors? She's better than she was a week ago, but I want to be sure to really train her well and get her fully recovered from her crated conditioning.

I've just started following kikopup on YouTube and her exercises on training for leash pulling, face touching and targeting a hand all look like they will help, but I couldn't find anything about training indoors. Maybe just general settling?

Sorry for the long explanation, but I thought a back-history might answer a lot of the questions you guys might have before you could offer suggestions.

Thanks so much in advance!!

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well, collies can be skittish. I'd give her some time & be sure to get her in a routine, it really helps fearful dogs to know what's happening & what their role is. She'll come along, in her own time. And you've already seen progress, I bet she'll be acclimated soon. She's a young pup & scared to be away form her old home/family, you're still nice strangers to her.

I'm sure someone will have some great games/lessons you can use with her, which will ease her fears inside the house. Collies are smart as you've learned, I bet Wynn will be a great member of your family. We had collies when I was a little kid, I think that's why I love Shelties so much now, they remind me of our collies. Would love to have a collie one day too.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:53AM
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