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To Help An Abused Dog Gain Confidence
An abused dog behavior problems
quite often means that it lacks self-confidence. Therefore, such dogs
should be allowed to succeed. This is fortunately a simple process with
dogs. They are dramatically quick to learn from people when taught by
nonphysical methods. Older dogs
with a persistent problem may require
longer training periods.
Even a simple 3-part dog training exercise, performed daily, can bring
behavior change in a few days. All that is needed is to crouch down,
say "Rover, come," and heartily praise when it responds, even if it
only looks at the owner. If the pet urinates on the way, the praise
must be continued.
The wetting usually disappears
improves. When the dog comes all the way, it should be petted,
preferably on the throat and chest to eliminate fear responses that may
be caused by hands over or on top of its head. Most shy dogs usually
come readily to a crouching figure.
The "Sit" command is simple, once the pet comes dependably. A hand is
held up over the dog's rump as the words "Rover, sit" are spoken. The
dog usually looks upward, and should be praised by happily saying
"Good, sit," but without bending down or petting. If this is patiently
repeated a few times, most dogs will sit down. The spoken praise should
be followed by petting.
It is important not to bend
over from the waist
to pet shy dogs, as this movement often signals possible punishment.
Crouching avoids bending over, and is friendly and reassuring. Pushing
down on its rump, holding, or otherwise manipulating the pet must be
avoided. Physical force is at the root of most submissive behavior and
interferes with effective learning.
The second part of therapy requires that owners avoid punishing the
pet. If other behavior problems exist, these must be resolved using
nonphysical methods and as light as possible. Self-control is a major
challenge to most dog owners; however, after they see the progress
usually achieved in a few days, their feelings that the pet "needs to
be told it has done wrong" usually crop up.
Any backsliding on the
owner's part is quickly reflected by regression in the dog. This
feedback provides an effective control mechanism to which most owners
are highly sensitive.
A third step in correction is used for dogs that respond submissively
to persons outside the family. If a few friends are gathered to
reinforce the owner's teachings, the dog usually responds
satisfactorily. Correction in most cases requires only a few minutes on
2 or 3 occasions. This approach to correct shy dog behavior in
submissive dogs assumes the pet is healthy, so that no possible organic
influence interferes with the learning capabilities of the animal.
Total rehabilitation can be expected in 6 weeks when the process is
carried out daily.
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Tips To Help An Abused Dog Gain