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Dog Training/1 year old Choco Lab is very skiddish...


Ginger Coture
Ginger Coture  
Hello there, I have a 1 year old Chocolate Labrador.  I got her from a very loving family in Cleveland Ohio, I actually think they were hiding her because they loved her so much and actually wanted to keep her themselves, but it was close to Christmas and I think they needed the money, She did not come with papers but she is full bred.  Ginger is her name.  I have loved her with all my heart since the day I got her, in all actuality, she could never be a "Replacement" for my Black Lab "Shadow" but, I had Shadow for 12 years and she had cronic ear infections and she ended up with Scacanoma Cell cancer and the inflammation started on her ear and went to her brain really fast, I thought at first it was a hematoma, in which she has had 3 in her life so I was shocked to find out otherwise and she was gone within a week, mind you I cannot have Children and she was my baby literally.  She was great, on and off leash. No accidents in the house even after 24 hours of an emergency situation.  Anyways, she was a great, healthy, spoiled dog.  But, the difference in the beginning Shadow was harder to potty train, Ginger was not...She was going outside almost immediately, Shadow has to be crate trained finally. Shadow loved her toys, she was a ball hound, and Ginger could really care less, it seems as if I give her a ball all she cares to do is chew the fuzz off of it and then she is done with it, nothing seems to keep her occupied, and mind you I have a big back yard but, I am disabled and I take her for walks out on my scooter during the summer but as for now she is kinds bottled up as far as energy goes, she is not nearly as Lazy as Shadow was Shadow would sleep through a tornado, now if I get up to go to the bathroom Ginger gets up to follow me, it's like she is scared to be alone even, being that I am disabled, I spend a lot of time in my bedroom in bed and occasionally things pile up on my bed, I have my laptop sitting here on a "Fan Pad" because it gets hot on the bed, but like I am trying to quit smoking and I have a glass dish with my e cig stuff in it sitting here and if it clang's into something she will go flying off my bed running with her tail between her legs, even now I have a bag of pretzels and if she crinkles the bag with her tail she goes running but, if I crinkle it to give her a pretzel she comes to me and is not scared of it???? weird wouldn't you think??? I have never terrorized her even jokingly...You know how some doggie parent's say watch this, and they show someone how their dog run's from a pillow for example?  Not me... But generally she is a happy dog, she does not tear things up when I leave, no separation anxiety, she normally just sleeps, now if I leave something out that I don't want chewed, she would chew it but, that is my fault so I don't even yell at her...I don't understand, I try to show her these things won't hurt her but she just get's scared...Please I'm sorry for jibber jabbing so much, I just wanted to give you a story of my background to see if this is normal or not...When you get a chance Please get back to me, I would greatly appreciate it, if you have any advice let me know...Thank you sooo much, Michelle Fitch

Hello Michelle:

I would say off hand from your comments, that it's the surprize and sudden touch that spooks her.
When she see and knows what happening she fine, but not when it's out of sight or touch not seen coming.

This is generally the result of dog abuse, as fear of the unknown/unseen.
We can also see this in dogs that have hearing or sight problems.  So a vet check may be in order.

You'll have to begin a slow and steading desensitizing of all the things that throw her off.

Keep her on leash when doing this so she can not flee, and reward when she starts to gain composure.  Keep your tone up beat.

For example your e-cigarette, just before you deliberately drop it, engage her with a treat, so you have her attention, (don't let her have it), then drop the e-cigarette in the ashtray, saying "OH" or "Yes", and give her the treat immediately.

You then progress into waiting a bit longer after the drop to give the treat, she will not flee as the treats there and then it's coming.

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