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Timid Nature

Posted: Monday, 1 April 2013 6:49 PM Quote
Hi, We got our second Finnish Lapphund Reko late last year. Our first Luka is confident and risk taking. Reko is very timid and cautious. I would like to build confidence in him. Any ideas on how to do this? We have exposed him to different people and scenarios etc socialising him as you normally would. He had a difficult upbringing as he was moved with his mother and siblings from QLD to NSW due to a serious health condition with the original breeder. From there is was discovered his two brothers had a heart condition which required the entire litter and parents to be driven to the UNSW for testing. Finally he flew to us in Perth. On Christmas Day last year he had a small fall resulting in broken metacarpal bones across his right front paw. It took 6 weeks to heal. During that 6 weeks he had to have weekly cast and bandage changes. In order to socialise him I had to drive to him a puppy class the other side of Perth (1 hr there and back) but that was the only place that would accept him. He has since become fearful of the car. My adult son opened an envelope last week and flicked the paper open and Reko was scared of him for two days. Last night my son and two of his friends came over for dinner. Reko was very scared of them. Then we remembered that he had rushed out of his crate to see them when they visited one night and had gotten his rear paw caught in the crate. My son rushed in to help him free but it seems that Reko has remembered the combination of the three of them and the pain he felt. He had his front paw in a cast at that time so was fairly fragile about his paws. So as you can see he has had a tough time of it. He came to us very cautious and timid. I had hoped a lot of love and socialising would help him. We are starting to familiarise him with the car and play in their with treats and slowly start the car and then turn it off. Building up to being able to drive it. I know it will take a long time. If anyone could give me ideas to build his confidence I would be very very thankful.
Posted: Tuesday, 4 June 2013 1:11 PM Quote
Hello Delia, We had the same problem with our dog and he was 9 years old and no matter what he remained a bit timid. He was always frightened of thunder and even the zappy sounds of the bug catcher and our bbq being lit up. I tried not to make a big deal when he got scared just gave him a pat after his shaking and shivering stopped and we continued to talk normally so it didn't increase his anxiety. Other than that he was the most beautiful dog and so docile and even visitors fell in love with him. We lost him just recently from a suspected brain tumour and epilespy but the staff of the Foothills Animal hospital were so loving and caring to him. I think some pets just have different natures and it's better to just try to remove anything that makes him/her anxious (hence I wouldn't let anyone turn on the bug zapper :) hope all goes well for you. Michele007
Posted: Tuesday, 4 June 2013 9:11 PM Quote
Hi Michele Thank you so very much for getting back to me. I am so very sorry your beautiful boy has passed away. That is so hard. It makes me appreciate even more hearing from you. Reko has thankfully improved a little bit. We had a death in the family recently and with many people visiting constantly and being so positive towards him, Reko's confidence has increased markedly. He is still cautious but overall I think his coping with new people and situations has improved. I am still pursuing the car training. He has progressed such that I can drive a short distance to a local school and park and return home with him being comfortable. I am continuing to train him increasing the distances and seeing how he copes. I have to be so aware and foresee any problems so that I can help him through. He is also a loving dog that people really enjoy meeting - and now he enjoys meeting them too. I am hopeful that he will still continue to improve but overall I realise he will need special handling and consideration his entire life. That is ok. He is my beautiful baby and the joy he gives me completely outweighs any problems he may have from time to time.