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Could any of you recommend good books for training a fearful dog. So many on the market, having a hard time picking which one to read.:confused:

Thanks.
 

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Personally, I am adamantly not a fan of Behan, who is the founder of so-called "Natural Dog Training". I feel this way for an abundance of reasons, but mostly because I do not feel that he bases his theories on actual science, but rather sketchy ideas of physics and theromodynamics. I personally do not like the way he trains or his trainers train, and I have yet to feel satisfied by any explanation that has been offered by people who subscribe to his theory about what it is, why it works, how it works, and what kind of science it is actually based on. Behan himself came from a family background as dominance theory trainers, I believe, and I see a lot of the echoes of that in the way he and the people who like his methods train. There is one other relatively active member of this forum who subscribes to his methods. I'm not saying it doesn't ever work and he's evil, but personally I see a lot of faults in the training. The father of a close friend of mine does actually use a natural dog trainer to help him with his unpredictably aggressive dog and I have remained less than impressed with the recommendations of this trainer, whose name I forget but who is one of the more celebrated NDT in NYC. The biggest thing I don't like is that I have yet to see someone who subscribes to this kind of training recommend desensitizing the dog to a muzzle and having them wear it when situations where it could bite may arise, which to me is the first thing any professional should be doing with an aggressive dog.

As for resources for someone with a fearful dog... I would say that depends on 1) what trigger the fear is attached to and how it is expressed (ie, is the dog fear aggressive, or just fearful, and is that directed towards other dogs, strangers, all people, just men, bikes and skateboards, etc), 2) what you're looking for in the resource (ie, are you looking to just find out more about what goes on in a fearful dog's mind, if you're trying to learn about behavioral modification, or maybe you just want to know more about dog behavior), and 3) your current knowledge level.

Just to throw some stuff out, while I wait for more information about what you're looking for, though...

I haven't looked at it in depth, but from the times I've browsed I do like the website fearfuldogs.com.

Patricia McConnel has a lot of great stuff, including the book "The Cautious Canine", which is specifically about fearful dogs.

Jean Donaldson, Ian Dunbar, and Sophia Yin are all/have been fairly prolific writers on dog behavior and behavioral modification. Grisha Stewart has some cool behavioral modification procedures as well, namely BAT 2.0.

Kikopup and Zack George both have stuff on youtube that has good information bout general training and behavior, which are important to know about with a fearful dog.

The book "When Pigs Fly" by Jane Killion is a great lesson in managing reward in a training environment, which goes a long way towards making you a better trainer. Not related to fear, but important in general training.

If you don't know a lot about dog body language- or even if you do- I cannot recommend the book "Canine Behavior: a photoillustrated handbook" enough. Lots of information about how dogs express themselves through body language with pictures of different breeds and types showing the behaviors it talks about.
 

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I'm not really talking the training methods - but the ideal behind our dogs being more connected to us that we realize.

Dogs have been known to spot diseases in their owners such as cancer. Dogs have signalled impending strokes or heart attacks. Dogs can detect blood sugar highs or lows in diabetics. Dogs have actually shown women they are pregnant. Epileptic people claim their dogs know when a seizure is coming. You have to admit, that's pretty connected. Do we know how? No.

If you're sitting on the couch crying, where's your dog and how are they reacting?
When you're angry?
When you're scared - what would your dog do?

Dogs don't understand human language, and we aren't going to teach them. I believe dogs can take a sound of the word "sit" and eventually associate it with planting their bum on the floor. Over time, our dogs can read us like a book - but many people don't learn to read their dog.

The Pin is a great example. First time I had him at an off leash park, he was great with me alone. Round 2 was with the girlfriend - who admits she is weaker and just wants to love the dog. She was hesitant removing the leash, kept yelling at him, was frustrated etc - the dog was a nightmare - snapping and growling at everything. I remained quiet and let the cards fall where they may. Was he reacting to her? For sure. We stopped and had a talk, told her to calm down and relax - guess what, no more problems with the dog that day. I've seen this with so many dogs over the last 40 years of ownership.

I'm a firm believer that our dogs feed off us. There are lots on this forum that don't believe that. Be the highest value treat your dog can have - be a leader.
 

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Just a general note to all who choose to participate that books and trainer recommendations should be inline with the forum rules. Also be sure to follow forum rules (stay ot, be civil, etc.) as you all post. Failure to do so will result in removed/edited posts, infractions if need be, etc.

@Shannon check out these stickies. Def not all of the books available but a nice starting point!:)
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/comprehensive-book-list-115977/

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Anything by Patricia McConnell is awesome, and I also use Click to Calm by Emma Parsons to help train some of my reactive clients.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
"As for resources for someone with a fearful dog... I would say that depends on 1) what trigger the fear is attached to and how it is expressed (ie, is the dog fear aggressive, or just fearful, and is that directed towards other dogs, strangers, all people, just men, bikes and skateboards, etc), 2) what you're looking for in the resource (ie, are you looking to just find out more about what goes on in a fearful dog's mind, if you're trying to learn about behavioral modification, or maybe you just want to know more about dog behavior), and 3) your current knowledge level.

Just to throw some stuff out, while I wait for more information about what you're looking for, though...

I haven't looked at it in depth, but from the times I've browsed I do like the website fearfuldogs.com.

Patricia McConnel has a lot of great stuff, including the book "The Cautious Canine", which is specifically about fearful dogs.

Jean Donaldson, Ian Dunbar, and Sophia Yin are all/have been fairly prolific writers on dog behavior and behavioral modification. Grisha Stewart has some cool behavioral modification procedures as well, namely BAT 2.0.

Kikopup and Zack George both have stuff on youtube that has good information bout general training and behavior, which are important to know about with a fearful dog.

The book "When Pigs Fly" by Jane Killion is a great lesson in managing reward in a training environment, which goes a long way towards making you a better trainer. Not related to fear, but important in general training.

If you don't know a lot about dog body language- or even if you do- I cannot recommend the book "Canine Behavior: a photoillustrated handbook" enough. Lots of information about how dogs express themselves through body language with pictures of different breeds and types showing the behaviors it talks about.[/QUOTE]

Hi Moonstream,

1)my dog is fearful of people and especially men. We are working right now to get him past the fear of my husband. Levi, the dog, is not at all motivated by food, so the whole have husband toss him treats when he comes near is not working. Levi is mainly just fearful, he either freezes or runs and hides. He's growled at my husband a couple of times, but has never attempted to bite even when Mark has had to pick him up (you can look at some of my other posts if you want more details) 2) I want all three--- how Levi thinks, how to help him get over his fears and behavior modifications. 3) Current knowledge is one obedience training class years ago with a lab/cattle dog who was not fearful of anything. My biggest problem with her was stubbornness:D. Have read Sarah Hudson's book Dog Perfect and have used her techniques successfully on another timid dog (but not as timid as Levi). I just finished How to be your dogs best friend by the Monks of New Skete, which I'm just afraid is a little too dominance based for this particular dog. Also, I've done some extensive reading on-line about timid and hoarded dogs. Levi was hoarded, but not the awful situations like you see on TV. The hoarder kept them fed and somewhat clean. Just no vet care and about 25 dogs in a house.

So I hope that helps you. Biggest issue right now is the fact that Levi is not motivated by food. The only thing that motivates him is affection and he obviously doesn't want that from someone he's scared of. So thinking I need a treat free training approach and I've been doing some reading on that too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As for resources for someone with a fearful dog... I would say that depends on 1) what trigger the fear is attached to and how it is expressed (ie, is the dog fear aggressive, or just fearful, and is that directed towards other dogs, strangers, all people, just men, bikes and skateboards, etc), 2) what you're looking for in the resource (ie, are you looking to just find out more about what goes on in a fearful dog's mind, if you're trying to learn about behavioral modification, or maybe you just want to know more about dog behavior), and 3) your current knowledge level.

Just to throw some stuff out, while I wait for more information about what you're looking for, though...

I haven't looked at it in depth, but from the times I've browsed I do like the website fearfuldogs.com.

Patricia McConnel has a lot of great stuff, including the book "The Cautious Canine", which is specifically about fearful dogs.

Jean Donaldson, Ian Dunbar, and Sophia Yin are all/have been fairly prolific writers on dog behavior and behavioral modification. Grisha Stewart has some cool behavioral modification procedures as well, namely BAT 2.0.

Kikopup and Zack George both have stuff on youtube that has good information bout general training and behavior, which are important to know about with a fearful dog.

The book "When Pigs Fly" by Jane Killion is a great lesson in managing reward in a training environment, which goes a long way towards making you a better trainer. Not related to fear, but important in general training.

If you don't know a lot about dog body language- or even if you do- I cannot recommend the book "Canine Behavior: a photoillustrated handbook" enough. Lots of information about how dogs express themselves through body language with pictures of different breeds and types showing the behaviors it talks about.
Hi Moonstream,

1)my dog is fearful of people and especially men. We are working right now to get him past the fear of my husband. Levi, the dog, is not at all motivated by food, so the whole have husband toss him treats when he comes near is not working. Levi is mainly just fearful, he either freezes or runs and hides. He's growled at my husband a couple of times, but has never attempted to bite even when Mark has had to pick him up (you can look at some of my other posts if you want more details) 2) I want all three--- how Levi thinks, how to help him get over his fears and behavior modifications. 3) Current knowledge is one obedience training class years ago with a lab/cattle dog who was not fearful of anything. My biggest problem with her was stubbornness. Have read Sarah Hudson's book Dog Perfect and have used her techniques successfully on another timid dog (but not as timid as Levi). I just finished How to be your dogs best friend by the Monks of New Skete, which I'm just afraid is a little too dominance based for this particular dog. Also, I've done some extensive reading on-line about timid and hoarded dogs. Levi was hoarded, but not the awful situations like you see on TV. The hoarder kept them fed and somewhat clean. Just no vet care and about 25 dogs in a house.

So I hope that helps you. Biggest issue right now is the fact that Levi is not motivated by food. The only thing that motivates him is affection and he obviously doesn't want that from someone he's scared of. So thinking I need a treat free training approach and I've been doing some reading on that too.
 
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