Jen, Timmy and Mae
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Philly Burbs
Submit Photo: 21
Photo Submissions 16 Times in 16 Posts
I'm not sure if Timmy is shy, or fearful, I describe him as "reserved." My breeder told me from the get go that he was timid and she would not have placed him with a family that had little kids and a lot of chaos. I really had to work on socializing him, early, and was thankful that at least I knew about this scenario before hand. Treats, treats, treats ALL THE TIME, early on was key with my little guy. I gave them to people who wanted to pet him, I gave them to him when he was reluctant or hesitant about a situation and almost had to be one step ahead of things to reward him when he made improvements. I started him with puppy classes at about 13 weeks old and had great trainers available to help me with all aspects of his behavior. Trust me he was terrified when we started and now he LOVES going to class. I don't think that at 15 weeks old your dog is what you have for the rest of it's life at 15 weeks you have a blueprint of what you have to work with. Consistency was key for me and don't overwhelm your little guy, baby steps. The fact that Duke (I'm assuming that's his name) is playing with your kids and cuddling with you is a great start. He's been through a lot in his young life and yes, his growling is him telling you he's not happy about the situation, he's not trying to be mean or bad. I tend to look at the silver lining in all things. Timmy never jumps up on anyone that comes to greet him, he loves other dogs and is very respectful and gentle, he's a kind of wallflower that makes his presence known but isn't necessarily in your face or others all the time. He's made huge steps and I couldn't be happier with how things turned out, he loves my neighbor's toddler and neighborhood kids, walks past buzzing tree service trucks, enjoys all dogs big and small, we can walk in town and pass people without me worrying about him pulling me and I think he is the quintessential gentleman.
Work with your trainers, if you're not happy with them find someone else. I know if Dave is reading this he might be able to recommend trainers if you decide you need that. I admit you will have to work hard to overcome some of these behaviors but if you're consistent and working with people who know what they are doing you can change things.
Keep you chin up, oh and we need some pictures!!!!