Is your dog fearful around people or other dogs? Is your dog sensitive to sounds? Dexterity or agility training can give the surroundings and structure to make confidence in your dog. Dexterity or agility classes are a great place for people to learn about the sport and learn how to train, but the fearful dog may take a long time before he’s ready to venture from under your chair or off your lap.
A fearful or shy dog can only learn inside their comfort zone. So, training must begin where they feel safe and actions must be trained in veritably small increments. Home will likely be the stylish place to train and have literacy take place for your dog.
So, how do you train at home? You’ll need guidelines and equipment. There’s a multitude of websites that can give you information on agility training. There are also books and videotapes that will give details and visual aids and assignment plans for newcomers through expert positions.
There’s a variety of equipment that’s useful and helpful to have at home. Equipment recommendations are hung on your available space and position of training. Do you have a large yard in your home that will hold 10 barriers? Do you have a small yard where you’ll need to set up equipment and also tear it down before you can set it up again? Will you be training your fearful dog in your garage or basement, or as some agility addicts, in your living room?
For fearful dogs, make sure your stuff is safe and sturdy. The pause table is a good place to start your agility training for your dog. A 12” high pause table, with modifiable legs for later use, is a good starting place for all-size dogs. Keep in mind with your shy dog, set up your table in an area that’s really familiar to your dog. However, just leave your pause table in your house or yard for several days, let your dog check and smell it on his own or with a little coaxing. If your dog barks at anything new with treats in a dish or his favorite toy placed on the table, encourage your dog to get up on the table. This may take further than one assignment, be patient. However, try holding him and you sit on the table if your fearful dog loses interest in food or toys when you try anything new. However, have him on a leash and you sit on the table if your dog is too big to hold. However, only treat or award him when he comes to you, never when he’s pulling back away from you or the table, if he backs away coax him.
Ultimately, you want your dog to be capable to jump on the table with your cue word, “Table”, “Box”, “Kennel”, whatever word you use, stay on the table as you back away and also come when you call. make your distance slow so that your dog isn’t pushed too soon.
From pause table to contact coach is a nice transition for a shy dog. A contact coach comes in different designs. We recommend a 3-piece contact coach that has one mini-A-frame side, a pause table, and also a mini-Dog-walk side. Your dog can sit on the table and also be coaxed down the A-frame side or the Dog-walk side. Just keep in mind with the shy dog that, training is done in step-ups, slow and comfortable, with a little movement to stretch him, but not enough to overwhelm him to create a closedown.
You can follow the said strategies by introducing new obstacles as your dog is suitable to succeed. As your dog succeeds on each new piece of stuff, you’ll see his confidence grow.