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Ring Fear?

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We hope to show our year old dog, but he is having a real fear reaction to new situations. He's learned to bait and stand well, and is very comfortable on the table, but any new ring pattern which he has not done before brings on a full four-wheel brake reaction sometimes with crouching and trembling. I've been working with him in an indoor ring and he'll now go around pretty well, but the other day I tried "down and back" across the ring instead of our usual length of the ring and he totally balked. Any suggestions? He's really a cute boy when he's "on".

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I'd guess to just keep exposing him to new situations until he become and 'old hand' at them. Lots of encouragement when he's normal, and ignore him when he's skittish. Sounds like you're in a handling class - a great idea to build confidence. Some dogs do get bored and ring-wise with too much practice, but it sounds like it would be good for your boy.

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Thanks Bradl,

I had been coaxing him with treats to get him to move every five feet when he's skittish on a new pattern, and hadn't thought about just ignoring him instead. They really hate that don't they? Take my treats, turn my back, and just return to start. I'm going to give it a try!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I admit I know nothing about showing a dog but I have been going and watching. My pug's cousin was very scarred and Valleria decided not to show her and she recorded the sounds at the show and will play them at home to get her use to them. I thought that was a good idea


Rebel, Hammurabi, Sugar, Dirty Harry, Paint, Duncan and Saffron

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