Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Very Timid Mini Aussie Pup?

by Tami
(Colorado)

We just got a 4 1/2 month old Mini Aussie puppy from a local breeder. We've had her for almost three weeks, and she seemed very loving at the breeders, and maybe a bit reserved at times which I thought was just because she didn't know us, but ever since we got her home she's been really timid and acting scared. She finds anywhere in the house that she can to go and hide from us (under the bed, in the closet etc.) and doesn't like to be out where the family is. She doesn't deal well with any pressure, and even with treats it's hard to get her to come to us sometimes.

She hates the car, and we take her for a short ride everyday to help her get used to it, but it doesn't seem to help. There are times when she acts just fine and wants to run and play with us, then the next day she's gone back into her shell again?? There just doesn't seem to be any consistency to her behavior. Will she pull out of this, or is this just her?

One of the things we were so excited about with getting an Aussie was that we wanted a dog that would go everywhere with us and be part of the family, but she doesn't seem to want to do that. It's scary if we're with her outside of a fenced yard because she takes off and won't come back no matter how much we kiss and call to her.

I'm a little heartbroken for my kids, as they were really looking forward to having a dog that they could love and play with. Did we make a mistake in getting an older puppy? I emailed the breeder for help and she basically said that maybe our family was too active for her and offered to take her back, but only refund half the money for her. We've been nothing but loving to her. Any suggestions? Thanks!


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timid
by: Gayle-- Big Run Aussies

Please give your pup time to adjust to your family. She probably wasn't socialized as a young pup, so that is your job now. I would try to get her into a puppy class as soon as possible to help with the bonding process. Please don't let her off leash off your property. I know horror stories about dogs running away and getting hit by cars. Puppies also go through fear periods at 4 months -- some have them really bad. It probably wasn't the best time for her to go to a new home. Just keep trying. Keep her close to you. You can even leash her to you in the house to keep her close and help with the bonding. Have your kids hand feed her so that she knows that she must listen to them. Have them feed her from their laps. Give her GOOD treats like cheese or real meat just for looking at you. Just be patient and you will have a great dog.

timid
by: Gayle-- Big Run Aussies

Oh, yes. The car. My Bryn hated the car until she was over a year. I had to lift my 35 lb girl into the car to get her in. We just kept taking her and finally when we started agility class, she got excited about going and now she wants to go everywhere! Just be patient. Make sure that where she goes is lots of fun. And Bryn jumps in the car on her own now.

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care