David came to me with a Shiloh GSD mix that was a shelter dog he adopted from a local facility in the Ottawa/ Gatineau area. She was very calm and quiet compared to the average GSD. David was an experienced dog owner in the past, but felt he needed some help with this dog because it was either overly passive or fearful. He was having a tough time figuring her out. When He came to me, her behaviour made sense, because she was very intelligent and even had some minor wolf traits that would explain the calmer demeanor. Having dealt with Hybrids before, we took the approach that more intelligent the dog is, the less they will respond to commands and even play in a normal fashion. He needed to challenge her and let her make decisions that had an outcome she would benefit from. So, play and training had to be more structured for her. She would get bored of an exercise quickly and we needed to keep her challenged. The passive or fearfulness was just part of her temperament because she wasn’t used to normal dog play antics. She was more of a watch and study type of character and therefore too much or heightened play with others could have been overwhelming for her.
David’s comments after their training program:
I had just got Shilah (a female Shiloh Shepard) as an 18-month-old Rescue dog. I thought it was important to start training with her soonest for both to ensure she understood that I was the alpha and a great way to also start the bonding.
Shilah learns very quick and she adapted to both me and the home very well. She had gone from a submissive, insecure pup to having confidence around other dogs and people. She has participated in the pack walks and is well behaved. Training must be challenging for her.
Shilah wasn’t (isn’t) interested in the normal training such as with my previous dogs where you can go and practice the exercises for an hour straight. Although she learns quick and know what to do, she gets bored easily and wants to play versus train. Nancy found ways for me to work with Shilah to ensure she was continually challenged while having fun. Nancy is evidently very experienced and knowledgeable about dog behaviour and how to work with them regardless of breed or size.