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timid or just normal?

 
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dakotagun
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Joined: 02 Nov 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: 01/02/08, 10:57 am    Post subject: timid or just normal? Reply with quote

our 5-mo old gwp is my first of this breed; i've owned a couple of brittanies in the past but wanted a change. i am concerned that she is too timid - i notieced she was 'cautious and jumpy' in the weeks after bringing her home. do they grow out of that?
i dont remember my brits being so timid. i know intro to the gun will be a slow and careful process, started that last month with no obvious issues, but erred on the side of under-stimulation. she is scared of vehicle rides, so i'm trying to increase her exposure to that and make it a fun trip each time (treats, walks, etc).
is there hope for her/us? how can i make her more bold & confident? i've read a couple of books (often mentioned here) but didn't catch any reference to this behavior.
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Jon
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Joined: 04 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: 01/02/08, 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would expect a pup this age to be "ripping it up" but some pups do take a cautious approach to life. Exposure is the best bet...take the dog everywhere starting with less threatening situations. When it comes time to introduce to the gun, I would start small (blank pistol) well away from her and connect it with a positive, like being fed immediately afterwards.
Once she is into birds, connect the shot (away from her) to a flushing bird - the shot must always signal a positive. I have also had great success letting young dogs watch the excitement of other dogs - blank shot as a dummy is thrown for the retrieve. Let the pup sit back from the action - not too close to the shot and don't let it get run over.

Bluntly, this kind of ultra-caution shouldn't be necessary but sounds like you have a more sensitive dog. I would notify your breeder of the possible problem and get their input. The pup's temperament may become a problem but it is too early to tell. A little patience usually will do it. You have 9 months til the season opens-don't be in a rush. Little steps-build confidence first-take back control later.
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