Today Maiwen and I had our third Socialization Class for Shy and Fearful Dogs, put on by The Canine Coach. They are a great provider of positive obedience, agility etc training for dogs. Maiwen does well but always has her tail between her legs. She knew sit and down from my earlier working with her but quickly learned to down from a standing position. She was exposed to about 6 different agility/every day items today like a wheelchair, low agility tables, tunnel etc. She did fine with all but the tunnel. I had had her lie down on the previous item, which was a bright yellow floppy chute thingy so when she went to the tunnel she lay down in front of it! She is too quick for me. She had no problem taking treats from various people who were instructed to come over and visit us, just had her tail tucked but she was right in their space as soon as they sat down.
When I got home with her though, and took off her collar and leash, she immediately ran over to her kennel and she is so much more afraid here in the house. I just don't get it. Next week, DH will come to the class and I asked him to sit down with her every day and treat her without really looking at her, even if he has to throw them to her. I think the key is to do it every day until she associates him with great food and gets comfortable. Right now, every time DH comes home or enters the room, she barks at him. I guess the big change we have seen is that at least she doesn't constantly hide in the basement. It is difficult for me to see her fearful of me and DH when she sidled right over to the instructor when she first came by with a treat. It will be interesting to see how she reacts to DH in the context of the training room compared to how she reacts to him in our house. Baby steps..