How to Train Carolina Dog?

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Barked: Thu Nov 4, '10 10:20am PST 
I adopted Angie about 5 months ago. Although the shelter said she was a Lab/Shepard mix, I thought she MUST be some type of Husky mix because her personality was so wild!

Last week a man stopped me in the street and said he has the same dog, loves it and that it's called a Carolina Sheperd. I looked it up and I am sure that is what she is. The pictures and description decribe her to a "T". She is family oriended, not really destructive (she'll make off with the occational shoe, but won't touch ANY of my son's toys), and swims better than a Lab. She is extremely shy around people, and very difficult to walk in my suburban area because of the bicycles, cars and just about anything with wheels on it drives her into fear. Around the house she is perfect, gets along with my son and cat, and is a gentle soul. Great watch dog too. On the other hand she LOVES other dogs and goes wild when she sees them. She even learned how to open the screen door with her paw and escaped a few times to greet passing dogs - my neighbors think this is crazy. We have to be so careful with her.

I'm in a traditional training course right now, and I don't think she responds well to it. It seems any sort of training that involves choke collars and that sort of discipline make her shut down and brings her a few steps back (as to trusting humans). She is very wary of people and won't even come to me if we're outside, she will follow me at a distance until we get to the house/car or whatever.

So I have no idea how to train her, I feel nothing works because of her Independece and wariness of humans. She is fine for the most part but for safety reasons I need her to come to me when called (especially outside), and to also walk next to me or behind me like a normal dog. During a walk she is always going in circles or freaking out about a bicycle or something.

She does not respond to food outdoors (she's in survival mode), and like I said Choke collars and discipline only stoke her fear. Not sure what method to use.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Any help would be be appreciated...I will try to post some pictures later on. Shes' grown a bit from her profile picture!



Edited by author Fri Nov 5, '10 3:15am PST


Barked: Wed Nov 24, '10 7:34pm PST 
Hi, this description parallels my own experience. Sedona was accommodating but very scared during training and it took patience and time for her to trust my commands and enjoy responding. (It's hard to train a dog who's in submissive mode half the class!) She eventually became a well trained and delightful companion. I do urge you to swap out the choke collar for an ordinary collar and 4' leash. You might look for a trainer or class that uses more positive and less punitive techniques. A choke collar upsets even a hearty and strong willed dog, and might destroy your more vulnerable dog's comfort and sense of safety. Our excellent local trainers advise against their use. Generally, a nervous pup responds better to training based on reassurance and praise. Good luck with your beautiful dog. I hope you have long years of joy together.