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Categories: Electric Collar Training

Q. After my dog turned 1, he developed a shyness toward people (mainly men). Some have suggested that this is because of using the ecollar. Can the use of an ecollar on a shy dog make him worse or cause the shyness?
Hi Cindy,

You have always been so helpful in the past. I attribute my dogs wonderful behavior to your DVDs and informative website. I purchased a Dogtra 280 ecollar and have used it training my dog (boxer-chow mix) with recalls since he was 1 year old. He responds well to the collar and marker training and is extremely well behaved. After my dog turned a year old he developed a shyness toward people (mainly men). He warms up after being ignored and approaches on his own terms and eventually warms up but does not like people approaching him or petting him (which I no longer allow). My question is this: People have commented that he is fearful and shy because of using the ecollar. Can the use of an ecollar on a shy dog make him worse or cause shyness? After being outgoing the first year of his life, I am trying to figure out if his shyness is due to temperament (he is a shelter dog we have had since 8 weeks old) or environment. Thanks in advance.

A. Hi Beverly,

Sometimes as dogs become mentally and physically mature they display a more reserved attitude towards strangers. While its certainly possible to misuse ANY training tool and have the dog associate the environment with the correction (whether ecollar, leash, verbal) sometimes its just the dogs temperament and personality.

A correction with an ecollar can certainly plant a suspicion in a dogs mind that whatever they were in contact with (i.e. a human, a trash can, a squirrel) caused the discomfort. We like to use this superstitious behavior to get dogs to leave our chickens alone, etc It can backfire on you though, if you accidentally correct the dog at the wrong time.

Its also possible that its a result of vaccinations (esp. the rabies vaccine). Ive heard of many cases of temperament changes after being vaccinated, sometimes months later. Here is one link, http://www.critterchat.net/vaccs.htm

You can also google vaccinosis or rabies miasm for more reading.

Cindy Rhodes
  

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