Draco’s owner contacted me because she felt guilty that she had been unsuccessful bringing Draco out of his shell. She admitted she rarely took him places when he was a puppy and now at 2 years old he was just scared, when she tried to make the attempt. She felt they were on a merry-go-round and were missing out on life together, as a result.
One of the biggest deficiencies I see as a dog trainer is the lack of socialization in dogs. It comes when people miss the natural window of socialization, which only occurs between 8-16 weeks of age. Once that window closes, it is unfortunately closed forever. The only thing you can do from there is desensitization, which can be a little more difficult. Which was the case here.
So we started by adding obedience exercises to his life and a whole lot of “getting out there” to meet people and dogs. This was done initially from a comfortable and safe distance for Draco and then gradually closing the gap. The trick is finding the balance to push your dog at the right time and pace.
I’m happy to report that Draco and his owner have found a new lease on life and are enjoying all the new places they are going and the people and dogs they are meeting along the way. Life and good and a lot more fun and exciting. Just the way it should be!