We are rapidly coming to the end of Tex's 'I'm Just Little!' online course with Denise Fenzi, and I have learned a LOT about my little boy. I knew he had some issues.. but I didn't realise quite how many, and how serious they were. The 1st few vids I submittted to Denise, I had my BCs in the background. Hadn't thought a huge amount about it previously, but I knew that he works much better when they are around. Denise didn't like seeing that, she wanted him to work by himself. Hmmm, OK. Tried to put the others away and work him and he *completely* shut down. As in.. he would not even come out of my house to WALK with me, let alone to any work. He wasn't too bad inside, could just about cope, although he would frequently go and check where they were. Outside- nope, no can do.
I was pretty surprised, and a bit upset, that my pappy has SO little self-confidence he could not even go for a walk by himself. Thinking about his upbringing though.. he came very late to me from the breeder (at 8months) and judging from the fact he was not even house trained (!) I am assuming he got very little/no one on one time with her. He would have lived as one of the 'pack' there, and then he came to me.. and he just swapped her pack of paps for my pack of BCs. And because he was not a baby puppy, I didn't worry overly about 'socialisation'.. I took him with me when we had the BCs, but not by himself. So his reliance obviously switched from the other paps to my BCs.. and now he can't do anything by himself.
Not something I would have thought would be a problem..not having experienced anything like this before. I thought he was just low-drive (and he is), but it turns out he has a *lot* of fear about the big bad world outside the house. Its sad, because in the house he is a really fun little dude who enjoys to train and play ball and mostly to tug. Outside though- different story! So Denise gave me help to construct a plan.. to basically spend lots of time with him outside by himself and wait till he wants to engage. It is probably going to be quite a long process.. I am very unsure as to whether he will be ready for trialling next March as I hoped but this is not something that can be rushed. Certainly a learning curve..lucky I love my little bussy-boy so much!