From Shy Dog to Agility Superstar-Colby’s Amazing Journey
– by Pat Ferrell (Zoom Room client, staff member and shy dog owner)
Colby’s story is one that’s all too familiar to many of us: Possible abuse, found in a shelter, shy and fearful around people. Thanks to Jenny, his forever mom, this 4 year old Afghan Hound/Lab mix (yes, she ran a DNA test!) is now confident, well-mannered and happy.
When I first met Colby at Shy Dog class, he wouldn’t let anyone near him. Clearly nervous, he cowered behind Jenny and was reluctant even to take a treat from anyone he didn’t know. Several months later, I was amazed to see Colby confidently sailing over the jumps and through the tunnel in Agility 3.
I asked Jenny if she could share Colby’s story with our readers: “We’re not really sure what happened to Colby to cause him to be so shy around people. He may have been born in the winter and oxygen-deprived, but we think it’s more likely that he was abused as a puppy,” said Jenny. “We decided to start him in Shy Dog class at Zoom Room because we really liked the idea of a class devoted to shy and nervous dogs—and it’s hard to find something like that in the Charlotte area.”
So how does Colby like Zoom Room? “It’s amazing to see his reaction when he knows it’s time for “school,” said Jenny. “He normally gets carsick, but when it’s time to go to Zoom Room he jumps right in the car and his tail wags the entire trip! He loves the other dogs and has so much fun when he’s here.”
What changes have you seen in Colby since he started at Zoom Room? “The classes have really helped build his confidence. He’s more assertive now. He’s more vocal and barks a greeting to people when they come to the house. He used to hide under the bed! “
What advice can you share with other parents of shy dogs? “Be patient. It’s easy to get frustrated with dogs that can’t handle simple things like getting petted, but you just have to love them and give them the help they need. Shy Dog classes taught me so much about how to help Colby—I highly recommend these classes for nervous or fearful dogs.” And does Mom have fun working with Colby? “Oh yes—this is absolutely the best part of my week!”
Do you have a dog you think could benefit from Shy Dog or Agility classes, click here for more information or to see our current next class schedule: