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On Friday, we brought home a 4 year old BC. She was in a terrible place and as such has anxiety and fear of new situations. She's spent the last three days glued to the couch where she can see everything, or in her new crate, door open of course :rolleyes:

 

She saw sheep on Sunday and is flat out amazing. You could see the anxiety leave her body and nature took over. She has a fear of men, but worked brilliantly for me.

 

Seeing sheep was the best thing I could've done for her and will go as often as possible to train her, you should've seen the smile on her face!

 

Tobey and Izzy have left her alone which is nice but I was hoping they would start to bring her out of her shell.

 

I'll give her all the time she needs, but I'm looking to hear from you what you have done for dogs in this situation.

 

There is no agression, no barking, if she's stressed she runs and hides.

 

Tim

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On Friday, we brought home a 4 year old BC. She was in a terrible place and as such has anxiety and fear of new situations. She's spent the last three days glued to the couch where she can see everything, or in her new crate, door open of course :rolleyes:

 

She saw sheep on Sunday and is flat out amazing. You could see the anxiety leave her body and nature took over. She has a fear of men, but worked brilliantly for me.

 

Seeing sheep was the best thing I could've done for her and will go as often as possible to train her, you should've seen the smile on her face!

 

Tobey and Izzy have left her alone which is nice but I was hoping they would start to bring her out of her shell.

 

I'll give her all the time she needs, but I'm looking to hear from you what you have done for dogs in this situation.

 

There is no agression, no barking, if she's stressed she runs and hides.

 

Tim

 

First of all, pictures! We must have them.

 

Second of all, is Gracie still around? How many dogs are running your household these days?

 

Third of all, my experience with shy dogs: I've actually fostered a bunch of really shy dogs, one that was borderline feral, and what I've found is that while you should absolutely give her all the time she needs to get comfortable, it's OK to make demands of her as well. I'm almost hesitant to admit this because it sounds pretty bad, but I'm not above pulling a reluctant dog out of his crate by force when it's time to go outside. Of course, once he's out of the crate I shower him with soothing praise and yummy treats (if he's willing to eat, which they aren't always), but the way I see it is that some dogs are able to convince themselves that the risk of leaving the crate far outweighs the benefits and would willing hide in one spot for days, even if it meant living in their own filth. A little bit of tough love can help show them that hiding away forever simply isn't an option. I've found that once you get past the literal threshold of their hiding place a dog is more likely to relax a little bit because they can see for themselves that there is no immediate threat in the area. (Of course, I would never in a million years recommend this approach for a dog that has shown any kind of fear aggression.)

 

For the rest of the time, though, it's OK to leave her to her own devices. I would recommend playing with Izzy and Tobey nearby so that she can see what you're doing. Dole out lots of treats to the dogs, too. Eventually natural curiosity is going to overcome anxiety, especially when she sees that your dogs are so comfortable and happy. Daisy has always been a great asset with shy dogs, not because she brings them out of their shell (like Izzy and Tobey she typically ignores shy dogs), but because she is so confident and at ease with the world that she teaches them by example.

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Sounds like I've been doing everything right so far :rolleyes:

 

Gracie will be adopted to a home where she'll be a goose dog. She's cute as a button, but the fit wasn't right, she didn't get along with Izzy all that well. Izzy became afraid of her, Izzy is a lover not a fighter and has a hard time sticking up for herself. Gracie will be an awesome dog in the right home.

 

I'm glad we had a Gracie and gave her an idea of home life and some basic manners, like walking across the kitchen table isn't the best of ideas! :D

 

She does like food and will come over into the kitchen to take treats with the other two. She has a good appetite and for two meals I let her eat on the couch (I hand fed her) now she must eat in the kitchen, but seperate from the other two.

 

I've seen her play with Izzy before we brought her home, so I know she has it in her. We're able to leave the sliding door open to the backyard so she easily Toby and Izzy running and playing and the ears perk up in interest :D

 

Yes, I am tardy on pics, I'll shall get some up tonight :D

 

Tim

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On Friday, we brought home a 4 year old BC. She was in a terrible place and as such has anxiety and fear of new situations. She's spent the last three days glued to the couch where she can see everything, or in her new crate, door open of course :rolleyes:

 

She saw sheep on Sunday and is flat out amazing. You could see the anxiety leave her body and nature took over. She has a fear of men, but worked brilliantly for me.

 

Seeing sheep was the best thing I could've done for her and will go as often as possible to train her, you should've seen the smile on her face!

 

Tobey and Izzy have left her alone which is nice but I was hoping they would start to bring her out of her shell.

 

I'll give her all the time she needs, but I'm looking to hear from you what you have done for dogs in this situation.

 

There is no agression, no barking, if she's stressed she runs and hides.

 

Tim

 

When we brought Ladybug home she was shivering with fear. Kenny sat in the TV room with her (no lights on) for most of the evening and even today, over four years later, his recliner is still her anchor spot. It just takes time, quiet, and something they like to do (like the sheep) - for Ladybug it was playing fetch. SHe was the opposite -- fear of women and even today she still doesn't like strange women, though she loves the men. :D.

 

Tobey and Izzy will be good for her, when she's ready - she's still trying to read the playbook for your house and trying to decide where she fits in -- it can take a lot of time -- for Scotty and Ladybug to develop any kind of relationship where they could trust each other was about six months and they didn't get "old shoe" comfortable until about a year.. remember the last time you went someplace new -- how long does it take to even get adjusted to a hotel room...by the time you figure out where all the light switches are, it's time to go home.

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I like the analogy of us being someplace new

 

There will be plenty of sheep in her future.

 

I'll have to post the pic of the ride home, she and Izzy laid together almost the entire trip, I got a pic of it on my phone.

 

She lived with two dogs in her previous home, both males so she even learned to lift her leg to pee :D

 

When the other two would wrestle, she'd be the referee trying to break it up! :rolleyes:

 

When she did come out of her shell, she loved when her foster parents took her mountain biking. She didn't 'work' the bikes but LOVED to follow along behind. Can't wait to do that with her either :D

 

Tim

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Time, time and more time. My Missy sat in a corner for 2 weeks after I brought her home. She just needed time to figure out her new life on her terms. It took her 2 weeks to come upstairs and after she was up, it took her another 1/2 hour to come back down.

 

She had her crate in her safe corner and the only time we made her leave it was to go outside (she was too nervous to walk down the hall to go out by herself, too). She would eat when my family was all seated at the table eating a meal.

 

It was a bit of a culture shock to her. I took her from a place with 2 people and 3 other dogs, to a house with about 8 people (still living with my folks and most of the siblings at the time) but we all gave her space and she learned life was good here and the people were good, too. Once she figured that out, her confidence grew quickly.

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Third of all, my experience with shy dogs: I've actually fostered a bunch of really shy dogs, one that was borderline feral, and what I've found is that while you should absolutely give her all the time she needs to get comfortable, it's OK to make demands of her as well. I'm almost hesitant to admit this because it sounds pretty bad, but I'm not above pulling a reluctant dog out of his crate by force when it's time to go outside. Of course, once he's out of the crate I shower him with soothing praise and yummy treats (if he's willing to eat, which they aren't always), but the way I see it is that some dogs are able to convince themselves that the risk of leaving the crate far outweighs the benefits and would willing hide in one spot for days, even if it meant living in their own filth. A little bit of tough love can help show them that hiding away forever simply isn't an option. I've found that once you get past the literal threshold of their hiding place a dog is more likely to relax a little bit because they can see for themselves that there is no immediate threat in the area. (Of course, I would never in a million years recommend this approach for a dog that has shown any kind of fear aggression.)

 

While some dogs can handle pressure like this, I wouldn't recommend it for someone who does not have a ton of experience working with fearful dogs... especially if it's a man working with a dog who's afraid of men. It can tragically backfire. Sometimes it does work though. If a dog is too afraid to eat the most delicious food you can offer, you're above his threshold and need to back off a little bit. Of course, that's just in my experience.

 

My last foster was semi-feral, came into our rescue at the age of 2 and had been a stray his entire life. He wasn't wild like some I've seen, but you could tell he'd never had any (positive at least) experience with humans. His skin would flinch if we touched him, he stressed to the point of drooling when we applied any pressure on him and the two times I did force him outside, all he wanted to do was get as far away from me as fast as possible, shaking and salivating. If you've never seen a dog salivate from fear, you don't want too, it's the saddest thing in the world. Basically, I put a tarp down in my office, the only room with carpet and the room he choose to hide in. Left him with fresh water and food and every time I went into the room I would avoid eye contact and drop super yummy treats in his dish, do what I had to do and leave. Within 3 days he came out of the office, but had to have a piece of furniture between him and any human, by 1 week he was following me outside, but I had to prop the back door open and be out of his sight for him to come back in. Any sudden loud noise, eye contact, praise even sent him back into hiding. It took me 2 months to be within his 3ft barrier, 3 months for him to allow collar handling and by then his skin finally stopped flinching when we touched him. He learned how to walk on a leash at day care, surprisingly. He feels very, very comfortable around other dogs to that's how we taught him to go for walks. He still needs another dog with him, but he's pretty social with people now too, but it was a long road and lots of hard work. I totally agree with the "Slow and steady wins the race" motto when working with shy/fearful dogs.

 

Here is a good yahoo group for fearful dogs;

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/shy-k9s/messages?o=1

 

And the list owner has a website;

http://www.fearfuldogs.com/

 

and blog;

http://fearfuldogs.wordpress.com

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Let me know if you want your fearful dog to hang with my (less) fearful dog. Buddy <3 dogs who are too scared to come near him.

 

Time, I agree. And taking everything slowly.

 

I took Buddy to a park today. There was this little terrier mix coming at us on the hill. She froze and stood watching - some dogs do that when they see Buddy. He gives off "don't get in my face" body language, I think. But when the other dog freezes in shyness, Buddy will get very, very interested. After a minute or two, he was whining and pulling me toward this poor little girl, and was full-on in l-o-v-e. Poor little thing - once Buddy was above her on the hill, she felt safe to run toward her owner, down below.

 

We need a shy friend.

 

Mary

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I like the analogy of us being someplace new

 

There will be plenty of sheep in her future.

 

I'll have to post the pic of the ride home, she and Izzy laid together almost the entire trip, I got a pic of it on my phone.

 

She lived with two dogs in her previous home, both males so she even learned to lift her leg to pee :D

 

When the other two would wrestle, she'd be the referee trying to break it up! :rolleyes:

 

When she did come out of her shell, she loved when her foster parents took her mountain biking. She didn't 'work' the bikes but LOVED to follow along behind. Can't wait to do that with her either :D

 

Tim

 

It sounds like you may have found the right dog as she loves to work sheep....I re-read your original post and if she's picked out a spot from which to survey the world, I"d let her have it for awhile, as long as she doesn't begin to guard it. Try baiting her to move around the house with something really yummy -

 

 

A shy dog or one that has been mistreated can bond quite quickly with a new owner if she/he senses that the person will be protective and good to them How is she outside with you? It might be quite awhile before you'll be able to trust her off lead especially if she's frightened of new things. I've been using different kinds of food to keep polishing Robin's recall -- he's turning right around now and pelting back because he's not sure what he's going to get, but he knows its going to be really good. Yesterday it was peperoni and salami. It kind of backfired, because he wouldn't leave again so I could call him back. :D.

 

For the most part, we can't unglue Ladybug from Ken's leg...he is her designated protector and she wasn't to be parted from him - unless I invite her to go for a ride...and if he stays up late, she'll come to bed with me - except when he's sick --quite the little nursemaid, our Ladybug. If it weren't for her inherit shyness, she'd really be quite bossy because she is certainly manipulative in a ladylike sort of way...I'd never allowed a dog in the bedroom before, much less on the bed. As my son remarked, "Mom, she just seems to expect it." She was sitting in Ken's truck one day and the person he was talking with asked what her name was. Without turning around to look at her, Ken said "Lady" (he was a little embarrassed about the name Ladybug at first) and the man replied -- "You ought to call her Queenie -- she's sitting in your seat and eating your apple."

 

Get to know your new girl one slow step at a time - show her fun times, learn her little quirks and try to keep ahead of the game in case she is manipulating you to do what she wants... and she'll be a great pal.

 

 

 

What's her name by the way?

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It sounds like you may have found the right dog as she loves to work sheep....I re-read your original post and if she's picked out a spot from which to survey the world, I"d let her have it for awhile, as long as she doesn't begin to guard it. Try baiting her to move around the house with something really yummy -

A shy dog or one that has been mistreated can bond quite quickly with a new owner if she/he senses that the person will be protective and good to them How is she outside with you? It might be quite awhile before you'll be able to trust her off lead especially if she's frightened of new things. I've been using different kinds of food to keep polishing Robin's recall -- he's turning right around now and pelting back because he's not sure what he's going to get, but he knows its going to be really good. Yesterday it was peperoni and salami. It kind of backfired, because he wouldn't leave again so I could call him back. :rolleyes:.

 

For the most part, we can't unglue Ladybug from Ken's leg...he is her designated protector and she wasn't to be parted from him - unless I invite her to go for a ride...and if he stays up late, she'll come to bed with me - except when he's sick --quite the little nursemaid, our Ladybug. If it weren't for her inherit shyness, she'd really be quite bossy because she is certainly manipulative in a ladylike sort of way...I'd never allowed a dog in the bedroom before, much less on the bed. As my son remarked, "Mom, she just seems to expect it." She was sitting in Ken's truck one day and the person he was talking with asked what her name was. Without turning around to look at her, Ken said "Lady" (he was a little embarrassed about the name Ladybug at first) and the man replied -- "You ought to call her Queenie -- she's sitting in your seat and eating your apple."

 

Get to know your new girl one slow step at a time - show her fun times, learn her little quirks and try to keep ahead of the game in case she is manipulating you to do what she wants... and she'll be a great pal.

What's her name by the way?

 

 

 

That would be awesome in a couple weeks :D Her instinct around new dogs in a place she may know is to start working them so buddy may have a problem with that. He and Tobey can hang out anytime though!

 

I got home a bit ago from the office and fed them all, she loves to eat! I grabbed a bit of turkey and gave her a piece and she was following me around looking for more :D

 

Her name is Zoey, and she was one of the Swafford dogs rescued from Tenn. last September.

 

Tim

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Aww the Swafford dogs...

 

My foster dog Shay came from there. Sweetest dog with the most wonderful smile ever. She is now living with my sister in law who fell in love with her over Thanksgiving. What I learned from Shay is patience. She now runs and plays and actually even greets people at the door. This took months. It's totally worth it. We never physically forced her out of her hidey holes, but occasionally would cut off access to them so that she would gradually stay out more. Shay eventually just wanted to be out where all the action is. We consider each step on her journey to be a gift and allow her to give us what she can.

 

Please post pictures! Thank you for taking her in.

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I had a really shy border collie and when he was having an anxiety attack

over a stranger coming close — sometimes

it helped to give him commands — sit, shake hands- with me not the stranger

it distracted his brain from the situation and forced him to think about something else.

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Aww the Swafford dogs...

 

My foster dog Shay came from there. Sweetest dog with the most wonderful smile ever. She is now living with my sister in law who fell in love with her over Thanksgiving. What I learned from Shay is patience. She now runs and plays and actually even greets people at the door. This took months. It's totally worth it. We never physically forced her out of her hidey holes, but occasionally would cut off access to them so that she would gradually stay out more. Shay eventually just wanted to be out where all the action is. We consider each step on her journey to be a gift and allow her to give us what she can.

 

Please post pictures! Thank you for taking her in.

 

This is what we've done a little bit so far. A couple times we've cut off access to the couch for a few minutes to at least get her up and walking around. She made a big step yesterday and played outside for a good 20 minutes. Watching her progess little by little is so awesome.

 

Tim

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She sounds like Vala. All the same things, finding hidey holes, a place from which to survey the world, and then like some of the other people who described their dogs shaking with fear when they brought them home... That's my sweet girl. Thankfully not a bone of fear aggression in her body, she just hides or stays put and refuses to move. I never forced her to do anything except when she was being completely unreasonable (like sitting and refusing to budge to come inside the house 'cause she was afraid of anything but grass under her feet). Then I just pulled her inside and ignored the fear and praised her when she overcame it. We just gave her a safe place and made sure every interaction she had with us was wonderful and we were very gentle with her and loving and always praising her. It took a month for her to come out of her shell, two months to act at home, but now she thinks she owns the bed and couch during the day when we're not here (it's ok, as long as we're not in the bed--she sleeps in her kennel). She is no longer deathly afraid of frisbees (the saddest phobia for a BC ever!) and actually fetches, and plays hide and seek (she loves that!), and does low-impact urban agility and jumps the lowest bars of the homemade agility set my husband made for me/us at Christmas. I can't wait to try some form of stockwork one day (I am pretty sure she has the working instinct--maybe even experience) but she has to be heartworm free first and we don't have evidence that she is clear yet. My advice would be just to keep it as positive as possible and be very patient. Oh yeah--and if she loves sheep that much--I bet she will bond fast if you are working with her--what a way to build trust and friendship.

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Thanks Mary!

 

It's been awesome to watch each day go by and see her get more and more comfortable. Just 15 minutes ago she got off the couch on her own and went exploring the yard by herself. The door was open and she would walk by and check to make sure the couch hadn't moved and then go racing back into the yard to sniff and chew some grass :rolleyes:

 

Izzy was funny, she kept trying to get Zoe to chase her around the yard (Izzy's favorite game is being chased) and Zoe wasn't having it. It was pretty funny to watch.

 

The skills she has at working are going to be a great tool for us, never mind LOADS of fun :D

 

Oh, and I'm pretty sure she was de-barked, I heard her try to bark last night and came out and this weird squeaky sound....poor girl.

 

Tim

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