Teddy Came to us in April of 2019 as approx. 18mo old, former street dog who had made it with a dog thought to be her brother. He was the stronger of the pair, she the follower. Her brothers go-to behavior was to aggress and fight for what they needed.
Tedi now lets me love on her completely but it took more than 6 months! Watches me with other dogs a lot and at first only let me pet her when she was in her crate, but after months of that she began letting me do it more and more if the other dogs were around. Today, I can even touch her when were one-on-one. Huge for a dog her age who was for all intents and purposes close to feral.
She struggles with trust; especially with people. Typically, the older these dogs are the longer it takes them to trust, but there are things we can do to help hasten the process.
Have her drag around a 4 leash until shes comfortably coming to you when called. A leash-drag has a number of benefits; primarily youll be able to step on it to catch her, without reaching toward her face, neck or head (doing this will cause her to flinch back (mentally and physically)). It also provides the added benefit of keeping a dog in check; theyll step on it from time to time and have to be aware of it thus making them purposely think about something specific.
Keep her in a smaller space rather than a larger one inside and out; until shes more comfortable with you. We all think dogs need lots of space but actually anxious dogs do better with less than more. Consider keeping her in a room of the house rather than giving her the entire house. Also this is not the time to let her loose to explore instead shes either connected to you or in a small, dog-proof enclosure otherwise shell bolt (at least until shes bonded).
She really needs a dog to bond to. Here shes closest to a female, 35# heeler mix. She came in with her brother and was very close to him. Shes comfortable sleeping with different dogs and playing with different dogs. But dogs like Tedi are WAY more comfortable with dogs than people and need to see us interacting with dogs to trust us.
She needs a bed or space of her own. Someplace thats hers; best way to set this up is to bring her home and put her in the spot thats hers, ideally a crate in a room (not too busy of a room, shell be overwhelmed) and have her live in there for at least 24-48 hours. This gives her a chance to watch and learn the routines without having to interact or fall into old patterns. Youll find that after that time shell anchor right back to those spaces when she gets nervous or stressed.
Let her watch you and see you interact with other dogs. This is huge to dogs! They need to see how you are with others so they know what to expect. Anticipation is everything for anxious dogs; be sure to call out to her as you walk toward her crate and if youre used to working with horses.many of those same strategies work. Noises can also be terrifying to these dogs even the quietest most benign of noises.watch patterns and adjust accordingly.
Note: Tedi leans toward the soft side. If things go sideways she gets out of dodge. Shed rather not engage in a fight and plays dead rather than fights back L
To succeed shell need time, support and patience. And lots of it. Shes a dog that will take months of familiar routine to really begin to let her guard down and trust. Thats not to say its not going to happen, its just going to take time and patience a lot more than any other dog youve ever dealt with. I will also note that once you get there, youll have a stronger bond than with other dogs who didnt have to lean on you for so much support.
Doesnt necessarily like to be outside shes just so nervous of people she goes where the dogs are. Now that weve built trust shes more often in the house and on the couch than not, but shes a solid dog. When we walk on the property she runs and does her thing but is always in earshot and is always back to the gate when its time to come in.
Shes not a dog thats comfortable in new situations and also one who takes a bit to see/follow routine and settle in. Give her time but dont push her to explore new places and things. She doesnt want to. People are enough stress for her. She just wants a house/land to live out her life and find a way to contribute and possible bond. She loves belly rubs and is getting really fond of butt rubs too J
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