Need a dog psychiatrist

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Creed Bennett, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Creed Bennett

    Creed Bennett Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2011
    Western Kentucky
    Okay, I'm by no means new to dogs. I've had them all of my life. Thankfully I married a woman that likes animals more than she does most people including me sometimes [​IMG] . Anyway we lost two dogs earlier this year due to cancer and old age (18 years). My wife and I were on our way to town about a month ago and she ask me if I wanted to go by the animal shelter and see if they had a dog that we could give a forever home. I'm the old softie and said okay. I have a hard time going to animal shelters because it just kills me that I can't save them all. She was kind of surprised that I said okay so off we went to see what they had. We walked in the place and I immediately spotted a 3 month old pure breed Collie. She was absolutely beautiful. We told the lady that runs the place that we would take her. Well while my wife was taking care of the paperwork I was roaming around and found a very shy looking Yorkie. I called my wife over and showed her the dog. She said what about that dog over there and I said this one really needs us. I could just feel it. So we ended up getting two dogs that day and also a chicken that we named Helen. Now here is the part I need help with. The Collie is smart as a whip and will sleep with you and is always wanting to play but the Yorkie is very shy and doesn't trust people at all. We found out that she was a puppy mill mom in Missouri. She plays with my other dogs and runs inside the fence chasing them like any other health dog. She will stand at the gate and bark at us while we are tending to the chickens, garden or yard. She wags her tail when we come up to the gate but as soon as the fence is no longer between us she runs from us. She is getting better about this but not as quickly as I had hoped. We were having to chase her down and bring her into the house via the back door which opens into the back yard. Then we were able to open the back door and walk away from it and she would eventually come in on her own. Now she comes in while I hold the door open. We have made progress but it seems like we are at a standstill. We can't get our hands on her so we can pet her without cornering her. What do I have to do to get her to understand that we love her and just want to pet her and cuddle? I recently lost my job and I have plenty of time and I'm 100% willing to work with her. I just don't know how to go about it. Anybody have any idea? Here is a picture of Trixie:

    Here is a picture of her big sissy Abby:
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 31, 2008
    jamie the dog trainer would be a great resource...

    U would say sit in the run and bribe with treats... she will eventually come around... find something that she loves and go from there..
  3. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2010
    Blue Ridge GA
    I am no expert, but I captured a dog living wild in the woods. He had plastic wrapped around his leg and it took weeks before my dogs cornered him and I caught him. Long story--I gave him to 2 families he escaped from within 24 hours. I finally said he could come to our house where he chose to live behind the couch and no one could touch him. I don't recall how long it took, but it was a long time before he stopped running directly behind the couch.
    I don't think we spent a lot of time coaching him, he just finally realized we weren't going to eat him. Today he sits on my lap and if not there he's on the couch instead of behind it. He likes hanging out with his pack.
    He's still a little shy with new people and will not stop barking at strangers who come up to the house. I know it's fear that makes him bark but it also makes him a very good watch dog. Because he still bears scars of some sort of abuse, we can't take him camping with us because it is too stressful for him. He hates cars.
    My advise--give it lots of time and don't try to rush it. Just let her get used to you being around and nonthreatening. She's had a weird and difficult life poor thing.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Her only contact with people has been through a fence. That's what she is comfortable with. From the outside looking in it sounds as if she is making great strides and that you have done a really good thing. Patience and consistant behavior on your part will pay off. Is she lead broken? If so you might try some basic obedience work in small doses so that she becomes more comfortable interacting with you.
  5. fuzziebutt

    fuzziebutt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Food. Treats, farther away, then slowly closer, till she realises that you are ok. It's gonna take a long time.
  6. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    Quote:I think Sourland may have something here. Maybe you should start by petting and giving treats through the fence. Only treat when she is showing positive behavior though, not when she is showing fear.
  7. FourPawz

    FourPawz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    This little dog has made some impressive strides already. I'd suggest a couple of things.

    This little girl should have all of her food come from your or another family member's hand. No bowls for this pup as of yet. You want her to associate humans with food. In addition, I'd put her on a leash and would keep her with me as much as possible. I'd ignore her if she balks or acts spooked. If she approaches you give her a treat, something yummy. Food causes the release of a chemical in the brain that has a calming effect on the dog, so you're causing her to feel good from the good taste and from the reaction her body has to the food.

    This is going to be one step at a time. She may never be a social butterfly, but she'll bond to you. Thank you so much for giving this little pooch such a loving home.
  8. Creed Bennett

    Creed Bennett Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2011
    Western Kentucky
    Thanks all! Keep the comments coming! I had figured the fence thing out but for some reason I hadn't thought of trying to interact through the fence. I'm going to work with her tomorrow. She loves cheese nips and I've got two boxes. [​IMG]
  9. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Routine is key for early stages with a scared animal. It even works with aggressive-protective or scared birds. X). If this little pup can count on what is going to happen, anxiety will go down. As others have said you equal all good things, which may only be food only at first. If hand feeding works right away, that awesome! However, some dogs are genuinely too nervous to eat, so you may have to work up to that. We had to do that with our adopted cattle dog (who is the best dog we've ever had, so know too that you will eventually see improvement). Be careful not to corner or unintentionally appear threatening, ie, standing directly over the dog. I think there are a ton of good suggestions here, and that more will come in. Enjoy your two new cuties!
  10. Creed Bennett

    Creed Bennett Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2011
    Western Kentucky
    She will get pretty close to me when I go to the frig. She was heartworm positive when the shelter got her. She was treated by the shelters vet. She is now heartworm free. We took her by our vet to have her checked over and he gave us some small pills to give her to clear up a skin condition. I have to give her one every morning and I put the pill into a piece of American cheese. Now every time I go to the frig she is standing there. I have been able to touch her on the very tip of her nose but that's all. I was getting a little discouraged I guess and just needed you all to give me some hope. I won't give up on her!!!

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