Join Date: Mar 2013
Scaredy Cat Freya
I posted in the intro section a few days ago, and figured I would follow up here. My 10 month old Freya is a complete spook. Anything and everything scares her. I got her this past Wednesday. First night was terrible. She paced constantly, indoors and out. She never potty'ed. I crated her overnight and she pooped and peed EVERYWHERE in it...ugh! She would not leave my side, even for a second, and still, there was constant pacing. She apparently was taught some basic commands, but we are starting fresh, and it is like teaching a pup that has never learned before.
It is difficult trying to find the balance of her gaining some independence and providing the affection and love that she wants. If she had it her way, we would melt together on the couch and never part, lol. I also know that this can spell disaster down the road and lead to severe separation anxiety.
I tried walking her a bit in front of our house a couple days ago...NOPE! She would belly crawl, weave between my legs and just stay there, flattening herself against the pavement...I couldn't imagine what the neighbors were thinking! LOL.
So far, there has been tremendous progress. She only paces when I have left her field of vision, and has not had an accident in 4 days. She had never walked into a crate before, hated in initially and now that is the food provider, so she is very happy. I do not tolerate even a whimper, so she quiets down very quickly. When out of the crate, she still has to be with me. My fiance has been away from home a lot more than I have, so I am her fave, and she is still fearful at times with him. My other dogs have been a great help to her. She was phobic of doorways, but they taught her that they are, in fact, not torturous tools. Training has helped boost her confidence. She even played tug of war a bit with me yesterday..and playing period was not on her mind until yesterday.
I am hoping to try her again on walks in a day or two. We will start just in front of the house, then branch out.
My fiance is a little saddened by the fact that she is still spooky with him. I am a "no fluff" type person and told him it is because he is trying too hard to win her over. Sometimes, it seems, when people try to bribe a fearful dog over, the dogs response will never change. They are, in their own way, enjoying that type of attention. He would crouch down calling her, opening his arms, getting a little closer, while she circled just out of reach. I told him to stop doing that, and start walking away. She will follow, THEN pet her and drop her a treat. It is working slowly but surely. He still tries a little too hard, I think.
I have caught her, on one occasion, mouthing one of my cats, jaws gently around neck. The cat was enjoying the attention, but it makes me nervous. I scolded her, but again, that is one little cat without a chance if Freya treated her as a toy.
I am hoping my experience will help some others. I am also actively seeking guidance as well. One thing I have a question about:
When I begin walking her again, should I let her do whatever she wants to at first (i.e. dart about, pull, lay between my legs), until she gets used to the area, or begin loose leash training immediately? I feel part of her problem is that she was too harshly correctly by the former owner. I got a training martingale for her, and the first time I attempted walking her and would do the quick jerk, she flattened herself as if I did something terrible. I am wondering if it would be better to get her accustomed to the area at first, but also feel it would be unfair to her to suddenly change the rules up later.
Thanks to all for listening!