Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
I think the main thing this dog needs is more time. It has been through a very traumatic situation.
I had an experience that was somewhat similar. I was doing daycare for a labradoodle. I couldn't get this dog to do ANYTHING. You'd try to play ball with him -he'd just watch. Unlike this dog, he wasn't scared, just indifferent and shut down.
It took about a month and a half of him coming to the kennel about 2x a week. Suddenly, he got comfortable with me and my dogs, and began to play. He was too shy to run after the ball if my dogs were around, but when I played with him on his own, he would retrieve it.
I'd start off by taking her for walks, which was what I did with the doodle, even if it's just around the backyard of the house, or up and down the driveway. Let her know she can trust you.
If she's too frightened of you to walk with you, maybe just put her on her leash, and have her sit beside you, while you talk to her, and pet her. If she cringes from you hand, just talk instead. Don't force things, don't rush. When she's relaxed a bit, try dropping a piece of food in front of her.
I have also owned a dog that was too anxious to take treats when in a new situation. Eventually, with exposure and repetition, it improved. In place of treats, I used praise for every small act of obedience. (I also offered treats, even if she wouldn't take them.) It took about 4 weeks of obedience classes before she would take a treat from me in class, and 6 weeks before she would take one from the instructor or another person in the class.
You are going to need patience... a TON of patience, but I do believe things can improve for this poor dog.