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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Our rescue

Hey guys, so it's been about two weeks since we got Ms. Ellie and I'm worried I guess. When she first got here she was so full of energy and playful and just wanted to play. Well I don't know if she is sick (we've just found a tick but it just seemed like a dog tick not deer tic) but she's just been skiddish lately, she either chooses to hide out in her crate, or on the couch. She only chooses to play if we are going outside, she'll know that means play time. If we offer toys she will just look at them and go to her cage. Outside she loves to run inside she just hangs out now. We didn't get a whole lot of info from the foster because the fact that the people who gave her up just brushed her off. But it does seem like she was previously sheltered or abused. She is very... Questionable if we try to call her to the bed, she will look at you as if to say "hmm I don't know if that is okay" and when we finally get her on she can't wait to get down because she looks so panicked. Once we get her settled on the bed her tail gets wagging and she'll hang out for a few hours. I don't know if she is still easing in or if she caught something and is sick. Our vet appointment isn't for another week! Suggestions ? Comments?

Here are some pictures of her outside super excited. I don't have many inside to show you the difference.

Oh! And she's super obedient. I mean she you call her she comes, sit she sits (sometimes you have to say more than once) if you tell her go to bed (cage) she will. So again leads me to think she might've been abused because she usually will do what's told with her ears down.

I love her dearly so I'm concerned, not unhappy about her because she's a great dog. I just want some advice.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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She's slsi developed an itch. Not on the paws but on her body and head. She was eating low quality food since rescues are solely donations so now she's on Fromm. We just switched kinds to see if that will eliminate it but I'm not sure. It happen when we went to New York she's had it since.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 10:59 AM
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She's beautiful and sounds like she's a really great dog.

She's still in her adjustment period. With most new dogs, it takes about 2 weeks for them to come out of their shells and show you who they really are. Give her time to go through figuring it out. Don't take her places, other than to walk, and try to not have many people come over for a few weeks. Just let her be with you at home, and get used to you.

These dogs have been through a lot -- old home to foster to new home. She'll figure it out and learn to trust you, but it has to be at her pace. Often dogs who "seem" abused are just going through trust issues and uncertainty in the new home, and shake it all off pretty quickly. She may just not be sure what's allowed and what isn't, so she's trying to figure it out in a respectful way.

A dog who was actually abused usually does some very characteristic things --- when you lift your arms up, or any object like a broom, they tend to hit the deck flat on the ground and cower, expecting a blow. If she's doing any of that, then committing to positive training with her will help. Clicker training is an ideal for a dog recovering from abuse, even if you aren't normally a fan of clicker training. Since it's likely "new" to the dog, it won't have bad associations. It allows you to build up their self-esteem, so they always know the right thing to do, and they learn to trust you to communicate without pain. Dogs who've suffered being "corrected" with pain by an abuser need to trust that you will never, ever do that to them. They come to see you as their protector from all that badness, and they blossom once their world becomes safe and predictable. Earning trust is Job One with a previously abused dog, and your training approach has to be directed at Job One.

Reward and praise when she does what's asked of her. This is one aspect of training I see so many people "forget." The dog did what they wanted, so they just move on instead of telling the dog it did the right thing. Praise is incredibly important to the dog! That will help you get her ears up so that when she does it instead of slinking away, she's happy and pleased with herself (because you are pleased with her and letter her know that).

Last edited by Magwart; 02-06-2016 at 11:02 AM.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 11:22 AM
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One other thought about the way she's going into the crate -- based on her body language, it's possible that her prior owner may have used the crate for punishment ("Bad dog! Get in the crate!"). When you tell her to go in for the night, she may be wondering what she did that was bad.

Make the crate about good stuff. Feed her in there. Play crate games (google to find some). Give her really good chewy treats (bull pizzles, dried beef tracheas, etc.) or stuffed kongs in there. Be really excited and happy every time she goes in ("YAY! Good crate!" or whatever word you use)--high pitched, baby voice kind of excitement. We want it to be a safe, happy place, not the place that bad dogs go, so take steps to make it all about positive associations.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 11:28 AM
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The only thing I will add to this is that I would forget calling her to get on the furniture. She's been trained to stay off and doesn't really want to get up there. I'd leave that be at least for now.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
She's beautiful and sounds like she's a really great dog.

She's still in her adjustment period. With most new dogs, it takes about 2 weeks for them to come out of their shells and show you who they really are. Give her time to go through figuring it out. Don't take her places, other than to walk, and try to not have many people come over for a few weeks. Just let her be with you at home, and get used to you.


Reward and praise when she does what's asked of her. This is one aspect of training I see so many people "forget." The dog did what they wanted, so they just move on instead of telling the dog it did the right thing. Praise is incredibly important to the dog! That will help you get her ears up so that when she does it instead of slinking away, she's happy and pleased with herself (because you are pleased with her and letter her know that).
She is truly a great dog and I want her to live to her potential, so that was why I was so worried. But you for sure comforted me. We usually praise with treats after she does good but I admit we have slipped a bit so we will have to get back to it double time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magwart View Post

Make the crate about good stuff. Feed her in there. Play crate games (google to find some). Give her really good chewy treats (bull pizzles, dried beef tracheas, etc.) or stuffed kongs in there. Be really excited and happy every time she goes in ("YAY! Good crate!" or whatever word you use)--high pitched, baby voice kind of excitement. We want it to be a safe, happy place, not the place that bad dogs go, so take steps to make it all about positive associations.
We used crate games on our pup and it helped a lot, I didn't even think of it for an older (teenaged) dog. This just means we will have to go to the pet store to find some toys she will like. She loves her kong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by middleofnowhere View Post
The only thing I will add to this is that I would forget calling her to get on the furniture. She's been trained to stay off and doesn't really want to get up there. I'd leave that be at least for now.
She loves the couch its just other furniture. I'll be very mindful of this. I'll make sure it is on her terms since shes freely allowed on the couch, but I wont call her to it.

Thank you guys!
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