Building Trust... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Building Trust...

well I got her a couple days ago from the rescue and everyday she is sweeter and sweeter! But she still wont come if I call her in from outside, and she also walks away from people (even me and my mom) im sure she is gonna be fine in a week or so, I just want to know if there are any tricks or activities that are known to help dogs trust their owners.

2000 Mustang GT - My first baby...
2 yo Female GSD/Husky rescued Feb/2010
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 02:39 AM
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This is not at all unusual in new dogs. Sad, but not unusual. There have been a number of fosters that I have gotten that I had to leave a leash on them when I let them out as being able to grab the leash is the only way I could catch and bring the dog in. All of the fosters I had did get over it in a week or two.

Patience is your best bet. That and walking and giving lots of treats by hand.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 09:06 AM
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Patience is your best bet. That and walking and giving lots of treats by hand.
This plus time make all the difference! Not pushing everything new on your pup but also continuing to work with, interacting with.....

You able to take her out and about without overwhelming? That's a help. They start learning to lean on and rely on US as the calm and stable presence in new situations.

Are you signed up for any dog classes yet? These also help with the bonding and training.




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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 09:24 AM
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Instead of feeding her in a bowl, feed her from your hand.
It took the foster I had a couple of weeks as well, this had been a chained up dog all his life
(1 yr),once he was free of his chain the AC had a hard time catching him and he wasn't re-claimed.
He feared someone taking him by the collar, so I kept a short leash(with no handle) on him.
He wasn't abused, just neglected of attention. I had to throw treats inside the door and move away for him to come inside if he was not on a leash.
He had never been inside so he had to learn stairs, carpet vs wood, etc. He housetrained/crate trained very easily and I know he wanted to please, just never had the opportunities we take for granted!

This dog formed such a strong bond with me after a couple of weeks,it was amazing to see the change.
It did help that I had other dogs in the house, so he could see the relationship we had, and the other dogs helped him settle in quicker.
Once Willow comes around, the bond that you share will be wonderful, just give her time and let her learn to trust you.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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when i take her out on a leash (for a walk) she is fine, no pulling or anything... but in the backyard she wont come in when its time, i have to use a treat to lure her in. She gets better everyday so.

2000 Mustang GT - My first baby...
2 yo Female GSD/Husky rescued Feb/2010
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 10:20 AM
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well I got her a couple days ago from the rescue and everyday she is sweeter and sweeter! But she still wont come if I call her in from outside, and she also walks away from people (even me and my mom) im sure she is gonna be fine in a week or so, I just want to know if there are any tricks or activities that are known to help dogs trust their owners.
Sounds like your doing fine to me.

Some animals see a house as confinement to worry about, no avenue of possible escape, so they have to have trust to give in and come inside.

I would leave her pretty much alone inside unless she approaches, reward her for approaching, not try to interact with her physically too much by petting until she starts trusting and seeking more attention.

Give her a daily routine, feeding, going out, walking etc on a schedule. Figuring out the routines and knowing what to expect and when will give her more confidence and make her feel more at ease as well.

I bet she comes around pretty quickly.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 11:31 AM
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I suggest all new dogs start with a NILIF sort of system right away. With this system, you ask the dog to sit for everything she wants. The reward is access to things she wants - outside, food, toys, etc. The dog basically learns to "ask politely" for what they want and that you control their access to resources and fun. It puts you in a position of trust, "leadership" and creates a set of house rules so the dog knows what to expect. IME this can help dogs adjust much quicker to new homes.

Instead of just giving meals, have her sit, down, come (good way to practice this cue is in the house with dinner time), name response, etc for handfuls of her dinner. Before going outside (or anything else she likes/wants) have her sit. Only let her out in the yard with a long line, so you can use it to guide her if need be. Have a super-extra good-best ever treat for practicing come when called outdoors. During the day around the house tether her to you while you go about your business, which can help a lot with bonding. But also be sure to have her spend some time confined (while your home and while you're gone) with a stuffed Kong, bone, etc so she learns to feel comfortable by herself too. Once every day, perform a "dog inspection" as much as she is comfortable with to start - pet her all over, touch her legs/feet/tail/ears, run a brush over her, look at her teeth and reward her along the way for her tolerance. If she seems nervous about something, don't push her on it and try to make this a really positive experience.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 02:21 PM
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Starting right off with NILIF is a great idea for a dog that is just being difficult and isn't bonded; it's a terrible idea if the new dog is timid or fearful. The OP didn't say which it is, but it sounds like this dog is in the timid or fearful catagory. NILIF can be started at a later time once the dog is feeling more confident and comfortable in her new situation.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Starting right off with NILIF is a great idea for a dog that is just being difficult and isn't bonded; it's a terrible idea if the new dog is timid or fearful. The OP didn't say which it is, but it sounds like this dog is in the timid or fearful catagory. NILIF can be started at a later time once the dog is feeling more confident and comfortable in her new situation.
shes gets exponentially more comfortable and loving every morning when i wake up... she just came in when i yelled "willow" from across the house and she was outside...

2000 Mustang GT - My first baby...
2 yo Female GSD/Husky rescued Feb/2010
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 03:24 PM
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I disagree, I used and still revert back to NILIF with my timid dog. What she needs is structure, consistency, predictability. NILIF gives her these things. It also gives her more control and thus more confidence. "If I sit over here and don't beg while mom eats, then I get to lick the plate!" I don't use corrections, I simply ask for an incompatible behavior that is very simple, like "sit here" if she is getting in my way. As always with dog training, I don't ask for something I think she might flub, the dog is setup for success so as long as I ask for a behavior she can do, she wins every time. All of the hand feeding and feeding or dropping treats makes everything positive and non-confrontational.

Last edited by Liesje; 03-04-2010 at 03:27 PM.
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