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Rescued Sheltie moves in -- with all his baggage!

Discussion in 'Sheltie Training' started by codysmom, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. codysmom

    codysmom Forums Novice

    Aug 5, 2013
    Hi! I'm new to this forum, and we've recently adopted Cody, a 4 year old Sheltie who was surrendered to a shelter by his owner. He's got so many issues, but he's truly a sweetheart who has captured our hearts. Most significantly, he's HW+, but we're working on that with our vet.

    He's skittish and shy, has all sorts of Sheltie quirks, is clearly very smart, and is quite a love bug. He came to us perfectly housetrained, only having one accident on his first night with us.

    This past weekend, we had a house full of people for a birthday party. He and our other dog, also shy, stayed in the bedroom because they don't care for noise or strangers. Several kids visited them during the day, and things seemed fine (both dogs like kids and do well with them). However, since everyone left, Cody has pooped twice RIGHT IN FRONT OF US, and peed once. He seems to be doing in in such a way that he wants to make sure we see him do it.

    I'm thinking he's mad or stressed out about the housefull of company? Any thoughts?
  2. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    When you say recently how long have you had him?

    Sounds like he could be a little confused and plus very anxious after the weekend. Get him back into a routine asap, incl regular toilet trips so he knows when to expect to go. Lots of love and quiet times, relaxing walks and hopefully that will soothe things.
  3. codysmom

    codysmom Forums Novice

    Aug 5, 2013
    Caro, he's new to us -- about 6 weeks now. He is very sensitive, but has made huge strides since his arrival. Because of his skittishness, and because he can slip a harness like houdini, we held off on walking him until recently. Our first attempt was a disaster. He spent the entire 5 minutes (if that long) spinning and trying to get out of his harness. He's just afraid of the world.

    The thing about this most recent behavior is that he's brazenly pooping right in front of us, and when we take him outside, he just runs in circles and tries to come right back in the house, as if he's afraid of something. This is all new (last 2 days) Then, he comes inside and poops. :confused2:

    We also have a 6 year old rescued Shepherd mix with a similar personality, and over the 5 years she's "owned" us, she's really come around. So we're getting pretty good at handling skittish
  4. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    I think you hit the nail on the head: stress. If he was housetrained when he came to you, there's a reason he's misbehaving now. If he won't walk on leash, I wouldn't force it at this point.

    Do you have a yard that you could put an x-pen in? Then you could carry him outside and put him in the pen. Be sure to get one high enough that he can't escape if he's a jumper. I wouldn't leave him, but you can stand close by and watch him. I'd take him out frequently and treat/praise when he performs. It almost sounds like you have to take him back to Ground Zero for a refresher course.

    Good luck! Please let us know how he does. And welcome to the Forum!
  5. BigE

    BigE Forums Novice

    Jan 18, 2012
    Fifi my rescue sheltie also spinned non-stop whenever we went outside during the first two months with me. Perhaps walk Cody on a loose leash for now? Because of this, I was not able to train Fifi to heel and I ended up giving it up. :sleepy:
  6. roxyllsk

    roxyllsk Forums Enthusiast

    Apr 28, 2012
    New Jersey
    Has he had a harness on before ? He may not like the way it feels - he may never have worn one before.

    Have you thought of trying a martingale collar ? It's different from a chain, as most of it is made of nylon or leather, but will get smaller if they pull. It's a really great collar for dogs that slip them. It may be more comfortable for him to wear a collar like this for now while leash training.

    Also, is he very food motivated ? Most of them are. I literally taught my sheltie pup who had never even wear a collar how to walk on a leash in 5 minutes with the help of a hot dog. Start out in the house before taking him outside. Put the collar/ leash on him and keep a piece of hot dog in your fist. Let him smell that you have it, and then ask him to walk with you. He should follow you because you have the treat. At first treat him frequently, then less and less frequently when he gets the idea. That way he learns the leash/collar is a Good Thing.

    Anyway eventually work up to walking in the yard, then when he's comfortable with that take him for a very short walk outside the yard.

    My shy / nervous sheltie does not like when it's noisy, nor does he like changes in his routine. It is upsetting to him. I bet once you get him back on his schedule, his behavior will improve.
  7. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Welcome to Cody, who will need love and patience. It sounds as if you have plenty of both! :yes:

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