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Discussion in 'Sheltie Training' started by Robert Aylor, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Robert Aylor

    Robert Aylor Forums Novice

    Jun 17, 2017
    Hello all, I just a month ago Rescued a 1 yo Sheltie. We are experienced Sheltie owners, have a 10 yo sheltie that we love.
    The new female that we named Piper is very scared and we have tried everything we can think of. We have talked softly to her and tried to just be around her while we play with the other dog. She just hides and gets super scared when We get close.
    To the point that when we have gotten to her to check her or put her collar on she defacates on herself (and on me once... Fun). She will not take treats from us or any food unless we go all the way inside the houseand in general is just terrified when we come around.
    When we go in. She interacts with our 10yo great. She eats well, drinks water, all that. But the min we walk out she goes in to hiding.
    Recently I have tried to start leash training as a way to get her use to me but she just thrashed in the hardness and then lays down and curls up.

    Any advice will help, I really want to help her be happy and healthy.
  2. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

    Aug 28, 2011
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    Sounds like you have a very shy dog on your hands. Did you get her from a Sheltie rescue? Obviously she needs time to adjust. It is great that you have another confident dog she can watch and learn from.

    Seems like she was never leash trained. My only advice would be to give her time to come out of her shell. I know others will be able to guide you as well.

    I will try to find some links of others who are experiencing similar issues now and in the past.

    My first Sheltie rescue was a male that was shut down also. I had a confident Sheltie that helped him to adapt. It took almost six months before he was no longer frightened at my home! Good luck and bless you for rescuing this precious soul.
  3. Robert Aylor

    Robert Aylor Forums Novice

    Jun 17, 2017
    Thank you for the advice. We actually got her from a local shelter.Before there, She was held in pin with one other dog, there were 4 pins with 2 dogs each. They were not fed well.

    We will keep working with her
  4. Hanne

    Hanne Forums Enthusiast

    Nov 13, 2014
    First welcome Robert - from Denmark

    She's only 1 y so it's going to be successful - but it will take time - she must catch up so much - give her space and let her come to you.

    I'm sure you will get a lot of help here at SN
  5. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

    Aug 28, 2011
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
  6. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    Hi Robert, and welcome to the Forums! We have numerous members who have experiences very similar to yours with rescue Shelties, and lots of threads here that detail their stories and successes. Do a search for posts by Woodbender, whose rescue dog, Claire, was extremely fearful after a terrible early life when she came to them, and a thread called Tinsel's Journey which will give you some tips and ideas for helping your pup. http://sheltieforums.com/threads/tinsels-journey.12991/

    The most important thing to have with these dogs is patience. It will be very frustrating and discouraging when Piper continues to run from you. Keep in mind that she will get better, slowly and in increments but it will take time. Each dog is different and some take longer than others. Let her come to you with gentle encouragement. Don't pursue her. Give her a safe space, such as a crate with soft bedding that will be a den for her. When she does approach you, even a little, give her soft praise and encouragement. Try sitting on the floor at her level, but don't pay attention to her. Once she feels safer, she'll be curious and will approach you. Have some yummy treats to toss near her.

    It might help to feed her in her crate, where she'll feel safer. I had a dog who would only eat in her crate in the middle of the night when everyone was in bed. Progress will be baby steps, but it will happen. It sounds like she had very little if any human interaction or training. Good luck with Piper, and please keep us posted.
  7. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 17, 2010
    We rescued Katy when she was 2 and she seemed to have been more neglected than physically abused. The world was a sensory overload in the beginning so much she hadn't seen or done and it was scary for her.

    As many have said patience is required. You need to take this at her place and that could be painfully slow.

    As others have suggested there is nothing wrong with crate feeding. If she feels safe in there leave the door open and let that be her cave for a bit.

    Our secret weapon was our other Sheltie. He was more outgoing and friendly and showed her how the world worked.

    One strategy that worked for us was demonstrating affection, attention, play, and positive attention on the other dog in front of new dog. Clearly old dog wasn't experiencing pain and new dog got curious and she started asking for attention.

    We went back to rewarding Bailey for letting us put on his leash, checking his paws, etc. He might have thought we were nuts but he was never one to complain about easy treats. Eventually it was easier to get her cooperation too.

    One of my favorite memories is Bailey teaching her to walk down the back stairs after my treat bribes failed. They will help each other.

    Good luck.
    Ann and ghggp like this.

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