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Scared new puppy

Discussion in 'Behavior' started by shelee, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. shelee

    shelee Premium Member

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    I posted last week that I did go ahead and get a 9 week old female Sheltie last Friday. Everyone posted good advice. Sandy suggested noise CD's and I did get those and Ella is doing well with the thunderstorm sound. Potty training is going pretty well. She actually really pees every waking hour! She has come around with both my husband and I great, esp my husband and even working with her and the 11 yr old cat is going well. I have had 2 previous Shelties, although only one as a puppy, the other was a rescue and I have not seen Ella's behavior in either of them and Missy was neurotic! Where my concern is and I am wondering if there could be a problem is she trembles and literally shakes to the point she pretty much collapses at anyone else and also all things outdoors. I have taken into the nearest small town twice and just walked around a bit. I was shocked 8 lbs gets heavy to carry fast! There is one tractor store that allows animals and I carried her around in there yesterday. There was only one other customer and it was quiet. She was absolutely terrified and shook so badly the cashier asked me if she was healthy! A friend stopped over when I asked her to for a hr and half visit. We didn't force anything and she had lots of treats, it went okay, but she couldn't get near Ella. I posted that we live on a quiet country road and there are not people or anything more than nature sounds. We have no close relatives and live really quietly, there are no local puppy classes. I really have no problem if I have a adult dog that is reserved and doesn't come out to get greet people or even let them pet her. What I am finding concerning is I really wanted a walking companion and a dog that will be fine walking past people and "things." I know I have only had Ella a week, but other two Shelties although always reserved didn't tremble and shake so. My question is am I doing the things correctly you all suggested I do? Is there anything else I should be doing?
     
    Sandy in CT and Piper's mom like this.
  2. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    I'm sorry to hear about Ella's fear. Unfortunately, we're seeing a lot of this with breeders unable to socialize puppies outiside the home at all during the pandemic. Shelties are a naturally reserved breed, and so socializing them from a young age is very important. No one has been able to do that for the past year, and it's created a real problem and lots of fearful dogs, so you're not alone.

    You are doing all the right things. Ella is very young still and has probably never been exposed to anything outside her littermates. I'd start cautiously and not overwhem her. She's too young to be put on the ground to walk places and you don't want to do that until she's had her puppy vaccines, so either carrying her or using a stroller is the solution for now. Car trips are good if you can drive to a parking lot and let her see people and activity from the safety of the car. I wouldn't force her to accept pats from people she doesn't know yet if she's afraid, just let her observe them. When you're doing this, give her lots of high-value treats that you save just for this, as you did with your visitor. Don't worry if Ella won't get near people; let her adjust to them being there and eventually she will gain confidence.

    This is a project, and not a short one, but it does get results. The key is patience. Ella is still a baby and so young that you have lots of time to slowly give her confidence in the coming months. Keep at it, give her lots of love, and hang in there! Keep us posted on your progress. I'm sure others here will have more suggestions too.
     
  3. Margi

    Margi Premium Member

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    She's just a baby, one week taken from her home, so keep doing what you're doing and she will probably come round soon.
    Can you post a link to some pics? We'd love to see her!
     
  4. trini

    trini Premium Member

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    I second everything that Ann says.

    We got our Laddie at 4 months old, he had only been in a car once when he was 7 weeks old and went to the vet for his puppy wellness exam. His breeders were isolating due to the pandemic and Laddie never left their property again until we brought him home. He has been with us for almost 5 months now and is happy here in our home that he now sees us and our home as his safety zone (that took a full month). He will greet people with a wagging tail and let them pat him in our home as long as they allow him to be the one to approach them rather than having them rush at him...but off our property he is terrified of even the same people he greets happily here in our home. We do short road walks everyday, short car rides everyday, and spend time just sitting in busy parking lots with his being able to watch all the hustle and bustle. We have made some progress but still have a long way to go until he will not be stressed the moment he is not here at home in his safety zone. Luckily you got your Ella while she is still a very young puppy and hopefully that will help her adjust faster than an older puppy like Laddie. Remember, her whole world has suddenly changed...you are new to her, your home is new to her, going places in public is new to her...it is a lot for a pup to take in. You know that you love her and will keep her safe, but she doesn't know that yet. Give her time, don't push her too hard and she will blossom.

    Trini
     
  5. shelee

    shelee Premium Member

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    Thank you. Also, thanks for the encouragement, I was thinking maybe someone more experienced, more patient, would have been better a choice for Ella's mom. But, I am trying!
     
  6. shelee

    shelee Premium Member

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    I would love to post a picture of Ella. I am not very tech savvy but I have tried several times and it tells me either "uploads are not available" or I am not allowed to! I've tried to post a picture in a thread and also on my profile and it tells me the same. If you give me easy instructions I will try again. :)
     
  7. shelee

    shelee Premium Member

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    Of course we have a Walmart! Ha, its the only thing we basically have and its always busy. I did not think about driving there and sitting in the parking lot. I will try that, but how do I get the puppy to actually not hide under my arm and actually look out the window? Also, I was wondering for the rather short distance to town would you crate her or let her ride in the seat on a blanket?
     
  8. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    so to post the picture in the thread or as your avatar picture, you need to be a premium member. otherwise, you'll have to upload the pic to a sharing site and paste the link in your thread......
     
  9. shelee

    shelee Premium Member

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    How do I become a premium member?
     
    KarenCurtis, Sharon7 and Piper's mom like this.
  10. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    It's always safest to travel your puppy or dog in a crate, rather than loose in the car. So that's how I'd do it. Once you're parked, I'd take her out and let her sit in your lap. Her natural curiosity will hopefully encourage her to look out the window. If not, some treats help up will help. A Walmart parking lot is perfect!

    There is no such thing as enough experience for these situations. I've had Shelties for many years, and bred some too, and I still learn every day. The only requirement you need is to love your pup, and you have that! So don't worry or doubt yourself, she will come along. :yes:
     
    KarenCurtis, ghggp, Margi and 4 others like this.

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