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I have reched my boiling point

2980 Views 25 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  beaglesmom
If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it. I adopted Sweetie Mid November. She has been fairly shy. She has now fallen into a routine but her manuerisms (sp?) are getting worse by the day.

Each morning she sleeps in bed until noon. I usually end up telling her to come out which she does. She walks in fear down the hall then runs out the door.

She used to stay out maybe 1-2 hours? then would either come back in or stay out until our walk in the woods which she loves.

She used to run to me to get the leash on and we would go. Now I cannot get her to come to me and it is getting very aggrivating. If I call her she looks at me then looks elswhere.

The other day I had to pick up my step son. I could not for the life of me get her in the house or near me.

I don't chase her, but even ignoring her is not working. I know this probably does not make sense so ask questions! I have hit boiling point and am ready to leave her out almost round the clock which I rather not do.
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We have gone through and continue to go through a lot of the challenges you are describing with our youngest rescue Popcorn. When we first got her she was terrified of everything - even going over the metal threshold of the front door of our building - but over the 2 1/2 years we have had her she has slowly built her confidence piece by piece and within the last month has actually started to wag her tail ever so little OUTSIDE. That was just unheard of when we first got her - it wasn't even clear she had a tail as it was tucked so tightly between her legs. But she still seems the most happy of all when in bed - and we also have to almost drag her out of bed in the morning/early afternoon...

The advice you have received from everyone else is spot on - and the overriding word is patience. Of course sometimes it is hard to find patience when your dog is lying on her back and refusing to move even an inch towards the door... and we don't always successfully practice what we preach as a result... but that is clearly the only thing that works because getting angry or frustrated invariably backfires and just makes her more scared. I still haven't figured out the best way to actually get her out the door when she has one of her many crises of confidence and refuses to budge, however - if I have the luxury of time I just leave her and go out with the others and hope that she'll eventually decide to go out... which usually works. At one point I tried standing just behind her and nudging her ever so gently in the direction of the door trying to make it like we were playing - but that totally backfired because she reacted like I was mad at her and that is the worst of all because then she is basically paralyzed by fear. Usually if I can't wait for her to get over it I have to just pick her up and carry her into the hallway, elevator or main lobby - depending on how freaked out she is that day... not the best solution, I know, but sometimes I just don't have the luxury of time to wait for her to get her confidence up.

One question for everyone with terrified dogs - how do you manage to ever discipline them? We find disciplining Popcorn even when absolutely necessary continues to be very difficult - even if we catch her in the middle of a pee in the middle of our bed, say (not that she does that much - anymore...), to even call out "No" is enough to make her world collapse and it takes hours for her to get back even slightly close to normal. What exactly do others do in such situations?
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I think seeking the help of a good behaviourist and/or going to obedience class would do her a world of good.

Even doing a couple of 10 minute sessions of training with her every day, in your home, would help. Going through basic commands like sit, stay, come, down, shake paw etc will give her a lot of mental stimulation and reassure her that you are her pack leader and that her pack is stable.
Thank you everyone on your advice. Last night we paid no attention to her unless she came to us.....BIG DIFFERENCE. She also walked through the front door with ease. Hopefully that is a step in the right direction.

I will keep everyone posted if there is a change in behavior over the next few weeks. I will take action on the advice given. Wish me luck! LOL
Oh sorry to have even mistaken Sweetie is dominant, poor dear she is scare. Yes, definately a obedience class and if you can have someone come to your home is even better, training in the environment she is living in. That reminds me of the book I've read a beagle name Bea who escaped from a research lab.
The name of the book is call For Bea, by Kristin Von Kreisler. Great book!
Interesting you mentioned "research labs" - I live near a major university with a huge vet teaching hospital - while they won't admit that they use dogs for research, they DO. I've known several people who have adopted these dogs when the labs are through with them (they SAY they're doing food research). Anyway, these dogs have many problem adjusting to life outside a lab - many have never been on grass, know nothing of life outside a cage. Often they wind up in shelters or rescues because of the problems adjusting to "real life". It takes a LOT of patience with this dogs to get them over their "baggage". And you probably know that MOST of these dogs are beagles. :angryfire: A few years ago a friend of mine who worked at the university called me in a panic - "Glenda can you help they have between 100-150 beagles that they need to find homes for asap or they'll be put to sleep". I did what I could to help - posted them on many boards - and several of my beagle group members wanted to adopt them - BUT when I finally was able to get through to a HUMAN at the university, was told "I don't know where you got your information, but we don't have any beagles here". I got a major run around - it seems the university was a little "paranoid" to admit to using dogs (and other animals) for research purposes because they were afraid of PETA and their tactics. We contacted the Seattle Beagle Rescue, and they were able to save the remaining beagles. I do know some vet techs there who have QUIT because of research done there. Needless to say, RESEARCH is one of MY personal PET PEEVES.
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