We're caring for a friend's dog while she's in care after a bad accident. Not sure how long we'll have her. She's a lovely dog, submissive but accepting of new people when her people are nearby, loves belly rubs apparently. But it seems when there isn't anyone she knows around, she is just really nervous of us. She's defensive and just plain scared. Tail between legs, defensive barking etc. She is definitely better if I don't look at her or make any sounds. I can stand near her bed and food bowl looking at my phone or one of the other dogs and she'll quite happily walk past me, but as soon as I look at her or talk to her, she backs away and starts barking at me. She loves the company of Dodge and Koda (we keep them separated by a fence though because the last place she was at, she got in a fight with that persons dog which i absolutely do not want with Koda, knowing him!).
We've made a bit of progress with her (only had her a few days). She sniffed my hand yesterday (I wasn't game to try and pat her, I don't trust her yet because I know what a scared or threatened dog can do) and I did get a tail wag from her yesterday while I was playing with Koda near her fence.
So at the moment we're mostly just ignoring her and letting her get to know us at her own pace... Offering her pats and special treats in an attempt to gain her trust doesn't seem to help at all because she just gets defensive and moves away
Am I doing the right thing? Anything I can do to help her get more comfortable and feel safe with myself and my family? I'm sure in time she'll get used to us, but its kind of sad seeing her nervous like she is.
Despite her nervousness, she's very pretty and a real character! She plays with Koda through the fence, they play chase. He often sits down next to the fence and just spends time with her. She also loves water, always puts one foot in the bowl when getting a drink
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