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Thread: Gaining trust

  1. #1
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    Default Gaining trust

    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

    Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 6.42.38 pm.jpg
    Last edited by maddogdodge; 06-24-2015 at 05:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    I think it will just take time. Is she the cattle dog in the photo? Cattle dogs as you know tend to get very bonded to their person and sometimes take awhile to warm to other people especially if they have a slightly fearful nature. They often dont like pats and I wouldnt try. I would back off and just go about your normal business and ignore her until she starts to become comfortable.

    My mother adopted a very nervous whippet and it has taken her ages to adjust and she still tends to run from me when I see her sporadically. What has made a difference is that she loves one of my cattle dogs and when I have her around the whippet is much more relaxed with me. Does she like chasing a ball? sometimes that can break the ice. I think it will just take time, many cattle dogs really dont like people other than their owners being too hands on with them. I wouldnt try too hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalacreek View Post
    I think it will just take time. Is she the cattle dog in the photo? Cattle dogs as you know tend to get very bonded to their person and sometimes take awhile to warm to other people especially if they have a slightly fearful nature. They often dont like pats and I wouldnt try. I would back off and just go about your normal business and ignore her until she starts to become comfortable.

    My mother adopted a very nervous whippet and it has taken her ages to adjust and she still tends to run from me when I see her sporadically. What has made a difference is that she loves one of my cattle dogs and when I have her around the whippet is much more relaxed with me. Does she like chasing a ball? sometimes that can break the ice. I think it will just take time, many cattle dogs really dont like people other than their owners being too hands on with them. I wouldnt try too hard.
    Thanks, that sounds basically like my plan, just go about my daily routine and let her interact with me if she wants to. Yeah she is the cattle dog in the photo, really beautiful girl from show lines... little bit fat for my liking though.... although cattle dogs always seem to be stocky.

    She has definitely taken to Koda, which is nice, it makes me happy to see Koda enjoying the company of other dogs without freaking out! She is also definitely more confidant when Koda is nearby (which is surprising because she was an only dog for her whole life).

    The morning after her arrival - still getting to know each other



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    What lines is she from? Yes some lines can be stocky, cattle dogs are also quite difficult to keep lean especially as they get older, but it is possible LOL. They are very efficient processors of food! Yeah just take it slow and she will most likely come round in her own time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalacreek View Post
    What lines is she from? Yes some lines can be stocky, cattle dogs are also quite difficult to keep lean especially as they get older, but it is possible LOL. They are very efficient processors of food! Yeah just take it slow and she will most likely come round in her own time.
    If I remember correctly, the dog's breeders prefix is 'Kangablue'.

    Her owner has been involved with ACD's for decades, showing and breeding them. Not sure what prefix she had though. This girl is her last dog though.

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    Hi MMD

    I think you are definitely handling her the right way.

    You will know you're winning when she comes over and sits on your foot. Favourite spots for rubs with new people are chest and under chin. Do not go for top of head or anywhere an angry person or swooping bird might go for. I think it's an instinct thing. eventually you can work up to ear rubs and tail rubs and belly rubs...

    being side on and keeping your hands to yourself for now is definitely the way to go with an anxious cattle dog. My experience is they're either all over you or completely aloof or even timid. A lot of it has to do with the way they get handed over too. If they see their owner being comfortable and happy around you, they're more likely to. But most of them get a bit peeved and anxious if their owner leaves without them. Mine definitely does.

    You should still be able to feel some ribs through the coat without having to push hard. Shouldn't be able to feel spine and hips. She does look like she could afford to lose a bit but she's not a lard ball either. Probably "show condition" not "working condition".

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    2 weeks on and she's finally let me pat her! She was loving it too, if I stopped she would push her head into my hand for more. I then fed her dinner and tried again, but second time she didn't want anything to do with me again... sigh.

    She's a funny dog though, she seems much more willing to accept pats if I'm reaching over the fence down to her... If I'm in with her sitting down (no matter where I'm looking) she doesn't want anything to do with me, and if I move to fast, she'll bark and move away...

    I would have thought me sitting down would have been less threatening than me reaching down towards her... apparently not though... suppose its because I'm not in the yard with her.

    Ah well, with more patience she'll get better, I'm sure

    At least she's happy, she loves the other dogs, she plays with them heaps!

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    You gotta wonder what she is thinking. Or why she'd be thinking that.

    Some dogs know very well what fences do... ie much harder for you to grab a dog from the other side of the fence than the same side.

    Have you tried putting a tarp down in the yard and lying on that (maybe on a towel or blanket). My dog will come and sit up against me if I do that. She also likes to help keep me warm on a cold night. Tho neither of are interested in having her under the covers. She lies on top. If I don't wriggle too much.

    Anyway I was thinking if you were in the yard with your other two dogs sitting on you, the new one might get over herself.

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    It seems the more I get to know her through/over the fence, the more relaxed she is with me in with her. She was less anxious about me going in the yard with her today, so that's a positive! She got heaps of pats and attention over the fence today, which she totally lapped up, she really is a huge sweetheart when she wants to be!



    I forgot to give her her bone this morning and the poor thing got bored Came home from work to find she'd managed to pull the lid off her food bucket and thoroughly enjoyed chewing it, as well as destroying the food measuring cup.... she also seemed to decide that her tennis ball needed to be in with the food


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