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 A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?

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Nusku
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PostSubject: A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?   Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:20 am

Hello everyone,

I am very new to the forum world to and I would like to apologize in advance; and also sorry for such a long post.

I have recently gone through some life changes, (separation/relocation) where I had to separate Eris from her "brother" (ex wouldn't let me take both huskies). It has been six months and in the last month she has been just laying around in the bedroom, and has become scared of the kitchen and the dining room. Not sure why or what to do.

She is 6 and grew up with the other dog. I have had her since she was 8 weeks old. She has never shown signs of fear before; and seemed more like her old self when her buddy Payton would come over to visit. So I started looking into getting another dog thinking that would help. After many interviews by Eris we seemed to picked another Husky that was at a rescue.

He is a 5 year old, who was described as skittish. The meetings went well and he seemed a bit unsure about people on the leash but would let you pet him. He was easily spooked; but walked with me well and was very friendly with Eris. Also the rescue allows a two week trial period to ensure that they are a good fit.

Today marks the end of week one, and this poor guy is scared of everything. It is clear that he has had very little human interaction. When I approach him/move/walk into the room he runs. If he can not escape he just hunkers down. He has shown absolutely no signs of aggression, which is awesome. He is super food motivated, and always looking for more (I think he was starved at one point). I have to sit down with him while eating and hold the bowl. I have been taking it away after a few gobbles and saying wait,  than ok to try to slow him down and attempting to teach him the command wait.

He knows no commands,  and will not respond to his name (or anything for that matter). He will come closer when Eris is getting attention, and some times let me touch him. He was also been marking on things, mainly my bed post. also, he will just bark at me for no discernible reason.  When i try to approach he just runs, and if i need to get for something I have to be quick and grab him, probably adding to the fear.  

He will lay on the dog beds in the living room when I am in there but if I get up he runs out of the room.

Treats kind of work, he will get close enough to take it or collapse on the floor. He seems more confident outside when I take them potty, They are both on a leash since the yard is not completely fenced in.

The two of them do not directly interact a lot, mostly outside when on potty breaks.

I am getting frustrated, and I know it's not his fault. I have never had to deal with anything like this and wonder if I am in over my head. I work 8+ hours a day. Everything I have read said that it will take time, but I am wondering if I will be able to meet his needs.

Any advise would be great, and thank you.


Last edited by Nusku on Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Edit Title)
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?   Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:05 pm

Welcome to the forum. It's going to take quite a while for your new boy to settle in, get used to you. When we adopted Ami, though he was not skittish or fearful, I would say it took a good 6 months for him to blossom - and he's still evolving now, more than 2 years later. I think if you are slow and patient he will come around. I would do lots of bonding activities with the new dog while respecting his skittishness.

Handfeeding is the number 1 activity that I would do now - it will both slow down his eating and help him bond to you. Just sit next to him and feed him his kibble a couple of pieces at a time. Another thing - keep some kibble in your pocket all the time - any time the new boy comes near you, offer him a piece and say his name. You can teach him his name by using it whenever you do something with him and in short exercises: "Dog's name" treat, "dog's name" treat.

When we first got Ami we crated him at night - before going in his crate we had a ritual - I would sit on the floor with a handful of kibble, he would lie down - facing me, at least a foot between us (he didn't allow physical contact at that time) and hand feed the kibble, petting him between every mouth full. I still remember how excited I was, 4 or 5 months later when, for a few seconds, he put a paw on my thigh.

Also, if possible, take him with you everywhere you go - Eris, too. And training is a good bonding experience too. And especially long walks. Having Eris will probably help this boy immensely - my Ami hated any kind of grooming (and being a wooly, it is needed regularly Rolling Eyes ) My son's dog Archer loves to be rubbed, touched, petted - Ami takes note (even gets jealous) and always allows a bit more than usual if I brush Archer first while Ami watches.

I'm guessing with all the change in your life, that you maybe be a bit down and maybe a bit more anxious than usual and that may be part of Eris's new fearfulness in addition to all the changes for her. (After my divorce a zillion years ago, I remember the first time I laughed after months and months - it was so noteworthy to laugh that I was startled and remember it to this day.)

Does the rescue offer you any help in settling the new boy in?

Good luck - sounds like this dog needs you badly.

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Nusku
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PostSubject: Re: A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?   Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:01 pm

Thank you for the tips with the food and treats, I will try that for sure. Any tips on the Barking and marking? I can tell it will take a very long time. I have never seen a dog so emotional hurt.

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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?   Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:23 pm

For the marking, get some Nature's Miracle or other enzyme cleaner and spray to get rid of the smell. Then, don't let him in there unless he's under your constant watch - as soon as he gives any sign he might mark, a strong "no" and remove him from the room. Is he neutered?

As for barking - we used a no-bark collar on Archer (son's dog) BUT I'm not sure that is the best thing for such a timid dog. What's the tone of his barking - warning, fearful, "hello" (when we first got Ami, husband thought he was growling at him, instead it was just the husky "woo woo" "happy to see you".
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Nusku
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PostSubject: Re: A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?   Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:28 pm

He is neutered, I believe it was done in August. And it has been two days without incident.

The Barking is the type most dogs do when someone is at the door. It's not normal Husky talk. The last few days I just take him potty when he starts to bark like that. I'm hoping that he will start to put together that barking =potty time. Before it seemed a more demanding bark, for food or attention. But when you approach him he runs away. Comes back and barks some more. It makes Eris nervous.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?   Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:43 pm

I wonder if the barking IS his way of letting you know he wants out? Ami always does the come close, run away dance. Before we got our invisible fence, when he had to leashed before going outside, it was quite a dance - he would be excited to go out, I'd approach him, he would bounce backwards, always just out of reach. Even now, as I approach the door, he circles around, backtracks and is just a general PIA, loveble and adorable, but a PIA in this regard at least.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?   Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:52 pm

Nusku, what you're describing is a dog that has been pretty severely physically abused ... and I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new.  Amy gave you several good hints on how to work with him - I'll simply add that working with an animal who's been abused can be one of the most frustrating experiences going, but in the end it's also the most rewarding as you see them begin to trust again.

Since you've said that he's comfortable being in the same room with you (He will lay on the dog beds in the living room when I am in there) I'd only add to what Amy has said by treating him for his relaxed composure.  Call his name and toss a treat to him; after he starts looking at you when you call his name, toss them almost to him - make it so he has to get up and come toward you to get the treat (which could be nothing more than kibble).

Keep it up and I'm sure you'll find you have yourself a good biddable dog ( for a Husky Smile ) and Thank you! for taking on this guy ... he needs a lot of TLC and I think you're the one to give it to him.

_________________

“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”
Corey Ford
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Nusku
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PostSubject: Re: A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?   Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:10 pm

nk you for the tips. There has been some improvements already.

Just this morning he started to walk towards me like a normal dog. Then he stops; you could almost see in his face, "oh yea I'm a chicken." Then he backed away. It was a little funny. But is shows he is getting more comfortable.

I have been leaving a leash on him too. This seems to help. If I hold the leash he seems less scared.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?   Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:39 pm

AJ - I'm laughing. Brings back the memory of the first time Ami cuddled...well sort of. We had purchased a package that wouldn't fit in the trunk or the back seat with Ami but would in the front seat floor, end over end. Which left me sharing the back seat of a WRX with Ami. At first, he was horrified and scooted as far away from me as he could, eying me warily. Gradually, over the 40 mile ride, he started to place a paw on my leg, remove it, get up, circle around, put his chin on my leg, remove it, pull away. Finally, about 4 miles from home, he sort of snuggled up with 1 paw and his snout on my leg...

He still isn't much of snuggle bug but does occasionally jump up on the bed with us for kisses, a brief nap. He does, however, definitely want...proximity, for want of a better word. But, that proximity usually means...the next room or his mound of straw by the front steps behind the rhododenron and under the soffit lol!

I'm so happy to hear he is starting to thaw and that you adopted him!
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Nusku
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PostSubject: Re: A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?   Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:11 am

It was funny yesterday he greated me at the door, and let me pet him! Then spent the rest of the day running away. You can tell he wants to be petted but then is terrified. There has been small steps showing hope, but I had to laugh.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: A new friend for my girl, is this the right move?   Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:30 am

@Nusku wrote:
It was funny yesterday he greated me at the door, and let me pet him! Then spent the rest of the day running away. You can tell he wants to be petted but then is terrified. There has been small steps showing hope, but I had to laugh.

lol! oh boy, do I know this scenario! Glad to hear he's starting to come around.
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