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Spooky Grey - Foster Parent Looking For Help

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I am posting on behalf of someone not on this board, though I hope to persuade them to join. They are fostering what they describe as a skittish grey - here is the story:


First time fostering a grey who has never been on a leash and is very skittish. She came from the farm at 17 months - she was not consistent with the lure. We have had her in the house for just over a month. We have a grey and a shepherd mix and the three appear to get along fine. She has adjusted to the house and we no longer close the crate at night. She will jump in the bed first thing in the morning and is friendly and energetic. She doesn't always want to come out and feed, she won't come to me if holding a leash, and sometime she won't respond to her name - she would just as soon lay down in her crate most of the time.

Would like to get her more engaged and responsive - my other guys live for their walks in the park - she sees their reaction and gets excited, but won't come near the leash.

Any ideas on getting a break through here to have her join in the pet world would be appreciated.


If you have direct experience with this sort of thing please post, or, PM me and I will give you the foster parent's e-mail address.


Thank you for your help!

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This is why she is a spook. We have 3 of them right now. Give them time and follow there lead. They may be fine one day and spooky as they can be the next.


Then God sent the Greyhound to live among man and remember. And when the Day comes,

God will call the Greyhound to give Testament, and God will pass judgment on man.

(Persian Proverb)

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She doesn't sound like a true spook to me, just a grey who's taking her time adjusting to a completely new life. I think they just need to be a bit more patient with her, and let her go at her own pace. She's come a long way in just four weeks, which isn't really a very long time. And she's also still very young - still a puppy really - so she needs some extra patience.


One thing they might try is to lessen her negative response to the leash. They should start carrying it around the house with them - wear it like a belt, or have it at hand, set it on the floor where she can see it. If she's at all food-motivated, she should get a yummy treat when she shows interest in the leash or even is calmly ignoring it. She needs to associte the leash with something she thinks is really great, and not the scary "walk in the park." This will also desensitize their other dogs so they don't get so excited when he leash appears.


She's not going to fade away from missing a meal or two here and there. If she doesn't want to eat with the others (my spook doesn't always), they can feed her later when it's quieter, or simply feed her in her crate. Then she can gradually be integrated into the feeding routine as she gets more comfortable.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)


Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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She sounds like Dexter to me as well - not a true spook, just entirely overwhelmed with all the changes in her life.


I let Dex have the crate for as long as he wanted it - two years and a bit later - it is still the safe spot he runs to when things become too much. My philosophy with him was to let him mostly go at his own pace - but I did introduce one completely new thing to him everyday for about the first month. Playground equipment, fences, hedges - all the really scary stuff out there - and as he came across it the second or third time, truly gained confidence by knowing what it was.


I also read somewhere that any shy dog, will gain confidence by stroking under their mouths - rather than patting on head etc. Do not have any idea why it works but it does work with Dex and as wel see more and more new stuff, that's what I do as I introduce him to it.


Dex does Meet and Greets and home visits now - so take heart. I would gladly offer assistance, or support, by phone if that can be of any help

Deb, and da Croo
In my heart always, my Bridge Angels - Macavity, Tila the wannabe, Dexter, CDN Cold Snap (Candy), PC Herode Boy, WZ Moody, Poco Zinny, EM's Scully, Lonsome Billy, Lucas, Hurry Hannah, Daisy (Apache Blitz), Sadie (Kickapoo Kara), USS Maxi, Sam's Attaboy, Crystal Souza, Gifted Suzy, Zena, and Jetlag who never made it home.


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I've had Gracie as my Spooky foster for 7 months now. She had total fear of the leash..if she saw it she would go cower in the spare room and shake. One thing I did to help her get over the fear was get a piece of thing rope the light stuff almost like a twine. Cut about a 3 foot piece of it and attached it to her collar and let it hang. At first she would stand and not move, if she did, she felt it drag and would freeze again. But I did it everyday for about 10-15 minutes and soon she was trotting around the house like it wasn't there. Then I moved up to a regular leash, but a short one. Same thing, freeze, move freeze again. But after a few weeks she would walk around the house dragging it. After 7 months she still is not a fan of the leash but I can attach one to her and take her for a walk outside. Or a ride in the van.


The hardest part was at the beginning...I felt so sad for her, but I knew if I gave it, it would re-enforce the fear and she would feel like she "won"


Hope that helps some



Isis, Always in my Heart Bijou, My Sweetest Angel

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Could also have her *wear* a short leash. For this I like just a clip and a nylon tab @ 8" long with no loop AND A BREAKAWAY COLLAR, with the clip attached to only 1 ring so that there is no possibility of her getting caught on anything.


So now I've actually read Greg's post above and see he's recommended similar :) . If you're there to watch, you can use any collar and leash.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Lexie was afraid of the leash when we first got her. We rewarded her with small treats when we had the leash near her. Lots of praise too.


I forgot how to put a pic in my signature. Please pm me if you can help. Thanks

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Guest KennelMom

We pretty much just give shy dogs time. Lots of time with no pressure. Lots of opportunities to observe other dogs dealing with situations and obstacles and stimuli in a normal way. Also keep in mind that there really are some dogs who just don't like walks and being social all the time. That said, is she ever actually leashed up and taken on a walk? Or is she allowed to choose to stay withdrawn? If she's not going for the walks, she may just not know what she's missing. A brief outing might be what she needs to break through the fear or unsureness she's feeling.

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