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A Request From The M F H....h E L P ! Update #18


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I've had spooks before but nothing like this and I am venturing into unknown territory..

 

Meg is beyond spook, I would say in constant fear of everything. She has stayed in my bedroom for 2 days now. Not coming out to drink water even. I have been going in quietly and hand feeding her and she is still hesitant. But after she is ok to let me pet her. Now comes the part I don't really know how to handle. She sees the leash and she is trying to get so far back against the wall she would go through it if possible.

 

All this means is trying to take her out to do bathroom duty is like trying to land a Marlin :lol She has even popped outside while pulling away and jumping to try to get free. And once I let her back in it is like I am having to start from square one on building up her trust with me again. I hand feed, often I will lay on the floor next to her and talk softly to her, petting her and she will turn away but soon will relax enough to lay her head against my hand and doze. Then several hours later it is "landing the Marlin" again and back to square one.

 

I've ordered a large kennel to set up in the room with a blanket over it so she has a more private 'Meg Cave". But I was wondering if to help with the leash terror, should I leave it attached to her collar so she gets use to having it on. I would take it off when I am at home so it doesn't catch on the kennel. I don't want her to have a fear of going outside like she has now.

 

 

Yes even the MFH needs help.

 

Greg

Edited by greg1229

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Isis, Always in my Heart Bijou, My Sweetest Angel

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The only thing that I can think of is ripping apart a long sheet and then braiding the pieces to make a leash - it would be much wider and "fluffier" then a regular leash and it's also a different color. You would have to tie it around the collar but, she might not be as fearful. It's worth a try.

 

I wouldn't leave the leash dangling from the collar, I would be too afraid it might get caught up in something and spook her.

 

Also, is it the leash or something getting attached to the collar that frightens her? From what you said it starts the minute she sees the leash - can you hide it and then attach it? Can you use treats to distract her while you put the leash on? Can you put your hand on her collar/neck - will she allow that?

 

And, thank you for fostering such a fearful girl - it gives her a chance at a home sometime in the future.

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When I had a spook like this, the only way we could get him outside was to prop the door open and get out of his sight. He knew where the "exit" was and would follow the other dogs outside, but we had to hide. This only lasted about a week, then he could go in and out as long as we stood away from the door way and held the door open on the oustide. Making eye contact with him was the worst possible thing. He lived in his crate for about 2 months, only venturing out to go outside. We put his crate in the living room so that he could see us and the other dogs going about our daily lives and we basically just ignored him. We could leave the crate door open because he wasn't coming out, period. Eventually, he would come out for short times when we weren't looking and we would totally ignore him, no celebrations of his presence outside of the crate. Working with him we took baby, baby steps. He came to us in September and it was February before he was mingling with the pack and out of his crate. He eventually became the happiest, most loving, sweet boy ever, but he had to have a routine and no variances, ever. His name was Reggie and I had him for 9.5 years, he was 5 when he graded off.......it was my most challenging and rewarding adoption, loved that boy :beatheart

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Guest widowcali

I always had the opposite problem with the leash. (oh boy! Leash!!! Outside NOW!?!)

 

But I still had to do something so I wouldnt' have 250 lb of doggy flesh jumping on me when I pulled the leashes out (2 greys and an IW mix). So I would pull out the leashes and just leave them laying in plain site. After a while, the dogs would calm down. Then I would pick the leashes up, etc etc etc.

 

It would take a few hours for them to calm down enough for me to leash them up.

 

With fear, it may take longer.

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Guest MyCody

When we brought JJ home three years ago she ran into the furthest corner of my bedroom and wouldn't come out. She didn't eat or drink for a full day until we brought a crate in, then she ate and drank in the crate one time, and started using the table in her bedroom but still would not come out to go potty. We had to put a harness on her and DH would get behind and I would get in front and using the harness would gently push and pull her. She weighed 86 pounds and we are in our seventies, it was not an easy thing to do but with a lot of patience she started to come out--------BUT only to potty in the house!!!! Finally one day after months of working with her it was like a light went on and she has never had an accident again.

 

As for the leash, have you tried using a harness so the leash isn't so close to her face and head? Just a thought.

 

It took JJ a couple of years before she would come out when our sons or anyone else came over, now she's knocking Leah out of the way to be petted.

 

I wish you the best, that is such a challenge but such a reward when they finally realize you mean them no harm, just ove.

 

Best of luck.

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To the extent possible, keep her on the leash with you attached to the other end. The first 12-48 hours might be bad. The next hours will be a lot better.

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
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When you show her the leash, give her a yummy yummy treat, then she'll be "oh, leash means I get a yummy treat".

 

This will only work if she's taking treats. I might try just leaving the leash laying on the floor in front of her crate for a while. See if that helps first. Start far away and gradually moveit closer as she becomes confortable.

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This will only work if she's taking treats. I might try just leaving the leash laying on the floor in front of her crate for a while. See if that helps first. Start far away and gradually moveit closer as she becomes confortable.

:nod...or several leashes. I've had to desensitize (sp?) the leash before, only on the other end of the spectrum. There were leashes hanging from drawer pulls, across chairs, on the floor.

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When you show her the leash, give her a yummy yummy treat, then she'll be "oh, leash means I get a yummy treat".

 

This will only work if she's taking treats. I might try just leaving the leash laying on the floor in front of her crate for a while. See if that helps first. Start far away and gradually moveit closer as she becomes confortable.

 

True indeed. I like the leash idea...maybe to add to the OP, put treats near the leash.

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Maggie (the human servant), with Miss Bella, racing name "A Star Blackieto"

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You can get a line (light rope) or a cheap leash and cut the handle off, and leave it attached to her. It can be shortened, but should be long enough that you can step on it. When you want to reel her in, get close to her and stand on it. If it's a leash (not a line, which will burn your hand), you can use it to take her out. Or you can have another leash tucked into your waistband at the back, and standing sideways to make it less obvious, draw it out and attach it. As someone else mentioned, a harness might be a good idea--you won't be reaching toward her head.

 

I like the idea of leaving leashes in sight as well.

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Guest Scouts_mom

In addition to what others have said, I would get her a harness asap--if she freeks out with the leash attached to her collar, it is possible for her to slip the collar fairly easily. A harness is much more difficult to slip. Then I would just leave the harness on her (watching to be sure it doesn't rub her raw) and just clip the leash to it--which may be less threatening than having you having to be close to her head when you attach the leash to the collar.

 

 

The greyhound gang has a pamphlet on spooks that you might want to get. Basically it suggests the following:

 

1. calm voice, demeanor and household

2. show confidence in all your movements

3.lots of petting, even if you have to corner the dog.

4. spend time with dog.

5. maintain a routine.

6. don't rush

7. bribery (treats)

8. exuberant praise for every little thing.

 

And good luck--she is in the best home she could be in.

Edited by Scouts_mom
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Guest azlorenz

Everyone's ideas above are excellent ones. She obviously relates that leash to the boogy man and not you.

 

Janelle Cook said that when Neek came in she was a great big spook. She assumed from not being handled much due to the large number of dogs in her previous kennel. Janelle said Neek would cower in the corner of her kennel and make herself invisible. At the Gathering Janelle was telling me she would take books down to the kennel in the evenings and just lay in Neeks' kennel with her and read for hours. Her thought process was that if Neek had no choice but to deal with her presence she would eventually learn that no harm would come from Janelle. She said it took a long time but it worked. I know I couldn't believe she was talking about our Neek -- the most outgoing girl we've ever had.

 

I know Meg is with the best of best and if anyone can do it you can.

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Guest PhillyPups

One lady I know had a spook that Michael McCann delivered to her. She was so spooky, when Michael got there he carried her in the crate inside, not wanting to chance her escaping at all. It was winter, and the only way my friend could get the spook to come back in the house was to use a horse lunge line. It is a lot longer and lets the spook get further away without the fight.

 

Good luck. The fun part is watching them blossom.

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In addition to what others have said, I would get her a harness asap--if she freeks out with the leash attached to her collar, it is possible for her to slip the collar fairly easily. A harness is much more difficult to slip. Then I would just leave the harness on her (watching to be sure it doesn't rub her raw) and just clip the leash to it--which may be less threatening than having you having to be close to her head when you attach the leash to the collar.

 

 

The greyhound gang has a pamphlet on spooks that you might want to get. Basically it suggests the following:

 

1. calm voice, demeanor and household

2. show confidence in all your movements

3.lots of petting, even if you have to corner the dog.

4. spend time with dog.

5. maintain a routine.

6. don't rush

7. bribery (treats)

8. exuberant praise for every little thing.

 

And good luck--she is in the best home she could be in.

 

Which shows you one of the issues with dealing with shy/fearful dogs: competing, and complete opposite, advice, depending on who you ask. When I first adopted Katie, I brought in a trainer from Gentle Guidance, which is owned by Nicole Wilde, author of _Help for your Fearful Dog_. And their advice was to ignore Katie for the first two weeks, except to feed and take out for potty breaks (so no eye contact, no speaking to her, no approaching her, etc), so that she could settle in and learn the routine and start approaching at her own pace. Their view is that even something as simple as looking at an extremely shy dog puts pressure on them, and that causes them stress and can shut them down. Forcing the dog to endure petting, especially when cornered, could result in the dog feeling they have no way to get away except by biting, and that isn't what we want them to learn.

 

As I have learned from the shy-k9s Yahoo group, a lot of dealing with shy dogs is "what works for this particular dog?" Because they can be very individualistic in their issues, and in what helps them get over them.

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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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In addition to what others have said, I would get her a harness asap--if she freeks out with the leash attached to her collar, it is possible for her to slip the collar fairly easily. A harness is much more difficult to slip. Then I would just leave the harness on her (watching to be sure it doesn't rub her raw) and just clip the leash to it--which may be less threatening than having you having to be close to her head when you attach the leash to the collar.

 

 

The greyhound gang has a pamphlet on spooks that you might want to get. Basically it suggests the following:

 

1. calm voice, demeanor and household

2. show confidence in all your movements

3.lots of petting, even if you have to corner the dog.

4. spend time with dog.

5. maintain a routine.

6. don't rush

7. bribery (treats)

8. exuberant praise for every little thing.

 

And good luck--she is in the best home she could be in.

 

Which shows you one of the issues with dealing with shy/fearful dogs: competing, and complete opposite, advice, depending on who you ask. When I first adopted Katie, I brought in a trainer from Gentle Guidance, which is owned by Nicole Wilde, author of _Help for your Fearful Dog_. And their advice was to ignore Katie for the first two weeks, except to feed and take out for potty breaks (so no eye contact, no speaking to her, no approaching her, etc), so that she could settle in and learn the routine and start approaching at her own pace. Their view is that even something as simple as looking at an extremely shy dog puts pressure on them, and that causes them stress and can shut them down. Forcing the dog to endure petting, especially when cornered, could result in the dog feeling they have no way to get away except by biting, and that isn't what we want them to learn.

 

As I have learned from the shy-k9s Yahoo group, a lot of dealing with shy dogs is "what works for this particular dog?" Because they can be very individualistic in their issues, and in what helps them get over them.

 

Yeah, it really should be on a dog-by-dog basis. It's so hard to give suggestions online without having met the little girl, but I'd say try a few of these things and see what works for her. The advice to pretty much ignore her for the first couple of weeks is good, but if you don't like that, then I'd say to keep her leashed to you for as long as possible during the day.

 

Personally, I've found that it's better if you don't acknowledge the fear (though I work with super shy mutts at the local shelter, so it could be different?). This is different from those who say not to give affection to your dog when she's scared - this is just ignoring it. Try not to make a big deal out of clipping her leash on (though a harness would probably be a good idea, like others suggested), taking her out, etc. Just do it. If she shuts down when you're walking her, stop for a moment until she stops pulling backwards or flailing around. When she stops fighting you, start walking again. Continue feeding her out of your hand - that helps build trust and a connection between "tasty food" and "human". Does she take treats from you? You could try carrying some really stinky tasty treats with you when you're anywhere near her - may draw her out eventually.

 

There was one dog at the shelter who just would not walk down the hall to get outside. She was okay for half the hallway, and then she'd shut down. I worked with her daily for months - we'd walk to where she panicked, then I'd take a couple more steps down the hall and just sit and wait. She'd buck against the leash, pull backwards, lay down, and look terrified (earned me some dirty looks from customers - they just didn't understand), but after about 15 minutes she'd slowly inch her way up into my lap, I'd pet her for a bit, then we'd go back to her kennel. We did this every day and eventually we got to the end of the hallway (would have gotten further had we kept going, but she got adopted). Lots of patience!

 

Another thing you could try is leaving a few leashes on the floor near her bed. Not right on top of her, especially if she's terrified of them, but if you lay one in front of her corner in your room, another a little further away, etc, she may start to realize that they're not going to hurt her. You may also try laying a leash down in front of her and putting a couple of those smelly delicious treats on top - if she wants the treats, she'll have to approach the leash (just make sure your other houndies don't have access!). When you notice the treats are gone, replace with another couple of treats. After a while, add another leash to the pile and more treats.

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Guest greygirl88

We've just recently adopted our 6th greyhound. This time a special needs. Molly is the spookiest dog I've ever met. She does the same thing, cringes away from you, won't come to you, won't take treats out of your hand. We have had her for 8 months and she is slowly getting better (I can see huge changes, but someone who has never met her still thinks she is terribly afraid). The only thing I can tell you is working is time and patience. We had to extend our fence to reach the back door because she won't go on a leash and trying to catch her to bring her back in reduced me to tears on several occasions. Having the fence reach the door and just opening it, she will follow the other girls in and out(but even that took a good month). Her comfort zone has been our walk in closet. We have let her stay in there for 3-4 months just to get used to us. I would have her eat out of my hand, and that seemed to help build the trust. When she is really freaked out (loud noises and people other than mom, she won't even take a hot dog from my hand). She is really sweet though and I am determined for her to come out of her shell eventually. It is just going to take time. I have been hooking mine up to the leash (yes, she still cowers when I go to hook her up), but she does seem to enjoy going for walks. We hook her up for a few hours each night and make her stay by us in the living room, petting, reassuring, etc. I would definitely agree you need a harness (wouldn't want her hurting herself by jerking too hard when she is scared) and give her some time to adjust, but then gently force her to be more social by leading her around on the leash. I don't think the cowering is a huge problem, I would still calmly attach it whenever you need to. When I adopted her, they also said having an outgoing greyhound around would help her and teach her to be more outgoing....which I agree and I think our other grey is helping in that regard. Hang in there, at times very frustrating, but I don't think many would want to deal with the hassle of these little spooks. They need us. They told me they didn't think Molly was adoptable, but we took her to a reunion recently, and the lady who fostered her for 6 months right off the track couldn't believe she was the same dog. So, there is hope. Good luck!

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well almost a week in and Meg is still living i the corner by my bed. I have a harness on her now, the leash is on the floor within eyesight but instead uf using the leash I use my hand on the harness. She now has her routine down. I take hold of the harness and gently get her to get on her feet and she starts to pull me towards the backdoor. She knows it is potty time. Once we get out in the backyard I let her go and she will pace around the yard and then pee and poop and wait for me to get out of the doorway and then goes flying in the house and back to my room and her safe place. I then fix a big bowl of canned food with a lot of water to make sure she stays hydrated. I set it by her and leave the room. She chows and settles down. A few days ago if I laid next to her she would try to blend into the wal. Now she will hesitantly let me give her ear rubs. She will lay down and let me scratch her and if I stop she will sniff at my hand so I start again. Then she will lay her head down against my arm and I have even caught her dozing off some.

 

She still will not venture out of the room by herself but doesn't immediately stand and try to blend into the wall when I come in the room anymore. In a week or so I think I will try setting up a kennel in the living room so she can be with me and see the other girls in the room. Talk about baby steps.. :lol

 

(Don;t tell anyone, but at this rate she may and I say MAY have her home already :hehe )

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Isis, Always in my Heart Bijou, My Sweetest Angel

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My job at FBM in Spain is to socialize the spooky and traumatized dogs. Take a long leash and make a noose at one end. When the dog in backed into the wall, don't face her. Keep your back to her and slip the noose part over her head. While you're walking her, don't acknowlege her fear. Just keep walking like nothing is wrong. You can talk to her, but don't baby her. She might buck, but just ignore it.

 

The Spook Harness from Majestic Collars has been a life saver for both Iker and me. Once you get the noose over her head, you can take a leash and attach it to the harness.

 

Good luck! This tecnique has been very successful with lots of galgos.

 

Sorry, I posted this without reading your update. Seems like all is great :)

Edited by robinw

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest azlorenz

(Don;t tell anyone, but at this rate she may and I say MAY have her home already :hehe )

 

Oh so you ARE getting all those telepathic messages I've been sending you afterall :goodluck:chip:goodluck

Edited by azlorenz
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Sounds to me like the Cookie Man has another mouth to fill with cookies. :bgeorge

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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