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Sarahzed December 29th, 2015 09:44 PM

New fearful dog only poops in crate at night
Hey all! This is my first time posting in this forum (or any forum for that matter), but I really could use some training advice.

I'm a vet student, and a few days ago I adopted a dog from my school who was used for teaching purposes her whole life (she's now 5). She wasn't abused or anything, but she's lived a very sheltered life up until now so everything is scary and new to her. I was under the impression that she had some fear issues, but got along with other dogs and is still a happy playful dog.

Well, turns out she has the most severe fear issues I have ever seen - she's literally afraid of everything, every sound, the rocking chair, my laptop, the outside, the inside, etc. You get the picture. And she's is especially afraid of my other dog who is very friendly and happy-go-lucky. He mostly just ignored her but she would run away from him every time she heard his collar jingle. She was so afraid of him that I ended up having to send my dog to my parents place for now, until she at least calms down in the house a bit. She's still scared of everything, but at least will now lie down and relax now that he's gone.

Anyways, the first big issue I'm trying to work on right now is that she is so afraid of everything she won't go to the bathroom. I've had her since Saturday and she's urinated and defecated twice - both in the middle of the night, in her crate (which is an appropriate size for her and I can't really downsize it without it being too small). I think she is just so nervous and tense all the time that she can't relax enough to go to the bathroom, except when she's all alone in her crate at night. She's eating and drinking fine, and I'm taking her for walks and letting her outside constantly but she won't go outside. She wears a collar that is infused with calming pheromones and I've been giving her therapy treats that are supposed to have a calming effect on dogs. We've been doing "confidence building" exercises as well. Right now I'm on Christmas break so I'm home all time, but soon I'll be back in school full time and I can't continue to clean and scrub her crate and her every time she's left alone in it for a few hours. I have no idea where to start with this sort of training. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Barkingdog December 30th, 2015 01:02 AM

Can you take a dog to a quiet place so she learn to be a dog not have to deal with a lot new sounds . You'll have to go slowly introducing your dog to new things so she won't be overwhelmed . She needs to build up her confidence so she won't be so fearful . The poor dog was abused by not be allowed to be a dog she was used as a lab rat and you can't expect her to know what to do over night . She was taken from a very sheltered life and not given time to adjust to her new slowly . She should had been allowed to get use to her new home before meeting your dog and been introduce to your dog slowly .

hazelrunpack December 30th, 2015 02:38 PM

Poor little girl! Sounds like she's having a hard time of it.

Believe it or not, I think your other dog is going to be instrumental in helping your new girl adjust. Dogs, whether socialized or not, seem to learn a lot from each other. We adopted a girl that had spent the first year of her life in a barn with no attention except getting fed and it took our other dogs a couple of months to teach her to play.

I would take the reintroduction of your other dog as slowly as you have time for. If you can get a collar for him that doesn't make noise, that might help if the jingling collar seems to put her off. Having them meet in a neutral area first might help. But I'd start that as soon as possible since you don't have a lot of time before the new semester starts. If you can set up a safe place for your new dog that the first dog can't get into, that would be great--when your girl needs a break, she'll have somewhere to go. Even if it means being behind a gate or in a kennel, she'll at least see the other dog and become familiar with him.

It isn't too unusual for a dog out of its element to not want to pee and poop. In our experience, for instance, English setter pups won't pee and poop out of the yard till about age 1. So she might not "go" while on a walk for quite a while. However, walks [I]will[/I] stimulate the bowel, so after you get home, do a little training or just wander around the yard for a while and see if anything comes of it.

Keep up the confidence boosting exercises. And some joint training with your boy might help, too--as long as neither of them is food aggressive, running them through their paces together with frequent treats can be a great bonding experience for them.

Have you thought about where she'll be when you're gone during the day? Will she have the run of the house, or run of a safe room, or be crated...

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