Dog with strange behaviors
Hi, this is my first post here.
18 months ago my wife and I rescued an adult female Havenese named Suzie through a dog rescue agency. It turns out she had some behavior problems that are very troubling and we have not been able to change most of her odd behaviors but overall she is doing much better than when we first got her.
When we first got her, she would shiver constantly, hide in corners, would not go outside, would not respond to her name and was not housebroken. She would not come to us. She would eat normally and drink water. She would become terrified if we tried to pick her up or pet her.
We have two other dogs, a border collie and a westie and they are well behaved, friendly dogs. They get along well with Suzie and there are no problems in that regard.
After 18 months of trying every thing we could think of her behavior has changed, some for the better, some for the worse.
For the better, she responds to her name now. She no longer shivers. She goes outside with the other dogs. She is no longer terrified but she startles easily. She likes playing in the yard with the other dogs. She is still not house broken exactly, in that she will not go outside most of the time but at least she uses a pad indoors.
She still does not come to us. She will tolerate us petting her if she is in her crate where she sleeps, otherwise she will not.
The strange thing is that after we had her for about 3 months, one day she just stopped eating and started acting fearful of food. For about 8 days we would put food in front of her crate and she would cower from it and would not eat. I was afraid she was going to starve herself so I tried hand feeding her. At first, I had a tough time getting her to eat from my hand but ever since she now eats but only if we hand feed her in her crate. We have tried several times to break her of this behavior but with no success.
I am wondering if anyone in this forum might have any ideas about why a dog might have such strange behaviors and if or how we might nudge her toward more natural behavior(s).