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Old March 28th, 2013, 04:19 PM
elseesmom elseesmom is offline
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Smile Rescue dog - still not entirely trusting

(Apologies in advance for the length of my rambles)
My partner and I adopted Elsee about 5 weeks ago. She is a 3 year old, female, English bulldog x beagle. She was rescued from a puppy mill in the States and lived in a great foster home from about Dec 2012-Feb 2013. She has a very calm and loveable demeanor. She has come SUCH a long way since we've had her but I am still facing 2 main issues (both stemming from not being able to trust anyone in the past, I believe):
1. She became attached to me quite quickly but she is still uncertain of J. I am the primary care-giver (this was a conscious decision) and she is becoming more and more playful and affectionate with me every day(well....she has always given non-stop kisses!), especially when we are on the couch cuddling/play wrestling or when we are outside (chasing each other, play bows, etc.). But around J (or any stranger) she is skittish even though he gives her tons of love. She hardly moves around the condo at all but she doesn't hide either. Once she's in her bed or on the couch, she will not move unless we pick her up (see issue no. 2!) so he can approach her and pet her or pick her up with no reaction (and recently she has started giving him little kisses because he leaves his face in front of her for long enough lol) but if he moves too quickly or if she has to pass by him to get from one room to another, she gets afraid and scrambles to get away. Any loud noise or large object she's not used to frightens her. She is mostly a "bolter" but if she can't get away (ie: on the leash outside or on the elevator) she will freeze and cower. She shows zero aggression and does not "fear pee" She will let him lie on the couch with her but if he wants her to come closer for kisses he has to pick her up or drag her over. J loves Elsee soooo much but after 5 weeks of being patient and letting her adjust to her new home I can tell that it is starting to get to him. What can we change or try to get Elsee to attach more to J?
2. She will not come when she is called. Her nick name is "concrete ass" because she won't get up for anything! And she is not food motivated so I don't know how to encourage her to "come". She doesn't ask to go outside (which is fine because we have her on a regular schedule for taking her out) so I will put the leash on her (while she is lying down) but she will NOT jump off the couch or step out of her bed. She's not scared of the leash at all either because she's fine when she sees J or I approach her with it or once she's up (ie: leaving the "doggy business" area or walking from the condo to the elevators and through the lobby). We have to pick her up and put her on her feet to go outside and carry her to the bedroom when we go to sleep at night. And she is an awkward 45 lbs to carry! I will say, however, that the one instance she will "come" is after she's done her business. It's become a habit now that when she's finished, I will crouch down and call her and clap and get very animated and she charges at me with excitement and then we play and run around a bit. Any thoughts or advice on either issue would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your replies.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 05:24 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is online now
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J should not being dragging Elsee to get her closer to him , that will only made her more distrustful to him and it sounds like your dog has fear of men already. J should be try feeding her meals to her for awhile and let Elsee decide when she want to get close to him. You should try to get her to walk to bed and not carry her that will only instill her fear . Have you thought bring her to a dog behaviorist , she came from a puppy mill and I bet she was kept in cage the all the time and mistreated. Once Elsee feel settle in and know she has a forever home you'll have a very graceful and loving pet, but it will plenty of TLC and patience . I bet she is really cute.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 07:43 PM
Jim Hall Jim Hall is offline
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patience
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Old March 28th, 2013, 08:38 PM
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Loki Love Loki Love is offline
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I would let J take over as the main caregiver at this point. Let J do the feeding, taking for walks, etc. Give them a chance to develop a bond I also highly recommend taking an obedience class together. Even if your puppers is already really well trained, nothing beats bonding time than doing some obedience classes together

I also agree that with more time and patience, Elsee will come around
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Old March 28th, 2013, 11:11 PM
elseesmom elseesmom is offline
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I've attached a photo. She's irresistibly cute!
Thank you for your comments. More time and patience. Got it
I agree that J should take over the feeding and walking. We shall begin that process this weekend. Also, obedience training would be great. She's actually not trained at all. I am unsure of where to start with basic commands because she's not food motivated (in addition to her "bull stubbornness"). So we will definitely seek the help of a professional. Any thoughts on one of us or both doing the obedience training with her? And if just one, then should it be J or I?
To Barkingdog- If we don't pick her and take her to the bedroom she will stay on the couch, which I would prefer she not. No particular reason...just a clear "now it's sleep time" habit for her. She already spends 90% if the day laying on the couch/pet bed in the den. I do understand the logic behind your suggestion but she has no fear of the bedroom whatsoever and once she's on her bed she doesn't move around the room or express any desire to go back to the den. And she doesn't resist being picked up and carried. So should I let her just stay on the couch??
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Old March 29th, 2013, 05:29 AM
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Loki Love Loki Love is offline
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She is absolutely adorable

I would suggest both you and J taking her to obedience classes. Hubby and I did that with our rescue girl. We saw lots of couples, families, etc at the class with their dogs - in fact, it was whole heartedly recommended for every individual involved with the dog to try and attend the classes I'd certainly make sure you find a class that uses positive reinforcement as well.

As for not being food motivated - what kind of treats are you trying to use? Some dogs are divas (like my Loki) but even he can't resist dehydrated beef liver, or hot dogs, stinky cheese, etc. You may have to experiment until you find the right motivator. OR.. it may end up that a favourite toy is the motivation.

About picking up Elsee and taking her to the bedroom, etc. I see your logic behind wanting her to go with you, but a dog that makes its own decisions will become a more confident dog. My concern is that by picking her up, you're setting the standard and that's what she'll just expect. Maybe your presence alone will be a motivator - if you and J both leave the room to go to the bedroom, maybe she'll come on her own after a bit? Or, she may just prefer to sleep out in the living room/den alone?
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Old March 29th, 2013, 07:36 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Once she's in her bed or on the couch, she will not move unless we pick her up (see issue no. 2!) so he can approach her and pet her or pick her up with no reaction (and recently she has started giving him little kisses because he leaves his face in front of her for long enough lol) but if he moves too quickly or if she has to pass by him to get from one room to another, she gets afraid and scrambles to get away.
I find this to be very scary. J. is threatening her. J. should not be putting his face so close to a timid dog that she can kiss him. I know J. doesn't mean to threaten her but one day she might get up enough confidence to tell him to back off and bite him. She's barely been with you a month. Don't put your face right in front of her. In many species, humans included, staring, close face contact are social taboos and are threatening to the receiving parties.

Did you see or read the Horse Whisperer? Let her come to you. Even though she is a predator species she's acting like a prey species. With such you encourage by not approaching, rather letting them decide to approach you. It might take a long time. It might take a year. It might be that she is not a natural born cuddler and she never intitiates cuddles and kisses and close contact on her own.

A couple of really, really good treats, you sitting with your side to her so she doesn't have to face your eyes and let her decide to come get them. Let her have them with no strings attached. Normally we don't treat without a job being done for us first but rules are made to be broken and in this case I think reassurance is your biggest priority.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 09:20 AM
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marko marko is offline
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I find this to be very scary. J. is threatening her. J. should not be putting his face so close to a timid dog that she can kiss him. I know J. doesn't mean to threaten her but one day she might get up enough confidence to tell him to back off and bite him. She's barely been with you a month. Don't put your face right in front of her. In many species, humans included, staring, close face contact are social taboos and are threatening to the receiving parties.
I think we agree to disagree here longblades - I don't see how you can say J. is threatening her based on the info presented. (You'd have to know the dog's state of mind to be sure about this).
Sure it's possible, as anything is possible - but the written facts as i read them aren't strong enough for such an emphatic conclusive statement.

I wholeheartedly agree that J. should become the main caregiver or at least split it 50/50. Group obedience training also highly recommended as is more patience. The dragging by J. doesn't sound like a great idea at this point.

You sound like a wonderful furmamma elseesmom! It sounds to me like your dooger is coming around and just needs a bit more time.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 09:55 AM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is online now
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I think we agree to disagree here longblades - I don't see how you can say J. is threatening her based on the info presented. (You'd have to know the dog's state of mind to be sure about this).
Sure it's possible, as anything is possible - but the written facts as i read them aren't strong enough for such an emphatic conclusive statement.

I wholeheartedly agree that J. should become the main caregiver or at least split it 50/50. Group obedience training also highly recommended as is more patience. The dragging by J. doesn't sound like a great idea at this point.

You sound like a wonderful furmamma elseesmom! It sounds to me like your dooger is coming around and just needs a bit more time.
I can see where longblades is coming from, I really don't think his owners really know where her state of mind is yet and Elsee seem unsure of herself too. No one know what kind treatments the dog got in the puppy mill . It really sound like the poor puppy need to learn how to 'act' like a puppy. A puppy playgroup would really be great for her, she will learn doggies social skills and start to gain some confidence in herself. I brought my dog Marty to a doggies playgroup and he had an evaluation to see how he would get alone with other dogs. Marty gain more confidence in himself going to playgroup , and he is there right now. I do know one thing we all hope for the best for Elsee and her family .

She is part Beagle and I feel the first commands she should is sit, stay and have a good recall and not be allowed to run free as once a Beagle pick up an interesting smell they're gone.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 09:41 AM
elseesmom elseesmom is offline
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Wow. I really do appreciate all of your comments. Multiple perspectives only helps broaden my understanding.
J and I were at a Pets Show yesterday and picked up a variety of new treats to try. So far she is a fan of the Benny Bully's dehydrated beef liver infused w/ pumpkin or sweet potato treats. We also got an oral hygeine water additive to help with her stinky breath and I have some busisness cards for obdience/behaviour modification resources in the area.
Loki Love - Your point about "a dog that makes its own decisions will become a more confident dog" rang very clear with me. Thank you. At the puppy mill she was likely never allowed to make her own decisions and was forced or "tricked" into doing whatever the workers demanded of her.
Longblades - While I see where you are coming from, to say that J is threatening her by putting his face in front of hers, is certainly exagerated. Elsee is not as timid or fragile as I may have made her out to sound (not anymore, at least). Like I've mentioned...she doesn't resist J's attention at all. And when he does ask for kisses he gives her his cheek and does not look her in the eye.
Marko - Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.
Elsee has come so far in these 5 weeks and has increased energy and curiosity when we are outside meeting other dogs and owners. Overall, what I am gleaning from all of your posts is that we need to be fostering the development of her confidence. I can tell that she has it in her to be a very happy pup but never learnt how to interact with humans or dogs in the environment in which she was raised.
Our strategy moving forward:
1. J taking over as primary care giver.
2. Trying not to pick her up to put her on her feet when it's time to go outside (that one's hard!) or carry her to the bedroom at night. Actually last night she followed me to the bedroom really nicely - and was rewarded with a liver treat
3. Find an obidience class for basic training and comands - which will help bond J and Elsee and help Elsee learn what behaviour her humans expect from her. (and that what we expect will not cause her harm)
4. Doggy day care (one day/week?) so she can learn how to act like a regular dog, by example of how the other dogs are socializing - without her mama present to offer constant reassurance.

I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend. Oh happy spring!
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Old March 30th, 2013, 10:22 AM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is online now
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Originally Posted by elseesmom View Post
Wow. I really do appreciate all of your comments. Multiple perspectives only helps broaden my understanding.
J and I were at a Pets Show yesterday and picked up a variety of new treats to try. So far she is a fan of the Benny Bully's dehydrated beef liver infused w/ pumpkin or sweet potato treats. We also got an oral hygeine water additive to help with her stinky breath and I have some busisness cards for obdience/behaviour modification resources in the area.
Loki Love - Your point about "a dog that makes its own decisions will become a more confident dog" rang very clear with me. Thank you. At the puppy mill she was likely never allowed to make her own decisions and was forced or "tricked" into doing whatever the workers demanded of her.
Longblades - While I see where you are coming from, to say that J is threatening her by putting his face in front of hers, is certainly exagerated. Elsee is not as timid or fragile as I may have made her out to sound (not anymore, at least). Like I've mentioned...she doesn't resist J's attention at all. And when he does ask for kisses he gives her his cheek and does not look her in the eye.
Marko - Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.
Elsee has come so far in these 5 weeks and has increased energy and curiosity when we are outside meeting other dogs and owners. Overall, what I am gleaning from all of your posts is that we need to be fostering the development of her confidence. I can tell that she has it in her to be a very happy pup but never learnt how to interact with humans or dogs in the environment in which she was raised.
Our strategy moving forward:
1. J taking over as primary care giver.
2. Trying not to pick her up to put her on her feet when it's time to go outside (that one's hard!) or carry her to the bedroom at night. Actually last night she followed me to the bedroom really nicely - and was rewarded with a liver treat
3. Find an obidience class for basic training and comands - which will help bond J and Elsee and help Elsee learn what behaviour her humans expect from her. (and that what we expect will not cause her harm)
4. Doggy day care (one day/week?) so she can learn how to act like a regular dog, by example of how the other dogs are socializing - without her mama present to offer constant reassurance.

I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend. Oh happy spring!
You should find out how much time dogs get to play together at doggy daycare, I think the dogs spend more time in a cage than playing together.
Marty go to a doggy playgroup, he get to go outside 3 times when he stay for half a day which is 6 hours. When he is inside he can still play with the others dogs or go into crage if he want time out. Marty is a small dog so he in the small doggy playgroup, you shoud made sure your puppy is only with the small dogs or puppy group so she will not feel out of place.
I agree with you that Elsee more than likely was not allowed to be a puppy or have the right kind human contact at the puppy mill. The treats you got for Elsee sound good enough to serve to guests. That is great she when to bed on her own. Once she gain more confidence you'll start to see her personality start to come through and it will be easier to work with her. Patience is the key word here , Elsee will love you for it.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by elseesmom View Post
Our strategy moving forward:
1. J taking over as primary care giver.
2. Trying not to pick her up to put her on her feet when it's time to go outside (that one's hard!) or carry her to the bedroom at night. Actually last night she followed me to the bedroom really nicely - and was rewarded with a liver treat
3. Find an obidience class for basic training and comands - which will help bond J and Elsee and help Elsee learn what behaviour her humans expect from her. (and that what we expect will not cause her harm)
4. Doggy day care (one day/week?) so she can learn how to act like a regular dog, by example of how the other dogs are socializing - without her mama present to offer constant reassurance.

I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend. Oh happy spring!
It sounds like a really good plan of action - please keep us updated on your progress
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Old April 6th, 2013, 09:48 PM
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(Apologies in advance for the length of my rambles)
My partner and I adopted Elsee about 5 weeks ago. She is a 3 year old, female, English bulldog x beagle. She was rescued from a puppy mill in the States and lived in a great foster home from about Dec 2012-Feb 2013. She has a very calm and loveable demeanor. She has come SUCH a long way since we've had her but I am still facing 2 main issues (both stemming from not being able to trust anyone in the past, I believe):
1. She became attached to me quite quickly but she is still uncertain of J. I am the primary care-giver (this was a conscious decision) and she is becoming more and more playful and affectionate with me every day(well....she has always given non-stop kisses!), especially when we are on the couch cuddling/play wrestling or when we are outside (chasing each other, play bows, etc.). But around J (or any stranger) she is skittish even though he gives her tons of love. She hardly moves around the condo at all but she doesn't hide either. Once she's in her bed or on the couch, she will not move unless we pick her up (see issue no. 2!) so he can approach her and pet her or pick her up with no reaction (and recently she has started giving him little kisses because he leaves his face in front of her for long enough lol) but if he moves too quickly or if she has to pass by him to get from one room to another, she gets afraid and scrambles to get away. Any loud noise or large object she's not used to frightens her. She is mostly a "bolter" but if she can't get away (ie: on the leash outside or on the elevator) she will freeze and cower. She shows zero aggression and does not "fear pee" She will let him lie on the couch with her but if he wants her to come closer for kisses he has to pick her up or drag her over. J loves Elsee soooo much but after 5 weeks of being patient and letting her adjust to her new home I can tell that it is starting to get to him. What can we change or try to get Elsee to attach more to J?
2. She will not come when she is called. Her nick name is "concrete ass" because she won't get up for anything! And she is not food motivated so I don't know how to encourage her to "come". She doesn't ask to go outside (which is fine because we have her on a regular schedule for taking her out) so I will put the leash on her (while she is lying down) but she will NOT jump off the couch or step out of her bed. She's not scared of the leash at all either because she's fine when she sees J or I approach her with it or once she's up (ie: leaving the "doggy business" area or walking from the condo to the elevators and through the lobby). We have to pick her up and put her on her feet to go outside and carry her to the bedroom when we go to sleep at night. And she is an awkward 45 lbs to carry! I will say, however, that the one instance she will "come" is after she's done her business. It's become a habit now that when she's finished, I will crouch down and call her and clap and get very animated and she charges at me with excitement and then we play and run around a bit. Any thoughts or advice on either issue would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your replies.
E
If i can offer some comfort to you. I have a yorkie that was rescued from an animal hoarder and i am seeing some of the same behaviours. he won't come when i call him. he got attached to me on the drive home from niagara falls to toronto. he went through crazy separation anxiety for about 6 months. he trusts me but others. no. it does get better. it took jobi about 2 years to lick me. and i took him to pet smart for beginner obedience 2 months ago and he came out of his shell alot. i did not go for the training, i went for the socialization. and it helped. try going to the dog park and walk him every day so he can see other dogs and noises daily. give lots of treats. high value treats like bacon or chicken. he may not eat it outside. jobi did not for two years, then started this year. jobi still does not poo on his walks, just pee. he will poo in the back yard only. jobi did not play when he came, i guess it took about a year for him to play, but only with me. after another year he will play with some other people. he still won't play with toys though, like he does not know what they are.it will take your dog alot of consistent sameness to trust and see nothing will happen to him. jobi wasn't food motivated either, but he is now he resists grooming and water touching him anywhere. if i can suggest something though, i would not leave him at doggy daycare at this stage. i would expose him to other dogs at the dog park or stay with him at the doggy day care. i don't know, that is just me.it also took him 2 years to feel comfortable with my brother in law, 2 months ago he started greeting him when he came home. before this it was barking at him, and before that it was just running and hiding.he also tries to nip at my brothers legs. my brother has a defensive attitude and kind of stands over him and says get away or what do you want..not helpful. but he runs from everyone else.including other dogs.but he is sniffing other dogs now since obedience and the dog park and walks.
good luck
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Old April 7th, 2013, 08:26 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is online now
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Marty had really bad separation anxiety when I first brought him home. He was climbing into the bathtub when I was taking shower and laying down in the water. He did this 3 times before realizing I had not left the house. It Marty awhile to realize I was not going abandon him and not to follow me all around my condo.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 10:24 PM
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You should find out how much time dogs get to play together at doggy daycare, I think the dogs spend more time in a cage than playing together.
Marty go to a doggy playgroup, he get to go outside 3 times when he stay for half a day which is 6 hours. When he is inside he can still play with the others dogs or go into crage if he want time out. Marty is a small dog so he in the small doggy playgroup, you shoud made sure your puppy is only with the small dogs or puppy group so she will not feel out of place.
I agree with you that Elsee more than likely was not allowed to be a puppy or have the right kind human contact at the puppy mill. The treats you got for Elsee sound good enough to serve to guests. That is great she when to bed on her own. Once she gain more confidence you'll start to see her personality start to come through and it will be easier to work with her. Patience is the key word here , Elsee will love you for it.
also pet smart makes the dogs pee and poo inside on the floor. they don't take them outside. so you might bring home a dog that now pees inside. i was going to let jobi go to their doggy camp until i saw all the dogs in the playroom peeing and messing. then the staff cleans it right away. but they are still giving the dog the message that you can pee inside. some dogs that are trained will hold their pee all day waiting to be taken outside. which is not good. so i think i will let him be there for 2 or 3 hours for exposure, then pick him up.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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also pet smart makes the dogs pee and poo inside on the floor. they don't take them outside. so you might bring home a dog that now pees inside. i was going to let jobi go to their doggy camp until i saw all the dogs in the playroom peeing and messing. then the staff cleans it right away. but they are still giving the dog the message that you can pee inside. some dogs that are trained will hold their pee all day waiting to be taken outside. which is not good. so i think i will let him be there for 2 or 3 hours for exposure, then pick him up.
I did not know that pet smart did that , it does not sound very smart to me.
Marty get to go outside to poop and pee ,but other dogs had peed inside the building and Marty will pee there too and I have him pee before bringing him inside.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 12:40 PM
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yea, it is crazy, i don't know why they can't bring them out, maybe there is a different licence they need to walk them? i know if your dog eats raw food, they will not accept the dog at boarding. they told me they need a safe food handling certificate to feed an animal raw foods, so they can't do that. maybe other pet smarts have yards? i would call and ask, but the 3 ones i have been to are all attached to malls, so there is no yard space.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 02:33 PM
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yea, it is crazy, i don't know why they can't bring them out, maybe there is a different licence they need to walk them? i know if your dog eats raw food, they will not accept the dog at boarding. they told me they need a safe food handling certificate to feed an animal raw foods, so they can't do that. maybe other pet smarts have yards? i would call and ask, but the 3 ones i have been to are all attached to malls, so there is no yard space.
Maybe that pet smart does not have a safe place outside for the dogs , I would not let my dog board at pet smart . I have my dogs stay where a vet is close by.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 09:13 PM
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i have never left my dogs anywhere except home. i was hoping to get to know people off the various dog nets i am on, set up play dates and then exchange pet sittings with one another. i think it is crazy in this day and age to be paying companies to watch your pets, what happened to family and friends. oe even taking them with you. places are so pet unfriendly these days..
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