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1 year old still scared?

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Hey guys,

So my husky Scarlet is about a year and 2 months now, we've had her since she was 3 months and shes come a long way from when we got her but she still seems scared.
Initially she was scared of everything but now she is excited to see other dogs, still afraid of cars and wary of people, mostly males albeit a little less. I didnt 'rescue' her from a shelter but i did save her from a irresponsible owner who kept the tiny pup isolated outside which explains most of her issues.

Scarlet started off with us living outside in her house but slowly etched herself inside. She spends some of the day inside with us (well me mostly, when im not at uni) but unfortunately most of it alone outside and sleeps outside most days too- and as a result is not potty trained -.-.

The issue is, she's fine with me and my younger brother, but at the sight of my parents she loses it. Her body stiffens, tail between her legs and tries to hide- under my table in the study room (where i spend most of my time). i know we've only had her for 9 or so months but i was hoping to see a little improvement.

When everyones home, she seems so carefree outside (which prompts us to leave her there) rarely coming to the door to bark at my dad then leaves. We tried baiting her inside with treats, which she accepts, but i can still see the fear and rather than walking inside, she bolts straight for under the table where she spends most of her time inside the house.

Its a different story however when we're home alone. She rarely sits under the table (only when im on the pc or what not), plays tag with me, runs around and we even sometimes sit on the couch and watch tv.

How can i fix this? What can i do to make her feel more comfortable of at least the family. I want her to be able to be free and feel safe even when everyone is home. My mum tends to go outside after work in the afternoons and that seems to be working a tiny bit but my dad works longer hours and doesnt have the time to 'play' with the dog. For a time period he even did all the feeding rituals and that didnt work either.

I was thinking of moving her in full time but that would mean being tethered to me when im home and inside the crate when im not until shes fully potty trained. Won't this be boring for her? just sitting there all day tethered to me? at least until walk time.

thanks for the long read! :)

tldr: Got dog, been 9 months, still showing signs of fear, how to fix?

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Both Bear and Ice had pretty traumatic starts in life and it affected them for a very long time in different ways.

Time, patience and love will eventually win out to earn trust and enable them to feel more self confident.


Also when they're young they do go through fear stages which may also be adding to matters to some degree.

Here's some more info on fear stages.....


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I have Alpha who has been with us now for early 4 years and he is still scared of strangers, kids and even going into build up areas..ok must admit the first 1,5 years of is life has not been the easiest now he is with us time and patience will beworking softly and slowly...

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Three things you need to do: socialise, socialise and socialise. With people as much as dogs. Granite (estimated at 2 years old) was feral on waste ground for 6 months and wouldn't go near anyone at all. We took him to give him a break from the kennels (which he absolutely adored for the peace and quiet but he wasn't getting exposure to the real world) and took him on holiday with us, camping. A big scaredy cat! But now, a year later (we adopted him 6 months ago) he's great with everyone - except the occasional man he doesn't know (usually fine with women & kids). Exposure to everything, especially people and noises, has turned him into our most affectionate dog as he's regained his confidence (and that's really the key issue: confidence)

Here's Granite, a year ago. It was on a steam train (lots of noise!) and you can see he's relatively relaxed - this was his 2nd trip with the 1st a little more anxious


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Oh wow, some familiar situations. I guess so, just gotta socialise! I've moved her in permanently and although she seems terrified, im hoping she grows out of it. Tbh even on our walk today she seemed fine to meet other people. For some reason its just at home thats causing the issue.

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  • 8 years later...

Wow, I thought I was the only one. My 1 year, 6 month old male Husky does the same things. He is very social though. He greets everyone who comes into our house. Lately he wants to be outside all the time. Every neighbor around us has dogs and he doesn't mind any of them. He just wants to play. There is only one dog that barks at him, but he still has the attitude that he wants to play. Then he barks at a dog my neighbor rescued, but in a playful manner. Anyway, I have taken him to a local groomer for deshedding 3 times since I got him. These last two times I have "tried" he will not go with the groomer. Luckily he doesn't bite anybody, he stiffens up and snarls at them with a little, "ruff". Weird cause he will sniff and lick them, but don't touch me. His tail was tucked between his legs which was odd to me, since I take him there all the time just to walk around. I also tried some calming chews and that didn't work. He will come inside for pets, to eat, and to sleep at night, but wants to be outside. I wonder if it is that dog next door because he lays on that side of the fence line sometimes. He is my 3rd Husky and I have never experienced this. Any ideas? Thanks.

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It sounds to me that your dog has had a bad experience with that groomer.    Did you stay with him all the time or did you leave him alone there and pick him up later?

If it was the latter can I suggest you take him to a different groomer and stay with him.       I used to take my two boys to a groomer, but I stayed with them at all times.   If a groomer will not allow this  - go to a different groomer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's clear that Scarlet has made progress but still struggles with fear, especially around your parents. To help her feel more comfortable, focus on positive interactions. Encourage your parents to spend time near her without direct eye contact or sudden movements, offering treats calmly. Gradually involve them in activities she enjoys, like playtime or walks. Create positive associations with their presence. Additionally, consider gradually increasing her indoor time, and using positive reinforcement for good behavior. Tethering her to you when inside can provide closeness and security. Introduce a consistent routine for potty training and gradually give her more freedom as she progresses. Patience and positive reinforcement will be key in building dog trust and confidence.

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