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Foxy

Stress, how do I help her?

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Hello,

I recently got a 5 month old husky female from a AKC registered breeder. She has been home with us for about a week and a half. She is still vary unsure of things, and often trys to find a corner or safe space when we move around. The thing that worrys me is that due to this she is not eating or drinking unless I move her from her space to were the food and water bowls are, and then give her space to eat or drink, even then this dosent always work. She has eaten about 2 cans of dog food and 2 bowls of kibble in a week and a half, wich dosent seem like enough. She also licks her mouth a lot, and wont look at us when we are giving her affection.

I figured this was stress, and have been giveing her destress treats to try to help, but like I said it's been a week and she hasent come out of her shell.

What else can we do to help her adjust to her new home? 

I have given her toys, a safe space with her own doggie bed(tho she likes mine more) iv even moved her food and water dish to this room, and she still often stays in my bed or her bed all day and dosent move much.

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Welcome.

Poor thing. She looks scared out of her mind. That is exactly how my GSD mix acted when I rescued her. 

Makes me wonder what happened to her during the first 4 months of her life. There is a few weeks during puppyhood where they can develop fears very easily.

Get a sweaty nasty shirt and put it on her bed. Leave a treat on it. She will  associate your smell to reward. Walk by and drop a fresh treat when she leaves the bed. Don’t make a big deal out of it.

At this point to just get her to eat. Bring the food and water to her by her safe area. Once she eats on a regular there, slowly move it to the spot you want her to eat. Very slowly just a little move at a time.

This sounds harsh but try to ignore her. Move about like she isn’t there and talk in a calm voice  explaining what you are doing. It is time to do laundry. I am picking my cloths up, putting in a basket, or talk the directions while you make your bed. Ignore her if she comes to sniff. If you reach down to pet her she may run off and that is the opposite of what you want.

It will take time. A long time. But she needs to understand she is safe and needs to expand her comfort area.

My GSD lived in her crate for about 6 months (door off the crate) until she started coming out on her own. Then she was glued to me when I was home. LOL

Hope this helps and I know everyone in this forum has great ideas.

O stop with the  disstress treats. You may be rewarding the behavior 

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Thank you so much for your reply.

I will deffinitly try your sugestions.

As for what might of happend too her, the breeder had a keenle type set up, parents in central area, and puppys from each birth put into separate 8x8ft kennels with dog house and food/water dish. The cages had fence on sides and back so they could not see the rest of the yard or the other dogs, only the parents.

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Years ago I rescued an ex racing greyhound that was left in a cage to starve to death  -    never known anything but cages and running.     When he came home he could not go downstairs  -  had never seen any before so we had to carry him.       He immediately found the smallest darkest corner and stayed there.     We put food and water near him - but if we got too close he would just shake in fear.

Beacuse we did not want to manhandle him to go upstairs we put up with two days of pee and poo in our lounge  -  then on the third day of us ignoring him completely, but being in the same room as him  - hubby went upstairs for a cuppa - and when he came back down he was surprised to see Benson sitting next to me on the settee.  Once we were alone we just looked at each other and he just got up and came and sat next to me   -  it seemed as if he had finally made up his mind that we were ok people and nothing bad was going to happen to him with us.    Hubby went and sat on the floor for the rest of the night.

It was a long road with him  -  firstly teaching him to go up and down stairs, then meeting other people,  -  he remained so terrified of young children that for the rest of his life (another 8 years) he would wet himself if a child came close to him.    He did however bloom -  and in his own environment (in our case it was a hotel)  he blossomed  and became a quiet character much loved by the guests - the most notable was Bruce Forsyth (yep that bang you heard was a name drop)  - who on seeing him spreadout on the bar seating late one night  exclaimed "Love the legs  -  LOVE the legs"  

Patience, understanding, and more patience   -   your new pup needs to learn to trust you  -  before she can learn to trust anything else.    Dont go and stroke her  -  wait for her to come to you.

Good Luck   -  it is a challenge I know from experience  -  but the rewards are enormous.

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34 minutes ago, Foxy said:

Thank you so much for your reply.

I will deffinitly try your sugestions.

As for what might of happend too her, the breeder had a keenle type set up, parents in central area, and puppys from each birth put into separate 8x8ft kennels with dog house and food/water dish. The cages had fence on sides and back so they could not see the rest of the yard or the other dogs, only the parents.

From what you are explaining, the poor thing never got socialized. 

This should be quicker to resolve then if she had something horrible happen to her.

Still give her time and since this is her first time being around people, in side a house, and dealing with tv sounds etc. Think of it this way.... you couldn’t hear and was trapped in a room. All of a sudden you can hear, new smells, and is thrown into this whole new world.

Just keep things calm, go slow, don’t force her, and she will come around.

Good luck. Keep us posted 

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She will need her ‘safe space’ and as above speak calmly and I wouldn’t push with the affection as this is a trust issue, if she’s looking away she prob doesn’t want it yet, once you’ve built up your relationship with her and she trusts you she will come to you, it just takes time. Have you managed to take her out on walks and how is she when she’s outside? She’s very pretty


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I have taken her out on walks, and at first she was vary unsure of everything and did not want to come when the leash was taught. Now she gets excited to go out, and is leash trained, no longer pulling against the leash unless super excited about something.

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That’s great, walking her and playing with her will build up trust between you and she’ll start to engage with you.


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I have taken her out on walks, and at first she was vary unsure of everything and did not want to come when the leash was taught. Now she gets excited to go out, and is leash trained, no longer pulling against the leash unless super excited about something.
See shes coming along great! Consistency in how you approach and work with her will definitely help. She will come around in time.

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What fabulous advice and, echoing mine too!

Also, ... A covered crate (top two-thirds but open front) in her chosen corner will provide a 'den' and more security for her.

Keep the door open.  You can start training her later to accept being in when & if you need her safe, or to keep away/out of dog-shy visitors or workmen's way.         Look at Successdogs.com and, Absolutedogs.com

Both have awesome positive reward training tips that create a funbased teaching for you and your beautiful furkid.  Later, but try some out.  You never know, esp once you've sussed what food she likes!

(I feed Xcel 32% kibble (for weaning pups thru to adults plus for nursing mums), Forthglade, Lovejoy, (these are vacpacked part raw & store on the shelf, so great for hols, camping, travelling). They have duck, turkey, beef, lamb, chicken, fish, seafood, with or w/o rice, vegetables - huge selections).   Albion comes frozen raw, in chicken or beef or with tripe. 

My Animals Only shop orders in all this & my Xcel specially for me, as I require.  I support my local shops as much as possible.  I also get dark natural gravy bone & marrow bone treats, dried chicken feet, turkey feet, an occasional good chew, and raw bones two to three times a week - free from Maces, my butcher in town. They also have raw eggs with crushed in shells (extra calcium), coconut oil, ACV.

Don't feed raw bones until second teeth are established as they could crack their milk teeth, so wait till eight months.  Bigger bones keep them busier and to chew more slowly. Antler/deer horns are very hard & last ages, so not until min. eight months to a year... but pricey too.  Frozen carrots are fab for teething.  Good quality bigger rope toys are also great for fun tug games and a chew, and strong play balls..  (Mighty Mutt brand) that can be treat filled with broken treats and peanut butter (check NO Xylitol in this as lethal), as can Kongs, to keep them occupied.   A smear of Marmite inside too is much loved!

I have several videos from these training sites, and have learned much more in the 'Lure, capture, reward' ethos (from Successdogs) but also some very good 'games' that are actually excellent teaching games in automatic 'good dog/watching me' games - I love the 'off leash - game on' series from Absolutedogs.

Creating trust in them to you is as important as your trust in them.  It is always a two-way deal. 

Show nowt but kindness and patience, however 'ignoring' them to the point of not showing any acknowledgement TO them is also important.  They are companions more than a pet, this unique breed.  She will want to be closer, not isolated but it's her move.   (1925 Nome Valley Mercy Run : research).

(Read Monty Roberts 'Equus' on readjng animal body language.  I learned a huge amount just from this book alone.  HM also now uses his MO for all her horses and had him at Windsor Castle to show his training MO to Terry Pendry (cousin to me by marriage then), who was/is  I/C of HM Windsor Stables.

Monty not only changed & turned upside down the 'breaking in' of horses, but fostered hundreds of children, and even had his own 'tamed' deer on his Flagsup Farm.    His poor wife repeatedly had her flower borders pulled out by them but they waited only for him when he was away.  

To start getting these very timid shy beings to accept his touch, he would leave an recently well worn used shirt in a branch off a tree near the house when he left. They left his wife's plants alone, and stayed by his shirt! 

I was fortunate to meet Monty Roberts with my daughter, who was at Hartpury then, doing Equine husbandry, when he first visited the UK.  

Read the book.. learning to 'read' animal body language starts here, and watch the eyes.. they say so much!  When mine look at me, the sofa space, the treat box, (and dancing in circles left spins & right spins, or looking at me from the bed end, to the space by me! They know to wait and 'ask'.  If I say quietly 'ok' they're allowed on. If I say quietly 'away down' or 'no, lie down' they huff, sigh and lie down on the floor. If Chester jumps up w/o asking he is immediately firmly told 'Off!' until he gets off, sometimes with a push.  

If he resists too long, then he's told 'Out' of  the room for a while!   Rejection to 'bad behaviour' teaches them very fast and having to leave/going out of, or being clipped on to a lead and walked out (no words) to solitary confinement for several minutes, really does teach all furkids that ANY undesirable behaviour creates rejection; 🤗 they hate it.

Equus.. brilliant book. 

Edited by Maz51
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Yes...one small note is that you say she licks her mouth a lot. This “lip licking” is a calming signal used by dogs to calm themselves when they feel anxious or stressed. So she is feeling nervous in her new environment...needs quiet time and space to relax. When she feels relaxed, I think she will get her appetite back!

Maybe just sit down quietly in same room where her food and water is, and read a book? you may find that she will come in to be near you, and then eat and drink. ( also, maybe she was holding out for the “destress treats”? Too many might be filling her up so she is not eating her regular food.) 

(ps when we adopted our rescue dog, he ate very little for the first few days. I said, “wow! Our dog only poops once every few days!” Well,  now he is a food gobbler and he poops at least twice a day 🙄 and we watch his weight...)

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Thank you everyone for your advice. I have been applying your advice and she seems to be coming around slowly. She has now decided to claim my bed as her own and pretty much dosent leave it. She will lay up aginst me at night, even resting her head on me, with the ocational hand licks.

Down side, I now have to move her to her dog bed with her food bowls for her to even eat.

She dosent really play with toys, or really chew much, just lays around a lot. Thought she would have more energy tbh, but it's only been 2 weeks now since she's been home.

I have noticed if I pet her head she has been puting her ears back, and she dose give off a lot of submissive body language.

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I think she is just super comfy. 😀

She could just be laid back. She’ll come around to the play. Enjoy the calm before the high energy kicks in. 🤣

 

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