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Thread: Timid Rescue

  1. #1
    Puppy
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    Oct 2014
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    Timid Rescue

    We rescued a female lab 2 years ago from a breeder. She was used for breeding and she was 4 years old when we got her. We don’t know what happened during those breeding years but she definitely still has issues. She has come a long way since we got her but she is still fearful at times…even with us. Sometimes she will cower when we go to pet her, she hides behind us when anyone approaches, and she likes to retreat to her kennel a lot rather than be with us. She is still hesitant at times with us petting her and ok other times. We do have another rescue from the same breeder who is 5 years old. She is adjusting well…we got her this past September. They get along great. What can we do to help our fearful rescue so she can enjoy her life? We’ve had her to an obedience class, we go for walks, visit the pet stores and our local dog park. She likes running with the dogs but stays away from people. Any suggestions would be great appreciated to bring her out of her shell. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Senior Dog Snowshoe's Avatar
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    May 2014
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    Awww, good on you for taking these girlies. First off, can you explain what you mean by REscue? As opposed to re-homed? Good, reputable breeders will rehome dogs if their offspring don't pan out as show, or hunting, dogs. Or when they get past breeding age. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the breeder. The word rescue though, conjures up bad living conditions for the dogs.

    Our first dog was a rescue from bad living conditions, at her second home. She behaved as you describe. She was a purebred, registered, gun trained ESS but had been starved and handled roughly, at least, by her second owner, and was particularly fearful of men. She slowly improved but was always leery of strange men. We figure her breeder home and her first pet, gundog home were good ones though and she got better with us and strangers.

    Are you careful to not let strangers approach her? She is afraid so don't let people go to her. I made a mistake yesterday and brought my dog out of his car kennel to visit with a man we meet and the man walked up, placed his hands on Eddy's head and kissed him on his nose. Really, really bad thing to do, what if Eddy, in fear, he is a bit of a timid dog, had defended himself and bit him? Don't let strangers, or people your dog is not comfortable with, approach her. Especially don't let them reach out to her and ESPECIALLY don't let them pet her on her head. ESPECIALLY if they are kids.

    It sounds like you are doing the right things. Not all dogs like to be social, not even Labs. Our first Lab girl, after being treated for parvo, with a four day stay filled with needle pricks in a strange place, the Vets, didn't dislike people but she did not want them to touch her. No wonder. Can you find out if your girly had some kind of experience like that before you got her? I would make sure people don't approach, reach, maybe, if it can be managed, not even look at her. Let her make the first move. She might never welcome strangers, so be it. Have you Vetted her to be sure there is no health problem like poor vision or poor hearing? I've heard of that causing problems like this. You might look into a behaviourist. Good luck
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