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Re: Extremely fearful new dog

Posted by:  Marie Evans
Posted on:  November 08, 2001 at 09:24:13

In Reply to: Extremely fearful new dog
Posted by:  Megan Desha
Posted on:  November 07, 2001 at 10:51:57


: My husband and I just adopted a Jack Russell from another family. We already have a shy lab mix dog and a non-agressive cat. When we got the dog home, he ran around sniffiing everything, and scared of everything. I expected that. Then we let him outside (it's a fenced yard) to go do his business and he wouldn't come back. He won't let us near him. (He's not being mean, just scared and hiding, etc). It's been 3 days and he's finally been able to manage to get within 5 feet of us, (using food to inch him closer), but only if we don't try to move quickly, loudly, or towards him. Any advice? It's getting cold out, and I'd like him to at least come in the house at night...

: Thanks!

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Hi Megan,

You are going to have to be extremely patient with this dog. Nobody will ever really know what has made this dog so shy and what happened to him in his previous home. I don't know of many people that would openly admit to abusing an animal and this very well could be the case with him.

It is natural for a dog to be nervous and upset in new surroundings and it will take some time for this dog to overcome its fear.

What you need to do for now until he settles in is to leash him to take him out to relieve himself. This way you have control over the situation and the dog is not left out on its own in the elements. He goes out, does his thing, and comes back in the house.

Being outside on his own is not helping the adjustment process as I am sure you are aware of.

Hopefully by this time you have gotten him back inside the house. Food is a wonderful motivator. Find something this dog REALLY craves and that will be the first step into earning his trust. Never push yourself on him. Let him come to you. This has to be done in his timeframe not yours.

As I said this will probably be a painfully slow process but always keep in mind this little guy can't tell you why he is so scared and if he could you might not want to hear why. It might break your heart.

Good Luck,