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From: Dale Parker (
Subject:         Re: Advice for Training frightened (abused?) dog
Date: November 9, 2009 at 8:15 pm PST

In Reply to: Advice for Training frightened (abused?) dog posted by Georgi on May 3, 2009 at 9:06 am:

I do think there is more to her history than you were given -being a 'working dog' she likely had very little socialization with people and possibly was kennelled most of her life - so she has a lot to adjust to and it takes time. I have worked with many dogs that were terrified of the real world. The key here is patience and lots of it, kindness, compassion and love -- lots of it. Allow the dog to decide when and if she will come to you, do not force the dog to do what it is afraid to do - it will only make her more afraid. DO NOT let that "trainer" anywhere near the dog again - that is no way to treat any dog.Allow her to be with you if she chooses, if she wants to lay in her bed in another room that is fine - once she starts to trust she will show herself and want to be with you. Try feeding her her meals by hand, giving her a treat when she does come near, or sit a few feet away and toss her some treats - try not to push or get too close if it makes her uncomfortable.
As far as the housetraining -understand that dogs raised in kennels or crates have been forced to do their business in their space - give her an area to use in the corner of a room put some old towels down or even puppy training pads- ( for now) don't scold her for doing her stuff inside. Give her lots of chance to go outside and when she goes outside --go with her - if she does her business reward her as if she was a puppy - lots of praise and treats.
Do not use the crate if she is afraid of it - start by feeding her meals in it, toss a treat in and let her get it - don't close the door -yet. As time passes she will learn the crate is not a bad place to be and she is not in trouble.
Give her every opportunity to get it right- keep everything positive and don't push. I know it is a long and hard road but hang in there - she will come around.You can not force a dog to be brave, you can not force a dog to trust you - you have to earn their trust by showing them that they CAN trust you- and allowing them the time and space to do that. You have to step back a bit and let her come to you.

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