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Discussion Starter #1
We just adopted a 3 year-old miniature poodle from rescue, and she is very fearful. We have already been through training rescued poodles in the past, so, luckily, we are up to the challenge. However, this little gal runs away when anyone approaches her. I am trying to crate train / house train her, but that's hard when I can't catch her to put her in the crate! I am keeping her on a leash when indoors (after I catch her), which is how we house trained our other poodle, but she hangs back, and I don't want to drag her around the house! I also don't want to chase her when I need her, because I don't think that will help her to trust me...

I tried searching to find other threads, but I wasn't sure what to call my problem. "Running away" brings up a lot of info on dogs who run away from home/owner when outside or the door is opened, etc.

Any advice would be appreciated!
 

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I advise lots of patience, which it seems you already have. :) For the dog to learn anything (including house training), she's going to have to have a certain level of comfort with you and not be afraid of you. That's your first task. I would concentrate on that first, then work on the house training.

A crate with a blanket over it (as long as it's not too hot) will give her a feeling of security.

Find ways to make her approach you, instead of approaching her. Sit in a quiet room on the floor with your back to her and some really smelly treats in your lap. Toss a treat out into the room and see if she goes for it. If she does, then toss it a little closer to you. If she doesn't, toss the next one closer to her. Be very quiet and patient. Make yourself very attractive to her so that she'll learn that approaching you is a good thing. I wouldn't even talk to her or look at her, just be together in a space, sharing good things with her. Let her have some control.

Good luck to you!
 

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The dog is running in anticipation of something bad is going to happen. You need to not only minimize that threat, you need to trump it.

I would start hand feeding this gal for the next few weeks. And I wouldn't touch her unless something very attractive is being fed by your other hand.

You don't have to give her food freely, unless her reaction is so severe she won't even approach you with food. You can/should request behavior when hand feeding, if she will allow it.
 

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Was going to say the same things already said.

I can add that this advice definitely can work. Wally was basically the same way with me (very poorly socialized - scared of men), and these sorts of things won him over to me with time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunately, she won't take anything from my hand at all - under no circumstances, it seems...

The bizarre thing is that when I catch her, she sits quietly with me or whomever else is holding her - she even sleeps on my son's lap - but she won't stop running away from us! When we are petting our other poodle, she pushes in to get her share, but when we attempt to pet her, she runs away! Thank goodness she follows my other poodle around obsessively, or else we would never see her!

I can't imagine what was done to this poor little girl!
 

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My husky did something similiar the day I met him. He wouldn't let me pet him. So I tried something similiar to the treat thing mentioned above. I sat down with my shoulder to him and my head down then I held a milk bone out in front of me. After about 10 or 15 minutes, maybe longer, he finally came up to me and let me feed him and pet him. I was outside so tossing treats wouldn't really work (the barn cats would have stole them). After that, he wouldn't return to his previous owner..he was and still is glued to my hip.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Three weeks on, and she still runs when anyone approaches. She will take food from my hand, but when I approach her or try to pet her, she runs. She jumps and plays with my standard poodle, and, if you pet the standard, she comes and jumps around, trying to nip your petting hand, as if she wants attention. However, when you reach your hand out, she runs. If you can catch her, she will sit on your lap for hours without any problem - no growling or nipping, and she will even fall asleep on your lap! However, the second you put her down, she takes off. She is fearful of coming too close to anyone when walking, passing through doorways, etc.

I am stumped! My standard was a rescue, coming from a puppy mill, so I have experience with traumatized dogs, but it is hard to socialize or train a dog who won't come or stay near me, and who I can only handle if I run after and catch her (which I recognize only scares her).
 

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When approaching her, move slowly, turn sideways, and do not give direct eye contact. Try getting down on one knee, and then wait for her to approach you. Turn your head to the side, yawn. Or turn your back to her. These are calming signals, and may help. It's going to take time, so try to keep things within her comfort zone. I had a rescue I fostered who was the same way. I sat on the floor with some garlic chicken in my hand, and waited for him. It took 11 days before he decided to give it up and give in! LOL A feral cat I fostered for Friends of Strays took 6 months before I could even touch him . . .he was out in the Florida room when we had a thunder storm, and was so terrified I really felt bad for him. I sat on the floor and he raced to me, shoved his head under my arm and was forever more my busom buddy! (yep, he stayed w/me!) LOL
 
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