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My wife and I just rescued a dog about 1 1/2 weeks ago and she is very timid. She stays in her crate, which is in the guest bedroom, most of the day. Her health seems fine. She eats well, sleeps a lot, and when we are not in the room she roams around the room sniffing and investigating things. The problem is she is very timid around me and my wife. Whenever we enter the room she runs into the back of her crate and lays there the entire time we are there. Whenever we enter we always have tasty treats in our hands to associate us in a positive light. We will throw some in her crate and she will eat them and sometimes take them from our hands.

What can we do to help reinforce that she shouldn't be afraid of us? Should we take her out of her kennel and let her experience some time with us without her kennel nearby?

Here is some additional background:
-The new rescue is about 1.5 yrs old. She is a Pomeranian and we were aware from the rescue agency that she was shy. The rescue center rescued her from an individual who kept breeding Pomeranians and most of the Pomeranians had very little socialization with people.
- We also have 3 other rescue dogs. 1 corgi mix, 1 Pomeranian mix, and 1 spaniel mix. She doesn't seemed bothered by them at all. She just watches them interact with us when we are in the room.

Any suggestions would be great!

Thanks!
 

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Congrats on your new family member. At this point, I wouldn't force anything. Continue to toss treats and allow her to explore on her own terms. You might just sit in the room with her and read a book or watch tv or something not focused on her. Periodically toss treats her way; don't expect her to take them from your hands at this point.

It's great that you have other dogs. She may become more comfortable with you as she watches the other dogs interact with you and your wife.

I would not take away her crate or prevent her from finding safety there.

There's a good FB group called Fearful Dogs run by Debbie Jacobs. I believe there's a requirement to watch a webinar to post / ask question, but anyone can lurk and learn.
 

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Congrats on the addition to your family. I adopted a very timid, shy dog a year ago and I can tell you it does get better. She's not the type to run up to a stranger for pets and affection, but she is loads better. I second what cookieface said about spending some time in the room doing nothing, just getting her used to your presence. The first night I brought Stella home, it was like she was super-glued to her bed. I just sat a few feet away watching TV to let her decompress on her own time. After an hour, she sat up. After two, she shifted around. After three, she got out of the bed to lie down a little closer to me, and it has been small baby steps since then.

I would highly suggest feeding all her meals by hand as well, to really strengthen your bond. Having the other dogs around to show her how to positively interact with you is a good thing. Maybe stick to having only one dog in the room with you at first , so as to not overwhelm her with so much all at once.
 

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Could you try moving her crate to another room that is also somewhat quiet, such as a living area? That way, she still has her safe retreat, but she can watch you from that safe area and come out to investigate at her own pace. Of course, don't force anything. Mostly, just give it time.
 

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Scared dogs need to feel safe. I know it sucks, but your dog doesn't feel safe around you - yet. The most important thing right now is to give her a space that is hers alone, where no one will bother her - either a separate room, or her crate tucked into a quiet corner (or even better, within an x-pen tucked into a quiet corner).

To help her become more comfortable with people toss very yummy things as you walk by her without looking directly at her. She might not eat them until you leave the room - that is okay. She will be learning that person = yummy things AND that people are not scary.

On the handfeeding thing - unless she comes right up to eat it out of your hand without hesitating, I would just toss it to her for the first few meals; if she leaves the food that's been tossed, that is okay. Give her about 5 minutes to show interest in it, and if she does not, leave the rest of her meal there and leave. Don't force her to come up to you to get the food, for example, by starving her so that the only way she gets food is from your hand; aside from questionable from an ethical perspective, that can result in flooding which won't help and might make things worse. If she is eating food from the floor while you're still there, toss it less and less distance (assuming she's coming to eat it) until you're just dropping it on the ground, and then offering it out of your hand right on the ground. Don't try to pet her, and don't be offended if she runs up to get the food and then runs away again to eat it. As she feels more and more safe around you, she'll retreat less and less.

You may also find some useful information in this webinar: http://www.maddiesfund.org/therapeutic-insights-for-treating-animals-from-mills-and-hoarding.htm

Good luck! If you give her space and let her choose to come to you, she'll probably warm up to you pretty quickly; you just have to be patient, and remember to go at the dog's pace.
 
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