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Discussion Starter #1
We adopted Desi (a nearly 1 year old Shih-tsu) last weekend (he was rescued from a breeder who's business went under) and he does great with me. However, he's absolutely terrified of my husband. I know all the normal stuff - DH should ignore him, drop treats whenever he passes by, yada, yada. I've put him on the couch between us (DH ignoring him), and Desi will start panting b/c he gets so nervous and moves away.

But...my husband has to take the dog outside in the afternoon (he's crated during the day), b/c he gets home before I do. The second day, Desi attacked him in the crate (I'm sure it's b/c he felt threatened), snarling, biting, etc. That has stopped, but now he runs from him (in the house and outside) and NOTHING can make him come back. Unfortunately, DH had to corner him in the laundry room a couple of days ago to catch him (to crate him when he had to go out), where upon Desi expressed his anal glands all over his shirt. Yesterday, Desi had to be caught in our bedroom closet (again, to be crated when DH had to go out), whereupon he peed on the carpet b/c he was so scared.

I know the fleeing can be stopped by simply keeping Desi in his crate when DH has to deal with him, and having my husband keep him on a leash whenever he has to take him out, but we hate to have to crate him so much. Is this what we're going to have to do for awhile?

DH is trying to befriend this dog, but it seems he goes 1/2 step forward, then 2 steps backwards. DH has tried sitting next to him and talking softly. The dog will NOT take any type of treat from him, not even hotdog tidbits, which Desi loves. DH is quickly losing patience and grumbled that he wonders if we should have gotten him. Help!
 

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I would make your DH the primary caregiver. So the food comes from him. He takes him for walks. If possible leash him to your husband when he's in the house, so he's hanging out with him more than you. You should do as little as possible for him - I know it's hard but if your DH is ignoring him, it's not giving him a lot of reason to go to him to interact. If DH becomes the source of all food and walks, it will help him feel better about the guy.

For the crate, rather than having your dh chase him down and pick him up, put the crate somewhere he can 'herd' him into. Put your DH's dirty shirts in there as bedding too. An xpen near where your DH hangs out most of the time would be another idea (and easier to get him into. If he has to catch him, have him use a slip lead and loop it around his neck calmly, and just quietly lead him where he needs to go. If possible get some light line and leave it attached to his collar at all times so he can just step on the line and then pick it up and walk him.

It's quite likely this poor guy has been abused by the 'breeder' so he's learned to fear men and of course isn't going to come running to get abused more! I could be wrong of course but no responsible breeder goes 'out of business'.... sounds more like a byb. But the less chasing the better, give them time and they'll get to be buddies. I would get your DH to talk quietly to him, not in a whiny squeaky baby voice but just his normal voice and have him share all his food, burgers, steak, chips..... while you back off a bit of the attention.

Good luck!
 

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Bordermom IMO gave great advice! I did pretty much the same thing with an abused and starved 9 month old Lab/Rott mix. She was afraid of everyone and every thing. She is now almost 10 years old and loves everyone!

Good luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice! I tried to get my husband to leash the dog to him, but he won't do it, unfortunately. We had to take the towel Desi had in his crate out, because he learned that he could pee on it and not get the urine on himself - smart little booger, so I'm afraid he'd pee on my husband's shirts, too. THAT wouldn't go over well, for sure. My husband is willing to give him his food and treats, so we'll try that. We'll also keep Desi's leash attached to him to make it easier to catch him. We already have the kitchen and hallway blocked off with baby gates, and we keep our bedroom door closed, to limit his access to unseen parts of the house. I'm totally willing to wait Desi out and let him settle in; I'm just worried that my husband won't have the patience. It doesn't help that we chose between two dogs and he wanted the other one...
 

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I was going to recommend keeping a leash on him. One of my mom's dogs is scared of my dad (and that won't change because he won't cooperate), but he has to let her out when he's home on break. So she wears her "daddy leash" during the day.
 

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Unfortunately, those times when your husband had to corner him and catch him probably just reinforced his fear. You should figure out a management plan that prevents situations like that, which just make him fear your husband even more.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yesterday, my husband and I expressed our concerns to the lady in charge of the rescue that we adopted Desi from, and she immediately said that he was the wrong dog for our family - that he needed to live in a quiet, female-only home. She agreed to let us return him (sad for me, but the right thing to do for Desi) and swap the dog my husband and I had also liked the week before. Luckily, Madonna (we're calling her Maddie) was still available! I'm glad we did this before the bonding (with me, anyway) had progressed any further - we only had him for 6 days.

Maddie is going to fit right into our family, I think! She appears to be a westie-poodle mix or a westie-bichon mix and is sassy and confident. She loves to play, go outside, and thinks both of us are the best things since sliced bread! I'll try and get her picture posted soon.
 

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I think Desi probably could have worked on his issues over time... But my real concern is, why didn't the rescue make you aware of this before you brought him home??
 
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