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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. My husband and I are fostering a cute little cattle dog. She is about 1 year old. She was picked up as a stray and is so scared. We set her up a nice little cave in her crate, we leave the door open so that she can come out if she wants, but she hides at the back of the crate. We have concrete floors in our apartment, and when she has to go, she waits until we are asleep or in the other room and makes a quick trip out of her crate (she won't go on the newspaper or towels that I have put out for her) but then she goes right back in to her crate. She is eating and drinking water, we've only had her for two days, but I just wanted to get some advice on how to help her come out of her shell. Thanks for your help!
 

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It will probably take time more than anything. She's probably not used to people at all, or she came from a bad situation.

What you can do to help her realize you guys are good and not bad is cut up a hot dog 4 ways, length wise, then cut these slivers up into small pieces. Each time you guys walk by her crate, toss her a piece of hot dog. Eventually she will probably come out to get more and see you guys. Don't force her to try and interact if she's not ready. Wait for her to approach you. If she sniffs your hand and seems very interested in you, slowly offer your hand. If she doesn't flinch away, you can try petting the side of her cheek or her chin. Don't reach over her to touch the top of her head, this will likely make her nervous. She probably won't approach you guys to be pet for a while though.

Try and get her to go outside on a regular schedule. Take her out every 1-2 hours for now, and 30 minutes after she eats. When she pottys outside give her a treat and soft, encouraging praise. You will want to try and house train her so she's more adoptable.

Encourage her to play with toys if you can, and give her chews. She probably won't do anything with these at first, but putting some peanut butter on them can help her.

There's a lot you can do with her, just stick around the forum and read everything you can that you think will help her. Giving her time right now is important though, as she's stressed out and needs to adjust.

Best of luck! =]
 

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Poor baby. She sounds terrified. I second everything the Nuclear has suggested.

When you manage to lure her out of the crate, carry high value treats with you. Whenever she shows interest in you, treats and quiet praise. She might be nervous to go potty around you because it puts her in a compromised situation for a few moments. She will become more comfortable with ya'll as she stays with you longer and finds out you guys aren't scary. Potty training might take longer as she is just so scared of people.
 

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It may seem counter productive, but you're doing a good job by leaving her alone. She's too scared to interact, so any interaction won't do her any good. How long have you had her? My foster was too terrified to be touched when we brought her home, and it took a good two weeks of just hanging out and totally ignoring her until she decided she'd come check things out. As long as I didn't suddenly move or try to interact with her, she'd even come out and lay a few feet away and stare at me. That's when the treats started flowing. When I was just letting her get used to things on her own I always made sure to come with a bowl of dinner with yummy things added, but she would jump if I even dropped food on my way in so we had to work up to that. Give her space, stay slow, don't make her do any thing before she is ready.

Thank you for fostering her, sincerely. Fearful dogs often get left behind when all they really need is time and patience.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We have only had her for two days. I understand that it is going to take her time to get used to us, I just don't want to scare her. I think the trick of dropping a small hot dog piece each time we pass by her is a really good idea, we're definitely going to start that!

We haven't been able to take her outside because she just won't come out of her crate, we tried to coax her out, but she just looked so stressed/scared that we decided to let her be. She goes pee and poop outside of her crate, so I'm just glad about that. We have concrete floors and so it's really easy to clean up (she doesn't go on the newspaper or towels that I have put out for her). We really want to help her get ready for adoption, and obviously we're going to have to leash train her.

For the moment, does the best idea seem to be to let her get used to people, to come out of her crate and accept our affection and then to move on to leash training and house breaking? I don't want to push her too hard and risk her closing up even more!
 
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