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Discussion Starter #1
We've just picked up our new dog from the nearby rescue home and are looking for some tips.

He's about 7 months old and very timid. He shys away from most people and runs at the slightest noise. He's spent nearly all his life in the rescue home, so is only used to the noise of other dogs and being in a small kennel.

He was in the kennel with his sister who is completely different and not timid at all. She will be joining him here in 2 weeks.

Our garden is about 3/4 acre, and since we picked him up on Saturday, all he's done is hide in the bushes.

The rescue home just told us to keep him in his new kennel and only get him out when we are walking him. The also told us not to praise him when he cowers on the floor.

We're really inexperienced with dogs, so any comments are gladly accepted.
 

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Chances are he has bonded with other dogs and his sister much more then with humans. Now is the time for you to get a bond going with him before his sister comes because it will be harder when she is there. When she does come you will need to take him out without her as often as you can so he can bond with you. When he is outside is it hard for you to catch him to take him in? Where does he go while in the house to hide? When in the house I would keep him on a leash tied to you and just sit on the floor with some treats talking to him and don't pet him on top of the head, only pet him under the chin and chest till he starts feeling comfortable then move to the ears. that will help to buid his self esteem. Petting the top of his head will force him to duck down and move back, it is a dominant gesture. Offering a good treat then as he takes it scratch a little under his chin at the same time will start off you being able to pet him. I also would always for now take him out on a leash and the same when the sister shows up you want to keep the same thing up and take him out alone as often as you can with treats in your pocket. With dogs like this it does take time for them to come around. You will want them to have their play time also but as much time as you can give him alone that is the quicker you will bring him around to bonding with people.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When he is outside, it's pretty difficult to catch him. He just runs away and finds somewhere else to hide.

He's not allowed inside the house. Where we live it's warm all year and he's got a nice dry kennel in the garden.
 

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Give him some time. Go out back with a book, and sit on the ground and read, and keep some treats with you, and randomly toss him one, not looking at him. If you walk past where he is hiding, drop a treat. It's going to take some effort on your part.
Once his sister arrives, you'll probably see that he's more confident because of her. Get a good, secure harness that they can't escape from, put a collar with ID tags (your ph # and address) (Attach leash to harness...not collar in case he slips his harness and escapes, he can be ID'd if found), and walk them together at quiet times of the day, and away from lots of traffic, people and noise. Carry treats to reward.
Once he seems a little more confident, start teaching him tricks and basic obedience. It'll help build confidence.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We've put him back in his kennel, as advised by the rescue centre. We take him out for a walk twice a day and he seems a little more relaxed when walking.

A few questions:

1 - He occasionally freezes when walking. Should we just pull on the lead until he starts walking again?
2 - We regularly go out to his kennel to see if he's ok. He mainly just sits on the floor a looks up at us. He did wag his tail once, which was encouraging.
3 - When he walks on the lead, he crosses from side to side. Should we allow this?
 

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Carry high value treats in your left hand when walking, and he'll tend to stay on that side. When he freezes up, cheerfully encourage him using a treat. Look up threads in the training section here for "Loose leash walking".
 
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