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Hello Everyone,

After the loss of my Lhasa Apso Lily a few months ago, I decided to take in a new dog a few days ago. My husband and I discussed adopting one or two shelter dog or puppies from a breeder. Before we made it to the shelter, we got two simultaneous offers to take in very soon to be homeless dogs. One was a 1 year old morkie, Sophie and the other was a 3 year old Min Pin, Sashi. We got Sophie last Saturday and she has adjusted very well. She is the most friendly, goofy, and loving dog I have met! She is a little hyper, but since she is only one and a puppy I am working with her on that. We started training Sunday and she is very smart. The second dog is a whole different story. Sashi has a bit of a background. From the time she was a puppy, she was abused by a black family (you will understand why I mentioned that, BTW my husband and I are black). AT the age of two a new family took her in and she was very submissive, shy and timid. This family was white. They said after a few days she was very loving, smart and energetic. Unfortunately, they have had to rehome her and thats where we came in. My husband brought her home and as soon as she was getting out the car, the leash broke and she ran away for two and a half hours. He and I (with the help of some other people, whom I cal ANGELS!) managed to catch her. We brought her home. Now the dog is freakishly nervous, shy, scared, everything! I feel so sorry for the poor thing! SHe doesn't seem to be adjusting to my husband or the other dog at all! SHe just runs and hides in the corner. I have tried giving her space, reassuring her that we will love and protect her, sitting on the ground and interacting with her, trying to get her to greet, etc. All she does is runs behind me. She seems very insecure. Could we be reminding her of the family that abused her? Am I being impatient?

What should I do?

Please help!
 

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Give her time. Let her approach you. I know it will be hard, but it sounds like it's going to take some time until she understands what's going on. I sincerely doubt she's associating you with the other family because of your skin color. She's probably just extremely skittish at having been moved to a new home.

I wouldn't reassure her. Coddling could reinforce her skittishness. Just be calm and confident and give her time to come around.
 

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Keep a bag of really, really good treats on you (like little tiny pieces of chicken). Every time you walk past her just casually drop a piece, don't toss it towards her or even look at her, just drop the food. When she approaches you don't look directly at her, turn your head slightly sideways and lick your lips or yawn. Just let her sniff you and do what she needs to do. When she is starting to come up to you more often you can try offering her small pieces of food, again by just dropping it to the ground. Still don't look straight at her and keep yawning or licking your lips (these are calming signals to dogs). When she is comfortable with that, try offering the food in your hand.

Once she is comfortably taking food from your hand and going up to you often you can try approaching her. Don't do it straight on. Go at an angle so you are never directly facing her. If she lets you walk up to her (again, don't face her directly) drop food for her, drop several pieces, one at a time. Then continue doing that until she is comfortable with you going up to her.
 
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