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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

My neighbors are away for a couple of weeks, and I agreed to watch their dogs while they're away. We're friends, and I and my children are frequent visitors. One dog is easygoing and a joy to handle. The other... eeks!

She's small, snarly, and vicious. Offering her a treat only makes her snap at my hand. She hides, so I can't get at her to get her on a leash. I know not to look her in the eyes when she's barking, but she hides and barks, so that's a moot point.

How the heck do I get her out of hiding to get her on leash? (small edit, rather tired today!)
Halp!

Amethyst
 

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Sounds as though she's scared rather than vicious. One way to address the issue is to go to the house, but ignore the dog. Toss treats in her direction, but don't really look at her, approach her, or offer the treats in your hand. You could even spend some time just sitting in the house (reading a book, watching tv) and randomly tossing treats in her general direction. Eventually, she'll start to associate you with good things and her fear will decrease. For treats, it's good to use the something wonderful. Do you know if she has any dietary restrictions? Cooked chicken, hot dogs, deli meat, beef, and cheese are all good choice.

That said, it sounds as though you need to find a way to leash her and take her out for potty breaks. Unfortunately, I don't have any advice for that. There are some very dog experienced folks here, so I'm sure one of them will be able to help.
 

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She's not vicious, she's scared.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I appreciate the input. Knowing she's scared, I'll try to spend more time with her. I'm also going to try to block off or eliminate some of her hiding spots. Even if I don't get in her space, I can show myself to be a non-threatening presence.
 

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I agree with cookieface's approach. I'm not sure how you'll show yourself to be non-threatening. But, try what cookieface wrote. If that doesn't work, make a small modification - toss the treats over her head behind her ... it's a little less threatening.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've been doing this, cookieface, and I'm happy to say it's working. She still stays in her hidey-place, but no longer growls. I've tossed her treats, and she's accepted them. Even a bit of tail-wagging! I'll keep it up, I spent some time in the house earlier today, and I'll do it again.
 

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How about sitting on the floor and letting her come and sniff / investigate without trying to pet her or anything at first?
 

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I've been doing this, cookieface, and I'm happy to say it's working. She still stays in her hidey-place, but no longer growls. I've tossed her treats, and she's accepted them. Even a bit of tail-wagging! I'll keep it up, I spent some time in the house earlier today, and I'll do it again.
Great!

How about sitting on the floor and letting her come and sniff / investigate without trying to pet her or anything at first?
Good advice.
 

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How about sitting on the floor and letting her come and sniff / investigate without trying to pet her or anything at first?
Agreed! Since she's doing well with tossing the treats, you can try to move up to see if she'll take them from your hand. Sit down, turn sideways or completely away from her, and hold your hand out flat with the treat in it. Don't look at her, don't say anything to her, just let her come and take it. So glad things are getting better!
 

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Re: Update!

Nice work! She is adorable...but I can't imagine leaving my dogs home alone for a few days much less a couple of weeks. I know you are caring for them and they are being fed and let out but that seems like such a long time to have them home alone. I guess people do it all the time but I don't think I could.
 

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Re: Update!

I've been watching this thread hoping to hear something good, congrats! Sounds like you're having an awesome breakthrough. Great work!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: Update!

Thanks everyone. Really came along today. She seemed to be the most cautious in the morning, but went for 3 walks today (out of a total of 4 opportunities). She needs a lot of leash training. Easy enough to control, because she's so small, but constantly charging ahead. A lot of nervous energy. They're not my pets, so I can only do so much, but hopefully the family will come home to healthy happy pets!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: Update!

Nice work! She is adorable...but I can't imagine leaving my dogs home alone for a few days much less a couple of weeks. I know you are caring for them and they are being fed and let out but that seems like such a long time to have them home alone. I guess people do it all the time but I don't think I could.
I live across the street, so it's not too much trouble. I would like to see if they could run around in our yard a bit, but I'd feel awful if they got out! Our yard is fenced, and we've had friends bring over large dogs without issue, but I'd be worried about the little one getting under the gate. I've been doing 4 walks a day, plus spending time in the home with them. But I also have my own family and pets to care for, so staying overnight is not an option.
 

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Re: Update!

I live across the street, so it's not too much trouble. I would like to see if they could run around in our yard a bit, but I'd feel awful if they got out! Our yard is fenced, and we've had friends bring over large dogs without issue, but I'd be worried about the little one getting under the gate. I've been doing 4 walks a day, plus spending time in the home with them. But I also have my own family and pets to care for, so staying overnight is not an option.
I wish you lived across the street from me! You are a great neighbor. I hope they appreciate you.
 
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