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Almost a year ago we welcomed a new member to our family - a 2 year old Coonhound from the SPCA named Annie.

We have been through on and off leash and obedience training and for the most part she does great. She gets walked twice a day and is most of the time the center of attention.

However, since we adopted her she has been timid when approached to be pet and backs away. When she does let herself be pet, she shows no signs of pleasure and walks away after a short amount of time. She seems like SHE DOESN'T LIKE TO BE PET. Is this possible?

And the main question - What can I do to make my dog feel more comfortable when I put a hand our to pet her?

 

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That's not a reflection on you...that's the way she's made. Some dogs are actually bred to back away from anyone touching them. I had one that it took 2 years before he stopped backing away. 10 years later he enjoys petting but, not to the degree of a total lap dog.

To ease the change in perception, stoke slowly and lightly with one hand while treating with the other. Avoid the head and neck areas at first (unless she seems to enjoy having her ears rubbed). Do the chest, rear haunches and legs. Don't forget the quiet praise and don't make it prolonged.
 

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Thanks, TooneyDogs. Are hounds generally bred to avoid contact? Annie does actually let out a nice moan when you rub her ears in just the right spot but thats about it. It just takes time I guess.
 

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Some of the breeds are bred to work away from their handler...independent...but, not so much to directly avoid human contact.

Shelties were eventually bred to avoid human contact after many of them were stolen from the Shetland Islands. They were working dogs and worth about $6000 so, they bred that 'shyness'/avoidance into them and it crops up in the lines today.
 

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Good info from Tooney as usual.

Hounds are a bit of a strange thing..they are bred to work independently of humans (in packs) but are also very prone to being velcro dogs (following their owners around)..so you may get a dog that is attached to your hip or a dog that is off and running paying little or no heed to you. They are also VERY sensitive, hard training (correction based) or excessive rough handling as puppies can make them less apt to want to be touched or massaged in certain ways.

The way to a hound's heart is through food. The stinkier the better. Don't force the affection, work up to it, make sure you are not standing over the dog..crouch or sit on the floor. No direct eye contact when you go to pet. Keep it casual and like Tooney said, stick to the chest, shoulders and ears or chin. As soon as she comes up to you, even incidentally give her some soft praise, a slow caress and a tiny tidbit of yummy.

When she walks away, let her go. She'll come back.
 
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