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So, some of you might remember me posting a little while ago about my new dog, Jameson, who showed up one day while I was walking my other dog, Melonie. Well, it's been exactly 1 month now since Jameson joined us, and he's now officially ours and we're working on making him feel like a part of the family. It's sloooowwww going.

It's hard to know if we're getting anywhere with him. We've been working on some gentle, positive training, just simple stuff like sit and come (which is really important, because he's an escape artist and slipped both a collar and a harness before we got him a martingale, which has worked well). He's at the point where he sits and comes on command more often than not when he's on a long leash (not so much off the leash though, but I'm okay with baby steps). He gets walked three times a day (two longer ones and one short walk before bed just to pee) and we try to spend as much time as possible just kind of hanging out with him, sitting on the floor with him, that kind of thing. At least now he only pulls away when you try to touch him, rather than bolting for cover and cowering in fear. He'll come over and sniff at me on occasion, mostly when I have some sort of food in my hands, but he doesn't like to be petted at all.

He just never seems all that happy. He has a crate in our downstairs bathroom (the only place not directly in the way or right by the front door that we could fit a crate) and he pretty much just spends all his time in there, even though we only close the door when we leave the house or go to sleep. He spends hours and hours just laying in there. We have a zillion toys all over the house, and our other dog would be happy to play with him, but he just doesn't really seem to want to come out most of the time. We've closed him out of there a few times, and sometimes then he'll actually play with Melonie or chew on the toys, or sometimes he'll just lay on the doggy bed in the living room, but I'm not sure if we should be closing him out or if keeping him out of his "safe spot" is a bad idea. When we're outside, he'll trot around and sniff at things and his tail goes up a bit, but inside he just kind of hides and lays there.

I wish I knew how to make him feel safer and happier and more comfortable here. I know a lot of it is just about giving him time, but it's frustrating because sometimes it feels like for every two steps he takes forward he takes another one back, and it breaks my heart to see how stressed out and miserable he always looks. It's also had the effect of turning my other dog into a total attention whore because she's jealous of the attention he gets (and the treats!), which I'm not crazy about either, but that's a whole other issue.
 

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I feel your pain! I got my dog when she was 6 months old from the farm( which she had never left) and brought her to the city. It was always two steps forward one step back. And then we put her on a plane when we moved and it was straight back to square one.

Needless to say she was terrified of most things. And still gets scared of new things. At the moment she is just getting over her fear of the ottoman. Just keep doing what your doing, and honestly the day will come when something just clicks in his head and he realizes he can be a dog with his new people and he doesn't have to hide anymore. You will see it. I saw it with indie. And she has been the best dog eversince!

Your doing an awesome job, it just takes time, and lots of it. We have been in our new location for 5 months and it took indie 3 of those to come right again. But when it happens you will see a different dog!
 

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It took 9 months before one of my dogs trusted me enough to pat him (he was basically feral...I would leave food at the same spot/time by the rd every day.). It took him about 6 months after being caught before he would let my husband pat him. Now he loves to be petted. Give your dog time. If possible walk your dogs together to help them bond. I'd put him in a room with you (close off the place he normally goes(, and then randomly toss him treats that can be quickly eaten (like tiny hot dog pieces) to avoid having them lay around and cause fights with your other dog. Then just play with your other dog and brush on him if he likes it, so the scared one can just watch. It just takes time.
 

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One month is nothing... it took two years before my puppy mill breeder dog would take food from us... Time, it's all about time. do not force, do nit rush, just let him make his own decisions. The best advice I can give is routine. try to do the same thing, at the same time every day... that was a big thing in Zoe's rehab. if something was out of time, she was afraid of it.
 

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He's not going to be comfortable enough to do any thing but stay in his safe zone. For how long I can't tell you. When I brought my foster home she would check me out, but largely stay hidden and just lay in her hiding spot, so I let her. No pressure to do any thing. After a few months (she has been here for almost 10) she decided I was all right, so she could hang out with me. Then things like playing with toys, playing with me, romping around, normal dog stuff came.
 

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Slow and easy is the key, as TWAB and others said, don't rush, yummy rewards for all 'brave' actions. It takes time to bond with dogs this fearful, you have to win their trust before you can win their hearts.
 

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just echoing what the others have said. dont worry one month isnt nothing!
our Abby girl took a few months before she starting coming out of her shell. she is much better now but still super timid.

what has helped her are lots of walks, and praise good behavior and reward, just ignore any bad behavior.
i didnt let her stay inside and hide, even though she was scared we still went on walks. before we couldnt have her walking where there were people, and gradually worked up to where i can walk her through the park with many people there!
start out small and work up gradual and take your time.
it will happen :)
 

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thank you thank you thank you!!! I thought I was the only one with a scardy cat dog. Our Lily is a nine month old cocker. When we got her she was a lively, friendly, affectionate three month old pup. Couple of weeks later I started walking her. She acted just like other cockers I have had in the past. She didn't want to leave the house. She was afraid of everything!! It was awful. Now I can take her for a walk and she is pretty good as long as there are no yard signs, cars in driveways, lawnmowers (not necesarily running) or people approaching. In the house she is afraid of anything new or something changed or moved (not as bad as she was) and if we have company she hides under the desk in the back bedroom until they leave. It is frustrating. She barked and acted the fool because there was a different car in the neighbor's driveway next to our yard! She does love to ride in the car and plays with our two other dogs all day long. She is also affectionate and playful with us but doesn't like to be "grabbed" so if I want to pick her up to cuddle she will run which, silly as it sounds, hurts my feelings cause we would never mistreat her.
 
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