Recently Rescued- Need instructions


Learning to- trust but I- really want to.
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '07 4:37pm PST 
I recently rescued a VERY MINITURE Aussie from Florida. She spent about 4 years in a puppy mill. I have had her about 2 months now. She is slowly making progress but spends much of her time under the couch. Yes she is that small. She was 6.7 pounds when she entered the rescue and 7.8 when I got her. She is up to 9.6 now. I feel like we take 2 steps forward and 1 step back. She will take food from me and eats well. She likes to go out the go potty. At times is very lovable and gives kisses and wants to be petted and at times hides. I was just looking for some instruction from someone who is further down the line about what to do and expect. She picked up a ball for the first time today. I was so excited. I know there is a playfull, lovable Aussie in there. I just don't know how to get her to come out. There are tons of books about choosing the right dog to rescue but nothing about what to do with them when you get home to help them.confused

Chewbacca Noises
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '07 2:09pm PST 
Patience is all I can say. I was rescued many years ago and for months was anxious and shy. It took alot of time for me to trust my owners. I still have anxiety problems, but know that my owners are doing their best for me. One thing you may want to watch is how your orginal dog acts around the new dog. I was dominated for my first couple years by another Aussie and that slowed my development...

floating on air
Barked: Sat Feb 23, '08 9:51pm PST 
I also need a little help, as I was rescued only a week ago. I love spending time with my mama and running around outside, but I tend to get nervous when left alone and I also have a hard time adjusting to other pets. I don't play with toys, although I've appeared curious about frisbees.
Do any of you have any tips for me or my family?


Chewbacca Noises
Barked: Fri Mar 7, '08 1:50pm PST 
Sorry I didn't see this earlier. I have anxiety problems, especially when there is wind or a storm approaching. My owner was prescribed Nutricalm for Dogs by our holistic veterinarian (google it). I am given that when my anxiety shows and it helps. Another way I'm helped is by being wrapped up in a cloth stretch bandage (Ace). Having it wound around my midsection and then covered with a T-Shirt ( I look funny, I know ) - that really helps during the bad storms... Woof!
Sully &- Socks Our- Angel

Barked: Mon Mar 31, '08 7:05am PST 
I'm another Rescue Aussie and have just celebrated my first anniversary in my forever home. I can relate to some of your behaviors because I was alone for the better part of my first two years and wasn't socialized to people or other dogs. My folks had an Aussie they loved dearly before me ("Buddy" passed away in October 2005), and they had had Buddy since he was 3 months old, so he fit right into the family immediately and Mom and Dad (I think) expected the same of me. But, since I had to fend for myself for so long, I was (and still am) somewhat standoffish and lacked trust of humans. That's probably what you're encountering right now.

It's kinda like a child who is not shown love and affection during his first years...he's likely to miss out on learning how to bond and show love, having never experienced it before.

But, graudually, over this past year, I've started to learn to trust my Mom and Dad (at first they couldn't even hardly touch me, or I'd run and hide). I was too big to fit under the bed, but when I'd go off by myself, my Mom would bring a pillow and just lie down beside me for awhile. Then gradually I let her put her hand on my back and it felt comforting, so I'd go to sleep. With a lot of patience from your family, understanding that it will take time for you to adjust and develop trust in them, I'm sure things will get better and you'll learn to love them and want to be part of the family.

I'm still not as bonded with my folks as their "Buddy" was, but he had the advantage of being with them from a wee puppy...I didn't.
By not trying to force affection on me, rather waiting for me to come to them, I've really warmed up to my folks now (but we all think it will be a long time before I fill the void "Buddy" left.

My Mom does all my grooming now, but at first it terrified me. She would show me the brush, let me smell it and say "see, this is nice and it's going to feel good" and then gently brush me a little bit at a I LOVE being brushed. Same thing with clipping my scared me to death at first, so Mom started getting me used to having my feet touched by just petting and fondling them. Once I was used to that, she was able to clip my nails without me stressing out. Same process with cleaning my ears (Aussies need their ears cleaned often as they pick up mites and stuff and the ears can get infected). So, again, by just petting and fondling my ears gradually over time, Mom was able to clean them with a Q-tip and warm water (boy it feels good to get them cleaned, too)!

So, basically, what I'm suggesting here is just trying to see things from your dog's point of view, realizing the trust needs to be established (and it will take time). But if you are willing to spend the time and have the patience, you will end up with a wonderfully, loving dog (Aussie's are so affectionate and loyal). One thing they hate is being left alone, so you may have to read up on how to handle separation anxiety if it comes up. My folks are retired, so they pretty much take me everywhere with them and I LOVE to ride in the car!

I hope this will be of some help to you and wish you all the best...just have faith, patience and give lots of love and it will all work out!

Best wishes,
Sully puppy

floating on air
Barked: Sun Apr 13, '08 8:00pm PST 
After a few months with my new forever family I have come to love most things, including my crate! (Although I still put up a ruckus when the door on it is closed shut.) My mama is still working on my separation anxiety, but she says that its a work in progress and nothing is accomplished overnight. Although, I don't act up like I used to.
I haven't bothered the cats in over a week (that is a new record for me), and I'm learning that I don't have to be walked on a lead every time I have to pee, I can just go out into the fenced yard (before I was scared).
Playing with other dogs or showing affection with people has never been a problem for me, but getting enough time for running and playing seems to be hard on my mama. Despite my calm disposition, I always have energy to spare and drive her nuts if we don't get our running in during the day.
Everyone that has met me says that they want a dog just like me because I'm cute and I'm obedient even in public. My mama just smiles and pats my head. I know she thinks that I'm a lot of work, but I get lost of belly rubs and she lets me sleep at her feet while she works. So, I think that we're both pretty happy.

You want me to- do what? No- problem!
Barked: Mon Jul 7, '08 11:04am PST 
In rescue, we see a lot of dogs like this...especially from puppy mills. Living with an unsocialized dog is just as you described...two steps forward and one step back.

There is a great book out there by Patricia McConnell called the Cautious Canine. It was an invaluable tool for my first shy foster Aussie.

There will be frustrations aplenty, but if you stick with it and provide strong leadership and don't coddle her, she will get better.

I wrote an article for our local Aussie Club's newsletter about my experience with Chase. You can view it here