|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 time....now I LOVE being brushed. Same thing with clipping my nails...it 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!
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