New owner of shelter dog seeking help for overly shy behavior


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    M Samy

    Good afternoon,

    My name is K…, and I’m writing on behalf of my daughter, M…

    A week ago she adopted a 3 year old terrier/pitbull mix from the animal shelter in Lubbock, Texas where she’s attending college. She lives in a large apartment, very dog friendly apartment complex.

    I’m writing because she and I are concerned and looking for helpful suggestions to help this sweet dog adjust to his new home.
    My daughter says he is very calm, no signs of aggression but since she brought him home he has been hiding under her bed.
    She says he will come out to eat but that’s about all.

    She has left him to be in his “safe place” but it’s getting a little difficult as he is not wanting to come out to go outside to do his business.
    She is having to make him come out and she getting worried and frustrated as it seems to be getting worse.
    She says now, if she can even lure him out, he is not wanting to walk, he’s stopping along the way to the dog park and urinating on the stairs in her apartment complex.

    He is still not showing any aggression but she is getting frustrated and having to drag him with his leash and she’s worried that people will think she’s being harsh with him when she’s actually trying her best to get him to adjust.
    She has tried treats, she spends lots of time with him, giving him praise, reassurance, cuddles and being patient with him as she understands he is probably just scared and unsure if he’s safe.

    We are wondering if you have any suggestions for her so Reaper can begin enjoying his new life with a loving and attentive owner.

    Unfortunately, the shelter did not disclose much information on his history or any back story on him so she is not sure if he may have been abused.

    She loves this little guy and wants to keep him and be able to enjoy the companionship that she was looking for when deciding to adopt.

    Any suggestions or information would be greatly appreciated.

    We are also attempting to contact the shelter to ask if they might have a bit more insight on his history so she has a starting point on how to best provide the life this dog deserves.

    Thank you in advance for ANY help.

    Best Regards,

    M Samy

    good evening ma’am ,

    First let me thank you for taking this initiative to help your little angel and the little guy.

    I will try to help you by giving you some suggestions since you don’t know the past of this pup

    First of all, you have to understand that you are dealing with a little puppy, it is exactly like a confused baby who is only waiting for you to show him what to do.

    To begin with you have to make sure that he is not sick.

    After that, you should also know that it is a normal behavior because he is intimidated because everything is new for him, you but also your apartment.

    He was probably separated from his mother before she finished socializing and comforting him in the presence of humans and other pets.

    Here is the solution even if it will seem a little hard to apply but don’t forget that it is for his good.

    You will start by preparing a crate and covering it with a carpet or something… cover the crate and place it against the wall of the room, in a corner of the room if possible.

    Make her comfortable, put her favorite toy inside.

    Then you need to either block the access under your furniture, or put the kennel in a room where the puppy won’t find a bed or sofa to hide in to entice him to go and adopt his new home.

    Remember that this crate is his place and you should never force him to go out if he doesn’t want to…etc. Basically you have to make him understand that he will be safe in it and no one will disturb him when he enters.

    Put his food and water bowls right in front of the entrance of the crate and if you have to close his door outside the playtimes it’s not mean so he can’t go out and put himself under a piece of furniture.

    Use treats when needed and know that this method will seem a bit harsh but it is for his own good and he will normally quickly love his new home and will then start to have more confidence in himself and his surroundings and he will probably end up getting used to his new environment.

    Finally, know that you have to be patient with him, you just have to reassure him and guide his steps and little by little he will overcome his fear and enjoy his new family and will return all the love you give him.

    Make sure that nothing scares him at home, for example the noise of the vacuum cleaner, the TV, another pet, etc.

    When she takes her to the park, tell M… to avoid the places where there are too many people and too many dogs

    Also tell her to keep an eye on him so she knows when he usually does his business so she can schedule her outings right after he’s done (usually after 20-30 minutes after feeding).

    I hope this will help you and finally, let me recommend my three articles on the subject:

    Crate training a New Puppy

    How to Get my Dog Out from Under the Bed ?

    Is it OK to Leave a Dog Alone for 8 Hours ?

    Thank you again for your efforts and your love for this little guy and I really hope that he will soon overcome his fear and finally become part of your family and that little M… will finally be able to spend some great moments with her new companion.

    I wish you all the best and good luck ma’am.

    M Samy

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