If you watch Cesar Milan regularly,you will see that with fearful dogs you must gain the dogs trust through your calm energy- not being assertive. This takes time, you cannot force the new dog to trust you, it happens slowly over time. You can start to bond by walking him on the leash, making him come to you for a treat, bend down and be on his level. Right now the last thing you would want to do with this dog is be assertive, it sounds like the dog has been abused either mentally/verbally or maybe even physically, never been socialized in any way shape or form. You will have work with him alot, I hope you have the love and energy to do so. Heelers are great, very intelligent dogs that need a lot of exercise, they love the frisbee or the ball. I hope this helps.
everything Clymb has said above is really good advice.
Yup, let him get used to house/yard first, I ment once your ready to take him out on walks.
If hes freaking out on the leash id give a firm "sssstttttt"sound (or No, but I find the ssttt seems to get there attention better) and continue on with what your doing...
Is he freaking out cause hes not used to being on a lead at all?
Are you feeding him a primal diet?
Yeah I'm pretty sure he's never been on a leash. He just plops down and refuses to walk or he tries to chew the leash or worm his way out of the collar, hence why I'm going to put the harness on him when I take him outside to try and get him to pee again. He's slowly getting more relaxed around me, but this is just me and him sitting in my room all night/day. Getting him out of the room will be rough. He won't even walk around the room, just lies in one spot.
Originally Posted by DinoHunter
Shepherds are in general playful and curious creatures. Dog naturally that.
The fearfulness can be a lack of trust. Not surprising since you only have him for a short while. Right now the most important thing is to remain calm, patient and never to raise your voice or show anger. The dog has to start trusting you, though it's important to show that you are the boss or it would walk over you later. so when he is doing something wrong correct it with a touch not your voice.
Also try to get him to eat treats... everything can be won if he takes treats from you... if treats doesn't work try playing. a ball, a rope or even something that could be seen as bait.
The fact that the dog is scared of other dogs is because he doesn't have a place in the pack yet. You as "pack-leader" has to show the other dogs what place he will have. if the balance in your house is good than he will fit in quickly.
right now you have to be patient... imagine yourself being thrown into a group of complete strangers from a group you don't trust (maffia, bikers, criminals, highly religious groups)... you'll be taking things slowly and be watching from a shadows as well... until a friendly person shows you that you can trust him.... with the dog it's the same. you as leader have to show him that he can trust you
Very informative answer, thank you
Originally Posted by MarielleGO
Here's a photo of him!
I second what DinoHunter has had to say.
He really needs to get used to you and your movements.
I wouldn't let him have full run of the house.
Close all doors and only let him have access to where YOU are and the backyard (can you leave the door
open for him so he can explore on his own and then come back in?).
I'd say after a couple WEEKS, then try the walks.
He needs to understand *you* first, then he'll be comfortable wherever *you* take him on his leash.
I know that cats and dogs aren't the same, but just a little anecdote: I found a 5 week old feral kitten
near a well known walking path 2 years ago.
Scared shitless and, like I said, feral. Hissing, spitting, arching of the back, you name it.
I wasn't scared because, come on, she was 5 ounces , but SHE was scared.
I put her in the smallest room possible (my tiny bathroom) in a tiny carrying crate.
I'd go in there daily for two hours and read a book or magazine so she'd get used to my voice,
the way I'd turn the pages, my inflection, etc.
When I'd leave, I'd open the door of the small crate so she could explore her surroundings
while not being scrutinized by me.
A week later I got rid of the crate and put a bed in there, continued reading aloud and in no
time she was very curious about me. Would crawl on me, sniff, curl up in my lap, purr, go to sleep..
It was hard not to pick her up and squish her to death with kisses, but I refrained.
A week after that I let her have the bathroom and the laundry room that was attached, then a week
after that, the family room and those aforementioned rooms. It took a good 4 months to let her have
free roam of the house, and it was a real pain in the ass to tame her up, but it WORKED, she felt
comfortable the whole time, and it was only 4 months out of my life to assure her that I wasn't going to:
1.) hurt her, 2.) eat her 3.) throw her back into the wild.
Her second birthday was 2 days ago. She is the best cat on the planet (which is so funny that I say that
because I've been a dog person, and have HAD dogs for 40 years), is very confident, loving, and is SO
totally MY CAT (out of the four in our household).
I'm so glad I took the time to nurture her instead of just expecting her to be "normal" because she came
to live with me.
Definitely do the same for your new dog. He may live to be 16 or 18, and fostering a good caring, trusting
and nurturing relationship NOW will make his and your life so much better in the long run.
For sure do the rewards when he's doing things you like. Goes potty outside? Lots of praise and maybe an
edible treat. Curls up next to you on the couch and goes to sleep? Lotsa pets and soft spoken words.
This is a very trying time in his life, be gentle with him and you'll have a great dog for years to come.
Good luck and keep us posted!!!!!!!
Thanks Julia He won't move from a single spot yet. So write now he has a bed set up next to my bed, and he just stays there. I've just been sitting in here all day with him. Took him outside again but he wouldn't pee, just shakes. I'm gonna get him a crate for while I'm away. I've never been a fan of crating dogs but I think he needs to the security.