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Rescue dog afraid of me

Discussion in 'Dog Rescue and Adoption' started by Jez Herrell, Apr 8, 2021.


  1. Jez Herrell

    Jez Herrell PetForums Newbie

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    Hi we rescued a German shorthaired pointer from a rescue in Cyprus. She is a lovely dog and has settled in really well. The only problem we have is that she is scared of men when they are stood up. She will spend all day sitting on my knee, but as soon as I leave the room then return it’s like I am a total stranger. we have tried getting down to her level and praising her, but nothing seems to help.
    Any other suggestions would be greatfully appreciated.
     
  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    How long have you had her?

    I would try ignoring her, no talking, not even making eye contact when you enter the room, and perhaps just drop a tasty treat in her general direction or just on the floor.

    Dont try and engage with her, let her make the choices and make sure she has a safe space where she is left entirely alone.

    If you are out of the room, will she come to you if you call her? I wonder if getting her to do that, then going back into the room together might break the cycle.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  3. Jez Herrell

    Jez Herrell PetForums Newbie

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    Hi
    We have only had her 3 weeks, but I just wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. She will follow me all over the house. Then become scared when we get in close proximity. Getting down to her level does help. I will try and avoid eye contact and see if that helps.
    Thank you
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  4. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Looking or staring is an interesting thing for humans. As a species we communicate by looking at a persons face, we pick up clues as to whether they are happy or sad or whether they are being truthful or not. A person who doesn’t look you in the face when communicating is regarded as a bit strange, maybe untruthful. Dogs regard staring as an aggressive act and avoid eye contact with one another unless they have a close bond.
    It’s so natural for us to stare at a dog and not realising the effect it’s having on them, looking away to the side with only quick glimpses is far more reassuring to the dog and should relax them and lessen fear.
    In time dogs learn that their humans communicate by staring and they learn to imitate and stare back. I often catch my dog staring at me when she wants something as she has learned this is a good way of getting my attention. How many of us are sat down and find our dog gazing into our eyes and say ‘what do you want’.

    Hopefully looking away from your dog will help to lessen her fear when you come into a room, let her approach you in her own time. You may find gently talking to her as you sit down still not looking directly at her will help to relax her and show she has no reason to fear you.
     
    JoanneF likes this.
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