Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Ruined dog's trust in me

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Lucy2020, Sep 13, 2021.


  1. Lucy2020

    Lucy2020 PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2020
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    259
    Hi all. So as mentioned in my other thread, we're fostering a dog from Greece. She has been settling in really well and we've been talking about maybe adopting her. One thing she's had a problem with, though, is the kitchen.

    Our downstairs is open plan, so it's just living room at the front with the kitchen at the rear, which contains the staircase. The main difference between the two rooms, at least as far as a dog cares, is the flooring. The living room is carpeted and the kitchen has stone tiles.

    Zhia has refused to cross the kitchen since she got here, and has only taken a tentative step or two in when she's been excited about food - specifically, I'm not sure she's ever gone in with her back legs. It's worth noting she's missing one of her front legs, and also most of her tail.

    Since we weren't making any progress no matter how much encouragement and treats were offered, I decided to just pick her up (she doesn't mind being picked up at all - she has flopped down a few times on walks and had to be carried the short distance home, and seemed to quite enjoy it) and just put her over the boundary. It was maybe 50cm? But she hated it - she wasn't shaking, but she was kind of cowering, clearly scared and backed out rather than turning.

    I feel awful, I had no idea she'd have such a bad reaction. While she still seems to 'like' me, she isn't nuzzling as much or lying near me anymore. In fact, she's staying by the front door as much as possible - which is as far from the kitchen as you can get. She's also reluctant to go near the kitchen if I'm specifically in the room.

    Is there anything I can do? I still have no idea what the problem is with the kitchen and the only things I can think of are either she doesn't have enough grip or the stairs frighten her.

    I don't know if this has permanently damaged our relationship and we shouldn't be thinking of adopting her ourselves now. :(
     
  2. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    9,966
    Likes Received:
    31,378
    Honestly? I think you're overreacting a bit - in all areas :)
    No, you haven't ruined her trust. No, she didn't like what you did, that was a dirty trick you played on her, but she will get over it - if you let her. Dogs are nothing if not forgiving and resilient and if you let it go, she will too. Just give her time and don't push her again.

    Two, if she doesn't want to be in the kitchen, don't make her. You've had her about 5 minutes. It's going to take her longer than a few days to get used to everything. Let her go at her own pace. So she doesn't go in the kitchen. So what? Less worry about her getting in to stuff she shouldn't, counter surfing, dumpster diving, all the good stuff dogs do in kitchens.

    We have a little feral street rat dog and it took her months to adjust to life in a house. Even now, over a year later she's still adapting to things. Be patient, don't rush anything, and let her go at her own pace :)

    Oh and yes, it very likely is the floor. Shiny floors, slick floors, anything that's hard to get traction on can cause a dog to avoid that area. If you *need* her to go in the kitchen, invest in some runner rugs that she can walk on.
    When our old dog got more unsteady, we had a whole patchwork of runner and area rugs in the house to make it easier for him to get around. If your foster only has 3 legs she may need that extra traction permanently.

    Edit: you may also want to check her nails. They should be short enough that they don't touch the floor when she's standing normally. If her nails are too long that will make hard (non carpeted) floors harder for her to navigate.
     
    ForestWomble, Twiggy, Cleo38 and 2 others like this.
  3. Lucy2020

    Lucy2020 PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2020
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    259
    Thanks so much, that is reassuring. The main reason I need her to go in the kitchen is so we can go through the back door into the garden, rather than walking her round the front of the house for a wee (our front door is directly on the street, no garden/driveway). I'll investigate floor runners. Can there be gaps between or will I need to make them into one continuous piece?
    Her claws are fine - she trims them herself quite short, other than her dew claws (which were ridiculously long and I've started clipping down).
    Edit: My husband just told me she explored the kitchen once or twice when I was sleeping and didn't seem to have any trouble...
     
  4. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    27,641
    Likes Received:
    44,571
    I’d say it’s most likely the hard floor surface.

    Given she’s missing a leg too it could be very slippery for her and difficult to walk safely on. Tails aid balance too so that’s probably a factor.

    We had runners or mats down for Jack (and took them on holiday too).
     
    Twiggy and Lucy2020 like this.
  5. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    20,921
    Likes Received:
    21,822
    I use yoga mats in my kitchen as one of mine doesn't like the wood floor and the back door is through the kitchen.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice