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Rescue Aussie Is VERY Shy
(Orangville, Ontario, Canada)
I recently adopted an Aussie from a bad situation. The people I adopted her from got her from a "breeder" who raised her dogs in kennels, not in the home. This dog was kept behind as a potential show dog and when the breeder noticed how shy she was, she sold her to the first person willing to pay for her. She was with this family for a year and is still very very shy of new people. She is NOT good with children, which is why they rehomed her to me.
I have had her for three months now and it took her almost a month and a half to trust and bond with me. She would sit on her pillow in the front living room all day long and only go for walks if I literally picked her up (with struggle) and took her outside in the back yard. Several weeks of me laying next to her on the floor, giving treats, wet food, and gentle snuggles, and she doesn't leave my side for more than the time it takes her to eat her kibble.
However. She is still VERY shy with strangers. I have been getting friends to meet up with us on the street randomly with treats, have them come down to her level and not look her in the eye and she's just now, two months later, starting to approach them.
Does anyone have any other techniques they have used with shy dogs? If so, how long does it take them to turn around? She's fine with other dogs and when people visit, she's not aggressive, she just hides next to me and seems very very anxious. I feel bad for her and want to reassure her that everything is ok and that people aren't terrible.