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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As I mentioned in another thread, my wife and I adopted a dachshund/terrier mix - he was in a kill shelter in California and the Toronto Humane Society rescued him. So he traveled all the way from California to Toronto Canada with various stops along the way in a van along with other dogs as well.

I know it's going to take time for him to get used to his new environment and feel that he is finally in a save and loving environment, but I was wondering if there is anything that I can do to help him out of his shell.

He is only a year old, but has zero puppy-like spunk or desire to play. He just sleeps for the most part. I should also point out that he hasn't made a single sound yet - no bark, no whimper, no whine, etc.

I would love to just see a moment even for a second where he runs in excitement or chases a ball or something.

From the research I have done - it's not a breed thing, since dachshunds and terriers are very playful and full of energy dog breeds.

I am sure he has been through hell and I am not trying to force anything - this just may be his personality, but if there is a playful dog with energy inside of him that is dying to get out - I am wondering if there is anything that I can do to help that along.

Does anyone have any advice or experienced a similar situation?

Thanks!
 

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How long have you had him?

It took a good couple of months for my girl to show her true personality. She was really quiet and reserved for a few weeks. She slowly started coming out of her shell a little bit at a time.

Give it time. Love him. He'll come around :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How long have you had him?

It took a good couple of months for my girl to show her true personality. She was really quiet and reserved for a few weeks. She slowly started coming out of her shell a little bit at a time.

Give it time. Love him. He'll come around :)
A week. I know - that isn't enough time, but this is the first rescue dog that I have ever had, so I am new to this as well.

Should I assume that even though he eating well, goes for walks happily, sits with us, sleeps on our bed when we sleep, gives us the odd kiss on our noses when we bend down to pet him or whatever - that he probably still doesn't feel comfortable or safe due to his experiences?

What is your dog's personality like now in comparison to the past - is she a playful ball of energy?
 

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Our rescue dog, Jack (6year old Maltese), who we adopted in November of 2014, is still showing more and more of his personality. It is like watching a rose opening petal by petal. Some have said that it can take as long as two years for a rescue pup to feel fully comfortable in their forever homes.

However, Ollie, who we rescued when he was five months old, never was in a 'shell' and adapted right off.

I guess it depends on the age of the dog and also on their treatment by previous owners.
 

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It took 6 months for our 2nd catahoula to let us pet her, @4 months to get a tail wag from her...she was feral and lived with hoarders. Please don't rush this...have you taken her to the vet to be thoroughly checked out also? SOOOO important. Sleep is restorative and healing as is sunshine/Vitamin D. Doxies love to sunbathe!!! A burrow bag for dachshunds is one of the best things you can make or buy her! Look at Etsy. I make one for every doxie that I dog sit...owners call me a goddess as their dog/s adore the burrowing and snuggling in them!!!! Their very special place!
She will need a routine in your home as it will make her feel safer. Wake up, bedtime, treat time, etc. Bless you for rescuing! Would love to see pictures!!!!
 

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Time, time,timetimetime.... and patients : )

I adopted a super fearful, almost feral dog and the one thing I learned early one with her is:

~Don't force any attention onto your dog at this point - don't talk to him or look at him directly in the eyes~

He knows you're there, and that's enough for the moment. Eye contact and voice can sound threatening to a dog that is trying to adjust to a new environment - especially when a dog is showing signs of being in a mental shell or behaving fearful. Be generous in dropping small treats when (out of the corner of your eye) you see the dog is looking your way or even standing up and watching you from a distance. Drop the treat and step away from it.

My almost feral dog who was abused by her former owner...took about a month to get to the point where I could behave normally around her. I could say her name without her fleeing from me, and I could look her in the eye and not have her cower and bolt away. So if your dog is just a little stunned from the whole traveling and new environment experience - he might come around a lot quicker than one who was abused and pretty close to feral, like my dog was.

Let the dog come to you with the help of treats and soft voice when you feel like you can talk to him without causing him to sink back into his shell. And as another said, sleep is good at this point...he just went through a very traumatic trip and change in his life. The sleep will recharge his batteries and he'll have a different outlook once he's not so 'dog tired' ;)

BTW... here's a video of my dog Jaya playing for the first time. I was almost crying when I saw her doing it. was so choked up, I almost couldn't talk.

I had Jaya for almost a year at this point...and in the house, if I talked to her she would still shy from me, but outside, if I talked to her from the window she would show curiosity and come up and look at me. She just felt safer I suppose. The other dog in the video is my golden retriever HaHa. I mentioned 'lazy playing' and by that, Jaya would lay on her stomach and just kind of 'mouth' play with HaHa...but that was about it, sometimes I would see Jaya play with a stick in the yard...pick it up and carry it to another spot and drop it...but again..nothing else would come from it. Anyway, here's Jaya, at age 5 and 1/2 learning how to play again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FXm1Ew4Kh8

Anyway, I hope soon you will be seeing something like this in your dog, being he's far younger, hopefully the inclination to play will emerge a lot faster. Best of luck with him. Btw...what did you name him?

Stormy
 
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A week is hardly any time at all for a rescue dog. I've always had terrier mixes. My current dog didn't start in with the wide open doggy grinning until about a year in to living with me. The dog immediately before him took a good six months to get the question marks out of his eyes, as I put it.

If you think he's sleeping too much, it might be a good idea to have a vet check him. Heck, if he's a new rescue dog, and it's his first check-up, most of the vets around here will do it for free, just to make sure the dog is fine. If he checks out physically, he may just be taking his time getting used to his new home--or even having a home at all. It could be he's not felt safe enough to relax and take a good long nap before and now he does.
 

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@Tuckersmom - I love your rose analogy! So true!
@Hot Sauce - I remember feeling the exact same way when I got my girl. I thought she hated me. Her foster mom told me how playful and spunky she was and that was NOT the puppy that came to me. I had to remind myself that she left the people that she had known for the last 4 weeks, she 3 sisters and traveled over a thousand miles. Her whole world changed. This forum helped a lot with some of those early fears and concerns. :)
 

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I was just talking to a friend the other day about one of her rescues--all of her dogs have been rescues--who passed away a few years ago. Since he was a rescue, she wasn't absolutely sure about his age, but he had to be well into his teens and he simply passed away in his sleep. She vets her dogs thoroughly, so if he'd had an underlying health problem, it would have been diagnosed and treated, so it was probably simply a matter of age.

Anyway, she commented that when she first saw him in the shelter, he wanted nothing to do with her or anyone. He simply stared into the wall of his enclosure. He was about six at the time, they assumed. He had never been groomed and his long hair was a mess--it took the groomer three hours to pull him back into reasonable shape (he was a large dog). The hair between his pads was so overgrown that he couldn't walk with any kind of ease. The vet also had to remove a benign growth from his mouth that apparently had made it difficult for him to eat. After he went through all of that and began to see my friend as a source of food, shelter, and attention, he blossomed as did the other dog she adopted at the time, who's still with us and rules the roost. The two other younger dogs in the household always allow her to have the final say in the pack, even though they're larger and far stronger. However, my friend, who's recovering from a broken hip/wrist also said that older dog now absolutely shadows her as she walks around the house with a cane and seems determined to make sure she's okay.

The point is, neither the dog who's passed or the old dog who's still with her were immediately bonded to her but they grew to see her with great love. It just took them a while to realize they'd finally found their forever homes.
 

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I recommend food. Get some hotdogs and casually throw them near (not at) your pup. It generally speeds the warming process. You will equal food, which is a good motivator. Decrease distance as the dog feels comfortable.

But like others have said, don't force yourself on this dog. Let the pup come to you.
 

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My family adopted a dog that appeared to be a tri-color blue lacey that came from an abusive home. It took a LONG time for her to come out of her shell, and maybe she never fully came out, but maybe just the way she was wired she wasn't super friendly in your face happy like a lab. We did all notice that she had a 'happy prance' that we'd see when we greeted her if for instance we had all gone someplace all afternoon. She'd prance about 10 feet away from the vehicle as we all got out, and then calmly walk up to each person in turn to be petted.

Not all dogs are the same. Give your dog a lot more time. And don't pigeonhole how you think your dog should act. Let your dog be himself.
 

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My family adopted a dog that appeared to be a tri-color blue lacey that came from an abusive home. It took a LONG time for her to come out of her shell, and maybe she never fully came out, but maybe just the way she was wired she wasn't super friendly in your face happy like a lab. We did all notice that she had a 'happy prance' that we'd see when we greeted her if for instance we had all gone someplace all afternoon. She'd prance about 10 feet away from the vehicle as we all got out, and then calmly walk up to each person in turn to be petted.

Not all dogs are the same. Give your dog a lot more time. And don't pigeonhole how you think your dog should act. Let your dog be himself.
That's about what you get with some dogs.

Let's see, the first time I asked Kabota to sit, just to see if he knew it, he curled up and froze, waiting for the pain to start.

He still flinches when you pet him. 3 years later. And he loves petting.

He didn't wag his tail for 6 months.

He started coming out of his shell at a year, and I think that the dog he is now isn't half the dog he could have been.

Mostly it's just patience, and patience, and treats, and patience. Don't expect much, be happy with what you do get and remember something: it's not what your dog can do for you, it's what you can do for your dog. My dog is a happy little guy. He's not competing in agility or amazing the world as a therapy dog, but he's happy. I'll take it.
 
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