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Hi everyone. First post on this forum to discuss my concerns with my first dog. She's a 10 month old Maltese who was abandoned by her previous owners and found dehydrated, according to my knowledge. We got her 2 days ago and I am not sure if the behavior she is expecting is typical for a pup in her condition.

1. She won't eat anything besides people food
She is usually very quiet and lays around on the couch, keeping to herself and is very reserved - I read that this is usual for newly adopted dogs as they take time to adjust. Only time she bounds up and gets excitable or energetic is when she sees a plate of people food being carried to the dining table.

We gave her chicken on her first day. She had a few bits of her kibble and then left it alone, but went crazy for the chicken. Tried some wet food mixed with the kibble the next day, and she ate around the kibble and just picked out the wet food. Gave her just wet food for her second meal and for breakfast this morning (about 1/2 a cup) and she picked at it a little and then left it alone.

Tried to coax her with some chicken, but again, she picked out the chicken and just avoided the bits that were mixed well into the wet food. I'm not sure what to do because I feel like she is not eating as much as she should and this is stressing me out.

2. All she seems to want to do is sleep all day
She just curls up in her bed, on the floor or by the corners of a couch and just stays there unless it's time for her 2 daily 20-min walks, food, her cleaning, or when someone gets home. She prowls around the house a few times a day but apart from that, she just wants to sleep. This is great in the evenings because she sleeps well through the night, but I hate to see her like that because she looks so dejected and sad.

3. She does not seem interested in interacting with anyone!
She's very quiet too, only barks when she sees people food (but she's gotten better at realizing we are not going to give anything to her, the barking has decreased significantly). She's not even interested in her toys or any playtime (although I did catch her having a go at her chew toy for a few seconds yesterday and today when she thought I wasn't looking). She doesn't object when someone picks her up to cuddle, kiss and massage her, but I just worry that something might be amiss.

She never makes it a point to approach anyone either (except for in the mornings / when someone returns home, where she greets everyone with jumps and kisses, or of course when someone has food). I know she is still getting used to the house and everyone of us (we are a family of 4), but I can't help but worry that she's not happy. :( I hate to see her like that.

4. She has a fear of heights, I think
She has no issues jumping up onto the sofas and beds, but never jumps down. Only time she did was when she first came and hopped onto the sofa, then hopped off to explore the rest of the house. The second time I got her to get down was when I tried to coax her with chicken, again. I've tried enticing her with treats (which she is super fond of!) but to no avail. She hops on the armrest and walks along like it's nobody's business, but she never wants to get off. We always have to physically bring her down.

She is very sweet. She loves to sleep in my room and she is great with new people. She clearly loves to receive attention but is not fond of exhibiting any. She also loves to be outside and is very curious and loves to explore. She's had a few accidents where she peed and pooped outside of her training pad, but she has been great so far and we have been rewarding her with treats to reinforce the positive behavior. For the most part, she also responds well to simple instructions (come here, stay, no). We haven't raised our voices at all, so I am not sure why she is behaving this way. Is this normal behavior for a newly adopted dog?

Any solutions or opinions are welcomed. Please be kind, this is our first dog so naturally we have a few concerns!
 

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All sounds very normal for a dog adjusting to change; quite similar to the dog I rehomed. My dog’s personality gradually emerged over the weeks and months. Try adding something tasty to the dog food eg fish or weak stock but it might take a little while for her appetite to improve. An early vet visit is also probably a good idea.


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yeah it sounds good actually, she doesnt know you - so its prob how you would feel staying in a strangers house. Keep trying to find food she likes thats healthy for dogs. Little dogs are known for picky eating & check the amounts- they only have little tummies. My miniature eats at most in 1 go a plate size thats a saucer for a tea cup. Or the size of my fist (I have small hands) at least she'll have none- she'll turn her head away or have 3 teaspoons. Her biscuits/kibble she only wants about 2 small handfuls per day & some days she doesnt want any. She doesnt want the same meat every day either. Also she will already have an established routine in her head from the previous family. So if they were out all day- she's prob got used to sleeping. Try waggling the toys. Remember eat/drink cuddles/sleep toilet walk/play there tends to be an instinctual order dogs do things in & they will show you. So I read they tend to rest after eating as it helps food digest for aprox 20- mins half n hour or they may lie down but not sleep then pee poo& its true for my dog. I think you'll find by staying committed to her & the learning process she will start to initiate one day- just let her do it in her own time & if she doesnt- its ok cz she is letting you initiate & is accepting your family- which is a big deal for a little dog.
 

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Also about the couch jumping- I personally wouldnt encourage jumping down if she doesnt want to & would lift her off. They can hurt themselves jumping down & she may have hurt herself before which is why she's learnt Ow I dont want to do that again. Or put a padded foot rest stool there as a step or something, so its not one jump but 2.
 
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