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Hello! I adopted a staghound from a rescue group that said she lived outside most of the time for about two years. She did ok in the rescue because of the kennel set up being outside while it was nice (which it was when she was there), but now she is home and can't stand being inside. While she can be outside quite often to play and enjoy the weather, I want her to be an inside dog. She plays and is completely happy outside but when I bring her in she clings to the bed she lays on for dear life and pants like crazy. I sit with her and she is still a mess. I don't know what to try - or if this is something I just wait out. She will not go up or down stairs (inside or outside), which is a struggle as well. If anyone has any advice or tips they would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
 

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Hey. I`m sorry that sounds pretty tough...

My dog was a street puppy and had lived all her life outside on street and also freaked out the first time she was brought indoor. We went to the vet and she just froze when she was put on the floor ... it seems to me that floors scare them the most.

Idk if it was due to her age or personality but she was fine by the evening

You will have to be very patient and take baby steps. Don`t make her go up and down stairs/explore many rooms etc. It`d be great if she was ok even in the hall/whatever room is closest to door for starts.

You need make her see that indoors = greatest place on Earth where the best things happen. For an example, you could try feeding her only inside... I would put down some soft/thicker rug or carpet near door and put her bowl there... it`s pretty common for dogs to be afraid of slippery floors & as I said it seemed to me that my dog was scared of the floor the most that first time. I also know a very well adjusted/trained/loved 11 year old dog who doesn`t have any anxieties/"disorders" but freaks out if he has to walk on bare wooden floor because he has lived his all life in a fully carpeted home. + You said she clings to the bed - probably because it`s escape from scary floor :)


Maybe even leave the door open if possible so she can choose to come inside and eat on her own.

Once she is done eating praise her.

I`m not sure if it helps but it`s something I would try.

Good luck :)
 

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Aw the poor pet. That is so tough on her and you.
Baby steps!! One room at a time. im presuming that the garden attaches to either the front or back of the house? So whichever room it is closest to, let her get used to that room first.
Like secrets0stolen said, try feeding her inside, just at the very edge of the room where she can run back outside if she feels the need. Putting a soft rug down is also a great idea.

She needs to learn to associate the indoors with positive fun things - like eating.
If she is even too nervous to eat inside then just place the bowl close to the door and keep moving it closer each day until its eventually inside.

She is obviously quite a nervous dog and just needs ot come out of her shell a bit. Im sure she will be fine if you just go slowly. Also you will increase your bond with her if you help her through this terrifying ordeal (in her eyes).

My dog has an awful fear of foot bridges (especially if they are steel, like in a park we go to sometimes). He doesn't like the hollow sound or feeling of crossing them, however so long as I walk infront or beside him he will cross carefully and be super excited for his treats on the other side.

Clicker training might also be beneficial in this circumstance and move things along positively a bit quicker..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the suggestions! It's been a few days and we have made some progress. I "carpeted" the floors with blankets which made walking around easier. I slowly took away some of the blankets and she's walking freely on the floor now. She's eating and playing inside which has made life much easier! She is still terrified of the inside stairs (outside stairs are just fine now, who knows) which is stressful because it isolates me and it's boring (haha) so that is the thing we are working on now. I'm trying treats, having the other dogs walk up and down, but no luck.

Thanks again for all the help - it has worked so well!
 

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I don't have any tips other than only allowing her food and treats inside the house.

I wonder if she was abused? Kicked down a flight of stairs? Put treats on the stairs so she has to go up or down...and leave the room. Maybe she'll be curious on her own..especially if she was kicked down the stairs then she might not trust you so much so soon.
 
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