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Hang in there

So basically we adopted a dog on Sunday. The rescue group has a 7 day foster to adopt agreement, where you can return the dog within 7 days no questions asked to make sure the fit is right.

We got our new dog (6 months old)- a border collie/lab mix - after careful consideration. I was particularly worried about energy levels, because while my spouse plans to run with the dog every morning, and we are very active on weekends, we both work full time. So the plan was to hire a dog walker every day.

However, 5 days in, some issues have arisen. We live on a busy city street. The dog is freaked out by city sounds and I guess wasn't exposed to it earlier.. Hates going out for walks because of loud noises. I'm supposed to desensitize him through careful exposure, but it's difficult, because I also need to exercise him, take him out to pee etc, and don't have a car to take him somewhere quieter. I don't know how I will possibly use a dog walker - he won't go out sometimes and has his tail tucked between his legs. It really pains me to see it.

He also has some mild separation anxiety- freaks out a bit when we leave, even if brief. Not sure if this is just a time thing, and he needs to settle in. Worried this will become a bigger issue, which is not great with our work schedules.

I don't know what to do. I love him already. He is otherwise a wonderful dog, already housetrained, responds to training. Only things are some jumping and leash pulling, which are no big deal in my book (am totally willing to work on that).

However, it is these bigger temperament things that I am worried about. I want him to be happy. He is so adorable and wonderful with people and other dogs I think he will get snatched up by a family if I return him, and could do really well in a suburban environment. At the same time, the thought of giving him up breaks my heart. Any advice? I can't afford to do doggy daycare every day, maybe once or twice a week.
Hey Righfit12, not sure if you've already made a decision, but how did it go with the new pup?

I understand being super frustrated with a nervous dog, especially as sometimes you feel exposure is doing more harm than good. We've had our four month old pup for just nine days and on the first day he was too terrified to come out of his crate. He also barked and growled at every passer-by (dog, human or child) and shook on every walk. He had his tail between his legs the whole time and would cower. Fast forward to today, and he walked into the pet store with me with his tail held high! Of course if a garbage truck rolls by he gets frightened again but it's slow progress.

We also fostered a terrified country dog earlier this year. He was scared of cars, trains, shovels, big men and dogs among other things. We tried to slowly expose him by just walking up and down quiet roads. We had him for six weeks and know the person who adopted him and he's made so much progress in three months! He no longer rips your arm off trying to dart away from a train or car (at 85 lbs you had to keep watch at all times).

Imagine you had a home, were suddenly separated from your siblings and family, were thrown in a shelter and then taken to another home. You'd be a little insecure that it was temporary and might be moved again any day. It's natural for some dogs to react with fear. Some people have said that their pet's real personality didn't shine through for a year after being rescued! The first time our foster dog was brave enough to even bark was after four weeks. And it was so rewarding to hear.

I think the pup just needs to learn you are there for them and not going anywhere.

EDIT: If you want to swap stories or want any tips on socializing a frightened dog let me know.
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