Friday, October 16, 2009
The new addition....
His name is Cash. Very skinny, very scared and just enough curiosity.
He spent the first few days with us in that corner. He is a fearful dog, untrusting of people, but really curious of what we're doing so it didn't take him long to venture away from the corner. He wanted to be near us and see what we were doing but had to have a buffer zone. Either a piece of furniture or like 6 ft. We've narrowed that down to about 3 feet, but he still has issues when people come at him quickly or when you reach out towards him.
It took almost a week to get him outside to do his business. He is terrified of being on a leash...it's not the leash that bugs him so much, but the psychological pressure that he faces to come unwillingly towards people. I tried carrying him outside, but again that was too much pressure and he'd just shake and try to hide under or behind anything, getting as far away from me as possible. So, I decided to just wait it out and let him trust me. You can't gain an animals trust by forcing them to do something they are afraid of right?!
Now he comes in and out of the house almost better than my own dog, knows his name, learned a good sit (from 3 ft away), he is learning hand targeting, again, from an arms length away, but this will boost his confidence I think and he's very excited to see us when we come home! We are working on crate training right now, but I over did it the other night and shut the door to the crate while he was eating. He shut down, stopped eating and the second I opened the door he bolted. It took about an hour for him to even come near me again and another two days to eat his food remotely close to the crate. So we've started from square one and will proceed with great caution! I believe in time, he will no longer be afraid, but it will take some time and some work. He's such a smart dog though so I think one day, he'll just have a "light bulb" moment and understand that us "two-leggers" aren't so bad!
Look at that face!
Cash also has kind of a "bum" leg. It was fractured before we got him and had already started healing. Through some really good luck on his part, the bones are healing straight and he shouldn't have any joint issues. His right hind leg is slightly shorter then the others though, so he'll have a limp for the rest of his life. I don't think he really notices though, he races around here like crazy (think bambi on ice!) and frequently gets the "zoomies" outside!