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Dr:D, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 859
Experience:  27 years of small animal medicine and surgery experience.Licensed in Florida and Canada
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I have been given a cavalier spaniel female dog. She is 4

Customer Question

I have been given a cavalier king charles spaniel female dog. She is 4 years old and spent her time in a puppy farm for the purpose of breeding. She had 5 litters and is now retired. She is extremly timid and very anxious to the point that she hides under the barbeque shivering. I only got that little girl today, she is wary of everything and tries to run away from me when I want to pick her up. I know dogs need time to settle in but she seems to be extremly anxious. Which steps can I take to make her more comfortable anď more trusting.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr:D replied 7 months ago.

Hello there , Welcome to Just Answer , thank you for the question

Believe me that you are not alone . This is a new environment for her and we don't know how much handling she has had in the past. Besides, it is adaptive for her to be a bit quiet and hang back until she knows what people will do. I would try to find a training school around you that uses only positive reinforcement(or at least primarily positive reinforcement) and start working with her so she can learn some commands.

Remember picking her up is scary and stressful. When you hold her she cannot escape. You would be better off sitting down and teaching her to come to you for a delectable treat and then letting her leave. She has no way of knowing what you want to do with her or to her when you pick her up and that can be stressful.

When a dog shows fear at home, don't put pressure on the dog in a rush to get things done. To do so would risk pushing the dog into the fight-or-flight survival mode. Use your attention exercise and all other positive training you've done with the dog to move away from the dog and induce the dog to come with you. TAKE YOUR TIME. Accept the fact that taking care of any dog is going to take time out of your day, and this is the kind of care your timid dog needs. Time spent in positive training with a timid dog pays off mightily, both in giving you more and better tools for managing the dog, and for increasing the dog's confidence.

If the dog is afraid of one family member, that person needs to patiently wait for the dog to make each approach. Never corner a dog. You would increase the dog's fear, and also risk pushing the dog into a defensive bite. It helps if this is the person who feeds the dog and tosses toys if the dog likes to chase them. With plenty of patience, the dog will usually get better. If months go by and the dog is still afraid, rethink the way the person is handling the dog. Even one outburst of impatience or anger from that person can create a huge setback.

When a dog fears guests, follow the principle of reducing the intensity of the situation to the point that the dog is comfortable. This may mean, especially at first, that you settle the dog into another room to relax away from the guests. Be especially cautious about subjecting a fearful dog to boisterous children, overbearing people, or intoxicated people.

This could help her to calm down . Give it a try if you can :

I hope this helps. please do not hesitate to come back if you have more questions. Good luck

Expert:  Dr:D replied 7 months ago.

Let me know if you have other questions.
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