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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19660
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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I have a 2 and a half year old malinois, we just adopted her

Customer Question

I have a 2 and a half year old malinois, we just adopted her a few weeks ago, she has had rough life. She follows ny wife around every where, but wont eat when she feeds get. And she runs away from me, but eats when I feed her, and she sleeps right next to me in the bed, and when I get up she watches me till I am in bed again. Can she trust me but not be warmed up to me? And how can I make her not be afraid if me as it seems she is?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Meant to say when she feeds her
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

How long have you had her?

Who trained her?

Is she sleeping in the bed or next to the bed?

Does she listen to you or your wife when you give her commands?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
4 weeks, not sure anout training, I am planning on training her once she opens up more. her previous guardian went to prision and she was left on her own for 3 weeks to fend for her and her puppies. Then they where declared wild by the sherrifs office and she watched s few of her puppies get killed by the deputies. The rescuer showed up before they killed her and thev3 remaining puppies. She is the sweetest dog. She starts the night right next to me then about halfway through she moves to the foot of the bed. She kinda listens, when she wants to.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She goes to sleep usually with a part of her head on my shoulder and the rest on a pillow. And she stays on the bed when she moves but she moves so she is facing the other direction laying next to my legs and feet
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful.

It is possible that her previous owner abused her so she is a little hesitant about staying close to you. However, once you are going to bed, she might feel safe enough to stay with you. Many females are submissive to male humans. Dogs associate low tones with reprimands and males tend to lean over dogs and have low toned voices while females have higher pitched voices and crouch down to interact with dogs. That leaning over to a dog indicated dominance.

It might be helpful if you try and raise the tone of your voice and crouch down when interacting with you. In addition, I would start obedience training now. It doesn't have to be a class. You can do it at home. It will help teach her what you expect of her when you say certain commands and will lead to her being more comfortable around you and now what you want her to do so she doesn't have to be scared or hesitant around you.

The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

We also don't recommend dogs sleep with owners as it raises them to the same level as humans and sometimes will cause a dog to not obey their human master. However, if she seems to do well with training, just keep it in mind as something you may want to try later.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer.


Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Karma. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler