Jump to content
Maggie102

How to get my dog more comfortable around me

10 posts in this topic

Hi! I’ve been having some trust problems with my 14 year old mutt, Ellie. After my grandfather passed away in 2010 we acquired her, though at the time I was only 5. She got switched around with a lot of others family members. As we tried to find someone to give her too. I always really loved her, but I was really young and I had no say, nor did I understand.

when I was 7 we decided to keep her. My dad became her owner. I adored her but she always hated playing. She was always very distant. She was an out door dog who was walked 4 times a week and fed a diet of cheap canned food.

when I was 10 I got very interested in pet care and did some reasearch and started changing her care. My father has never liked dogs but he still likes her he just won’t show affection to her.

now she sleeps in the house, is fed a home made diet of meat and vegetables and is truly loved.

 

she is still very distant and while she does enjoy being patted she is very nervous and won’t fully relax. Also when I come up to her with my hand out to pat her she ducks. My father and my grandfather never hit her, but my grand dad didn’t get her from the shelter till she was two.

i was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to make her more comfortable. Is this nervous ness just from her having so many owners? Or is this that she just a confused old blind dog?

 

 

Sorry this this is so long I just thought the info was important

i would just like to say I am planning on keeping her till she dies and give her the best care I just want to make her comfortable 

 

 love her so much she is my best friend 

 

thanks!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome :)

You are doing a good job for Ellie. She's lucky to have you by her for her final years. 

I think you've answered your own questions pretty much. 
She may well be a confused old blind dog. 

 

When she's on a walk..does she look at things more than sniff?

When you approach her..perhaps don't put out your hand ..the shadows/shapes she sees are perhaps causing her to react the way she does. Does she hear OK? Talk to her when you approach, & make sure she has time to sniff that it's you before reaching out. Always approach from the side..not over her head , too.


if she doesn't hear too well, and then sees movement/a hand/shadows.. instinct is to duck. Call her, or make a loud noise/whistle behind her when she's not looking. See how she reacts. 
has she had a vet check? 
That might be a good idea ....just to make sure things are working OK :) The vet can do an eye check for cataracts  & some other things too . 

If you can ..post a pic of the dear old girl .. :)

Edited by persephone
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sheena   

Everything that Pers says, plus get down to her level rather than bending over her & offer the back of your hand for her to sniff.  Yes a picture is a must ...love the oldies :)

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tassie   

What the others have said …. and I would add .. smelly yummy soft treats.  Definitely work on having her come to you .. so sit down on the floor near her, with a container with the smelly treats, and either wait for her to come to you to investigate the yummy smell. then let her eat a couple one at a time from your hand ..letting her make the move .. or put one on the floor near her and bring her towards you with a treat trail.  It would be good if you could do this in a quiet area with no other distractions .. and be very patient.  Try it once or twice, then think about whether it seemed to be something she liked.  If so .. do it a few times a day. 

As far as "patting" goes, she may well be a bit painful .. many old dogs are ,, so keep all your handling very gentle and smooth and relaxing.  Sitting down beside her and doing some gentle stroking and circular motions may help her to relax.   But be guided by her reactions.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the responses!

she has a vet appointment every 6 months, she has cataracts and no longer respondes to sound. She is always happy to see me she’s just nervous.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Maggie102 said:

how do i upload images? it says the files are to large?

They need to be resized to under 300kb.

 

Aahh..if Ellie is deaf and vision impaired, try using a signature scent :) either a unique treat, or drop of vanilla, she will scent this and know it's you, and where you are! :)

 

Sit with her, let her associate a vanilla scent with you feeding/stroking/loving her...then, when she smells this approaching, it means happy :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have another tip for you that I used with very scared foster dogs. We had a dog bed in the lounge room and while we watched tv at night the fosters would sleep in that bed. I'd sit on the floor next to them (near their bum) and start giving them a light massage - whatever leg or piece of body that was exposed. Just rubbing and light kneading and walking up the spine if you can get to it. I'd just do it by touch while watching the tv and not the dog. After a couple of nights they'd starting shifting their bodies under my hands, offering me more of their body to massage. At any time they were free to get up and by not looking at them while I was doing it things were also less confrontational. Usually by week 2 they'd be rolling over wanting me to rub their bellies and I could look at them and talk to them while doing it. They learnt to know and trust my hands as something of comfort rather than something to fear.

 

If your girl is hearing and vision impaired in her old age then she definately has a right to be fearful. It is a natural instinct that keeps her safe. And also at her age she may not want to be played with and touched as much but that doesn't mean she isn't happy in your company. Thank you for making her old age more comfortable and loving. X

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She will be be able to smell Maggie without vanilla essence. I am not saying Maggie is stinky! :laugh:  We all have a unique scent and dogs have very very very clever noses! Malcolm is pretty much deaf now and has limited vision. If he’s outside sunning himself and catches my scent at the door he starts sniffing madly and comes to find me. :love: 

 

It can be hard for us because we want to dote on our dogs, but if she doesn’t wants pats - don’t force her! Many dogs don’t like hands going over their heads either, it’s not necessarily a sign of abuse. Good luck at the vets. There is a lot that can be done to help dogs feel more relaxed. You could see if she responds to Adaptil for starters.

Edited by Papillon Kisses
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dogsfevr   

You also need to appreciate dogs dont need love by you being touchy/feely/huggy many working breeds often have a ring of space they place around themselves & when you push what you want they shut down.
For many dogs you just being there & acknowledging there existence makes them happy .
The dog is old most likely hearing loss,vision & aches & pains where having people too close is intimidating to an old dog,even there smell starts to go so there ability to be "in control" is taken from them  
 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×