Here`s another great article:
Looking for advice, recommendations, or encouragement. Our rescue Aussie mix has come a long way in the past week, and is now comfortable peeing/pooping outside. She will even go to the door when called first thing in the morning, though other times during the day we need to walk her to the yard on a leash. She is also eating and drinking much better, after we learned that she only likes to do those things in her crate (which is easy enough to accommodate).
That said, she thinks the floor of our house is lava. She is so affectionate and does not seem fearful of any humans in the house (slightly fearful of the cat, but the cat gives her a wide berth), but she basically will be in her crate, on the couch, or on the bed. She will not walk around the house except on a leash.
I am trying to give her space a la the two week shutdown (this is halfway through her second week), but at the same time, as a young Aussie mix, I am worried that she is not getting any real exercise. I have taken her on a couple neighborhood walks, and now if she sees me opening the gate or door to take her out, she digs her feet into the ground and refuses to go. She doesn't want to be in the yard at all – after she pees/poops she runs to the door, under a large bush, or if on a lead she will just lie down. She has no real interest in playing with toys or working for treats, which I can understand as most of her life was spent tied up in a yard with no interaction. She doesn't seem to know what toys are.
I've been contacting local trainers, but the ones I have reached that will do in-home evaluations also use training methods I not comfortable with (collar training). I am going to keep reaching out to trainers, and maybe will have to bring her to one, but I don't really want to force her into a new environment before she recognizes that she is home and not in another temporary environment (after being rescued from her neglectful situation, she spent a month and a half in a kennel and a month in a foster home). But I do want her to get the activity she needs and help her become more comfortable in our house.
Am I rushing this? Should I continue to let her be a couch/crate potato until she is more confident exploring the house? As per another recommendation, I am ordering a copy of Help for your Fearful Dog, are there any other reading recommendations? This is new territory for me … our previous rescue was a lab who was gregarious and playful from day one (and highly food motivated, so very easy to train). I just want to make sure that we are giving our new girl what she needs to become a happier and healthy dog.
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