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What could have caused this?

(7 Posts)
Licketysplits Sun 05-Feb-17 14:52:47

We are on day 3 with our new rescue dog. She seems to have settled very well, is toileting outside, affectionate, sleeping well, seems to be enjoying walks etc. When she was at the rescue she was excessively timid and nervous but she was like a different dog once we got her home, far more confident. But we know she has ishoos bless her.

There is one odd piece of behaviour that we are struggling with. She is ok out in the garden for a few minutes to go the toilet as long as one of us is with her, but if she is out there any longer (happened just now, I came in and the door had shut behind me but I didn't realise) she starts racing round in circles with her jaw dropped, panting hard, and then won't let you near her (I was trying to stop her running head first into a double glazed door and ended up having to stand in front of it!). She's not gone for me but it is a bit intimidating. Then once she's calmed down she's soft as muck again. Obviously we're going to avoid the situation but I'm wondering if perhaps her previous owners had left her in a garden all day or something, do you think that's likely? She was found as a stray so we have no background on her. Just trying to work out how to help her.

SparklingRaspberry Sun 05-Feb-17 16:21:08

Maybe! Perhaps she's had bad experiences of just being left. Maybe she was beaten in the garden which is why she won't let you near her.

Spinning in constant circles is a sign of stress. Perhaps being out in the garden alone brings back memories, which is why she then starts chasing round.

A behaviourist will be a massive help with this.

Next time she does this try and turn it into a positive moment for her.

Poor thing sad she seems a lucky girl to have you though!

TrionicLettuce Sun 05-Feb-17 16:28:58

It sounds like a reaction to stress/anxiety.

DDog2 is quite a stressy dog by nature and she's done very similar in the past when she's got too worked up about something.

In DDog2's case it was generally related to being separated from DH (and then exacerbated by the death of DDog1) so we did lots of very gentle work with her to build her confidence away from him. She's improved massively and these days is coping fine even when DH has to go away for a week or so at a time with work a few times a year.

It might be less about the garden and more about suddenly having been separated from you. Have you tried leaving her alone at all yet? If not I'd build up very gradually as you would with a puppy just to be on the safe side.

You may well find she gains a lot of confidence just from having a stable home. DDog1 was a rescue who had lived in kennels for most of his life when we adopted him and he was a complete mess initially. He'd had at least one very short term home before and it took him a while to realise he was staying for good. It was lovely watching him gradually relax the longer he was with us and he blossomed into an absolutely wonderful dog.

Licketysplits Sun 05-Feb-17 18:17:39

Thanks both. We haven't left her at all yet, but she seems fine with being in a room on her own with the door shut - for the first couple of days we confined her to downstairs and when DH went out and then I went upstairs for a few mins she was fine, no whining or crying or anything, just sat patiently by the door for me to come back. We are definitely going to build up gradually with that.

She did a similar thing earlier, she jumped on the bed and I asked her to get down as we're not allowing her on there, she wouldn't so I pushed her gently and she started doing the drop jaw heavy panting running around thing again, then stayed in that high alert kind of mode for a few minutes until she calmed down. It's like she's expecting something horrible to happen, it's really sad to see.

I think we're going to give it a couple of weeks to see if she settles down a bit once she feels more confident, and if not get a behaviourist in.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Sun 05-Feb-17 21:33:38

Perhaps she became very stressed, when the door closed. It appears that she has been shut outside alone, on her own, for long periods of time.
Could you wedge the door, when she is outside, see what happens then, when she has the option to stay out, or come in.
I suggest you get a DAP spray, from the vets, Dog Appeasing Pheramones, it isn't cheap, but it does the job, calming the dog. Spray it in her bed, in the car, where she enjoys laying down. You could, if she's small, get her a dog jumper, spray that, and put it on her, before she goes outside.
Meant to add, it mimics the scents she would have smelled from her Mum, when she was tiny, and felt safe.
Hope it works out, and that you give her a chance.

MrsWooster Mon 06-Feb-17 12:11:11

Perhaps thundershirt or stress bands, as well as dap diffuser, while she settles through each new situation

SparklingRaspberry Mon 06-Feb-17 22:05:04

Perhaps before when she was in certain situations she was hurt/beaten. So now, when she's in a situation which used to involve her being hurt, she becomes stressed.

Obviously I could be totally wrong.

Definitely recommend a behaviourist.

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