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  • My husband and I just adopted a one-year-old male shiba (15 months to be more precise). He has been with us a month but we feel like we take one step forward, two steps back in regards to gaining his trust. For example: he was very open and friendly towards us initially, but he seems to have become more secluded and protective over his personal space over the last few weeks.

    How long did it take you to gain your dog's trust and how did you do it?
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 694
    I heard that it takes a bit longer the older they are, so just be patient. "Bonding with Your dog" by Victoria Schade will give you some more advice about building a solid bond with your pet, but all in all--spend time with him. Play with him, train with him, let him approach you at his own pace, always be welcoming and kind to him and it will eventually pay off.

    Right now, I am watching my husband try to re-win Coal's trust It is taking a loooong time, but we try to celebrate the small victories. He may never fully bond to my husband like he has to me, but maybe something close, we hope XD
  • @Anjyil thank you for the input, I am worried that we are not doing the right things/doing something wrong.

    He has taken to snapping at us (particularly me) lately. He comes to me and put his head in between my knees with his head down, so I go to pet him and after a few pets he just snaps! He doesn't do this to my husband very often, but it has happened. With me, it happens every single time I pet him. I am not sure what to do about it... He wasn't like that when he first came to live with us.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 694
    The previous owners probably haven't worked on handling with him, so you will have to work on desensitizing him to handling. I read in some books that adopted dogs usually are adjusting the first several days and then start to show their true selves after they have settled in--which means any issues that were reasons for giving up the dog, etc, don't become obvious until several days after being settled in.

    Jean Donaldson's "mine!" book is a good primer for handling issues near the end of the book, as are several books by Patricia McConnell, Brenda Aloff, and...gosh lots of others. There are also several threads under behavior/training that talk about handling issues.

    Some tips I can give--don't reach over or to the side, reach under towards the chest and don't go too fast. You may want to start with just your hand in front of him and then clicking and treating him (clicker training is awesome!) and then gradually move your hand closer. Touch him briefly, then treat, then hold on longer when he seems comfortable with brief touching. Gradually work up from a split second to two to five and so forth.

    If it seems like a big issue, you might want to seek some professional help. Handling issues will spill over to everyday grooming like brushing, bathing, etc, so you want to get a handle on this before you start going through those motions with him. He will need time, though. And patience.
  • @Anjyil thank you for the tips! We just got a clicker and will start using it :)
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 694
    @Atticus Enjoy! I love clicker training--the only draw back being carrying the clicker XD
  • ZenkiZenki
    Posts: 357
    @Atticus watch a couple of videos on how to use clickers. Timing is everything to make it super effective. i don't normally use clickers. i just used it again yesterday. and my click timing was off. ;)) Basically, you want to click the moment he decides to follow your command. You can check out Zenki's life thread and my last video post. you can clearly hear the click. i tried to click the moment he walks in the tunnel and by the time he walks out he turns to me looking for a treat. :))
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    “Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
    – Ann Landers

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