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kingfisher7151

And then two became three?????

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It sounds like she is making great strides. Good work.

 

My most recent dog also displayed a lot of appeasement behavior when she came. [she was about a year old.] The way I interpret that is a lack of confidence. I don't mind a dog being cuddly or coming to get pets, but this was much more extreme. She is doing much less of that, but in times of stress or uncertainty, she reverts to appeasement behaviors (trying to crawl up me or flipping on her belly). I think these things take time. I like the fact that she is becoming 'naughty' and joining in on some of the dog chase games - and instigating some also.

 

Any thoughts from people here on appeasement behavior?

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So far I have been pretty much ignoring the appeasement behaviors. I'm staying 100% neutral, just not acknowledging the fish-on-the-shore theatrics. As soon as she just sits back and holds still I shower her with attention. I want her to feel better and receive praise by sitting calmly, not from offering appeasement behaviors. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I didn't want to reward and encourage behaviors that indicate low self esteem. She doesn't seem to be at all put out by me ignoring her, if I thought it worried her I'd approach it differently.

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So far I have been pretty much ignoring the appeasement behaviors. I'm staying 100% neutral, just not acknowledging the fish-on-the-shore theatrics. As soon as she just sits back and holds still I shower her with attention. I want her to feel better and receive praise by sitting calmly, not from offering appeasement behaviors. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I didn't want to reward and encourage behaviors that indicate low self esteem. She doesn't seem to be at all put out by me ignoring her, if I thought it worried her I'd approach it differently.

Yes, that is pretty much what I did, and continue to do. It has been a hard behavior to try and extinguish, but she is doing much better.

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The fact that you are able to call her back to you after she freaks out and thinks you are going to attack her is a very good sign indeed.

 

And ignoring the appeasement behaviors is exactly what I would do. I think it is the best approach.

 

It sounds as though you are really making good progress with her, and while at times it may feel slow to you, it really seems to be moving pretty rapidly. In the video she looks so relaxed and happy. Lucky girl, to have some to you!

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When we got Nala we thought she was just super cuddly, but now that I know her better it's clear that some of that "cuddly" behavior was nervous appeasement. I wish we ignored it but we didn't know any better, so she got lots of attention and cuddles. She's mostly moved on from it as she gained confidence, or some of it has gotten ritualized in a way where I don't think it's a problem (e.g., every morning she wriggles around on her back at the top of the stairs, and I give her belly rubs and if I stop she wriggles for more). She's still a super cuddly lap dog who lives for belly rubs, but the behavior doesn't seem to have that needy anxious edge to it anymore.

 

She used to flinch if we moved too fast, moved things (shoes, boxes, etc) around her, bent over her, etc., sometimes doing a full "play dead" submissive posture. We never worked with her specifically on that either but it disappeared on its own. A month ago she knocked something off a shelf walking by and gave us an "oh no am I in trouble??" look and I realized we hadn't seen that in about a year.

 

And on walks, she used to walk behind us with her head down and her tail between her legs. It felt like such a breakthrough when she finally started sniffing around like a normal dog. Now she pulls like crazy when she see rabbits and I wish she'd heel as well as she used to, but it's way better to see her confident and happy.

 

I think we got lucky--we knew very little about dog behavior, but getting her on a normal routine with play, exercise, training, and affection got her about 95% of the way there. We got some outside help on the last 5% of freaking out about other dogs. I hope your journey goes as smoothly, it sounds like you're off to a great start :)

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This totally reminds me of my current situation. I was always "I'll never foster fail", but I'm definitely near failing. I was asked to foster a 6 month old bc who was having a lot of problems at the rescue. Really shy, and shutting down. I have a soft heart for shy BCs. After working with him for just a few days, I feel him creeping his way into our hearts and pack. He is already 1000x better now that he isn't at the rescue. They aren't sure what happened to him before, however, it must have not been so great. He looks up to my other two dogs and he now plays and romps around. When I first picked him up, he was practically glued to the floor from being so shy and wouldn't pick up his head to look at you. I love watching dogs transform into loving, forgiving souls.

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This totally reminds me of my current situation. I was always "I'll never foster fail", but I'm definitely near failing. I was asked to foster a 6 month old bc who was having a lot of problems at the rescue. Really shy, and shutting down. I have a soft heart for shy BCs. After working with him for just a few days, I feel him creeping his way into our hearts and pack. He is already 1000x better now that he isn't at the rescue. They aren't sure what happened to him before, however, it must have not been so great. He looks up to my other two dogs and he now plays and romps around. When I first picked him up, he was practically glued to the floor from being so shy and wouldn't pick up his head to look at you. I love watching dogs transform into loving, forgiving souls.

 

I completely relate to what you are saying.

 

As a foster dog person I kind of "specialized" in the shy and shut down dogs. Not meaning I am any kind of expert! But I had a few successes, so the rescue sent me more of them.

And then, of course, there was Kelso.

 

When I am able to go back to fostering, I will want once again to work with the shy and frightened dogs. It is so wonderfully rewarding, and I also think that if you do it right it tends to bring out the best in the person working with the dog. Anyway, it did with me. Those dogs gave me far more than I gave them.

 

Several of the foster dogs I remember with the most affection are the ones who came to me terrified and left with their tails held high.

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A little update for you guys. She's doing super well, making progress every day. She's still a little spooky and weird, but MUCH more confident now, and she plays every day. After two weeks of hiding from it she decided the flirt pole is brilliant fun. She's also a biking fanatic. Her core still isn't super strong, but her topline has improved pretty dramatically. Oh, and she discovered how to stalk.

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