Calming down my Anglo Francaise rescue dog?

Hi all and best wishes for 2013

I have always had at least one dog and have trained all to be very calm, obedient companions.

Ten weeks ago we visited SPA Limoges and chose a lovely little fella who is around 4 years old but had been with SPA for more than 2 years because of his nerves.

I realise it is going to take a long time to get him used to our house, family and routines but wondered if anyone else had rehomed a similar dog and best approach to acclimatising him.

Some days he will go into the field with our other dog and play but will not come in until he is brave enough which can be 2 in the morning and will not let you near him but on others he will come to you to be taken into the house.

He has his own bed and lives in it whilst in the house barely daring to leave it for his meals!

His is so lovely though and one day will really feel settled I am sure, but at the moment I feel so sorry for him.

Any tips please?

hi scott. difficult to offer advice from a distance. a suggestion is to spend one on one time with the new addition to establish a relationship. he should be trained to walk on a lead, recall, the usual things one would do with a puppy. he probably just doesn't know what he is supposed to do. i am sure you will find your way through and it always makes me really happy when dogs are taken out of SPAs, so thanks for that. Good luck and Happy New Year

time ....and lots of it and don t smother dog with love as its spent 2 years in a minimal contact environment and a lot of contact is stressful to the dog as its not "normal". Hopefully its not been mistreated because if it has it will take longer to accept you but when it does you will feel so GREAT !!! then its step two getting it to accept others. I have a beagle who was badly beaten for almost 5 years and after 3 years she has improved from a dog that barely walked she was so scared to a proud slightly anxious dog.The first year I let her see nothing awful was going to happen if she for example ran off or emptied bins - I just said "no" and carried on. At one year I made her stay with my other dog with someone she barely knew for 2 days, I put her into situations with me to help her "deal with them" and see nothing awful was going to happen. Its been a long haul but now she happily stays with strangers for a week and no problems, she still scares at guns and sticks. I think if you re realistic regarding the time it takes ....2 years in the SPA is long and not just forgotten in a month or two and the previous "puppy" period is unknown-

but in time I m sure you ll have a beautiful companion !!!

Hi Scott. Firstly, welcome to the Dogs Group. Secondly, congratulations on the new member of the family and well done you for getting him out of the refuge. It sounds as though you've already made fantastic progress - he's made friends and plays with your other dog which is an enormous step in itself as it's helping him feel part of your 'pack'. He hasn't enjoyed freedom like that for over 2 years. You're right, though. It's purely a question of time now. His nervousness is still interfering with his feeling safe, hence his reluctance to leave his basket. I think your patience, quietly talking to him and petting him will win out and he will start to relax. Through no fault of theirs, due to sheer numbers there is limited physical contact and human companionship at the SPA and 2 years is a hell of a long time. It will be a slow process but you will gain his trust and, once he realises there's a routine involving food and love and that he's not about to be turfed out, he will accept that he's now safe with his family.

Happy New Year to you, Rachel and the little ones. May it be full of laughter and good fortune - you've already changed the life of this little one for the better.

Hi Scott,
Are you familiar with the methode of Jan Fennell. It is a soft way of training a dog and would be perfect for yours. You can order her book and it will explain very clear how to do it. I use it for my dogs and the dogs I am looking after at my house.
I have had a visit as well at my house from somebody who is official trainer, and it works perfect.
Have a look at her site , it will explain how she is working.

I hope this will help you, because we people have to change our behaviour as well and not only the dog.
And by the way, thank you for adopting a spa dog. I am walking the spa dogs every week and I know how difficult it is to find good homes for them.

Kind regards, Willemijn