Treats: how NOT to win over a shy dog

You encounter a shy, nervous, or fearful dog at the shelter or at an adoption event. You squat down, try to make eye contact, and encourage the dog to come to you. The dog doesn’t. She stays still, licks her lips, turns her head up and away, as though catching a scent in the air. She licks her lips.

You move a little closer, thinking she’s just shy and maybe you should approach her instead of waiting for her to come to you. You scoot forward a step. She yawns.

You pull out your baggie of treats, thinking that if she is worried about you, maybe you giving her a treat — a peace offering — will show her that you are friend, not foe. You hold the treat out on your hand. She stands up tentatively and creeps forward slowly, with a tiny, low wag to her tail. She grabs the treat and retreats.

You offer another treat, she comes to you more quickly. The third time, she doesn’t retreat as far. You smile as you feel a little rush of adrenaline — You’ve won her over! Breakthrough!

We’ve all been there, right? Offered super-delicious treats to frightened dogs, and then felt like a dog charmer when the dogs approach us instead of cowering at the back of their kennels? Of course. It seems natural and is so tempting to do, but could we be setting them up for failure?

When we bribe a fearful dog to approach using treats, we are creating conflict in the dog. We are saying: Come to me even though you are scared of me. When this request is repeated over and over by different people, it creates a new habit in the dog — approaching people it is scared of in exchange for a food reward. The dog learns that it can approach, get a cookie, and then retreat. It’s when something unexpected happens — this particular stranger doesn’t have a cookie, and happens to sneeze, shuffle his feet, or stare directly into the dog’s eyes — the dog might bite.

We can do fearful dogs a BIG favor by teaching them to stay safe when they are frightened: If you’re scared, don’t approach me. Stay where you are. If a dog understands that he has the choice of whether to approach a new person or not, that dog is much less likely to end up in conflict and in trouble.

We want so badly to win fearful dogs over with food and love, but instead, let’s win them over on their own schedule. Some dogs warm up right away; others will never warm up. Some are somewhere in the middle.

When meeting a new dog, pay careful attention to the dog’s body language. If the dog does not approach or seems worried as it approaches, just be cool and ignore it. Wait and observe. Look for calming signals (yawning, lip licking, sniffing the ground, blinking), and offer them in return. Take the dog for a walk or offer a toy, but don’t use treats or pet it before it is begging for your touch. Many dogs will eat or freeze for petting when they are nervous, but a dog is unlikely to play or actively solicit petting while it’s worried. After that barrier is broken, the treat bag comes out and a world of new possibilities opens up.

But rather than using treats to win the dog’s trust initially, use casual indifference and patience. Teach it: You don’t have to come to me if you are worried. It’ll be the biggest favor you can do.

DISCLAIMER: Author is a student of dog training at the Canine Center in Austin, not licensed professional dog trainer. Contents are one person’s observations, not written-in-stone best practice. Use at your own discretion!

71 responses

  1. I love this! And completely agree with it. At the shelter (since we’re not allowed to sit IN the kennels anymore) I’ve taken the time to just sit outside the kennels of the timid ones… a minute or two…then go walk some other dogs, then go back… sit again..etc etc. It doesn’t always work, but I have succeeded doing this a few small times… by the 3rd time returning, they have crept to the front of the kennel, ready to be walked. A lot of times its the kennel environment and once we’re outside, they often are much different. But anyway, I love the idea of just giving dogs time to make the decision on their own. With no pressure, coercion, or bribery. Great post!

    • This is really good information! I did something similar with the first dog I adopted. I was a total rookie, but I had just watched a “Dog Whisperer” episode where the dog (a former lab test animal) was petrified of people (go figure). Cesar Milan got in the crate with the dog but faced away from him. The dog did ultimately approach to sniff. I sat on the steps to a deck and held a treat out behind me under the step (sorry Aleksandra–didn’t know I shouldn’t have used food back then). It took about an hour, but eventually Tessa did come take the treat from my hand.

    • Hi.

      The first pittie is our Joplin since she is wearing the same collar she wore when we adopted her back in February of 2012. Joplin was rescued from a dog fighting busting in South Carolina and love-a-bull took her as one of their adopt-a-bulls.

      I don’t really have an opinion about the treats. I was just shocked to see her pic! LOL!

      She’s still shy and a little fearful, but she’s a lot better than she was when we first adopted her. In fact, she just received her Canine Good Citizen Certification.

      We attended 3 training classes with Crystal Dunn (Leaps&Hounds/love-a-bull) and took some privates with her colleague Maida Barbour. We couldn’t be more pleased with Joplin’s progress. Due to her shy temperament, we aren’t interested in therapy work, but we’re thinking of attending an agility camp in the spring to see how Joplin might like it.

      Joplin’s a very athletic dog–a very graceful and beautiful creature with a gentle spirit.

      We also attend the love-a-bull’s pit bull fun walks, too, with Joplin and our Chiweeni, Doc, because it’s good for them both… and it’s fun! LOL

      I was just shocked to see her pic!

  2. Yes yes yes!!!!!! This is SO SO exactly my experience. Morgan does SO MUCH better with new people who let him come to them on his own volition.

  3. “(yawning, lip licking, sniffing the ground, blinking)” – Are you saying that these are calming signals?

    “and offer them in return” – what are calming signals a human can offer a dog?

    • I wouldn’t recommend sniffing the ground, especially at the shelter, but you can do the other ones. Turn your head and/or body to the side, drop your head, lick your lips, make a big fake yawn.

      • Absolutely, they are. They are the dog’s way of showing that it is nervous or stressed and diffusing the tension — both in itself and in the other party/parties. The dog is basically saying “I am nervous, not a threat, and want you to chill out too.”

    • I’m not sniffing the ground! Lol.
      I’ve used a relaxed jaw pant, eyes relaxed, tilted head, calm aura & general body posture. When they read my facial & body signal, it helps.
      (Having a steak in my sometimes helps. JK.)

  4. I had an experience with a fearful dog that was loose on the streets. I couldn’t get it to come to me and was worried it would run into traffic. It was cowering back with its tail tucked up tight between its legs when I remembered something I’d seen on the Dog Whisperer. Turning your back to a dog is a sign that you are no threat. I knew I was taking a risk as this dog was a complete unknown unlike a shelter dog, but I turned my back and sat down on the curb. It took about 5 minutes, but the dog came over and sat down beside me. We got acquainted and I called Animal Services. I was so relieved.

    • That is awesome!! I am not a big Dog Whisperer fan, but he has good advice on some things — this being one of them! We usually advise turning your body and/or face sideways, just like dogs do. This has the added benefit of letting you keep an eye on the dog. Your success is inspiring! 🙂

  5. I’ve been teaching Fozzy to not react when he meets people on our walks. I’ve been ignoring the people all together and just keep walking. He seems to be doing okay with this because before he was lunging and growling at people. For the first time ever today he actually walked by two people with no reaction he just kept walking. I’m not doing the treat thing instead I’ve been telling him everytime he ignores a person that he’s being a good boy. It’s making our walks a lot easier plus I’m not reacting to the people either which I think he can sense that if Momma isn’t getting upset neither should I. I hope this is what I’m supposed to do. I was afraid he would get to attached to the treats so I’m using praise instead.

  6. I never really thought out the consequences of using food as a reward for a fearful dog–but you have completely changed my mind. I tend to gravitate to the fearful ones (and they seem to approach me with less fear than others), so I will need to think through a new “routine” to help them. Thanks for posting this!

  7. Thank you so much for that lesson! I am going through that exact situation with a neighbors dog and was using treats as a bribe. Now I know better and will just wait for him to let me know when we can be friends, if ever.

  8. Great post! We had to be very careful with our Sadie when we first got her because she would snap at people after allowing them to pet her, which is common to see in fearful dogs. They’re too scared to tell you off as you’re approaching but as you withdraw, they then let you know exactly how scared they were. We just didn’t let people approach her, treats or not, until we were 100% sure we had rehabilitated her to accept pets from strangers. Now I just have to tell people to pet her on her side and she’s happy as a clam to accept affection and approaches them willingly and without any calming signals.

    How do you feel about tossing treats to a fearful dog? That way, they don’t have to physically get close to you. I used that technique when I volunteered at our shelter to help relax the fearful dogs. I sat down in an opposite corner of their kennel and every time they looked in my direction, I tossed a treat. I didn’t try to approach or touch, just rewarded them for any sign of curiosity in my direction. Just wondering if you think this technique could also be creating conflict in them or not?

    • Actually, I think tossing treats is great. I like the technique of tossing treats toward the back of the kennel in order to teach fearful dogs not to approach. This way we are reinforcing their already good instincts.

      Typed by my trained monkey. Please excuse tybos.

  9. Excellent advise! We live in a not small not medium sized town just on the edge of city limits. As we have dogs and a fenced yard, people will bring dogs and put them in our fence, thinking we will take them in. One day someone set a pair of Fiest Mixed females, neither altered, in our yard. they were so afraid, nothing but skin and bones. They hid under our porch, where our huge dogs couldn’t get to them. I dragged up a stool that I use when I garden and poured some dog food out, and sat on my bucket, turned slightly away, talking in a soothing voice about anything and everything that I could think of. Finally they inched their way to the edge of the porch. Wouldn’t let me touch them but weren’t as nervous it seemed. This went on for days until they let me pet them. Then they found their way out from under the porch and out of the fence. They would come around to the back porch and roam the neighborhood. No leash law here. I was trying to convince my husband that we needed those 2 little dogs and they needed us. Long story short they now live the good life and are the bosses of our furkids. Which include a pitbull, a great dane/horse/doberman pinscher mix, a basset beagle mix, a lab/pit mix and 2 cats.

  10. Good to know. Adds to my constant confusion about which person’s advice to believe, but it makes sense.

    First time mine ever showed fear immediately upon encountering a stranger (to him, it was a friend of ours), the friend decided he was some kind of Dog Charmer and even as Monster was growling and we told said friend to back away and stop looking at him (shouldn’t it just be instinctual that a dog growls and you back off???), he kept waving us off and saying “no, no it’s cool, he’ll like me” and Monster bit him. Ever since then I’ve tried to have treats at the ready if I know someone’s coming over because I don’t trust freaking people and treats always distract Monster (see: his weight). If only random layman non-dog people encountered this kind of advice more often.

    (That person and I are no longer friends, incidentally. Smart dog.)

  11. I like to teach targeting to shy dogs and then toss the treat behind them so the retreat is part of the reinforcement (negative, sure, but it builds confidence quickly).

    You could even shape targeting — reward each step toward/look at a scary object/person, toss the treat behind the dog.

    Targeting is less bribery and more investigative-instinct-building, imo, if that makes sense.

  12. It was four years before Farrah found her home; the first one was just letting her be a dog after being beaten before having her puppies. The next two were spent first 20′ away, then goosing my dog walker volunteers to take her for regular walks with different people; her final year was in a foster home and now her own home. Monk will be here at Silverwalk forever – he came feral, has made progress but was way too stressed in prison and foster. Howie is a foster for another rescue, very shy, but coming into the house and demanding pets. I took him to our prison dog training program unsure how he would do. My friend did not recognize him the next week – from a pancake dog on his first day, a week later he came into the room head and tail up, happy, walked over to her for petting, sat in the middle of many men and dogs w/no sign of stress. YES – this is a great article and each dog is so, so different :).

  13. I love you guys and all that you do but I have to say that I am a bit torn on this specific post. We’ve worked with fearful dogs for a long time. Most recently, we fostered one of the most fearful dogs I have seen for awhile. He happend to be a Jindo mix rather than a pit bull (which is what we have typically). He was cowering in the back of his kennel at the shelter when we first met him. My husband slowly friended him and we pulled him. He bonded quickly with my husband and me but was petrified of any other people. When on leash, he’d dart away at the mere sight of a person (even from a half-mile away). When people came to our house, he’d dart away and growl and hackle if they so much as looked at him. Even wouldn’t even warm up to other people he saw regularly (even if those other people had dogs that he loved!).

    Anyway, we didn’t have people hold out treats in their hand for him but we did use treats. We worked on targeting to a finger touch with no eye contact from the people first. He got clicked and treated for first moving in the direction of the person (treat thrown away from the person) and then he got clicked and treated for moving a bit closer. When he finally touched (which at first took multiple sessions), he got a jackpot of treats. We took many breaks through this process and never pushed him. We also incorporated mat work to give him a safe and comfortable spot. We used really high value treats for people work (mmm .. hot dogs! chicken!) and lower value treats for mat work and basic obedience with my husband and me.

    It took some time and a lot of consistency but it was magical process to watch. After a few weeks, he’d walk right up to someone with their fingers out, touch, and look back for a treat before we could even click him! So, that once fearful dog who couldn’t make eye contact with people is now happily in a forever home with two parents, a little girl and a lot of visitors. They still go slow with him when meeting new people and he is always allowed to make his own choices. They still use targeting and treats for introductions. But, he no longer cowers in a corner or darts away at the sight of a person and is really a completely different dog than he was a few months ago.

    So, while I agree with the part of the post about making it the dogs choice, I really really really struggle with the no treats part. If food is a motivator for a dog, then use it. Just use it in the correct way.

    • Hi Jen, thanks for the note. I knew this one would be a little controversial 🙂

      We see A LOT of fearful dogs with bite histories at the training center where I work. With those dogs, I’d rather be 400% sure the dog wants to interact rather than risk pushing it or bribing it before it’s ready. So many bites occur when we put dogs into situations they are not comfortable with. I want the dog in question to trust that I am not going to hurt it (and that I’m a fun person to hang out with) before it approaches, rather than approahc for a treat because it perceives the treat to be worth the risk.

      There is such a social stigma with dogs who don’t run up to strangers to lick their faces and jump all over them, but really there is nothing wrong with a dog who prefers to retreat from strangers and take it slow — as long as that dog is managed well and its boundaries are respected. We are so used to forcing dogs to be the boisterous, wiggle-butts that we see on toilet paper commercials, but when we try to fit a fearful dog into that mold, we create bite risk.

      Certainly, there is a place for food in training fearful dogs. But is it risky when used as a bribe? Absolutely.

      For these sorts of dogs, I want there to be no conflict whatsoever when approaching people. The dogs should understand that it is fine (better, even) to stay where they are or retreat than to approach when they are uneasy. A dog who retreats when he is nervous is a safe dog, whereas a dog who approaches in conflict is a dog at risk.

      Just my $0.02!

      • I definitely agree on not bribing and allowing a dog to make their own decisions. I guess I missed the bribing part in your initial post and read “no treats”. I am a bit torn on the “no conflict” part because I feel our role as a foster home is not to make these fearful dogs wiggle butts (totally agree on stigma) but to help them trust as much as they can. In order for them to trust as much as they can, we have to gently allow them to resolve their conflicts and treats is many times part of that resolution. Anyway, great discussion and I appreciate you bringing it up.

      • See, I guess that is where our philosophies differ. I agree we should teach them to trust when possible, but I think that with fearful dogs, our biggest challenge is to help them understand how to remain safe and appropriate. Making friends w treats is possible, but there is often a question about the sincerity of the dog’s comfort w the person vs desire to eat. If bonds are built instead w emotion and fun, little doubt can be left.

        Typed by my trained monkey. Please excuse tybos.

      • Wow, this is a facinating topic – you should do a series (and I mean that honestly – since it reads like I may be being sarcastic). I would love to understand more about your philosophy. Mine is based on the fact that I have seen so many fearful dogs overcome their fears. My resident 6-year-old boy, for example, didn’t trust a soul when we first meant him. We used targeting, mat work and treats and toy reward with him in a slow and calculated way and now he quite literally loves all people (no treats at all). And we have had so so so many fearful dogs come through our doors who now trust fully and genuinely. Some (including a resident female) are still tentative and shy .. we respect those boundaries and the level of conflict that they can safely and willingly accept completely and without question. However, they are far more confident and trusting than when we started. It is not about food, in my eyes, it is about instilling confidence and working to identify what is a dog’s natural personality (timid and shy) versus what has been created by stress, neglect or mistreatment. The latter can often be overcome with patience, consistency and positive experiences, and I feel like I owe to these dogs to try.

        Regardless, I will sit back now and think more about what you said. I hope there are more posts in this series.

  14. Awww Clint Eastwood and Tater Tot!!!! Transported them from Arlington shelter. I love those two. And yes both were unsure! Hope they are adjusting better now

      • Tater is awesome! He was just v nervous the first few days, and I chose the photo not bc of who he is, but bc the photo was taken at a worried moment.

        Typed by my trained monkey. Please excuse tybos.

      • I transported Tater Tot and Clint Eastwood straight out of the Animal Shelter in Arlington…..both were on the EU list for that day. It was scary for them both. They both had that “shelter” nervousness about them. You could see it in Tater’s eyes that he was just so done with it all. I am so very overjoyed that he is thriving.

      • Amy, I’m so glad you got Tater out of there. He’s a great companion for my older dog, Don. And his foster obviously did a great job getting him accustomed to home life. Obviously he’s still adjusting to our routine and the house rules, but he’s settling in very quickly.

      • WOW this makes my week!!!! I am so thrilled for him! He was so sweet and gentle. God Bless you for giving him his forever home.

    • Oh, I was just telling Amy that Tater did seem to be very well adjusted. In fact he seems like such a sweet happy wonderful dog that he may be coming to adjust to life in my house!

      • That is awesome, what a charmer!!!

        Typed by my trained monkey. Please excuse tybos.

      • That would be AWESOME!! He is so sweet. He really had it bad in the shelter because he deemed to have URI (Kennel Cough) and thus was in isolation for probably 2 weeks. He had no potential adopters meeting him. Clint ended up there and that was who I had gone to pick up and we took Tater as well. So very happy that he is doing great.

  15. We too have a shy dog, who came to us as an extremely fearful, anxious dog who was suspicious of all humans. I do agree that bribery is risky, but I think the technique of tossing a treat in the direction of a shy dog is a good, helpful tool. I also think that the advice of ignoring the dog and letting him come to you really hits the nail on the head. However, when he DOES come to you, I think giving him treats as a “jackpot reward” is also a good thing, as it rewards for making the choice to approach the stranger. (Assuming the dog is food-motivated, which thankfully ours was and in my experience most all hungry shelter dogs are as well.) As with all dog behavior modification, I think timing is everything.

  16. Do you have any advice for helping socialize a shy dog to strangers? I live in an apartment and while my dog is good with most people, he’s generally afraid of men. I’ll often tell people that if they get on his level and put their palm out (instead of trying to pat him on the head), he’s be more likely to approach. Are there any other tips you’d recommend (besides being really clear with the other person about your dog’s needs)?

  17. Makes sense to me, I never thought of treats as a bribe for shy dogs but when you put it like that… I volunteer at a local shelter one day a week and generally don’t have treats on me because if I go into a kennel with a couple of dogs I don’t want to risk a fight over food. If I’m dealing with a shy dog I’ve slowly learned to just sit and wait, let them come to me and once we get into the exercise yard then I use treats for teaching them to sit.

    Thank you for sharing all you are learning/observing, it is really helpful and you do such wonderful work with dogs (and people) 🙂

  18. This is similar to how I approach small children. You never run up and grab child, toss them in the air, tickle them, give them big kisses. Imagine something like a bear coming up to you doing the same thing – frightening, right? And, you’d never FORCE your child to speak to a stranger – that’s why some hide behind known legs. I approach dogs the same way. When they want to deal with you, they will eventually come to you. I visited my dog in the kennel everyday for 4 days before her adoption was official. Can’t get rid of her now if I wanted to! 😉

  19. I’ve read several times that at Best Friends volunteers will come and read (it doesn’t matter what!!) to the animal (horse, dog, cat). That way they can hear your voice, smell your scent, and hear the calmness in your voice, all without making any demands on them. In between, you throw them a treat or two, again without any demands. This, of course, happens over a period of time while the animal becomes comfortable and familiar with you and can approach on their own schedule.

  20. Pingback: Treats and Shy Dogs « From the Desk of Denman

  21. An interesting take that considers that there is more to dog training than roast chicken and clickers.

    Changing the association the dog has with you from an aversive (bad) one to an appetitive (good) one is the key – as you have eluded to. Your post faces the discussion towards the idea of repsonse prevention – one of the four principles required for true desensitisation (not just an incompatible behaviour displayed contextually).

    Hope you enjoy your learning with the Canine Center!

  22. Pingback: The Week in Tweets – 21st June | Some Thoughts About Dogs

  23. Pingback: “I’m Scared” – Working With Fearful Dogs | Peace, Love, & Fostering

  24. Yesterday, I was a hurry, and didn’t respond in the correct place. So I thought I’d try it again.

    The first pittie is our Joplin, we adopted from Love-A-Bull. In fact, she is wearing the same collar she wore when we adopted her back in February of 2012. Joplin was rescued from a dog fighting busting in South Carolina and love-a-bull took her as one of their adopt-a-bulls.

    She’s still shy and a little fearful, but she’s a lot better than she was when we first adopted her. In fact, she just received her Canine Good Citizen Certification.

    We attended 3 training classes with Crystal Dunn (Leaps&Hounds/love-a-bull) and took some privates with her colleague Maida Barbour. We couldn’t be more pleased with Joplin’s progress. Due to her shy temperament, we aren’t interested in therapy work, but we’re thinking of attending an agility camp in the spring to see how Joplin might like it.

    Joplin’s a very athletic dog–a very graceful and beautiful creature with a gentle spirit.

    We also attend the love-a-bull’s pit bull fun walks, too, with Joplin and our Chiweeni, Doc, because it’s good for them both… and it’s fun! LOL

    About the topic of treats, after thinking about it, we do use the treat method with Joplin, but it’s not really about “bribery,” as much as it replacing “fearful” or negative feelings with positive ones if that makes any sense? The thing with Joplin is that she WON’ T take treats if she’s exceedingly fearful anyway: she shuts down. But those episodes are becoming less and less as her confidence grows.

    Mind you.. we’ve had her for a while now. And before us she was with an excellent foster family.
    So with or without treats, it’s been process.. and is still a process. I just think regardless of her background, Joplin is a shy dog. But obviously, being in a fight dog camp made an otherwise shy dog into a fearful one…

    You’d be surprised to see her now. She looks fantastic.

  25. Interesting as many studies say we cannot reinforce the emotion of fear. Showing food would fall under a bribe if we are on an operant level. Many desensitizing techniques is introduceing the scary stimulus under threshold slowly until dog either habituates to the scary stimulus or gains confidence….many also suggest classical conditioning / classical counter conditioning for associations such as bat and cat etc. For scary human to predict good things therefore changing the conditioned emotional response.

    I agree with bribes and always giving the dog a choice and never take his flight or fight choices away. It’s all in proper greeting techniques. Also many top PhDs will recommend strangers dropping food to change CER of a fearful dog….

    I found your article as someone posted it in a group of expiring trainers in a shelter environment …… In my professional experience no quicker way for me to gain trust than ignoring dog – no eye contact – standing sideways – leaning on my back leg – an dropping some yummy food for a great associating of me being a predictor of great things. “Classical” also rewarding bravery is recommended by many !

    IMHO –

    • Reread you article again as a skinned first time. I like your theory on fearful dog learning to approach a scary stimulus /human in exchange for food. Never really heard it perceived that way but still might disagree as we can never assume what a dog is thinking only read observable behavior…..

      Very interesting subject will toss it around for awhile…..I think a dog that decides to approach can be a good thing as it’s fear level must be dropping and confidence rising. “Bounce back time and CER”

      Interesting theory 🙂
      Enjoyed the brain tease

  26. Pingback: Where is that darn article?

  27. The first picture of the little brown dog in this article looks EXACTLY like a dog I am fostering for Second Hand Hounds in minnesota. I have never seen a dog as fearful, and I’ve been around dogs for over 50 years. They told me she was from Arkansas. Could it be the same dog? Somewhere along the line someone named her Renata. She is a trembler who needs me to pick her up and carry her outside. She hasn’t peed or pooped in over 24 hours, although I finally got her to eat canned food this afternoon, and gave her water with a turkey baster. She won’t move from her blanket in “her corner”. Any advice, anyone? She’s young, but had a litter 3-4 months ago.

  28. Pingback: Getting a shy dog used to visitors (Week 3 after rescue) | A dog in Ditmas

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  31. Great advice if the dog isn’t on a time line. In a busy shelter environment they need the dog to show signs of improvement and fast. If you have months to work with the dog then by all means wait it out. If you are in a shelter my advice is do whatever it takes and fast before the dog ends up euthanized.

  32. My husband and I just adopted an 8 week old puppy. Before we even picked up the puppy the breeder had told us that he, Flacor, was a very shy puppy. To make matters worse our first day together consisted of a 12 hour car ride as we brought him home. We brought along a carrier (with the door off) and he spent almost all his time in there. I held him for the first hour, during which he cried and finally settled. I had to eventually put him in the carrier because he was overheating. Along the way we stopped for pee breaks and each time we had to pull him out from the carrier. Outside he would stand in one spot and maybe take a few steps. He peed but would not eat or drink.
    At home we dragged him out of the carrier and carried him outside to pee and poop. In the house he eventually warmed up enough to walk into the living room and sleep on a blanket by our feet.
    We don’t want him going to the bathroom inside the house so we have been carrying him in and out if the house as he is too shy to walk anywhere on his own. Last night he started to run away from both my husband and I when we each took him out to pee. We don’t want him to run from us so we have left him in his crate (door open) in the bedroom this morning. I tried bribing him with food to get him to come out but with no luck so I turned to the internet and found your sight (thank goodness).
    Currently Falcor is still in his crate in the bedroom and hasn’t gone pee in 6 hours and hasn’t drank anything in 10 hours. I don’t want to pick him up and teach him to fear us but I also don’t want to teach him to go to the bathroom on the floor. What should we do?

  33. I just adopted a 4 month old female pit she’s been with us going on 3 days now all she does is sleep and eat she doesn’t get up and walk around house doesn’t play with my child I don’t u derstand if there’s a way to help me please give advice

  34. I realize this is an old post but, it is still relevant today. We adopted an abused dog that has been moved 4 times in 6 months. He has stayed in the corner for 48 hours. He has not eaten, drank or gone potty. We are basically ignoring him to let him come around on his own. How long can a dog go without food or water and not potty? I’m trying to let him come to me but, I am worried.

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