Sage is a 8 month old female Collie Cross. She has been returned to our care after her new family did not feel they had the experience needed to help her overcome her anxieties. Sage has a similar back ground to Rebecca having been found as a stray when she was only a baby and living outside on a farm until she was relinquished into rescue with some other Collies who failed as working dogs. She will however make a wonderful companion for the right home. Unsurprisingly everything is now new to Sage although she did have 9 weeks of living in a home with her last adoption placement so is a little more used to it. She did enjoy the sofa and slept on her adopters bed every night. She found change in the house and general household noises very hard to deal with and also lead walking.
When they attempted to take her out she planted her feet. They did attempt to pick her up but she started nipping them in an attempt to not have to go outside and unfortunately this is a bit of a learned behavior but can be rectified easily. She is currently under going training to undo this behaviour. We have been working on the lead walking and aside from some initial resistance I can get her to walk nicely on a lead now but she may need some firm encouragement when she tries to object at the initial exiting of the house.
Unfortunately Sage is a little complex because while is it distressing to see her so anxious she absolutely must be pushed out of her comfort zone in order for her to thrive. We can pick her up now without nipping but would not recommend it for attempting to put her out. Using a slip lead to take her outside is much easier and safer. Getting her to follow the lead of a confident dog is even better!
In a nutshell, Sage needs someone experienced enough to push her OUT of her comfort zone and not give into her reluctance. She needs to do everything that a regular dog would do. Training classes, walks etc but care will need to be put in place about how these are exercised.Sheltering her from the things that make her anxious has not helped at all with her anxieties and has actually made her far more anxious.