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Hi everyone! Looking for a little advice - we are currently fostering a beautiful dog who came from a breeder who bred Vizsla's & Ridgebacks and they think had an oops litter and sent them to the local shelter at 1.5 years old. I want to make sure I'm doing everything possible to help make him a wonderful family dog for his adoptive family but he is literally afraid of EVERYTHING. When he came to our home 3 weeks ago he found our tiny guest bathroom and made it his new home. I sit and talk to him softly a few times a day and let him sniff and encourage my hand to pet him which he's getting very comfortable with. He only comes out of his room to eat during the day very quickly, and during the night when we're asleep. He will come out to the back yard to potty only when all of the lights are off and it's completely silent, aka the middle of the night which is not sustainable for the long term. The minute a dog barks in the distance or our a/c unit kicks on he panics and sprints back in. I've tried taking him out on the leash but if it's not on his terms he's completely panicked and crawling to the door to get back in. My husband and I were getting up at first to let him out in the middle of the night but we've stopped hearing him in our sleep and he is now pooping in the house in the night. I've told the rescue our issues and we've started him on Prozac in the AM and Trazadone at night but there has been no changes since starting this 5 days ago. I had to take him out to the front yard last night to get him to potty but he was in a sprinty panic so I only held him on the leash long enough until he peed and then let him back in and then pooped in the house in the night. I know fosters take time to get comfortable, especially this guy who has never been in a home, and I understand small baby steps are what need to happen and that comfort in a home will take lots of time but what things can we be doing to encourage a fearless attitude towards potty time in the back yard, and then in home life in general? I've tried a trail of hot dogs to the door but he's gotten smart and will only eat the ones closest to his room and not budge past. I'm afraid of pushing him too far and scaring him even further so I'm really at a loss at this point.. thank you so much for your help!!!
 

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Whats his name, I can't tell from the picture if its Sammy? I've fostered, transported, and pulled from shelters for Cane Rosso for almost 4 years.
I'm the one that picked them up from the holding lot, Leggett does not really even have a shelter.
Have you considered crating him at night? He did well in a crate during transport.
Also try sitting on the floor, and ignore him. Not even looking his way. Place his food a few feet from you. once he gets used to the idea move it slightly closer. If he does not eat, pick up the food, and try again a little later.
Do high value treats the same way. You could even try only feeding outside, to try and get him to go out a little easier.
 
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Whats his name, I can't tell from the picture if its Sammy? I've fostered, transported, and pulled from shelters for Cane Rosso for almost 4 years.
I'm the one that picked them up from the holding lot, Leggett does not really even have a shelter.
Have you considered crating him at night? He did well in a crate during transport.
Also try sitting on the floor, and ignore him. Not even looking his way. Place his food a few feet from you. once he gets used to the idea move it slightly closer. If he does not eat, pick up the food, and try again a little later.
Do high value treats the same way. You could even try only feeding outside, to try and get him to go out a little easier.
OH MY GOSH how cool!! This IS Sammy!! I thought his behavior was due to the situation he was pulled from but can see his other brothers have much less anxiety than he does. I would absolutely love to hear more details of his story if you don't mind sharing (even if in a PM) I feel like that always helps understand behaviors and obviously my understanding of his situation is different than reality. I have not tried crating at night as the room he's in is very small, he seems content in it and night time is the only time he'll get out and walk around and stretch which I feel bad restricting. He ate some food out of my hand earlier when I sat with him (I was worried his meds were making his tummy hurt on an empty stomach) so I'll try the food trick. I've been messaging with Beth and she gave the high value treat advice as well but he seems too smart for me now and I know she has plenty other cases to deal with so I didn't want to keep bugging her with ours. Do you think walking every day would help? I've only walked him a couple of times and he obviously freaks out but I'm not sure if I should keep trying to normalize the sounds or if it's doing more damage than good at this early stage... thank you so much for reaching out!!!
 

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Sammy was the most scared of the 4 boys. He was shutting down at the holding lot, before we pulled him. As I had pulled the 3 others the week before. I had to literally dump him out of his dog house, in order to get a leash on him. The volunteers that go by the holding lot, said he would not leave his dog house when they came by to walk them.
It's perfectly fine to keep Beth updated, and see if she has other things to try with him.
Some meds take a little while to kick in, and some times they have to be adjusted, or changed.
One of mine takes Xanax/trazodone combo. The meds are given together at a lower dose. It's for storm phobia, and took a little while to figure out the correct dosage.
 

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What I was told about the dogs, from the person that surrendered them. They were taken in as strays as puppies. They lived outside in a fenced yard ( could come in the house at night), but jumped the fence, and roamed quite often. Its out in the country, so they had very little contact with other people, or new things.
I have no idea if all of the above is true, its just what I was told.
 

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Wow I can't thank you enough for your insight. What is a holding lot? We can definitely tell he hasn't had much human interaction and has never been comfortable in a home which again makes me sad for him to see his brothers taking to new homes so well.. I talked to Beth yesterday and switched his Trazodone to the AM since the daytime is when he's the most stressed and won't come out of his space so I'm hoping that will help him a little. We had an adoption meeting yesterday and it was a feat getting him in the car and he hasn't eaten or moved from his bed since we got home.. my heart really hurts for him and I just wish there was something I could do to help him.
 

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The holding lot is outdoors.
It's a large covered area, metal barn with no walls, and dirt for the floor. It has outdoor kennels for dogs that come in, and fencing for livestock. No one stays there. They just go to feed, or clean up. It's not open to the public. I had to get permission to go there, and no one else was on the property at the time.
 
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