Newly adopted...and very scared!


New Member
hi everyone!
i'm a long time dachshund owner...growing up and now have two doxies of my own. I recently adopted a 7 year old doxie and he is struggling with being so very scared and just breaks my heart!

i've had my other doxie, wendel, for two years since he was a pup and this guy is well socialized, completely potty trained and a super dog all around - loves life. my new guy, clark, is so scared of people, going outside for piddle-breaks (especially in the we can all attest to i'm sure), seeing and meeting other dogs on walks, generally everything...he even has stopped wanting to eat if he thinks he'll get in trouble (not sure where this is coming from)!! he slinks around on his belly and looks up with the saddest little eyes.

my question to all other doxie owners out there is this: i have read about two options...#1 - comfort and care for him when he's scared and let him know it's alright and he'll break out of his shell OR #2 - pretty much "deal with it" face on and let them work out their fears on their no touching, no comforting when they are scared.

any suggestions on how i can get this little guy to come out of his shell and be less fearful all around? any 'doxie' ideas on what i can do to allow this little guy to be comfortable? he can get snippy when you are new and reach quickly for him but otherwise very quiet and timid...

thanks everyone!
I have a dog (not a dachshund) who had such severe fear issues, that she was literally flying into panics at the slightest noise, and there was nothing I could do about it. nothing helped.

there are a couple of things I learned from Zoe.

1. always let them have an escape route. DO NOT FORCE THEM. let them choose if they want to check something out.

2. use lots of treats, lots of praise, and lots of encouragement when they do attempt to check out "scary thing"

3. Clicker training is a blessing with extremely nervous/shy dogs.

Expect things to take alot longer to learn than a "normal" dog. but with lots of praise and encouragement, they will learn. Zoe is doing amazingly well now, though she'll never be normal.

With Zoe I didn't have the option to comfort her. I HAD to leave her alone, nothing eases her fears but getting away from the scary thing.

So basically, in my experience, it's best to leave them alone to sort it out themselves. by rewarding being scared, it'll ingrain the feeling.

My advice to you: reward bravery, encourage exploration, allow for an escape, and ignore fear behaviour.

Welcome to the group, and thank you very much for giving a shy little dog a chance!
thanks for the reply Sara! Clark is doing better each day...slowly but surely. he actually tried dominating Wendel today so we're gaining ground (although i'm not sure in the right direction...)
i'm considering clicker training for him...i was going to see how he settled this week and next and see if we might head in that direction.
thanks again...looking forward to talking to everyone here!
I'm glad he's doing better. My newest rescue would get snappy at strangers sometimes. But I figured out that if he chose to go to them, he wouldn't get spazzy. If they came at him, he'd flip. So I just tell people to squat down and let him come to them. He always does (he LOVES a fuss!) and he never reacts. A simple solution, thank goodness!