My latest rescue dog Sophie had a rough start in life. She was owned by a backyard breeder and got very little socialization. Luckily, she found her way to rescue while still young and then to our home. She’s a playful dog and loves attention. But because of her lack of early socialization, she is also stressed out by any new experience. So I have had to take it slow with her and make sure that any new experience was also a pleasant experience.
So what do you do if your new rescue dog is uncomfortable leaving home? I learned this technique from a trainer and found it to be very useful.
Start of by just sitting outside with your dog. Do not ask anything from them. Just sit and let them take in the outdoors. If they are afraid to walk on a leash, you need to back up. No walks, just sit and let them gain confidence through your calmness. Dogs take their cues from those around them. So just sit… give them an occasional treat as they relax. And speak softly but confidently to them. And be very patient.
Start off with short sessions, and gradually extend the time until your dog looks forward to being outside. And when that happens, you can start to take the next step. A short walk where they will not find things to scare them like loud noises or a lot of people. Just the two of you in a controlled environment. It won’t be long until your anxious dog becomes a more relaxed dog. And a dog that looks forward to their daily walk.