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MunchkinsMom
Dec. 21, 2008, 10:31 PM
Some of you had some good suggestions when I posted about this on the last Off Topic days.

My neighbor and I are still on a mission to try to make friends with a poor stray dog what was dumped in our neighborhood of gentlemen farms and large cattle/horse farms. She was dumped with another dog, the other dog was successfully trapped by animal control (and adopted) about 4 months ago, but this little girl (a 40+ pound shepard cross) was too smart for trapping.

For the past two months, we have been feeding her, giving her treats and toys to play with, talking with her every chance we get, but we still can't get any closer than about 10 feet before she scampers off to her "safety zone".

Two weeks ago, we tried putting tranqs in her food, and it failed. The first day all she got was woozy, but not enough for us to get close to her, and we didn't want to frighten her any worse than she is. Second and third try, the tranqs had the opposite effect, she was running around and barking for about an hour. I think we are giving up on that approach.

Well, the past few days, she is now starting to come closer to the barn while I am feeding and doing chores, and I toss her a biscuit and talk to her.

We hope to be able to catch her, and get her neutered and all her shots, and see if we can turn her into a farm dog. I don't think she would ever be happy as a house dog, but I think she will be a great farm dog, she never chases the horses or cats, I see her laying in the pasture all the time with the horses grazing near her.

Anyone else have experience with "taming" a stray frightened dog?

Dune
Dec. 21, 2008, 10:38 PM
I don't see anything wrong with just keeping on with what you're doing, it's going to take time is all. Be prepared for her to be good and pi$$ed off when you nab her to spay her, though. She'll probably regress a bit.

BumbleBee
Dec. 21, 2008, 10:52 PM
Can you lure her into the barn then shut her in?

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 21, 2008, 11:22 PM
Can you lure her into the barn then shut her in?

Not in my barn, all my stalls have track style gossip doors on hinges with about a foot and a half gap at the bottom, and I don't have barn doors on the aisle at all.

It might work in my neighbors barn, and she has been known to sleep in there at night, but she won't come into either of our barns if any humans are in there, at least not yet. And as soon as she hears any of us approaching the barn, she makes a run for safety.

What we plan on doing if and when we do finally catch her, is keep her in my neighbors barn in an empty stall while she recovers from surgery, and try to really make friends with her then, spend lots of time just hanging out with her, etc.

I have the gut feeling that she really wants to be part of our "pack", but she just can't get over whatever happened to her before she was dumped in our neighborhood, poor little thing. She really watches me interact with my horses, both in the barn and in the field (my three horses follow me around the pasture like giant dogs all the time).

Tango14
Dec. 21, 2008, 11:36 PM
For WIW, I think you're doing an admirable thing, wish more people would take the time. I would carry on as you're doing and if all else fails then ask animal control to try trapping her again. You might be able to catch her more easily if she's more hungry after a couple of days. Sounds hard I know..

I think, like most strays as opposed to ferals, she'll change once she's trapped and been through the ordeal of going to the vet for spaying. It's amazing how they just 'give up' and accept humans once they know they can't do much about it. They're so forgiving too and appreciate kindness. I think her confidence will boost from the human interaction and she might just become a house pet again after all:) I really hope you nab her soon, she sounds sweet!

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 21, 2008, 11:49 PM
For WIW, I think you're doing an admirable thing, wish more people would take the time. I would carry on as you're doing and if all else fails then ask animal control to try trapping her again. You might be able to catch her more easily if she's more hungry after a couple of days. Sounds hard I know..

I think, like most strays as opposed to ferals, she'll change once she's trapped and been through the ordeal of going to the vet for spaying. It's amazing how they just 'give up' and accept humans once they know they can't do much about it. They're so forgiving too and appreciate kindness. I think her confidence will boost from the human interaction and she might just become a house pet again after all:) I really hope you nab her soon, she sounds sweet!

Thanks! The traps were here for 3 months, and we didn't start feeding her until the 3rd month of failure with those. She was a very young puppy (maybe 3-4 months old) when she was dumped with the older dog. They hung out together for a month, then AC came out with the traps, and got the older dog, but this young one would not go into the trap, maybe she saw what happened to her friend. And we were putting some pretty enticing stuff into that trap, nothing doing!

She really is a smart dog. When I first fed her, I put the dry dog food on a plastic supplement bucket lid, and after she ate, she took the lid with her, and the next night, brought it back for a refill :). It was so cute. I gave her a few toys that my dogs don't play with, and she carries one of them all over the place with her.

And in my neighborhood it is very common for folks to be out riding and we get to chatting over the fence, and often she will be laying about 20 feet away, and we all talk to her and to each other, which I think is helping her to try to overcome her fear of humans. We have at least 7 other families aware of the situation, all rooting for us, and taking the time to talk nicely to her.

My neighbor named her "Angel" because she has been spending time near the recent gravesite of her dog, cat and horse (all lost within a month).

Little Valkyrie
Dec. 21, 2008, 11:50 PM
I was actually thinking about you and this poor stray today while doing stalls (from your OT day thread). Thank you for caring enough about this poor doggie and I hope she can join your pack very soon. Good Luck!

Tango14
Dec. 22, 2008, 12:06 AM
Ah man, she sounds so sweet. You really have been all out trying to get her then! Lucky she's in such a good area where folks are concerned about her. I'm sure she's eventually let you catch her though.. Good Luck!

jetsmom
Dec. 22, 2008, 12:14 AM
I've been feeding a stray Chow mix since April. It hangs around a neighborhood I drive thru on the way to the barn. Houses all have several acres. The dog has supposedly been out there for a couple of years. It used to run, if it saw people 100 feet away. up until about 2 months ago, it would stay about 20 feet away while I put his food down, wait for me to move away, then go eat. If I looked at him or called him, he'd run.

Last week I bought some fried chicken. I put his regular food down, then threw some pieces to him. He ate those, so I threw pieces closer, talking all the while, crouched down, but not looking at him. Then I threw pieces on his food. He came to get those off his food. Then I held out a piece in my fingers. He started to come up, then backed off and got all silly, spinning in circles, like "I want it, but it's Soooo scary". He finally took food from my hand. I let him do this for a few days. I finally rubbed his cheek after he took th echicken and was licking my fingers. Then I scratched under his chest. Now he'll let me scratch his ears, chest and neck. I've also started sitting in the back of my car and encouraging him to get in the car. So far, he'll put the front feet in, but not the whole body. My plan is to try to get a collar on him next week w/ID tags so if he is picked up as a stray, they won't euth him. Then I'll start working w/a leash w/him. Eventually I'll take him home.

As you can see, it can be a slow process. Fried Chicken or Rotissiere Chicken works great as a lure. You just need to go really slow. Also avoid looking at him when you are trying to get him to takke food from your hand. If you have a calm, friendly dog, take it with you and feed that dog some chicken, and pat it, then offer chicken to the other dog. My biggest breakthrough happened when a Lab that lives nearby, showed up the day after he first took chicken from me. He saw me patting the other dog and let me touch him. Make sure you back off at the first sign that they are getting uncomfortable. It's better for you to back off than to have them move away. Then immediately offer a piece of chicken as a reward for being touched.

Good luck. Keep us updated.

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 22, 2008, 12:41 AM
Thanks jetsmom for the great advice! When I do go out to feed her and bring her treats (stuff like dog biscuits, rawhide chews - which she loves), I don't walk directly towards her, and if she gets up to run, I stop, and I kiss to her and call softly, and if she stops and sits back down, I tell her what a brave good dog she is. Then when I get within about 10 feet, I say "look what I brought you" and "are you ready?" and then I toss it to her. But like you said, she won't pick it up until I am on my way back to the barn, but even that is progress, two weeks ago she wouldn't eat it until was back up in the house.

Today my daughter (who is on winter break from school) is also on the case, she was on her trampoline and Angel was barking at her from the pasture. So my daughter went out and was talking to her, and she too got within the comfort zone. I told her she should take a chair and her iPod and a book and go sit out there for a while (of course she might have to fend off my nosey horses for a few minutes). LOL - guess I might have to send her out there with a bucket of KFC?

jetsmom
Dec. 22, 2008, 01:29 AM
For some reason, Chicken and other warm, smelly meat (hot dogs, although too much will cause an upset stomach) is highly attractive to dogs. Try using that, and see if it helps. Do you have a calm friendly dog that you can take out there (leashed?), and have it sit while you crouch and pat your dog, and feed yours chicken while tossing some pieces to the stray?

Please update your progress, as I am interested in how things turn out. Good luck.

fourmares
Dec. 22, 2008, 01:30 AM
Yep, bring the really good snacks... like KFC or whatever and encourage her to come closer and closer to get them. I have a dog that was like yours ten years ago... once he finally allowed himself to be caught and came home he became a total house dog... he's currently sleeping under the covers with my SO.

Tango14
Dec. 22, 2008, 01:31 AM
Hate to advertise KFC but that's what I use when trapping feral cats. They seem to be more attracted to it than raw chicken:) Oh and the other thing that works quite well is pretending you are not interested in them at all. Sitting nearby reading and ignoring them makes them feel unthreatened and I've made quite a few breakthroughs like that.

citydog
Dec. 22, 2008, 02:15 AM
Excellent advice from JetsMom and Tango14. :yes:

Ignore her. Park yourself in a chair with a minefield of super-tasty (little bits of hotdog, rotisserie chicken or KFC, etc.) treats, and let the dog make the decision to approach you (working her way from treat to treat, getting closer and closer). Don't look at her, don't react. Let it be her choice. You might have to do this for weeks, but it's pretty effective.

I would hesitate to try to close her into the barn, as she could be freaked enough to bite, and it might set you back in the trust dept.

Good luck and please keep us posted. I wish more people cared as much as you to help strays.

annikak
Dec. 22, 2008, 03:11 AM
I cannot wait to hear how this turns out!

Great Christmas Story...

Thomas_1
Dec. 22, 2008, 03:34 AM
Don't tranquilize her. Unless you know what you're doing you could harm or kill her by mistake.

You just need to be patient. Continue to feed her and don't bother trying to force yourself on her. Toss food to her so she sees you as the provider and just sit still when she eats. Don't even try to go to her. Let her come to you.

She will eventually because she'll see that it's safe and you're the leader and provider.

Paddys Mom
Dec. 22, 2008, 09:45 AM
Oh, jetsmom and MunchkinsMom, your stories are really warming my heart on this frigid day!

I have to say, all of my critters go nuts for KFC.

AilleXWest
Dec. 22, 2008, 09:46 AM
Something I learned when I had the barn never been held cats (ones people would dump) neutered make shore were you lock them in you have it so when you go in the place you come from is locked too. They can get smart fast and will hear you comeing and get ready to run out when you come in. So if both places are locked they can not get out.

I would just keep doing what you are doing. She will come around in time.

Bluey
Dec. 22, 2008, 10:49 AM
Oh, jetsmom and MunchkinsMom, your stories are really warming my heart on this frigid day!

I have to say, all of my critters go nuts for KFC.

I go nuts for KFC also, but maybe that is because we don't have one around, so it is a rare treat.:)

I would keep the traps up, just in case you get lucky.

Once we had a little greyhound looking female around and we made a hiding hole out of hay bales and baited it.
Once she was comfortable going in there for the food spread along the ground, we added a bigger trap in there, that was not set for several days.
Once she was eating out of that place and in the trap, we set it and there she was the next day.

You may try that.:yes:

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 22, 2008, 11:49 AM
Don't tranquilize her. Unless you know what you're doing you could harm or kill her by mistake.

You just need to be patient. Continue to feed her and don't bother trying to force yourself on her. Toss food to her so she sees you as the provider and just sit still when she eats. Don't even try to go to her. Let her come to you.

She will eventually because she'll see that it's safe and you're the leader and provider.

Oh, thanks for the concern, the 3 tranq attempts were with veterinary supervision/Rx, we didn't use just any old thing. And this vet is awesome, she saved a dog a few years ago that someone had dumped as a puppy in a dumpster, and due to the injuries, gangrene, etc, she lost the use of her front legs, and she and her husband built a special cart for her to get around. Most of us in the neighborhood use her for our small animals, and she is terrific, and would never suggest that we do anything that might harm the animal or get us hurt. She also loaned us a muzzle, and I have a huge airline style dog crate that we can use to transport her to the vets office if we can trap her. I have not talked with my neighbor in a few days to see if they are giving up on the tranq idea. I'm all for taking however long it takes to get her to just trust us.

Speaking of which, she is out sunning herself on the fenceline, waiting for me to bring lunch to the horses and her. She didn't get breakfast because she didn't come around at breakfast time. I try to only put out food when she can see that I am the one to put it out, so she can association that human=food.

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 22, 2008, 11:57 AM
For some reason, Chicken and other warm, smelly meat (hot dogs, although too much will cause an upset stomach) is highly attractive to dogs. Try using that, and see if it helps. Do you have a calm friendly dog that you can take out there (leashed?), and have it sit while you crouch and pat your dog, and feed yours chicken while tossing some pieces to the stray?

Please update your progress, as I am interested in how things turn out. Good luck.

Hum, I could try to bring out my 10 year old female brittany, who is surprisingly mellow for a dog of her breed, but I can't feed her any chicken, she is on a diet and chicken products give her unbelievable gas!

I'll keep you all posted on our progress.

Oh, just remembered this one. Three days ago, at dinnertime, my neighbor's farm helper was pulling out of their driveway, she stopped and asked me if I had seen a yellow bag of dog treats. Evidently Angel snuck into the barn while the girl was doing chores, grabbed the bag, and (as the farm worker said it) "ran like a thief with the bag". Not sure where she went with it, it hasn't turned up in my pasture yet.

MHM
Dec. 22, 2008, 12:25 PM
A. Bless you for taking the time and trouble with this dog! :yes:

B. You know that chicken BONES are very, very dangerous for dogs (and cats), right? They tend to splinter in the animal's digestive tract and cause major, major damage. No chicken bones, ever. :no:

Good luck and please keep us posted. :)

Tango14
Dec. 22, 2008, 01:21 PM
You're right about the chicken bones, thanks for bringing it up!! I should have said I remove the chicken from the bone. When I'm trapping the cats I use a drumstick which is easy to tie to the trap and then I pull it up through the wire, remove the meat and give that to the cat.

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 22, 2008, 01:23 PM
B. You know that chicken BONES are very, very dangerous for dogs (and cats), right? They tend to splinter in the animal's digestive tract and cause major, major damage. No chicken bones, ever. :no:


Yup, I know that, been a dog owner for 40+ years. Actually I don't feed any people food to any of my dogs.

Just got in from giving Angel some lunch and two beef rawhide sticks. She did pretty well today, as soon as she stood up to slink off, I stopped and kissed to her, and she stopped and sat and looked at me, and let me get a bit closer - she is still happier if there is a fence between us. She had also brought both her toys with her to the pasture. Of course I praised her to the sky for being brave and stopping.

It would be a real Christmas miracle for me if I could even just pet her by Christmas, don't think that is going to happen.

Oh, my neighbor had also (with the vets blessing) given Angel some heartworm/wormer preventatives, and a flea control pill, it was the least she could to to try to keep the little girl as healthy as we can.

Go Fish
Dec. 22, 2008, 01:27 PM
If she's not spayed, another whole set of issues will present themselves come spring, if not sooner...

MHM
Dec. 22, 2008, 01:39 PM
I couldn't stand the thought that people might read this thread and start feeding the animals the whole pieces of chicken, bones intact. It's one of those things everybody probably knows, but you can't be too careful.

yellow-horse
Dec. 22, 2008, 01:59 PM
all we have are strays that have come out of the woods, some of them take longer than others, last year we had a stray adult hound come out of the woods, it took months for him to feel safe around people, we didn't trap him, he was hanging out in the garage for a while and we fed him there, poor dog was so cold and he would curl up in the hay, he would not let us get within arms reach for a long time, i didn't try to catch him, my husband and i just spent a few hours a day doing our farm chores and horse stuff and slwoly he got closer, he became a pet this summer, it took about 6 months, he is now a house dog of all things, it seemed once he trusted us he progressed pretty rapidly, he was very wary of anything that looked like he couldn't get out of it, so even tho we had a very nice large dog house with warm blankets in it, he preferred the hay stack, i don't think he wanted to get caught until he made up his mind about us

jetsmom
Dec. 22, 2008, 02:25 PM
all we have are strays that have come out of the woods, some of them take longer than others, last year we had a stray adult hound come out of the woods, it took months for him to feel safe around people, we didn't trap him, he was hanging out in the garage for a while and we fed him there, poor dog was so cold and he would curl up in the hay, he would not let us get within arms reach for a long time, i didn't try to catch him, my husband and i just spent a few hours a day doing our farm chores and horse stuff and slwoly he got closer, he became a pet this summer, it took about 6 months, he is now a house dog of all things, it seemed once he trusted us he progressed pretty rapidly, he was very wary of anything that looked like he couldn't get out of it, so even tho we had a very nice large dog house with warm blankets in it, he preferred the hay stack, i don't think he wanted to get caught until he made up his mind about us

That's why I haven't tried to trap "my stray". I figure if I can go slow, get a collar with ID tags on him, practice having him get into my car, get used to being petted all over, and then teach him not to freak out on a leash, I will take him home. I don't want to have him get in the car and freak out, and try to bite out of fear, since I know he isn't vaccinated for Rabies. Plus, I have 3 other dogs at home (2 were strays, one was given to me by an owner that couldn't keep him contained and he kept getting hit by cars..pics are in my sig line link, in "various" album.), so I need him to walk from car thru house, to back yard to meet the other dogs. I plan on introducing them in the back yard, as I think the stray hasn't ever been in a house, and would be too freaked out. My dogs have a doggie door to go in/out.

My previous strays have all been someone's dog at sometime in their lives, so they weren't too freaked out by people. This stray, is possibly feral. I know he's been out there for a couple of years, and really avoided people. The first time I got to scratch his chest/neck, his eyes closed, and he really liked it. Then he opened them and looked directly into my eyes with a look of wonder on his face like "I can't believe that feels so good, and a PERSON is responsible for it".

I have been feeding him at the same spot and same time of day each day. (Which can be a pain, because when I went out of town for a week, I hired someone to put food there for him each day...they thought I was nuts, because the dog wouldn't show up for them, but he would eat the food later). He usually waits for me there now. He scared me one day, because as I drove up, I saw him laying upside down with his legs in the air. I thought "OH NO...he's been hit by a car and died." When I pulled onto the gravel at the side of the road, he rolled over, got up and stretched, wagging his tail. He was just sunbathing. He also started talking to me about a week ago. I had never heard him bark til then. When I showed up last week, he stretched, sat down, and went "wooo, wooo, wooo". So cute.

I took some pics of him yesterday, so when I get the film developed I'll add his photos to my album in my sig.

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 22, 2008, 02:34 PM
If she's not spayed, another whole set of issues will present themselves come spring, if not sooner...

Exactly! Which is why my neighbor and I are on this mission (as well as it breaks our heart to see this sweet dog so scared and homeless). We figure if she does get pregnant and has pups we will never, ever catch her.

And we have plenty of neighbors whose male dogs are still intact - no reason for it either, other than they are purebred dogs, and they "might" want to try to breed them - ARG!

MHM
Dec. 22, 2008, 02:39 PM
Man, these stories of all these strays....

I'm glad to read the ones with happy endings, but these poor dogs. :(

My two dogs were both strays, but they were friendly and very easy to catch. I hate to think what happened to make these other dogs so afraid of people.

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 22, 2008, 02:49 PM
Man, these stories of all these strays....

I'm glad to read the ones with happy endings, but these poor dogs. :cry:

My two dogs were both strays, but they were friendly and very easy to catch. I hate to think what happened to make these other dogs so afraid of people.

We think that perhaps she was bred to be a fighting dog (looks like a shepard/pit cross) and I can't picture her as being mean, or maybe she was going to be "bait". Recently the cops have been cracking down on the dog fighting operiations here (thank heavens) so maybe the folks running the fighting rings dumped the dogs to get rid of the evidence. We will never know.

But dog dumping seems to happen a lot in rural areas like mine, I am on a first name basis with the AC guy, he has come to my place at least 5 times to pick up strays that I was able to catch and pen up until he could get here. And a few times we actually saw the dogs (3 puppies in one case) being dumped out of the cars on the roadside, but we were not close enough to get a plate number. :mad:

Three of my 4 house dogs are rescues that we got from shelters.

MHM
Dec. 22, 2008, 02:54 PM
I was just talking to somebody at my local dog park the other day about a cute, sweet little dog there who was a rescued "bait" dog.

We agreed that some people should just be taken out behind the barn and shot. :mad:

yellow-horse
Dec. 22, 2008, 03:00 PM
well the non spayed femalre part is a problem
4 christmases ago, a very pregnant stray hourd came out of the woods, she was emaciated, very sick, covered in mange, had swollen joints and quite lame, she hung around for weeks on the periphery of my property, just in the tree line, she wouldn't come out of the woods for a while so we put the food out there for her
i think she got to a point where she was going to die and came out of the woods in a last hopeful act of courage that maybe we would help her
my husband made a place for her to have her puppies in the garage and she had 8 fat and healthy puppies on christmas eve 4 years ago, she eventually let us help her and take her to the vet, she was heartworm +, had erlichia, full of parasites and had major organ damage as well as arthritis, so we treated her and loved her, she was a very grateful dog and actually made it into the house, into the bed and on the couch
it was a hard fight for her and she never became healthy but she lived long enough to raise her pups and enjoy a few months of the good life, we put her down the follwong christmas eve when she started having seizures
she was the best christmas present we ever had, even with the added repsonsibility of the 8 puppies, even with the grief of her dying
she was my honey bunny hound dog, the hunka bunka

onthebit
Dec. 22, 2008, 03:32 PM
MM, just keep doing what you are doing. When my parents bought our farm about 15 years ago there were two stray mutts that were living in one of the old sheds. It was about 18 months before my parents built the house and everyone moved to the farm, and every day my dad, mom or myself would drive out here to put food out for the two dogs and make sure they had fresh water (they were drinking from the pond which was fine).

It got to where they knew the sound of our cars and would come out and watch the gate when they heard us coming. I remember a couple of times we kept going past the farm as we were running an errand first and the two dogs would run out of the shed. They didn't do this for any cars but ours. Slowly they would let us get within a few feet of them, but it took almost one year before we could touch them. They ended up being the two sweetest, most affectionate lap dogs ever but it took a year before we could even touch them.

We named them Lady and Tramp and sadly they passed within a few months of each other a couple of years ago. They lived with us for a little over 10 years and they ended up being just fabulous dogs. We have a farm full of strays but they were the only ones that took a year (or anywhere close to a year) to even touch.

Go Fish
Dec. 22, 2008, 03:39 PM
Exactly! Which is why my neighbor and I are on this mission (as well as it breaks our heart to see this sweet dog so scared and homeless). We figure if she does get pregnant and has pups we will never, ever catch her.

And we have plenty of neighbors whose male dogs are still intact - no reason for it either, other than they are purebred dogs, and they "might" want to try to breed them - ARG!

I feel for you, I really do. I would be beside myself with this situation, trying to get my hands on her, trying to help, and nothing seems to work. Good luck and keep trying! (Bad neighbors, bad neighbors...:mad:)

equusvilla
Dec. 22, 2008, 03:57 PM
This is an aweful time of the year for my advice - but it really did work for me. We actually adopted a dog that was scared to death of us. If we were in one room - he was in the other..just watching us. If we had to take him outside - we almost had to tackle him to get him on a leash - otherwise he would run.

My vet told me to lay down on the floor anytime I could...ie watching TV or reading.. and not look at him. IOW - get down on his level so I was not towering over him. It took days - but I noticed he would lay on the floor with me - each time getting closer and closer...until one day he walked up to me and laid his head down on my arms - I had them crossed and beneath the back of my head..so his head was very close to mine. That was the first time I touched him and he did not run. He ended up being the most loving protective dog I have ever owned.

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 22, 2008, 04:00 PM
Oh I'm so glad I posted this, you have all given me hope that with time an patience we can do this! And bless all of you that took the time to help a stray.

Last spring when I went to do the bedcheck run at 11PM, a very thin young female bridle pit followed me to the barn. I tried to just shoo her away, but she lowered herself to the ground and crept towards me, with her tail slowly wagging. So my heart melted and I checked her out, she had a cut on her leg (not horrible), so I think she came to me for help. So I put her in the dog pen in the garage, and called AC to come and get her in the morning. She did get adopted. I found her raggedy chewed neck rope in the pasture in the morning.

Just so you don't think I am heartless by turning them over to AC - I have 4 dogs, and we have deed restrictions that only allow us to have 4 domestic animals on the property. Which might be a good thing, otherwise I would end up being "the crazy dog lady" in my little town.

With Angel, my neighbor wants to adopt her if and when we catch her, to replace her dog that passed away last month.

And yes, bad neighbors that don't neuter their dogs. And these are supposedly intelligent people.

Sing Mia Song
Dec. 22, 2008, 04:01 PM
I have a Beagle who was a fearful stray. She was running aound the village for a couple months, raiding trash cans and dodging traps, until a Honda CRV nailed her. She came into our clinic with a fractured pelvis and femur. The second I saw her I was done (I'm a sucker for hounds).

She was terrified and fearful for a couple months, and it didn't help that we were making her more painful with surgeries. But she came home and settled into the pack with my other dogs, and gradually came out of her shell (with the aid of some Clomicalm at first). Now, seven years later, she's a little cuddlebug and sleeps in our bed, although she's still not trustworthy off leash.

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 22, 2008, 04:16 PM
This is an aweful time of the year for my advice - but it really did work for me. We actually adopted a dog that was scared to death of us. If we were in one room - he was in the other..just watching us. If we had to take him outside - we almost had to tackle him to get him on a leash - otherwise he would run.

My vet told me to lay down on the floor anytime I could...ie watching TV or reading.. and not look at him. IOW - get down on his level so I was not towering over him. It took days - but I noticed he would lay on the floor with me - each time getting closer and closer...until one day he walked up to me and laid his head down on my arms - I had them crossed and beneath the back of my head..so his head was very close to mine. That was the first time I touched him and he did not run. He ended up being the most loving protective dog I have ever owned.

Not a bad time of year in Florida for this advice - but - if you sit on the ground too long in one place, fire ants are bound to find you! I did sit on the ground for a few minutes near her the other day, but then my curious horse had to mosey on over to see what the heck I was doing sitting in the field!

forbes79
Dec. 22, 2008, 04:26 PM
I did sit on the ground for a few minutes near her the other day, but then my curious horse had to mosey on over to see what the heck I was doing sitting in the field!

Now if the dog were just as curious! :lol:

I've had very good success with that technique, though, if you feel confident she's unlikely to bite. You approach the dog until you get a little sign that you are on the edge of their comfort zone, then you back off a step, sit down on the ground, and wait for them to come to you. I just talk to them until they feel comfortable enough to approach. I've even caught a stray cat once this way (much harder!) but it can take quite a while.

With a dog this shy, I'd be tempted to catch and release the first time, just to reinforce her confidence in you. But I can understand why you want to get her to the vet as soon as you can.

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 22, 2008, 07:06 PM
Well tonight she was funny, one of my horses was grazing near where I had put the dog food, so she wouldn't eat, but was sitting on the other side of the fence near the bowls. So I walked out with a dog biscuit, and went to the horse instead, and gave him a good scratching session and hugging, and Angel was watching the whole time. Then I strolled over and she sat a and waited and I tossed her the biscuit and then went back to my chores.

Hopefully she will go curl up in my neighbors barn tonight, it's going to be cold.

yellow-horse
Dec. 22, 2008, 07:52 PM
Munch, no one blames you for calling a/c
I call tthem for strays, I leave it up to the a/c guy what he wants to do, for a couple of dogs I called and said look, this stray sick hound showed up, I'm feeding it and I'm perfectly willing to keep it and take it to the vet. What he has done is taken the dog into the shelter, hold it for the 3 days and then let me adopt it. This way someone can't claim I took their dog or they finally got around to looking for it and want it back.

jetsmom
Dec. 22, 2008, 08:14 PM
Munchkins mom- The good news is that once you can get them to take food from your hand, progress is quickly made, if my stray is any indication. Today when I fed him, I was able to pat/scratch on his neck, ears and chest, but then he let me scratch down his back to his tail. That made him stretch and curl his tail over his back:). There was his Lab friend with him, who lives across the street, so I was patting and rubbing her belly, and he actually laid down beside me while I rubbed on him. I would stop patting him and he would get up and come sniff me, and I would start patting him again. This is the first time he has ever relaxed enough to lay down near me, and the first time he didn't appear to be wary/startle when I reached for him.

Tomorrow, I am going to attempt to put a collar and tags on him.

I was able to let 2 of the neighbors know I am trying to catch him, so they won't call animal control. One of them told me that they had been out before and tried to catch him. He's been sleeping outside her fence close to her dogs (the lab belongs to her). They are happy someone is trying to give him a home.:)

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 22, 2008, 08:30 PM
Oh jetsmom, that is very encouraging news! Good for you.

About 4 months ago, one of my other neighbors started feeding them. When the first arrived in the neighborhood, both dogs were hanging out in the empty horse farm next door (foreclosure). So my neighbor felt bad and was driving over and feeding both dogs, and sitting on the porch every day, and Angel did sniff his hand once, but that was it. Shortly after that the real estate agent put a padlock on the gate to the farm, so my neighbor could not get in there to feed them. It was shortly after that when we called AC to bring the traps, because we were worried about both dogs, we have some folks out here that might use them for target practice if they were to wander onto their property (another reason why my next-door neighbor and I are feeding her, to keep her in our neck of the woods).

Over the holidays, I'm going to try to spend some time in a chair out in the field, with a bucket of KFC boneless chicken, and see what happens.

jetsmom
Dec. 27, 2008, 04:57 PM
My stray dog is now sporting a new leather collar with an ID tag!!!

I've been really worried that AC would pick him up before I could get him home. they will euth all strays if not claimed in 3 days by owner. They will not adopt out strays. This dog would be euthed for sure as he is terrified of people.
So, I wanted to get a collar w/my ph # on him, just in case he got picked up before I've gotten him friendly enough to safely take home.

I've been trying unsuccessfully for a week to put one on him. Everytime I got close to it, either a person would come out of a nearby house and scare him, or the Lab he hangs around with would push between us, so I couldn't.

So I wrote "If Found call XXX-XXXX" on a business card in indelible ink, and duct taped it to his back between his shoulder blades where he can't scratch it off. But today, I managed to get a collar and ID tag on him!!!!

I plan on trying to bring him home a week from Mon. I want the vet clinics to be open in case he has some skirmishes w/my dogs.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:47 PM
Update on Angel. For the past few days, and even tonight, she has been coming closer to the barn while I am feeding or doing chores. I moved the food and water bowl right next to the barn on the concrete wash rack slab, and I have a small bowl of treats in the tack room (that has a track style stall door, so she can come in and out). She has been hanging around the horses also, occasionally playing "tag" with my youngest horse (he approaches her, she jumps up and runs away, but not to far, and lays down for him to come up to her again).

The most interesting was while I was doing a tailer loading training session tonight, she came around to that side of the barn, laid down about 50 feet away and watched us for the whole 45 minutes. Then afterwards, when I let the horses back out, she grabbed her bedraggled stuffed bear and was rolling around playing with it while the horses grazed nearby.

But if I try to approach her, she jumps up and runs.

I'm going to just let her keep getting a bit more comfortable each day, and one of these days, when I am not so danged busy, sit out there with a chair and a bucket of boneless KFC!

Go Fish
Jan. 7, 2009, 01:58 AM
She's dang frustrating, that's for sure. Thanks for the update...I think you'll get her eventually - I'll radiate good thoughts for you!

jetsmom
Jan. 7, 2009, 10:24 AM
Good that she is getting more comfortable with you. I think the KFC will definitely help.

MHM
Jan. 7, 2009, 02:38 PM
On top of everything else, her old stuffed bear gets me every time....:cry:

Trevelyan96
Jan. 7, 2009, 04:27 PM
MM and Jetsmom, you are both totally awesome. Hopefully Jetsmom will have her new dog home soon, and Angel will not be able to resist the lure of some KFC.

I so want a dog, but DH says not until one of us is around more. :( Although I know that if a sweet stray turned up he'd be out there feeding it!

jetsmom
Jan. 7, 2009, 05:38 PM
Trevelyan-I have had him home here for a week. I posted a new thread about it on this forum last week "Stray dog update..he's Home".:)

fivehorses
Jan. 7, 2009, 06:10 PM
Jetsmom, I am so happy for you.
Munchkin, I am so glad you are doing this. I know you will give this dog a great home...lots of jimgles coming from new england for you.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 7, 2009, 08:25 PM
On top of everything else, her old stuffed bear gets me every time....:cry:

Yeah, me too! She tore it's head off (I was scooping up little plastic pellets out of the pasture by hand) and I was going to throw it away, and she came looking for it. Broke my heart, so I fished it out of the trash and left it next to the feed dish. I'll have to buy her a new one from the dollar store this week. But I'm sure she will still hang on to her original bear, missing head and all :)

She still carries it around. Tonight she came looking for dinner, and laid down outside the barn, I walked past her (without her leaping and running), and I got her bear and brought it back to the feed dish, she was really watching me then!

Hunter_Rider
Jan. 7, 2009, 08:46 PM
I have one, In 2003 I posted about a stray dog that I found stabbed in my neighborhood, and could not catch her...her name is Kirby, and several COTH members helped me pay her vet bill which was over $700 for the stabbed wound that just missed her heart. It took animal control 1 week, and 8 hotdogs to finally catch her. They could get close and she would eat a hotdog out of her hand and when they tried to grab her, she was too smart and hauled ass. Well after 1 1/2 hours, they had to give up, got in their truck and drove off. They looked in thier rearview mirror to see the little dog running behind the truck... so they knew they had to catch her. They got out and found a house that was vacant with a fenced in yard, they lured her into the backyard with hotdogs, and she followed. They closed the gate and were able to catch her. When they took her to the vets, the vet told them, the wound was about a week old and required major surgery to repair. They called me and told me if I wanted her I needed to pay for the surgery or they would euthanize her. At that time I did not have $700 laying around so I asked for some help. After the surgery the vets told me she was very frightened and they did not think she would make a pet.

NOW 5 years later I still have Kirby , she goes to all the horse shows with me and is the best dog I have ever had. Believe it or not, back in September, I was at another Vets getting her shots, and I happened to run into the original breeder of the dog who had given it to someone on Christmas day for their daughter in 2001. (They happened to come in to pick up heartworm medicine and recognized her.) Obviously she had gone to an abused home and I found her. In November the family invited me over for Thanksgiving and I took her back to her original home to vist that she once knew. When I pulled up in my car and took her out , she immediately ran to the front door and scratched on it ( Now this is 7 years later) When I let her in, she ran right up the stairs, and I asked my new friend "where was she going" and she said "upstairs to the bedroom that she was born in (a clothes basket) I met Kirby's Mom and Dad and her brother and sister- who she remembered. I am including pics of her that I took at the Warrenton Horse Show in 2008. The pictures under her are of her Mom ( a brown Cocker Spaniel mix) and Dad (a white Spitz). When the vets operated on her they told me (in 2003 ) she looked to be a Spitz/Cocker Spaniel mix!!!

This was a happy ending to an abused pup that was almost euthanized! Thanks again to all the COTHers who helped to raise the money for her surgery so she did not have to be euthanized.

Hunter_Rider
Jan. 7, 2009, 09:01 PM
Pics of Kirby:

http://thumb0.webshots.net/t/74/74/1/96/92/2789196920101131920sbNnIl_th.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2789196920101131920sbNnIl)

Hunter_Rider
Jan. 7, 2009, 09:06 PM
Kirby's Mom



http://thumb0.webshots.net/t/74/74/3/68/36/2454368360101131920Ikaudt_th.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2454368360101131920Ikaudt)

Kirby's dad!

http://thumb0.webshots.net/t/74/74/3/12/47/2547312470101131920wpWBlX_th.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2547312470101131920wpWBlX)

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 8, 2009, 02:30 PM
HR - what a heartwarming story, and the happiest ending for Kirby to be able to visit her first home! What a cute dog she is too!

I'll have to get some pics of Angel. This morning she was in the tack room finishing up her snack when I went to feed the horses, and she stood at the end of the barn aisle and watched me approach until I got to the other end of the barn, then she ran to the fence and laid down, waiting for her breakfast.

Humm, hotdogs. . . might be cheaper than KFC!

Prairiebrass
Jan. 8, 2009, 03:38 PM
Please.... hurry up already with the KFC or the hotdogs sit down ..... a bunch of us in Chicago have been following this thread and we are running out of patience and want so badly for a successful rescue and re-home! Shall we send you a case of Chicago's Ball Park dogs or KFC gift cards? :)

wcom1995
Jan. 8, 2009, 03:42 PM
yes, yes! Chicago is rooting for you from 205 N. Michigan Ave!

Hunter_Rider
Jan. 9, 2009, 11:47 AM
Thanks munchkins- It literally took her a year or so to warm up to me- she would just stand in the livingroom and fall asleep, she had no idea what she was supposed to do. Having another dog helped her learn a lot of things. Now every night she jumps up in the bed and wants you to hold her, while she sleeps with her head on my chest. The vet was amazed she came around, he really did not think she would work out as a family pet.:)

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 10, 2009, 09:15 PM
Please.... hurry up already with the KFC or the hotdogs sit down ..... a bunch of us in Chicago have been following this thread and we are running out of patience and want so badly for a successful rescue and re-home! Shall we send you a case of Chicago's Ball Park dogs or KFC gift cards? :)

You are too funny! I talked with my neighbor today, she tried the sitting in the chair with the hot dogs yesterday, and the darned dog has the patience of Job! My neighbor finally gave up and had to go finish her barn chores.

And I have my hands full with trailer loading training, showmanship training, clipper training (trying to prep my young horse so my daughter can show him in March). It would give me an ulcer to just sit there while all those things I have to do don't get done!

On the bright side, she is now starting to follow the horses to the barn at feeding time, which at my farm is 5 times a day. I think she has adopted my herd of 3 horses as a substitute dog pack.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:11 PM
Sorry folks, no major improvements over the weekend, and now it is cold and rainy, not a good environment to sit outside with a package of hot dogs :D.

On a side note, I now have a feral cat that has been helping itself to the dog food in the tack room, then sleeping on the top saddle on my three-tier saddle rack and scareing me half to death when I go down to feed and it leaps off the saddle and runs across my feet!

Going to change the name of my farm to "Wild Kingdom"!

lcw579
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:34 PM
Awwww, they just know a tender heart when they see one!

Looks like you have a new kitty now too! :lol:

Tango14
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:27 PM
It sounds like you're making progress, albeit slowly:)
Do you have a feral colony there? If so, is it possible to get an organisation out to trap and sterlise so that you don't have tons of babies come spring? If there's one feral cat, there's usually more and so it would be a good idea to trap & sterlise even one.. Though I'm sure you know this;)

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:41 PM
I hope we don't have a colony of cats around, this is a very rural area, and the only cat (other than my neighbors neutered barn cats) that I have seen in the barn. I think the coyotes keep the cat population down. I also wonder if Angel will chase the cat away (maybe that is why the cat has been high up on the saddle racks). I was thinking I should invest in a trap, since this seems to be an ongoing theme around here.

At any rate, tonight the silly dog was a bit bonkers. She was barking and leaping around to get my horses to play with her, and my youngest horse was all to happy to oblige. A few times I would go out and shout at her to knock it off, and she would lay down for a while and let them graze. Then at feeding time I stuffed a few slices of cheese in my pocket and she seemed pretty interested in that. Of course so were the horses as I was taking off the plastic wrapper, they thought "treats" and came trotting over, and then as I was tossing bits of cheese in the dogs general direction, that scared the silly horses. But, because of the cheese, Angel did follow the herd up to the barn, and stayed a lot closer than usual to the barn, so cheese will be the new treat of choice to see if I can get her to trust me more.

kayandallie
Jan. 14, 2009, 07:04 PM
I've had a stray hunting dog for 4-5 years now. I still can't catch him but I can pet his nose. He accompanies me down the driveway to get the mail and comes when called to get his dog bone but he will just not give in to petting further back on his body (unless there is thunder and lightening). He is now overdue on his rabies and is not yet neutered (I managed to bribe him several years ago with a cat in a carrier but I'm not sure my present puss would appreciate the job). I am amazed that he will not be tamed; my other dogs are his pack and I guess I am just the interloper.

fivehorses
Jan. 14, 2009, 07:05 PM
I love reading about this and sending you good thoughts. Hope the kitty and dog are part of your family soon.

Tango14
Jan. 14, 2009, 09:56 PM
I've had a stray hunting dog for 4-5 years now. I still can't catch him but I can pet his nose. He accompanies me down the driveway to get the mail and comes when called to get his dog bone but he will just not give in to petting further back on his body (unless there is thunder and lightening). He is now overdue on his rabies and is not yet neutered (I managed to bribe him several years ago with a cat in a carrier but I'm not sure my present puss would appreciate the job). I am amazed that he will not be tamed; my other dogs are his pack and I guess I am just the interloper.

It's wonderful that you're trying to take care of a feral dog but I really do have a problem with using a cat as bait. Even if it is in a carrier :(

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 14, 2009, 10:24 PM
Well, I think I am inadvertently using a cat as bait for my stray dog! This morning I went to feed and turnout (with more cheese in my pockets), and after feeding, I went out and put some cheese down with the food. Well, Angel caught scent of that, and didn't wait long to come up to the barn to eat.

Then, the feral cat appeared in my tractor garage stall, and Angel caught sight of her - and the chase was on. The cat slipped out of the stall (a small space under the wall) and Angel took off after her. Then Angel came back, finished breakfast, and actually came a lot closer to the barn aisle door looking for more cheese (which of course I didn't have, dang it!).

I think that Angel has been hanging around my barn more for two reasons - she thinks my herd of horses is her new "pack", and she wants to catch the cat!

Kaeleer
Jan. 15, 2009, 03:41 PM
Hi, Munchkinsmum.

I had two strays come onto my property about six months ago, and my freaking neighbour shot them with a pellet gun, so you can imagine how hard it was to catch them after that.

The bitch was okay, all she wanted was love, but the male was aggressive and aloof.

I kept the bitch in my house with my dogs for a bit, and then used her to entice the male closer. I've used a similar technique to catch another stray before - basically, you take a well-socialised dog out, and play with it and cuddle it and love it, within view of the stray. Dogs will trust other, non-aggressive dogs, before they'll trust people, and the fact that the dog trusts you will speak volumes to her.

Food works well, but knowing that another dog thinks you're cool tends to work even better.

Good luck.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 15, 2009, 07:56 PM
Kaeleer, we have gone out with our dogs and with our neighbors dog, and Angel will slink or run off when we bring them around.

I wish the A/C guys had thought of that when they trapped her companion, there were two dogs that were dumped here, and they trapped the first one (and she was adopted). If we had been thinking straight, we could have asked them to bring the other dog back (on a leash of course) and see if that would entice Angel to get closer.

Well, here is today's saga. This morning she was waiting outside the barn for breakfast (and more cheese), and stays a bit closer to the barn, as long as I don't approach her, so this will have to be on her terms I guess.

Then tonight. . . same routine, I put a trail of cheese bits out in the pasture, she ate them all, and then stared at me from about 15 feet away and sniffing for more, but again I had to toss her a few bits more, because if I stepped into her "zone" she took off. Now, if she takes off, no more cheese (my new rule).

Then I did some training with my young horse, she watched the whole thing. When that was done, I turned out all 3 horses, grabbed the wheelbarrow and manure fork to do some pasture cleaning. Next thing I see is one gelding having a roll, and Angel went a bit bonkers, leaping like a gazelle, barking, which made my horses run for the barn (cooler weather makes them a bit reactive) and she started chasing them, barking, fur up! She totally forgot I was there, I shouted at her, saying "No Angel, bad dog!", and she stopped in her tracks and went and laid down. One of these days one of the horses is going to give her a good kick.

Romany
Jan. 15, 2009, 08:04 PM
If you can semi "train" her by doing stuff like crisply telling her to leave your horses alone, can you work this angle? So - use your voice to give her commands when she's a distance away, like that, and then repeat them using the same firm voice, and maybe get a bit closer? Work that in with the treats, maybe?

The other thing I wondered was whether you'd have more luck getting closer to her from horseback - not quite sure what you'd do next, but at least you'd break that 15' barrier she's established for herself.

Fascinating story!

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 15, 2009, 08:35 PM
LOL - hope this story doesn't end up being a really long one!

My neighbor has tried approaching her on horseback, and that hasn't worked so far either, it appears she is not big on being approached. Even in the field, when my nosey younger horse goes to give the dog a sniff, she jumps up and runs off a bit, then lays back down and watches the horses graze.

I do try to "command" her, like I whistle and kiss to her to get her to try to stop slinking off, and sometimes it works, and when she does stop and sit and watch me, I tell her what a good dog she is, and then I retreat, leaving a trail of treats behind me.

Chief2
Jan. 16, 2009, 10:02 AM
Hey MM, this dog has darn good potential to be a good farm dog. My brothers collie does this with the horses when she feels they step out of line like that. She feels that the farm is HERS and she runs it, thank you!

Okay, when I was 6 or so, we had a stray tri-color/blue merle collie hanging around the house off and on. he would sleep at the bottom of the steps, sit with me in the yard, play ball, and then off he would roam. A few weeks here, a few weeks gone. I thought he was the most deluxe dog in the world, and not having a dog, I set about making him mine. Because my parents weren't on the same page, this required stealth, and a chop suey bowl filled to the brim with Cheerios and milk. Whenever he showed up, I would sneak into the kitchen very quietly, carefully take down the chop suey bowl (restaurant size salad bowl), fill it with Cheerios and milk, then slip back out and feed it to the dog. This dog LOVED dairy products, and my father became amazed at the amount of Cheerios I was consuming each month! And the dog came back more and more, and then started sleeping in the kitchen during the winter storms instead of on the bottom step, and learned to love soup, and cheese from my sandwiches, and shared my cookies....you get the picture. He spent a LOT of time at my house! We never tried to catch him. Just let him come in and out on his own terms.

Long story short: the owners had a son who played the drums. The dog was a working dog at Westover Air Force Base, trained and used for guard duty. He hated the drums. Distrusted most people, but loved the kid with the Cheerios. So after many, many months of the owner having to canvas to neighborhood to get his dog back, and always finding him at my house, he finally gave up and GAVE me the dog! From start to finish the whole thing took about a year. Once he changed households, he changed allegiances, and I was his guard project. Walked me to school, walking circles around me so no one in the school yard could touch me, waited outside the school to walk me home, slept in my room, played ball with us, and threatened to take off anyone's arm who tried to spank me as a child. No one could touch me with this dog around. It was great! :D

Once your dog makes the change, it will be complete. Until then, you are still on trial. Do it on a kid's terms, not on an adults. Patience, dairy products, and lots of Cheerios! :yes:

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 16, 2009, 12:02 PM
Thanks Chief! Loved that story, and it helps to feed my patience with this dog. Even if she officially can't be part of my family due to our domestic animal restrictions in the neighborhood (I'm at the max with 4 dogs right now), we can at least try to tame her enough to get the required veterinary attention and neutering.

She did chase the horses in the dark last night, and once again I shouted at her and she stopped.

I had to remove the dog food from the tack room, I have a feeling that the feral cat was eating it more than the dog was. Darned cat scared the begeezus out of me again last night and ran over my feet in it's frantic attempt to get out of the tack room! That one I might have to break down and buy a trap for.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 18, 2009, 11:04 PM
Angel is getting to be a little bit braver every day. Tonight at 8PM, she was actually up at the house near the front yard fence where my dogs hang out, and when I came out to feed the horses, she looked at me, and then went on ahead of me and laid down near the barn.

I discovered also, that she does not run away if I am busy doing barn chores, I can walk right past her with the wheelbarrow or water buckets, and she is okay with that.

And the cheese seems to be working also.

jetsmom
Jan. 19, 2009, 01:20 AM
Keep at it, she'll come around...says the person who had it take 9 months to catch "my" stray!

Rusty got neutered, vet cked for heartworm/erlichia/parasites, and vaccinated last Wed. All tests were amazingly, negative. He's doing great! He's even letting my husband pat him now. He's such a wonderful dog! He seems to like having a home, and figured out that the couch is pretty comfy.

lcw579
Jan. 19, 2009, 10:15 AM
Munchkinsmom, thanks for the updates. I look forward to checking this thread every day. How's that ad slogan go? "Aah, the power of cheese?" Keep up the good work and she'll be eating out of your hand in no time.

Jetsmom, so happy your Rusty is now a member of the family with a clean bill of health.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 19, 2009, 08:00 PM
Jetmom, that is great news about Rusty! I'll bet he is so happy to have a family to love and care for him.

I think Angel likes the horses better than the humans, tonight she was laying in the field near my youngest horse as he grazed.

But (and thanks for a good laugh lcw about the cheese), I'll just keep trying to bribe her to come closer every day.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 26, 2009, 12:46 PM
Not much progress to report, but I do honestly feel she is starting to think that my herd of horses is her "pack". Today for lunch feeding, she was laying right next to the barn in the shade, and didn't slink too far off when I came down to the barn. As the horses came moseying in for lunch, she actually followed the youngest one (who she plays with in the pasture) right up to the barn, then she spotted me and said "oops - too close!" and snuck away.

Then when the horses were done eating, I saw her following my old mare back out into the pasture.

shea'smom
Jan. 26, 2009, 07:53 PM
Bless her heart. I hope she comes around. I think she will! Thanks for keeping us posted.

jetsmom
Jan. 26, 2009, 09:29 PM
I'm telling ya...CHICKEN!!!

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:15 PM
I'm telling ya...CHICKEN!!!

I know, I know! But the gluttons in my house keep eating all the chicken! :D

I swear, I am going to waste a vacation day and just park myself out in the field with it one of these days soon.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 11, 2009, 12:50 PM
It has been several weeks since I gave an update on this situation.

Well. . . this week the dog is in heat! We discovered this today - first, she didn't show up for "breakfast". I've been using hot dogs, which seem to be doggie junk food, and was making a pit of progress in getting her to approach (not much, but a tiny bit). Then I get a frantic call from one of my neighbors because she can't find her male (intact no less) Jack Russel and she caught him last night hanging out by my place because Angel was in my pasture. She let him out this morning, and he ran through the electic fence to get to her.

So, I wander over to the fenceline to the abandoned farm next door, and sure enough, there is Angel hanging out with her new boyfriend. So I call the owner of the JRT, and she came and got him.

Now, Angel has been running back and forth across my pasture, I think looking for her new boyfriend, and the hot dogs are untouched! ARG!

I'm just praying that she is too tall to mate with the JRT (but not counting on it, where there is a will there is a way), and that she has not found other boyfriends to hang with.

Toying with the idea of calling animal control again and seeing if they are willing to try to use a dart gun. The thought of her having puppies is really bothering me.

The other neighbor that is on the case is away on vacation this week, so I can't solicit her help until she gets home.

Angel has the patience of Job! Several days I sat on the fender of my horse trailer with her only about 10 feet away, tossing hot dog bits, and she will just lay there staring at me, will not make a move towards the hot dogs until I am out of sight.

Trevelyan96
Feb. 11, 2009, 09:03 PM
Wow, you really do have one smart and challenging girl there.

I don't think she'll come to you until she decides she's ready, and you'll probably have to be completely below her level before she does, like lying or sitting on the ground.

I agree, the idea of her having pups is scary, because she probably won't let anyone near them. Good luck. Wish I had more advice, but this is about the toughest one I've ever heard of.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 11, 2009, 09:10 PM
Thanks for the encouragement, she is a tough nut to crack, and after all my years of being around animals, she is the most challenging.

This afternoon she did eat the hot dogs left in her bowl (but not the dog food), and took a good long nap inside the barn (I can see her from the house). But at dinnertime (which is when I usually make the most progress), she was once again MIA.

Sitting on the ground in FL can be a bad idea, we have too many biting ants here, and I think it would scare the poor dog half to death if I had to jump up and do the "fire ant dance" in front of her. The lowest I got was sitting on the tongue of the horse trailer.

Trevelyan96
Feb. 11, 2009, 09:21 PM
Sitting on the ground in FL can be a bad idea, we have too many biting ants here, and I think it would scare the poor dog half to death if I had to jump up and do the "fire ant dance" in front of her. The lowest I got was sitting on the tongue of the horse trailer.

Ah... I think that may be part of the problem... if she was mistreated at all she probably has a fear of anyone towering over her. Will a blanket on the ground work. I remember the fire ants in FL... NOT fun.

If she's leaving food and only taking the hot dogs, time to stop with the hot dogs. Try some canned dog food for a bit, mixed with the dry. It will take her a little longer to pick through and you might be able to at least lock her in the barn.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 11, 2009, 09:27 PM
Ah... I think that may be part of the problem... if she was mistreated at all she probably has a fear of anyone towering over her. Will a blanket on the ground work. I remember the fire ants in FL... NOT fun.

If she's leaving food and only taking the hot dogs, time to stop with the hot dogs. Try some canned dog food for a bit, mixed with the dry. It will take her a little longer to pick through and you might be able to at least lock her in the barn.

Wish I could lock her in the barn - I don't have barn doors - maximum air flow required to keep horses in Florida, so the previous owners didn't install them (the tracks are there - but no doors) and I have not been able to find the spare cash in the budget to get them built and installed.

What I like about the hot dogs is I can break off little bits and toss them to her, and I only do that if she is staying and watching me (and I try to toss them so she has to come towards me).

danceronice
Feb. 11, 2009, 09:41 PM
Is there an animal control that uses dart guns? Until I worked for the zoo, I didn't realize that the drugs used are EXCEPTIONALLY dangerous (the list of emergency supplies we have to have in case a human gets stuck with one is...scary) and ONLY the vets are allowed to handle them. Not the vet techs, not the keepers, not even the shotgun-qualified sharpshooters on the Dangerous Animal Response Team. I doubt that you're going to get someone to come out and dart her. But maybe the vet could give you a tranquilizer to put in her food? Or if she'll sleep around you, you could borrow a control stick (the noose-on-a-stick device) from AC?

I would definitely be concerned about getting her in and spayed. And having had a...run-in...with the little buggers in FL, I can appreciate not sitting on the ground. Fire ant bites hurt.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 11, 2009, 09:47 PM
I don't know if AC here uses dart guns or not. They had put out traps for 3 months and caught her companion (the dog that was dumped out here with her) but not Angel. I'm actually surprised they didn't catch other dogs or racoons in all that time.

We tried putting tranq in her food - 3 times - first time she got woozy, but not enough for us to catch her - second time we got something more powerful from the vet, and instead of making her sleep it made her hyper, she ran around like a lunatic for an hour. Third time, different drug, same reaction, more lunacy. So we gave up on the tranq in the food idea.

The closest I have gotten to her while she was dead asleep has been 4 feet, not close enough!

Humm, we do have an endangered cat sanctuary here in town, wonder if they ever have to dart the cats?

Romany
Feb. 11, 2009, 10:43 PM
Ah... I think that may be part of the problem... if she was mistreated at all she probably has a fear of anyone towering over her. Will a blanket on the ground work. I remember the fire ants in FL... NOT fun.

If she's leaving food and only taking the hot dogs, time to stop with the hot dogs. Try some canned dog food for a bit, mixed with the dry. It will take her a little longer to pick through and you might be able to at least lock her in the barn.


If you can figure out a way to avoid the fire ants (lay out a few tarps or horse blankets), did you try lying down and dozing off - or pretending to? None of our lot - dogs, cats, horses even - seem able to resist the temptation of a sleeping prone person. You could even lay a tantalizing trail of kfc from where she's hanging out over to where you're lying.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 11, 2009, 10:54 PM
If you can figure out a way to avoid the fire ants (lay out a few tarps or horse blankets), did you try lying down and dozing off - or pretending to? None of our lot - dogs, cats, horses even - seem able to resist the temptation of a sleeping prone person. You could even lay a tantalizing trail of kfc from where she's hanging out over to where you're lying.

I would have to keep my horses locked in their stalls, my youngest horse always needs to stick his nose in my face to see what I am doing! When I was sitting on the trailer, he kept mugging me, thinking the hotdogs were for him, but not liking the smell of them. About a month ago I did try sitting on the ground, nosey horse came over, dog ran away - even though she plays with this particular horse in the pasture, and she does watch me interact with them as if she is trying to figure out why the horses trust me.

jetsmom
Feb. 11, 2009, 11:08 PM
Can you borrow your neighbors dog on a leash, and sit down and hand feed the neighbors dog, and put the hot dog pieces close to you, to encourage her to come up? Have a leash, with the handle looped like a noose/slipknot. Try draping it over her while she eats.

Or even just trying to encourage her to take the hot dog out of your hand, while you pat the neighbor's dog.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 11, 2009, 11:30 PM
You know, funny you should say that, I forgot to ask my neighbor if Angel ran away when she went in to get her little terrorist JRT this morning.

Then I was going to ask her if I could borrow him (on a leash of course) to see if Angel would come up to visit him. You might be onto something.

jetsmom
Feb. 12, 2009, 01:30 AM
Make sure you bring these, if you borrow your neighbor's dog...

http://www.dogcondoms.com/

:lol::lol::lol:

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 12, 2009, 10:47 PM
Make sure you bring these, if you borrow your neighbor's dog...

http://www.dogcondoms.com/

:lol::lol::lol:

OMG - now that was funny!

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 13, 2009, 01:37 PM
Hot dogs are slowly working! Last night at midnight, she followed the horses up to the barn for bed check in, I felt bad, I didn't have any hotdogs with me, so I tossed her a dog biscuit (which she usually buries). She does not usually come up to the barn at night, so this is a first.

She was hanging out at the barn for breakfast and lunch today, I had hotdogs with me both trips.

At lunch time I tried sitting on the ground (after carefully checking for ant mounds first). She eyed me with curiosity, unfortunately, so did my nosey gelding, who had to come see why his human was so low to the ground. In the spirit of safety, I decided to get up. However, Angel did watch carefully all my interactions with the horse (lots of scratching and hugging).

Slow but steady progress is being made. We have gone from having her hang out on the fencelines to now hanging around outside the barn, even when I am in the barn (I talk to her through the open windows).

fivehorses
Feb. 13, 2009, 01:56 PM
could you borrow a hav-a-heart trap and catch her.
I, too hate the thought, you might have a litter of pups following her around.
UGH.
She is tough.
I like the idea of borrowing the JRT. Could you get her into a horse stall and either put a noose to catch her and get her into a crate or seize her somehow to get her to the vets for a spay and shots.
Once in a crate, she'd probably come around better.
Poor you.

Sing Mia Song
Feb. 13, 2009, 05:08 PM
The lowest I got was sitting on the tongue of the horse trailer.

Wait...you have a horse trailer? That's the perfect thing to trap her in. Leave it open for several days and put in food, water, and some fluffy hay, with a trail of hot dogs into it. Then close up the ramp so she has to get into it through the side door. After several days of her coming and going through the side door, sneak up and close her in it.

Keep in mind that this will only work if you have top doors on the ramp. Otherwise she will bail out the space over the ramp. And you probably need to have a second person holding the door when you do go in to get her.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 14, 2009, 07:33 PM
Wait...you have a horse trailer? That's the perfect thing to trap her in. Leave it open for several days and put in food, water, and some fluffy hay, with a trail of hot dogs into it. Then close up the ramp so she has to get into it through the side door. After several days of her coming and going through the side door, sneak up and close her in it.

Keep in mind that this will only work if you have top doors on the ramp. Otherwise she will bail out the space over the ramp. And you probably need to have a second person holding the door when you do go in to get her.

Great idea! But. . . the trailer is in the pasture with the horses (right next to the barn). So, if I leave the trailer open, I risk one of the nitwit horses going in it - and it is lightweight, so I only let them practice load when it is hitched up to the truck. My luck they would either get hurt on the open ramp, rip off the open door to the dressing room, or lord knows what else could happen.

However, I have encouraging news from today. First, I don't think she is in heat anymore, because she has been hanging out a the barn all day every day. This morning, she actually wagged her tail for me when I showed up with the hotdogs :) That really warmed my heart that she showed a sign of affection for the first time in 4 months.

But. . . at lunch, I tried the sitting on the ground thing again (this time the horses were still in their stalls eating lunch). Dog was laying about 20 feet away, I sat on the wash rack floor and tossed the hotdogs at her. She stared at me - I stared at the ground and starting timing her - in 6 minutes, she got up, and walked away. So, I picked up the bits of hotdogs and put them in the food bowl in the tack room and went about my chores in the barn. I figure just like my dogs, if they won't eat in the alloted time, the food gets put away. Well, she then started coming closer to the barn looking for the hotdogs. As long as she comes close, I toss her a tiny piece. She seems to be more comfortable hanging around if I am busy doing chores than sitting on the ground. Oh, I had to drive the truck to the barn to put the grain and shavings in the tack room, and she was not afraid of the truck at all. Very strange little dog.

fivehorses, we had the Animal Control trap out in my neighbors pasture for 3 whole months, baited every day with fresh food. I'm surprised we didn't catch anything in all that time, but Angel would not go near it. They did catch her companion (two dogs were dumped out here late in the spring), but not her. Luckily, we were told her buddy did get adopted from the shelter.

I'll keep you all posted on our progress, and thanks for all the support and suggestions! I'm heading back out to give the horses dinner in 30 minutes, should be interesting to see if the dog is still hanging out with them.

CB/TB
Feb. 14, 2009, 07:40 PM
Put the butt bars up to keep the horses out of the trailer? Maybe cover one side so she has only one way in and you have less space to close off when and if she gets in and stays in. If you won't be using it for a bit , make a nice little bedroom there for her. Food dish, water and comfy , fluffy bed and she might move in. Good for you for being so determined to help her. Once she moves in and you get the door or ramp closed maybe you can try a little tranq on her to take the edge off so she can be handled.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 14, 2009, 07:54 PM
Put the butt bars up to keep the horses out of the trailer? Maybe cover one side so she has only one way in and you have less space to close off when and if she gets in and stays in. If you won't be using it for a bit , make a nice little bedroom there for her. Food dish, water and comfy , fluffy bed and she might move in. Good for you for being so determined to help her. Once she moves in and you get the door or ramp closed maybe you can try a little tranq on her to take the edge off so she can be handled.

I had to laugh on the tranq bit. We tried that two months ago - put tranqs in her food. First time she got woozy, but not enough for us to get close to her. The next two times, she got hyper instead of woozy. Vet doesn't want to try anything stronger, because we might accidentally kill her via overdose, and I don't blame the vet one bit. I spoke with my neighbor who is also trying to "tame" this dog, and he said that the AC does have the dart guns, but they didn't use them before because we couldn't get close to her then, so he is thinking now that she is hanging out at our farms more and more that AC would have a better chance at darting her now. He is thinking of calling them early next week to discuss it.

She is a really cute dog, looks like a shepard cross with shepard markings, about 45-50 pounds, and hangs out with my horses a lot.

Sing Mia Song
Feb. 15, 2009, 07:52 PM
Is it possible to move the trailer out of the pasture? It really sounds like the ideal thing in which to catch her!

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 16, 2009, 10:54 AM
Is it possible to move the trailer out of the pasture? It really sounds like the ideal thing in which to catch her!

No, the house yard is not "trailer friendly" meaning there is little to no room to manuver or park it, plus the dog won't come up near the house. And the one spot that might suffice is currently allocated to a giant construction dumpster while my husband is in the midst of doing a huge kitchen remodeling project in the house.

However, this weekend I made some real progress (let's hear it for hot dogs). She hung out in the barn when the horses were in waiting for the rain to stop, and when I went to the barn, she hung out outside, within 20-30 feet, which is huge in comparison to laying on the fence line.

Also, twice I managed to get within two feet of her while she was flat out asleep in the field (second time was this morning), and she woke up, and sort of slunk away, but not very far, and the trusty hotdogs served as a reward for not running away.

I stopped putting the food outside the barn, now if she wants to eat, she has to come into the tack room (under the stall door, which as a two foot clearance).

Also, I think she really views my horses as her "pack", because I often see her out in the pasture with them as they graze.

So, I'm going to take another dose of patience pills, and keep doing what I have been doing, until she decides that I am not so bad after all. She does watch me interact with the horses, I'm hoping that will also help her to get over her fear of me.

Baby steps every day.

Cammie
Feb. 16, 2009, 01:06 PM
I randomly watch "The Dog Whisperer", and this dog sounds exactly like one they had on the program. It was a semi-feral stray female that turned up at a ranch one day and ended up bonding with the horses. The rancher didn't mind having the dog there, but needed to get her spayed and vaccinated. They were trying to feed her in order to get close to her but it wasn't working for them either. Cesar showed up, they got her into a round pen and it was a circus for a while until he managed to catch her. Every time he got a lead around her neck she would snap it instantly with her teeth. He was putting two on at a time but it didn't matter- she would buck and leap like a trout on a line, get her teeth against the rope then *snap*. Loose again. It took him easily a 1/2 dozen leads and her escaping once before he was successful. They had a mobile spay unit come to the ranch to take care of the surgery. They kept her in a stall for a week or so until the sutures were healed, then let her go again. While she was in the stall, she allowed them to pet her but she was very shy and nervous around them. When they turned her loose again, she was off like a rocket back down to the pasture where the horses were. It was quite interesting and amusing. There were a bunch of mares and foals, and none of the mares seemed threatened or alarmed by having the dog in their herd. She went right back to being untouchable by a human, but was quite happy living with the horses. They had other dogs too, but for some reason she was just into the horses instead. Sounds like your dog has bonded with the horses instead as well. :D

JanM
Feb. 16, 2009, 03:21 PM
Could you put a bunch of hot dogs in the tack room, hide, wait until she goes in the room and put something over the opening quickly? If you try it you need help hiding out to pounce because you'll only get one try.

CB/TB
Feb. 17, 2009, 01:19 PM
I think what some of us have suggested- trying to get her confined in a small area will be your best bet. Can you borrow a chain link dog kennel? Adapt the horse trailer to hold her, tack room or stall? Once you get her confined to a workable space I'm sure things willl progress much faster. Plop yourself down on a milk crate and keep those hot dogs comin' and she's bound to inch closer and closer to where she'll sniff your hand and eventually let herself be petted. You might be able to find a tranquilier that will work on her, or at leat something to reduce her anxiety. Good luck. Keep up the good work with her.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 18, 2009, 04:34 PM
Thanks! Darn, I wish I had seen that episode on the Dog Whisperer, I'll have to check his website to see if I can view it online (painful with my sllooowww internet).

She has now been sleeping next to the barn during the day, and lets me get much closer with the hot dogs, and also hangs out in the barn during the day - but I tell you, if she smells me in the barn, she won't come in, I watch her out the window sniffing the air! Darned smart dog!

Right now she is laying flat out in the field, waiting for me to come feed the horses, darned work meeting is running overtime!

Cammie
Feb. 18, 2009, 09:31 PM
I didn't get home in time to let you know, but they actually just repeated that episode today on the Dog Whisperer. The dog's name is Reggie. I looked on Youtube, and they do have about 5 minutes of that episode showing, but its only the round pen part:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiYnr4WJJdc.

You miss seeing the all-important part of HOW they got her into the round pen in the first place! ;)

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 19, 2009, 03:28 PM
Well, my neighbor (who is also doing her utmost to try to befriend and help this stray) saw the episode, and she has filled out the forms and made a video of the dog to sent to him to ask for help. She said the dog on the show was really violent, I think it tramatized her to think that Angel might do something like that.

So, she called Animal Control again today, and they are going to come out in the AM with the dart gun and see if they can get her. It was not an option 4 months ago because no one could get close enough to dart her.

Which means I keep my horses in, since she hangs in my pasture, until we either catch the dog, or they give up.

I'll post back the results. The sad part is that it is most likely that A/C will take possesion of the dog, I can't keep her, I have 4 already, which is max for our deed restrictions here in the ass-ociation. I just hope that if they take her, that they can get her adopted, I think if she can get over her fear of humans, she will be a GREAT family dog.

She was funny this morning, I put the hot dogs in the food bowl in the tack room, tossed her a little piece out in the field, and went about cleaning stalls, as I was finishing up one stall, I see her peaking into the barn aisle, and again she gave me the "oh crap, you're still in here" look and went and laid down in the field until I finished up and left the barn.

shea'smom
Feb. 19, 2009, 11:03 PM
Where do you live? Maybe we can find her a home if they catch her.

SGray
Feb. 20, 2009, 10:47 AM
My neighbor and I are still on a mission to try to make friends with a poor stray dog what was dumped in our neighborhood of gentlemen farms and large cattle/horse farms. She was dumped with another dog, the other dog was successfully trapped by animal control (and adopted) about 4 months ago, but this little girl (a 40+ pound shepard cross) was too smart for trapping.
................
Anyone else have experience with "taming" a stray frightened dog?

perhaps she's a coydog

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 20, 2009, 02:30 PM
perhaps she's a coydog

Humm, hadn't thought of that possibility.

At any rate, the AC folks showed up this AM right as I got back from taking the kids to school. I watched from my house on the hill, and I think (not 100% sure) that she outsmarted them. The neighbor went out in his gator, put the food down, left the AC person hiding behind the big oak tree. Angel came running, and must have smelled the stranger, and veered off, and then layed down a good 100 yards away, just watching. I don't know if they got her or not, I have to call the neighbor, because I had to leave for a work meeting.

This morning I got within about 5 feet of her, but she was not around for lunch (maybe the AC guy sent her into hiding on the abandonded farm next door).

I'll keep you all posted on what happened after I talk with the neighbor.

*** My mother in law just came in to tell me she saw Angel out in the back field - I guess she outsmarted the experts this morning. I have mixed feelings about that, I know it is in her best interest that we catch her, and get all her shots and spayed, but I was concerned that if AC got her, she might be deemed as unadoptable and put down.

CB/TB
Feb. 20, 2009, 03:06 PM
Back to plan A!!

MHM
Feb. 20, 2009, 03:28 PM
Back to plan A!!

Hot dogs! Armor hot dogs! What kind of dogs eat Armor hot dogs?

carla54
Feb. 20, 2009, 11:08 PM
My secret weapon for attracting dogs is Liverwurst, the cheaper the better. Cheap stuff has a stronger smell, but most dogs find it irresistible. Maybe that will draw her in closer.

CB/TB
Feb. 21, 2009, 09:10 AM
Another wonderful treat that you can make yourself, lasts forever and is irresistable. Cheap chicken hot dogs. Slice them quite thin, place on a microwave safe tray or plate and zap the hell out of them until they are hard, dry and brittle. They don't have to be refrigerated and you can store them in a container in the barn so you'll always have somrthing to give her. Keep up th egood work, it sounds like she's weakening.

lcw579
Feb. 21, 2009, 09:48 AM
I second the Liverwurst. My dogs love it - they love hotdogs too but it works better to hide pills in for the fussy one.

I have to admit I was a bit relieved that AC didn't catch her. I've gotten fond of Angel from reading your posts and was afraid of what would happen to her.

Calamber
Feb. 21, 2009, 09:54 PM
If Animal Control gets this dog they will most likely put her down, unless they are an extraordinary AC and they have a very good dog trainer in their foster network (if they have such a thing). You may want to rethink having AC get hold of her, or check to see what they have in mind if they are successful at this in the future.

ptownevt
Feb. 22, 2009, 01:24 PM
Oh, no! I just read this thread from beginning to end. I was sure that by the time I got to page 6 you would have her. The part about her bringing her toys with her just melts my heart. It's like she wants to be someone's dog but just can't quite let go.

What about not leaving food out at all? The only time she eats is when you are tossing it to her by hand? Closer and closer. She's getting what she wants, plenty to eat and tasty treats without having to give in. She could do this forever.

RegentLion
Feb. 22, 2009, 11:01 PM
I wonder if you could clicker train her. I'm not a pro but this is what I would do. I think. She sounds smart enough that she'll catch on if she wants to.

Get a clicker and then click and throw her a treat. Do it a few times so she gets the idea that followed by the click is a TREAT!

Then start using the click to mark behavior, such as looking at you, or taking a step toward you or even not backing away.

You might be able to click for tiny behaviors that you're missing with a hot dog--such as looking at you or inclining her body toward you or whatnot. Obviously go with baby steps.

Here's a good site on clicker training, the blog is also helpful as it describes clicking and shaping behavior in real life situations.

www.dragonflyllama.com (http://www.dragonflyllama.com/%20%20MAIN/indexdog.html)

"Training Levels" are showing the steps of clicker training. Stitch's Blog shows you how to start with a pup. Both are worth reading.

The cool thing about clicker training is you do best if you do it in small segements of time several times throughout the day---which is how things are set up for you and your girl now.

Oh, you can also use your voice as a marker instead of a clicker.... the word "good" for example.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 22, 2009, 11:05 PM
Oh, no! I just read this thread from beginning to end. I was sure that by the time I got to page 6 you would have her. The part about her bringing her toys with her just melts my heart. It's like she wants to be someone's dog but just can't quite let go.

What about not leaving food out at all? The only time she eats is when you are tossing it to her by hand? Closer and closer. She's getting what she wants, plenty to eat and tasty treats without having to give in. She could do this forever.

Well, since Friday (when she outsmarted the AC folks) she has been hanging out all day at my barn, sometimes in the barn (dangit, I don't have barn doors :mad: ). I can get within 5 feet of her now with the hot dogs, and I only give them to her if she stays put, if she gets up and walks away, I go back in the barn. And I only leave out dry dog food at night, and she doesn't always eat all of it.

But. . . AC is supposed to come out early tomorrow. My neighbor told them to park their trucks on the road so that she can't see them, and to come up my driveway and into my pasture to get her while she is sleeping next to the barn - I feel like a traitor, such mixed emotions right now. Actually, my 4 dogs, who are excellent watch dogs, are sure to make a ruckus when the AC folks come up the driveway, and hopefully that will alert Angel and she will take off again. I know, shame on me for rooting for the dog!

I personally would like to just take however long it will take, but I do know that it is in her best interest to be caught and taken care of. And if they deem her unadoptable by the shelter, then it might be better to put her down, even though it will make me very sad.
I would offer to adopt her, but we are only allowed to have 4 dogs per our homeowners ass-ociation deed restrictions, so I am maxed out on dogs. And even if we were to get her spayed and shots, and turned her loose again, I would still worry about her being hit by a car, or being shot at by one of my farmer neighbors.

I'll post more after the AC folks show up in the AM.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 22, 2009, 11:09 PM
I wonder if you could clicker train her. I'm not a pro but this is what I would do. I think. She sounds smart enough that she'll catch on if she wants to.

Get a clicker and then click and throw her a treat. Do it a few times so she gets the idea that followed by the click is a TREAT!



I have been doing something similar, when I go out to give her a treat, if she gets up, I "kiss" to her, and if she stops and sits or lays back down, then I give her a treat, otherwise, I go back to the barn. I honestly don't know what must have happened to this poor dog that she is so terrified of humans. She is trying so hard to trust me, I can see it in her eyes, so just that fact that she now lays within a 30 foot radius of my barn is progress from where we were in October.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 22, 2009, 11:11 PM
Where do you live? Maybe we can find her a home if they catch her.

Marion County, Florida.

CB/TB
Feb. 23, 2009, 08:03 AM
Does anyone actually come out and count dogs? If noone complains, how would they know? And, if anyone says anything just tell them animal control is on it. Would it be so bad if she ended up living in your barn- after all the vet work, that is. keep it up, it sounds like she's weakening!

Jsalem
Feb. 23, 2009, 08:09 AM
I would really hate if the end of this saga is an AC pick up followed by the needle. This dog is intelligent and loyal. OP, can't you give her a forever home? Who's counting? I bet this girl would repay you with years of devotion to you and your livestock. And she would come around.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 23, 2009, 10:16 AM
I would really hate if the end of this saga is an AC pick up followed by the needle. This dog is intelligent and loyal. OP, can't you give her a forever home? Who's counting? I bet this girl would repay you with years of devotion to you and your livestock. And she would come around.

Trust me, my neighbors are counting. You would think that in an ass-ociation (stess the on the "ass" sylable here) with only 19 members, that folks would learn to just get along, but no. . . it doesn't work that way. Some are retired, and have nothing better to do than look for infractions to the rules. Otherwise, I would love to give this dog a home. My neighbor across the street would also like to take her in, but they plan on getting a new puppy in a few months, and are not sure that a) we can catch and tame her before then, or b) that she will come around once they have a new dog on their property. She used to split her time between their farm and mine, but it seems (at least to me) that she spends more time now at my place.

Last night she was actually waiting near the in-gate to the barn, hanging out with my old mare, it broke my heart, so I went back to the house and got her more hot dogs. I can now get within about 5 feet of her, which is progress.

And AC didn't show up this morning. I thought they might have been here, my dogs were barking early this morning, but Angel was there waiting next to the barn for breakfast.

I called my neighbors, but they didn't call back, I just wanted an update if AC had called them. Personally I don't care if AC comes back or not, I think they do a good job here, but this is one time I am rooting for the dog.

Thanks again for the support, maybe magic jingles from the COTH board will help in my quest.

Jsalem
Feb. 23, 2009, 11:30 AM
I'll be jingling for you and for sweet puppy. It does sound like you'd like to do the right thing. It just hurts my heart to think that this dog has placed her fragile trust in you and might be killed when she lets her guard down. Could you contact the head of your Assoc and see if they will allow her to be the "neighborhood's" dog if you feed her?

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 23, 2009, 11:41 AM
I'll be jingling for you and for sweet puppy. It does sound like you'd like to do the right thing. It just hurts my heart to think that this dog has placed her fragile trust in you and might be killed when she lets her guard down. Could you contact the head of your Assoc and see if they will allow her to be the "neighborhood's" dog if you feed her?

LOL - I am one of the 4 board of director members, and I suppose as long as she is the "neighborhood stray", that no one will complain. Actually, most (but not all) of the neighbors are supportive of our efforts, some actually stop their cars and toss her bits of food if they see her laying on the fence line near the road.

But getting an exception filed and approved is a pain-filled process, and I have yet to see them pass one. So better that we just try to tame her, and get her spayed and vaccinated, and then perhaps let her decide where she wants to live. I am perfectly happy with allowing her to be my "barn dog". Humm....the clause says only 4 domestic animals (meaning dogs and cats). I suppose I could argue that she is not "domestic".

I think that is why I am rooting for the dog and not AC, knowing that there is a possiblity that they would have to put her down. If I do catch her, I am not turning her over to AC, my neighbor and I will take care of the vet bills and do what we can to domesticate her, even if she ends up just being the neighborhood dog, since we both feel it will be impossible to keep her contained in one yard, now that she has had the whole neighborhood to roam in for all this time.

MHM
Feb. 23, 2009, 11:44 AM
I also have trouble believing AC would spend as much time and patience with her as you already have. No offense to AC, but they probably have guidelines and budget concerns that must govern their actions.

If you can catch her, but can't keep her, I'll bet somebody on this BB might take her.

Or what about the rescue run by Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta? They've helped an amazing number of dogs.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 23, 2009, 12:17 PM
I also have trouble believing AC would spend as much time and patience with her as you already have. No offense to AC, but they probably have guidelines and budget concerns that must govern their actions.


Well, AC spent 3 months trying to trap her, they were out here faithfully every day baiting and checking the trap, I'm amazed they didn't catch any wildlife in the darned thing! But you might be right, if they were to catch her, they might not take the time to rehabilitate her to a domestic life.

jetsmom
Feb. 23, 2009, 12:39 PM
After having caught Rusty (my stray), I hate the thought of Angel being caught by AC. I can guarantee you that she will be deemed unadoptable and be euthanized. There are so many dogs needing homes that one that is leery of people doesn't have a chance with AC. My biggest fear when I was trying to catch Rusty was that AC would catch him before I could. I know he would have been euthed. And seeing what a wonderful dog he's turned out to be, makes me realize just how lucky I am.

Can you borrow the neighbor's dog, and feed him hot dogs when she's around, and try to get her to come close to you?

If you could catch her, I would think that spending a few days locked up in a stall/room, and going for walks, and being fed would get her friendly pretty fast. Then you'd have a chance at finding her a home.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 23, 2009, 09:28 PM
jetsmom, your story with Rusty has been a real inspiration to me in my quest to save Angel.

I'm going to contact my neighbor with the JRT to see if she will bring him over this weekend to see if Angel will come around.

I've been happy with being able to now get within 5 feet of her most of the time this week. Tonight at dinner, she laid under the fenceline instead of coming to the barn, so no hot dogs. She must not be very hungry because I did toss a tiny piece into the food bowl in tack room, and it is still there.

vineyridge
Feb. 23, 2009, 10:12 PM
I had a cousin who could tame feral dogs. She would sit down on the grass with treats at hand and just wait. Eventually curiosity would get the better of the dog and it would come over. Being down on its level seems to make a huge difference. People sitting on the ground are so clumsy and immobile that it seems to give the dog confidence that it can escape before the human can capture it. Once you've made the initial touch and fed super tasty treats, you're well on your way to taming.

CB/TB
Feb. 24, 2009, 07:29 PM
Throwing out anything here. Are you the only one who feeds her? Could you NOT feed her for a day or two then try the hot dog/chicken whatever might work? She just might be hungry enough to get close enough to take something from your hands or at least eat from a dish at your feet. It might seem she's being rewarded for staying away from you??? Grasping at straws, but it was a thought. After the day or so just sit with the dish of food and wait . If she doesn't come to eat within a short time take it away and try again later. Maybe you should try to borrow a chain link kennel and place the food in there for a few days until she comes and goes with no fear. You have to get her confined before anything can happen.

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 25, 2009, 06:22 PM
Well, a few other neighbors have been feeding her also, I'm surprised she is not as big as a house. I have found that she is also smart enough not to overeat, I have dry food in the tack room that sits for days until she gets hungry enough to eat it.

I'll ask around if any friends have a kennel type thing, not sure she will go in it since the trap incident. I guess what happened with the traps was, that AC brough two of them out, not the same size. The other dog got trapped in the larger trap, and Angel tripped the gate on the second cage, but it was too small for her, and she escaped and after that she would not go in it, no mater what yummy stuff they put in there.

At lunch today, I walked out to her, got within 5 feet (which is real progress), tossed her a few bits of hot dog, and went to get the mare out in the field. When I got back to the barn, she was waiting for us at the other end of the barn aisle.

I've tried sitting on the ground - she lays there for about 5 minutes, and then gets up and walks away. This is definitely going to have to be on her terms.

AC has not come back out for whatever reason.

CB/TB
Feb. 25, 2009, 07:22 PM
I'm not thinking cage as in crate, I 'm thinking of a full size dog kennel, maybe a 12 x 6 and 6' high, or so - think box stall. Being creative here, possibly setting it up behind foliage with the door open, not sitting out in the open. Leave her food in there and give her a period of time to go in and out as she eats, ignoring her, but moving her dish to the far end over a few days so you'll have time to get the door shut. If she will not run as you pass by now and then, eventually you can ( hopefully). just shut the door. Don't do anything except feed her there for a few days. you might plant yourself inside with her as close as you can get and just read a book or something. She sounds like one smart cookie, that one! I wouldn't try to corner her if you're not sure how she'll act, just leave it up to her. How about cheese???

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 25, 2009, 07:47 PM
I'm not thinking cage as in crate, I 'm thinking of a full size dog kennel, maybe a 12 x 6 and 6' high, or so - think box stall. Being creative here, possibly setting it up behind foliage with the door open, not sitting out in the open. Leave her food in there and give her a period of time to go in and out as she eats, ignoring her, but moving her dish to the far end over a few days so you'll have time to get the door shut. If she will not run as you pass by now and then, eventually you can ( hopefully). just shut the door. Don't do anything except feed her there for a few days. you might plant yourself inside with her as close as you can get and just read a book or something. She sounds like one smart cookie, that one! I wouldn't try to corner her if you're not sure how she'll act, just leave it up to her. How about cheese???

Sounds like an interesting concept, I'll have to scan craigslist to see if anyone has one for sale or giveaway.

As to cheese? I tried that a month ago, it worked, but not as well as hot dogs. Yes, she is a really smart dog, the fact that she has lived on her own this long is a testiment to that.

shea'smom
Feb. 25, 2009, 07:58 PM
well, I am kinda glad AC hasn't come back, but the girl has to be spayed, doesn't she? The dog pen sounds like a good idea. I have one, but I'm in NC! Not very helpful.

Go Fish
Feb. 25, 2009, 08:58 PM
I know!!! Call the Houston SPCA. They seem to have really good luck catching stray dogs. Maybe they have some ideas????

Thanks for keeping us updated...:)

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 26, 2009, 11:57 PM
I know!!! Call the Houston SPCA. They seem to have really good luck catching stray dogs. Maybe they have some ideas????

Thanks for keeping us updated...:)

LOL - I guess I won't be seeing my local AC folks on Animal Planet in the near future!

Angel actually came running to the barn for the dinner feed, but then stopped about 30 feet from the barn and laid down waiting for me to toss the hot dogs. So I tossed one, then left a trail of them so she had to get closer to the barn while I was in it.

CB/TB
Feb. 27, 2009, 08:22 AM
Sounds like she's trained you well! Try NOT throwing her a treat until she's taken a step Forward. A step toward you and she gets a treat. She seems good at waiting you out. A step back and you walk away. You have the patience of JOB!

MunchkinsMom
Feb. 28, 2009, 09:08 PM
Sounds like she's trained you well! Try NOT throwing her a treat until she's taken a step Forward. A step toward you and she gets a treat. She seems good at waiting you out. A step back and you walk away. You have the patience of JOB!

LOL - the dog is more patient than I am. Yesterday I left a trail of hot dog bits from where she was to the barn, and then when she was within 10 feet of the barn, I tossed her a few more bits. I am doing what you suggested, and only feeding her if she at the very least stays put as I approach.

I think I am making progress. This afternoon, I went to put the horses in the barn so I could hitch up the trailer for training (another long story with the "patience" theme), and Angel was sleeping in the shade next to the trailer. I had some more hot dogs, she stood up when I got within 5 feet, I kissed to her, and she stopped and sat and waited for me to toss her a bit or two. Then I went to get the truck, unloaded the grain in the barn, and hitched up the trailer - and Angel was laying 7 feet way from me, just watching me jump in and out of the truck, and then hitching up the trailer. And I was talking to her the whole time. But as soon as I stopped working and stood to talk to her, she walked away.

What is funny is that if I kiss to her, or call her, or whistle, she doesn't come forward at all, she sits and waits. If she walks away, I take the hot dogs and go back in the barn, so at least she knows that she can only eat if she keeps working on expanding her comfort zone.

I hope I am not boring you all, but I have to share one more story. Night before last, at about 11 PM, I had the horse feed all set up in buckets in the tack room with Nicker Maker snacks and carrots in the buckets. I had to go out to find my mare, and when I came back, Angel had snuck in and eaten two carrots and the Nicker Maker! And, she found someone's old bathroom throw rug and dragged it into the center of my pasture, at first I thought it was a dead animal out there (because is it gray). I don't know where she finds this stuff (shoes, stuffed toys, etc.), but now she brings them to my farm.

shea'smom
Feb. 28, 2009, 09:25 PM
You are not boring us! I have 12 dogs of my own, so I need to go online and read about another dog, three states away.....
I so hope you can catch her and give her a good home.

Proud To Be Spotted
Feb. 28, 2009, 09:51 PM
MM,

Your not boring us. Every day I open this thread and hope you have caught her. If I can get my fences fixed by the time you do, and we can figure a way to get her to Texas, I might consider taking her if she gets alone with cats.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 1, 2009, 05:20 PM
Well, not much progress today, but it is soo bloody windy and cold out today, I can't bear to be out there long. It breaks my heart to see her out basking in the sun trying to stay warm. I'm hoping she will go curl up on that stolen carpet that she brought "home" tonight. I put it in the tack stall for her. She dragged it back out to the field the first night, but has left it in the tack stall since then.

Humm, I don't know how she is with cats, she was chasing the stray cat that was trying to take up residence in my barn, and since I have not seen the cat in about a month, I assume she chased it away. But she does not go after my neighbors cats - but then again, my neighbor only lets the cats out when she is out with them.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 4, 2009, 06:22 PM
Just thought I would share what Angel did today.

First, this morning I went to the barn, and she had dragged the old bath carpet out into the field again. And nearby was what I thought was her old ratty stuffed bear. But. . . it turned out to be a dead squirrel. I'm not sure if she brought it home to share, but I had to toss it into the woods outside the pasture. I felt badly because then she spent some time sniffing around trying to find it.

The best part was tonight, when I went to the barn, she actually wagged her tail for me! I'm going to take that as a positive sign.

Debbie
Mar. 4, 2009, 06:42 PM
MM, I LOVE this thread. Thanks for sharing this experience. I keep clicking on thinking she'll make the leap to letting you touch her any day. I may get all verklempt when she does! :D

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 4, 2009, 08:37 PM
MM, I LOVE this thread. Thanks for sharing this experience. I keep clicking on thinking she'll make the leap to letting you touch her any day. I may get all verklempt when she does! :D

Well, it will be the highlight of my year when she does finally decide that I am a good human! I just asked my daughter if I can borrow her digital camera and get some pictures to post.

fivehorses
Mar. 4, 2009, 08:53 PM
I love reading this thread too. Keep the stories coming.

I cracked up when I read about her bringing things back to your farm...kind of like little gifts.
I hope she finally feels safe enough to let you pet her soon, and really tame her. She is special.

shea'smom
Mar. 4, 2009, 09:20 PM
I got a dog from the shelter. AFter two days, I realized she was sick. She had distemper. I treated her daily. She didn't really want anything to do with me. I kept her in the house and carried her around and made her stay by me, she was not a small dag, maybe 30 pounds.
After two months, I came home one day and she wagged her tail at me!
That was my once in a lifetime dog, Deer.
I still miss her.
The tail wagging is a good sign.

Reds-n-Greys
Mar. 5, 2009, 08:54 AM
Tail Wagging ~ Yeah!!!

Promise of Photos ~ Double Yeah!!!

I love this thread! :yes:

3horsemom
Mar. 5, 2009, 11:40 AM
i missed my spin class because i wanted to check this thread.
i hope your patience is blessed. i cannot wait to see some pictures.
one of my best friends had a stray dog jump into her backyard a few months ago. this dog is the smartest dog i have ever seen. friend already had 2 dogs and did not really want a third. not to mention all the issues that come with a stray(no shots, not spayed etc..). the dog is not aggressive at all just incredibly shy. friend decides to call a.c. two officers respond to the call a few days later. dog is in the backyard when friend answers the door. i kid you not. the dog takes one look at the a.c people and jumps out of the backyard. a.c looks for the dog for a couple of hours and gives up. dog jumps back into the yard. friend used benedryl to knock her out to take her to the vet to get her shots and get spayed. dog has been with friend almost a year and still will not get near any strangers. but she loves her family!

Debbie
Mar. 5, 2009, 03:01 PM
I had a co-op barn with a friend of mine several years ago. She would come feed 1st thing in the a.m. and I would come later and turn out. For several days we had a seen a stray, obviously nursing, dog hanging around the barn area, but we couldn't get close to her. One morning it was raining really hard and between the time my friend fed and I came to turn out - about 30 minutes max -- this mama dog moved all TEN of her puppies into our feed room on a stack of feed sacks. She had clearly decided we were in her best interests. :lol: We adopted out all 10 pups and got her spayed and she was the best barn dog ever. She'd go on all the trail rides and was super loving. When we moved out of the barn, the property owner decided to keep her because she was much smarter and more useful than his spoiled hunting dogs. ;)

Somehow the dogs that pick you touch your heart the most.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 5, 2009, 03:27 PM
Camera battery is charging up - lets hope she is around the barn at dinner time again.

Today she was waiting on the house side of the barn for breakfast, and again I got a little tail wag. She is getting much better about stopping when I kiss to her, especially if she knows that a bit of hot dog will be her reward. At lunch time she was napping in the shade next to the horse trailer, and after eating the bits of hot dog that I tossed to her, she went back to her resting spot while I fed the horses. So, I think, little by little she is feeling safer in my presence.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 5, 2009, 07:23 PM
Introducing Angel, the farm stray:

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2147/2908252/21667865/357127841.jpg (http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2147/2908252/21667865/357127841.jpg)

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2147/2908252/21667865/357127904.jpg (http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2147/2908252/21667865/357127904.jpg)

She was a bit leary of the camera, but did her best to be brave.

Scissors
Mar. 5, 2009, 07:34 PM
What a beautiful lady-dog! This thread absolutely makes my day - on a daily basis. Munchkins Mom, I'm so impressed with your patience and am convinced that you and Angel will be rewarded. I can't wait until you first touch her.

gloriginger
Mar. 5, 2009, 07:36 PM
oh she's beautiful, I love this story. I hope you write a book about this someday. I get a lot of extra dog toys at agility trials, I'd love to send her a new stuffed toy, if you want to PM me your address. :)

Calamber
Mar. 5, 2009, 07:40 PM
She's beautiful. Thank you for putting a "face" with the story. I have been following this off and on since you started this thread, please continue, we are all pulling for Angel to make that breakthrough. It is so sweet that she brings her "toys" to you!

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 5, 2009, 07:43 PM
oh she's beautiful, I love this story. I hope you write a book about this someday. I get a lot of extra dog toys at agility trials, I'd love to send her a new stuffed toy, if you want to PM me your address. :)

Aww, thanks so much. She has plenty of toys, I keep taking them out of the toybox from my 4 spoiled rotten house dogs (who would rather play with shoes or oven mitts anyway)! Her latest favorite is the Jolly Ball, that I had originally bought for the horses, and they didn't play with it.

Maybe your local dog rescue could use one, and you could tell them it is a donation in Angel's name.

I guess I will have to save this thread and it might just be my first book. Something I have always secretly wanted to do anyway.

3horsemom
Mar. 5, 2009, 07:47 PM
what a cool dog! you can tell that angel is nobody's fool! looks as if she has enough shepherd in her to account for her slow to warm up nature. stay with it munchkin's mom. she will be worth the effort.

MHM
Mar. 5, 2009, 08:23 PM
Oh! She has such a soulful expression on her face.

Thanks for the pictures and the persistence.

Buffyblue
Mar. 5, 2009, 08:39 PM
What a beauty she is! Thanks for being her friend.

Indy
Mar. 5, 2009, 09:37 PM
She's got a great face! Angel reminds me a lot of a dear, formerly stray dog who was once in my life.

You're doing a wonderful thing for this dog.

Horse with No Name
Mar. 5, 2009, 10:56 PM
Awwwww what a lovely girl she is, good on you MunchkinsMom!! :) I better go back and read the other eight pages now...

jetsmom
Mar. 6, 2009, 01:56 AM
She's beautiful.

I'm so happy about the tail wag!!!

Are you feeding her regular dog food as well, each day? Same time each day? That seemed to help w/Rusty. He'd wait there for me, and I could kneel by his food while he ate. Then when I started feeding chicken, I'd reach out to try to encourage him to come take it from me. Basically, my hand was above his dog food. At first he'd back away, but after I'd toss a piece about halfway between he and his food, he came up and took it from me.

Maybe that might help. Will she eat regular dog food if you sit/kneel nearby?

Singing also helped. I found that when I would sing, he'd follow me (probably thought the screaching sound was an injured animal that might be edible!!!)

I LOVE the Angel stories.

Reds-n-Greys
Mar. 6, 2009, 08:50 AM
AWWWW, so cute! And you did give her the perfect name, she is an angel. Thanks for the pictures - and the updates. I'll be standing in line to buy her book!

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 6, 2009, 11:59 AM
Will she eat regular dog food if you sit/kneel nearby?


Nope, I tried that, we had a mexican standoff for 6 minutes and then she walked away. Her distrust of humans still overcomes her want for food. Also, she is funny, sometimes if you toss her a dog biscuit, if she is not hungry, she will take it and bury it (so the crows won't eat it on her).

Yes, I put regular dog food out twice a day, about 1/2 cup dry food in the AM and PM, with a few bits of hot dogs or cheese as topping. Also, I believe my neighbor is feeding her once a day, which is why I don't put out a lot of dog food. Oh, and a biscuit in there also.

This morning she was waiting patiently by the barn, she stood up, stretched, yawned and wagged her tail again. Of course she got some hot dog bits for that!

CB/TB
Mar. 6, 2009, 12:39 PM
What a cutie and certainly worth the effort you're putting out. And she looks as if "living off the land " is agreeing with her. No ribs on THAT doggie! Hang in there, it sounds like she's weakening.

lcw579
Mar. 6, 2009, 12:44 PM
Tail wagging, pictures and the promise of a book! This thread just keeps getting better and better. :) Angel is lovely - keep up the good work I think you are almost there! :yes:

amdfarm
Mar. 6, 2009, 01:39 PM
Tail wagging, pictures and the promise of a book! This thread just keeps getting better and better. :) Angel is lovely - keep up the good work I think you are almost there! :yes:

I'll second this. What a beautiful girl.

Debbie
Mar. 6, 2009, 01:51 PM
Awww, she's lovely and looks very similar to the dog that adopted my friend and I several years ago. Good luck with her MM and put my name down as a home for her once you can catch her. Of course, I'm betting that you find away around those silly subdivision covenants once she finally comes over to being domesticated! But if not, I'm serious.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 6, 2009, 02:01 PM
Awww, she's lovely and looks very similar to the dog that adopted my friend and I several years ago. Good luck with her MM and put my name down as a home for her once you can catch her. Of course, I'm betting that you find away around those silly subdivision covenants once she finally comes over to being domesticated! But if not, I'm serious.

Thanks! I think my neighbor (who has been working almost as hard as I have on catching Angel) is considering taking her in (she plans on paying the vet bills for spaying, etc.) and as long as she gets along with the new puppy they are buying in May, then that will be great. Of course we all know that trying to get her to stay on the property now that she has had free roam for almost a year is going to be a challenge, so I am sure that she will still be the neighborhood dog if we catch her. But I will definitely keep you in mind if push comes to shove.

Trevelyan96
Mar. 6, 2009, 02:51 PM
MM, she is beautiful! Tail wagging is good. Maybe instead of food, you should start trying to teach her to play fetch. that might make her get a little closer.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 6, 2009, 02:57 PM
MM, she is beautiful! Tail wagging is good. Maybe instead of food, you should start trying to teach her to play fetch. that might make her get a little closer.

I wonder if playing fetch with hot dog bits count? Sometimes I overshoot my toss, and they go past her and she does go get them, but of course she doesn't bring them back :). I've even hit her with them a few times, fortunately she is tolerant of my bad pitching arm.

I was thinking that I should get the kids to go play catch out in the field (while the horses are in their stalls of course), and see if that brings any response from Angel.

mellsmom
Mar. 6, 2009, 04:14 PM
When we got our first house it came with two feral puppies under the porch. Mom was terrifed of us, but the puppies were small enough to snatch, so we did. Not too long after we got good and settled, the mom has two more babies. She was hiding them in the woods. My husband grabbed one, but it got away and scooted into a groundhog hole. We finally were able to get Abby because my other two dogs adopted her. they would all go play together and finally she'd just show up at meals and come inside to sleep at night with them. She's still funny about you coming towards her, but she's good girl.

RHdobes563
Mar. 7, 2009, 01:13 AM
Introducing Angel, the farm stray:

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2147/2908252/21667865/357127841.jpg (http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2147/2908252/21667865/357127841.jpg)

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2147/2908252/21667865/357127904.jpg (http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2147/2908252/21667865/357127904.jpg)

She was a bit leary of the camera, but did her best to be brave.

Makes me think (and paraphrase) of that country song that goes...

"Wild angel(s), wild angel(s),
Watching over me..."

Timex
Mar. 7, 2009, 03:03 PM
such a pretty girl! good luck, MM, in getting your hands on her. if i wasn't so far away, i'd offer to take her myself, but hopefully it works out with your neighbor. good luck!!

Alexie
Mar. 7, 2009, 03:07 PM
awww she's lovely :)

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 8, 2009, 06:49 PM
Here is the weekend update. Saturday morning she actually "spoke" to me! I was a bit late for AM feeding (fighting with a head cold), and Angel was waiting on the house side of the barn for me, and as I approached the barn and said good morning, she got up, stretched, wagged her tail and said "aroo-roo-roo" almost as if scolding me for being late with the hot dogs. I was so excited!

About an hour later I spoke with my neighbor, and he told me he has obtained more tranq's from the vet to try once again to tranq her and get her into a stall in their barn - I don't have high hopes that it will work, and have mixed emotions about it, I know it is the best for her that we try to catch her quickly and get the spaying and shots done, and see what we can do about domesticating her, but on the other hand, I wish we could do it more on her schedule (big sigh).

Saturday afternoon, my nieces came to visit, so I brought all 3 girls down to the barn, and Angel thought they were very interesting, so I had the kids toss her a few hot dog bits also. She would not let the kids get as close as I can, but it was encouraging that she is also trusting strangers. She was also very interested watching the kids go out in the field to gather up the three horses.

This morning was the funniest, because of the clock change again I was late, and my youngest niece (she is 10) came down with me to feed, again Angel was on the house side of the barn, and when we walked into the field, she got up and barked at my niece! And she didn't run away either. So I had my niece toss her a few bits of hot dog, and we went about our barn chores. The whole while Angel laid outside the barn, watching us and listening to our conversation.

This afternoon was the most encouraging, she was waiting for dinner, I tossed her two bits of hot dog, put a few in her dinner bowl in the tack room, and started my evening chores. One of my chores is to empty and clean the water trough in the pasture. While I did that, she went in the barn, ate the hot dog bits, and then came through the barn aisle and watched me. As I went back to the barn, she went back out to the far side. I just went about my business, tossed her a dog biscuit and started cleaning the 6 water buckets. The whole time I was cleaning them she actually fell asleep about 20 feet from where I was working and scurring about. I figure if she trusts me enough to sleep that closely while I am working, that is real progress.

Oh, she is now brave enough to eat the hot dog bits while I stand there, before she would just stare at them until I was out of sight or had my back turned.

tidy rabbit
Mar. 8, 2009, 06:57 PM
I can't wait to see the picture of you and her together, your arms around her neck and both of you smiling! She's a lovely dog!

Reds-n-Greys
Mar. 9, 2009, 09:03 AM
YEA!!! Happy Monday update!!

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 10, 2009, 10:41 AM
This morning, once again Angel greeted me with a big stretch and tail wagging, and now she will eat the hot dog bits while I am standing there, sort of playing fetch with them. So, I tossed her a few bits, put more in the bowl, and fed the horses and turned them out, and started cleaning stalls. Halfway through the second stall, I heard a tiny whine sound, and there she was, in the barn, trying so hard to overcome her fear of me so she could go into the tack stall and eat the hot dogs there. But it was too much for her, and she went back out and laid down outside the barn waiting for me to finish. I was so proud of her, so I tossed her a dog biscuit, and told her how good and brave she was.

She waited patiently for me to finish, and watched me go back up to the house, and then went into the barn for breakfast.

Oh, a funny note - Monday night at bedtime, I was talking to a dark lump in the field, thought it was her, turned out to be the Jolly Ball that she had carried out to the field! I felt a little foolish!

lcw579
Mar. 10, 2009, 10:47 AM
I love these updates! Keep up the good work you're almost there. FWIW, my bossy standard poodle barks if we are late with her morning hot dog too.

Oh, and it's only bad if the jolly ball talks back! :winkgrin:

SUECLOUDY
Mar. 10, 2009, 02:58 PM
Keep up the good work, eventually she will eventually come around. We had 3 feral cats in our horse barn for almost a year now. After they were spayed it took them about 6 months before they would trust us. Now they allow us to pet them (can't pick them up yet), and they meow and holler until they get their food. They are fed during our night time ritual of cleaning, watering, feeding and putting the horses to bed.
Good luck and God Bless people like you.

CB/TB
Mar. 10, 2009, 03:07 PM
Good work! Think of a way to keep her going into the tack stall for goodies- maybe ONLY feed the good stuff there. Once she gets comfy there and you can work around it without her running away, is there a door or something you can use to keep her in? Would she come back in if you could close it off, feed her , then let her out? Once she learned that it was only temporary, and she could come and go she might feel a bit more secure.

jazzrider
Mar. 10, 2009, 04:12 PM
Oh, a funny note - Monday night at bedtime, I was talking to a dark lump in the field, thought it was her, turned out to be the Jolly Ball that she had carried out to the field! I felt a little foolish!

I talk to my jolly balls all the time -- thinking they're my big maine coon cat Freddie! So you're not alone! :lol::lol:

Thanks for all your little updates. They make my day! :yes:

Sanely Eccentric
Mar. 10, 2009, 11:41 PM
I am always delighted when I check in every evening and find an update. Thanks!:)

jetsmom
Mar. 11, 2009, 01:57 AM
I am always delighted when I check in every evening and find an update. Thanks!:)

Ditto!

Thanks for the updates MM.

Horsecrazy27
Mar. 11, 2009, 03:21 AM
Just saw this thread!! God Bless you boy!! I love this kind of stuff!!!

shea'smom
Mar. 11, 2009, 08:11 AM
It sounds like yuo are getting closer to having another dog! Am I remembering correctly that you think she is pregnant? Or are you just wanting to prevent that. I know it was mentioned. I hope you can get to be friends before she has to go to the vet.
So animal control is out of the picture :lol: ?

allpurpose
Mar. 11, 2009, 08:27 AM
I love these updates! Keep up the good work you're almost there. FWIW, my bossy standard poodle barks if we are late with her morning hot dog too.

Oh, and it's only bad if the jolly ball talks back! :winkgrin:

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

I love your story and am rooting for you and the hot dogs, MM! We need more pics, please (you talking to the Jolly Ball :no:, Angel greeting you in the morning, and the Mexican standoff as Angel waits for you to vamoose so she can have her breakfast in the tack room).

Interesting bit about the nieces; I wonder if Angel had children in her life at one time???

slc2
Mar. 11, 2009, 10:38 AM
Dogs that are that wild are very unlikely to respond well to being 'shut in' or 'caught'. You could get bitten very badly if you try to catch this dog or shut him in, even professionals who do this for a living regularly get tagged pretty bad. Too the dog is not likely to be vaccinated for rabies or anything else.

Truly feral dogs are NOT easy to 'tame' and I am not convinced what you're doing always works out even passingly well. If the dog has run off from another home, it's unlikely to stay with you, and it's possible that the dog will never change or get more friendly than just accepting food from you.

To be completely honest, I'd recommend you speak to a very experienced professional who has worked with feral dogs, and get some outside help. It used to be that a stray was quite likely a farm dog who just wandered off, or that a family abandoned. After a little cajoling they settle in and often become a nice pet....these days, the dog could be anything, including a fear biter.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 11, 2009, 09:59 PM
I agree that "trapping" her would most likely not turn out well unless she were heavily tranquilized, and I think the odds of that happening are pretty slim (even though my neighbor still thinks it will work). If they do manage to get her enclosed in one of their stalls, they are then going to call animal control to come and get ahold of her. They do have a muzzle to put on her if they can. I'm not really going ot be involved in that activity, but if they do take her to the pound, I'm going to follow up and adopt her if necessary.

What is interesting is we guess that she was about 3-4 months old when she turned up in the neighborhood with her pal (the other stray that was trapped). What was interesting is at that time Angel was the more likely of the two dogs to approach a human, but her buddy would not come near any of us - yet after she was trapped and taken to the pound, the AC guy told me what a great dog she was and that she was adopted right away - so sometimes it is hard to predict. I also have a feeling that perhaps seeing her friend trapped and taken away might have had a negative impact on her feelings towards humans.

So far as we know, the only male dog that she has been with was the Jack Russel from up the road, and unless they got really, really creative, I don't think they might have mated. He is a very short JRT.

This morning I was really late getting to the barn, and she was not in her usually spots, so I thought she had given up on me, but right after I got into the barn she appeared at the end of the barn aisle, looking for breakfast. At lunch she was sound asleep in the shade next to the horse trailer, and slept through lunch, so on my way back to the house, I got within about 2 feet and she woke up startled, so I tossed her a dog biscuit, and she layed right back down with the biscuit, but wouldn't eat it until I was out of range. She has been eating more of the hot dog bits while I stand there, which is much more than she was doing.

Did I mention that my neighbor made a video of her, and sent an application to The Dog Whisperer to see if he would take on the case?

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 11, 2009, 10:09 PM
It sounds like yuo are getting closer to having another dog! Am I remembering correctly that you think she is pregnant? Or are you just wanting to prevent that. I know it was mentioned. I hope you can get to be friends before she has to go to the vet.
So animal control is out of the picture :lol: ?

So far AC has not been back out since they attempted to use the tranq gun on her and she was too smart for them to get close enough.

So far she does not seem to be getting any fatter, so I am hoping no puppies in her future.

I can honestly say that I have never had a dog that spends as much time observing what I do as this one does. Especially when I am interacting with the horses. It is almost as if she is trying to figure out why the horses let me handle them, and to see if I am good or not.

Dune
Mar. 12, 2009, 12:49 PM
Did I mention that my neighbor made a video of her, and sent an application to The Dog Whisperer to see if he would take on the case?

That's Cesar Milan, right? That would be cool. :cool:

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 12, 2009, 08:18 PM
That's Cesar Milan, right? That would be cool. :cool:

Yes, that is who she sent the video to, it would be cool if he came, but I can't imagine that he is that hard up for problem dog cases to come all the way out to Florida!

Angel did some more whining and wagging this morning, and this afternoon I tossed her a dog biscuit, she "fetched" it, and then laid down with it half in her mouth just staring at me - it was rather comical.

Today we had a giant delivery of our new kitchen cabinets, and the house dogs were barking up a storm, and Angel just stayed sleeping in the shade next to the trailer, I guess she doesn't feel very protective of the house.

Milocalwinnings
Mar. 13, 2009, 10:32 AM
Well, if Cesar Milan will go to FL to work with Angel, mabye I should send in an application for him to work with my foster dog. I had to laugh when I was on his site- it says "We’re looking for a wide variety of dog problems, including unusual phobias, obsessions, fearful behavior, aggression, or any other unique situations that Cesar could help transform"... Jeeze, the foster has almost all of those.


You really do sound like you are making great progress with Angel though. The fact thast she wags her tail at you says a lot, IMO.

Is it possible to sit on the barn floor and see if you can get her to come over to you that way? Maybe just sit there and read a book? Or sit in a chair?

lcw579
Mar. 13, 2009, 10:52 AM
Hey, maybe Cesar could do a whole East Coast tour and stop by to sort out Duncan, our issue racked rescue dog. He'd fill a half hour easy! :lol:

I love these updates - everytime you post MM I get the clearest picture of Angel and her fears slowly melting. I truly believe you are close to a breakthrough with her. I can't wait to read all about the day she finally takes something from your hand! :D

threedogpack
Mar. 13, 2009, 02:09 PM
What a heart warming story. MM you are doing a great job but I think you need to change things up a bit. With the waiting and then treating (tossing hot dog bits) you have trained her to wait and you have gradually increased your criteria to the point you are having trouble waiting her out.

Here is what I’d do.

I’d go to WalMart and buy a bath mat in a contrasting color to whatever ground you are using it on. I would not use the mat she brought to you as a toy. I would also find either a metal dog food dish (available at most dollar stores very cheap) or a metal container of some sort to use as a target for a food drop.

I’d continue to use hot dog bits but I would bag up chopped, nuked hot dog with kibble so the kibble absorbs some of the smell of the hot dog.

Then I would begin formal training sessions.

I would do this in the same order each time, so that it is a familiar routine for Angel. Routines remove fear, and it will speed up your training.

1.I would place the bath mat down on the ground in an obvious place while she is watching.

2.I would place the food dish down about 10 feet away from the bath mat and I would stand beside or slightly behind the food dish. I would stand quietly and silently and wait for her to come sniff the bath mat. As she approaches the mat and lowers her head, I would kiss to mark the behavior (lowering her head) and drop both a piece of kibble and a piece of hot dog into the metal pan so it “pings”, then move far enough away that she will come forward and eat the treat. If she panics and bolts, you stay away, don’t say anything and wait.

3.Say her name

4.Move back toward the food dish, which should push her away from the dish and hopefully back toward the mat.

5.If she hits the mat with a foot (even by accident) or lowers her head to sniff, kiss, drop another piece of kibble and hot dog into the dish and move away.

6.If she does not do either, count to 20 silently, then raise your hands palm up to your shoulders and say “all done!”. Pick up the food dish, roll up the mat and put all of your equipment away where she cannot reach it and go about your business. If this is normally when you feed her, do so but do not look at, speak to or otherwise reward the non compliance. This would also be plain kibble with no added goodies. Goodies would have to be earned.

If she does the correct behavior (hits it with a foot or lowers her head) and you can continue the training session, do so for a TOTAL of 5 treats, end the session with the “all done” and hands up, put the training tools away and go about your business. You want this to be a very very quick session, less than 10 minutes and you want to leave her wanting more. You can do more than one session per day, but only 5 treats per session.

The mat and the dish are cues that mean the start of training so she knows when to apply herself and when she can just “hang out.”

The kiss “marks” what got her reward (the food), it tells her what she needs to do next time to get the same response from you.

Saying her name alerts her to the fact you will move toward her so she will not be frightened.

The “all done” hand signal and verbal mark the end of the training session.

As with any training, timing and order are everything. You must kiss as her head is starting to lower or her paw just touches the mat, not after she is moving off the mat. The order needs to be the same….head lower>kiss>food drop. You get the behavior, you mark it and then you drop the food. Do NOT drop the food and then mark it.

Try this for a week, and let us know if you make any progress. She sure is a smarty pants and a lovely dog! Good luck!

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 13, 2009, 02:25 PM
Thanks! I will give that a try, and I don't even have to go buy supplies, I have plenty of mats and metal dog food bowls here in the house (when you have 4 house dogs, that is pretty common).

She already knows what the "kiss" means, at least I kiss to her to make her stop running away from me, and when she does stop and sit, then I toss the hot dog bits - and she is now just started to actually approach me and eat in front of me, when the bits are between her and me - but only within about 5 feet.

threedogpack
Mar. 13, 2009, 02:41 PM
Thanks! I will give that a try, and I don't even have to go buy supplies, I have plenty of mats and metal dog food bowls here in the house (when you have 4 house dogs, that is pretty common).

She already knows what the "kiss" means, at least I kiss to her to make her stop running away from me, and when she does stop and sit, then I toss the hot dog bits - and she is now just started to actually approach me and eat in front of me, when the bits are between her and me - but only within about 5 feet.

this is one of the things I noticed and why I stressed that it is important to do this in the correct order.

The kiss the way you are doing it now is marking running away.

running away>kiss>treats.

if she runs away, take up your training tools and leave. Running away=no reward.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 13, 2009, 05:30 PM
Ok, let me clarify it a bit. Here is the scenario. I walk out to her (she is usually laying down). No kissing at that point. If she gets up to leave, I kiss. If she stops and sits, then she gets the treat. If she doesn't, I just take myself and the hot dogs back into the barn, because I agree, no treats for undesired behavior.

So, what I am trying to do is make the "kiss" be her signal to stop and sit and wait.

threedogpack
Mar. 13, 2009, 06:26 PM
Ok, let me clarify it a bit. Here is the scenario. I walk out to her (she is usually laying down). No kissing at that point. If she gets up to leave, I kiss. If she stops and sits, then she gets the treat. If she doesn't, I just take myself and the hot dogs back into the barn, because I agree, no treats for undesired behavior.

So, what I am trying to do is make the "kiss" be her signal to stop and sit and wait.

then what are you going to use for your "that's exactly right signal"?

when you use the kiss the way you are now, you are marking the behavior you DON'T want. You also need to mark the behavior you DO want. And you need to NOT reward the wrong behavior.

RHdobes563
Mar. 13, 2009, 06:57 PM
then what are you going to use for your "that's exactly right signal"?

when you use the kiss the way you are now, you are marking the behavior you DON'T want. You also need to mark the behavior you DO want. And you need to NOT reward the wrong behavior.

It seems to me that she's doing it all right as she is.

threedogpack
Mar. 13, 2009, 10:24 PM
I too, think MM is doing a good job, but I think there is a behavior chain that has formed.

Angel runs away to get her to kiss so she can come back for a treat. If running away does not result in a treat, then Angel (who seems to be a thoughtful, intelligent dog) will try something different...like not running as far or maybe not at all.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 13, 2009, 10:33 PM
I should add a bit more information, she only runs if I pass her "comfort zone", meaning if I get too close, her fear factor takes over and she feels the need to move to a safer distance. I feel that she has made progress just in the fact that her comfort zone has gone from 50+ feet (back in November) down to about 5 feet. That and the fact that she now hangs out at my barn all the time. In the beggining she would take a treat, and then run back to the empty farm next door. And now, even when she moves (or runs), it is only for a few feet, and if she sits and stays, then she gets the treat. It is just going to take time, and I am happy with her baby steps each day. I'm pleased that she feels comfortable enought to hang out outside the barn while I am doing chores, and what is funny is that if I am carrying a farm tool in my hand (like a pitchfork, muck bucket or hose) and appear to be busy and not really paying attention to her, I can get much closer, almost as if she senses that I have a different intention (meaning focused on chores and not on her).

Oh, here was something cute that she did today. There is a sprinkler system to water the shrubs near the entrance gate to my neighborhood, which happens to be next to my pasture. I heard her barking, and she was playing in the sprinklers, biting at the water spray and having a grand old time for herself.

chai
Mar. 14, 2009, 12:53 AM
What a great story. Such a kind thing for you to do, Munchkin's Mom.

jetsmom
Mar. 14, 2009, 12:55 AM
It sounds like you're making progress. I can't wait to hear that you finally "catch" her, and can pat her.

I'd try not to have AC out w/tranq darts, as it can make her fearful of people again.

threedogpack
Mar. 14, 2009, 08:51 AM
You are absolutely right it takes time. Fear goes when it goes, there is no forcing a timeline on a fearful animal. Baby steps are critical. Lumping does not work.

She seems like a very observant dog, which is probably why she survived before she found you (and almost for sure why AC could not catch her), so I am not surprised that when she sees you have a fork, shovel or other piece of "barn" equipment she knows that you won't be working with her.

Do you see what I was trying to say about running, stopping and getting the treat? She runs then stops rather than just stops. If you are happy with the running/stopping, then that is all that matters. I thought you wanted to get past that.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 14, 2009, 10:38 PM
Another step in the right direction this morning. I went to feed and turnout, and Angel was not hanging out by the barn, so I fed the horses, and went looking for her. She was laying on the fence line, and I called her, and she actually came towards me! She only came as far as she could bear to do (about 10 feet away) and gave me a tail wag - so of course she got some treats for that. Then she came and laid right next to the barn while I was cleaning stalls, so I could talk to her through the windows.

This afternoon, after I gave her a few bits of hot dogs, while the horses were eating dinner, she actually grabbed the horse jolly ball and carried it about 60 feet from the barn. I thought maybe she wanted to try to play, so I went out and tossed a few of her other toys for her, but it only confused her. But she didn't run away. So I gathered them back up and put them back next to the barn, and she came back to the barn and laid in the shade. I tossed her a dog biscuit out the window, she seemed to like that.

She is still eating in front of me, and hanging out near the barn, and I count all of those as progress.

vineyridge
Mar. 14, 2009, 11:00 PM
I still think that if you were to just sit with a bowl of food in your lap and reading--not focusing on her at all, ignoring her--she'd come closer. Start at her fear point with a click/kiss and treat. Then ignore her. And every time she came a bit closer to you, you could kiss/click and give her a treat. Until maybe she would take a treat from your hand. When that happens you are 90% of the way home.

Like the tortoise says, slow and easy and determined will win in the long run.

FalseImpression
Mar. 14, 2009, 11:12 PM
I love this thread and all the baby steps. You are so patient and it will pay off
I hope your neighbour is on the same page and that AC will not come back and screw everything up. I really want this dog to be tamed with kindness, not trapped.
Good luck to both of you.

MHM
Mar. 14, 2009, 11:13 PM
MM, I'm so glad you're making progress with her. Every time I see this thread has been bumped up, I think maybe this will be the update that says Angel has decided to be tame.

I'm sure one of these days that will be the case. :)

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 14, 2009, 11:56 PM
MM, I'm so glad you're making progress with her. Every time I see this thread has been bumped up, I think maybe this will be the update that says Angel has decided to be tame.

I'm sure one of these days that will be the case. :)

Thanks, never fear, I will edit the title of the thread when that day comes.

This might sound weird, but I feel that all the support and good wished that the COTH folks are giving me is helping with our progress.

shea'smom
Mar. 15, 2009, 06:47 PM
This is the only thread that I took time to check while I was out of town this weekend! It sounds like you are making progress all the time. Yeah!

lcw579
Mar. 15, 2009, 08:04 PM
I just love the updates! How cute is it that she was playing in the sprinklers just like a spoiled suburban doggie?! :D

I like vineyridge's idea of sitting with food out next to you. Maybe you could just leave one arm out with a hotdog in the outstretched hand - kind of like kids do with seagulls at the beach. You have plenty of time to just sit and wait her out, right? :winkgrin:

I really think she wants to be your dog and is close to making a big breakthrough - I can feel it!

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 15, 2009, 10:01 PM
I just love the updates! How cute is it that she was playing in the sprinklers just like a spoiled suburban doggie?! :D

I like vineyridge's idea of sitting with food out next to you. Maybe you could just leave one arm out with a hotdog in the outstretched hand - kind of like kids do with seagulls at the beach. You have plenty of time to just sit and wait her out, right? :winkgrin:

I really think she wants to be your dog and is close to making a big breakthrough - I can feel it!

Oh I wish I had spare time to just sit and wait her out. Honestly, the few times I have tried it, she actually goes away if I sit there too long, but I suppose I could try it again.

Some days it is interesting to watch her. Tonight dinner was an hour later than normal, and she was laying in a spot where she could watch my barn and my neighbor's barn at the same time - I think that she gets food left out in the evening at the neighbors barn. So she came closer to my barn to get her hot dogs, and when I went back in to feed the horses, she went back to her sentinel spot to keep her eye on the neighbors - and sure enough, as soon as my neighbor left her barn and went into the house, Angel crossed the street and snuck under the gate and into the barn. An hour later she was back at my place, playing with the Jolly Ball.

CB/TB
Mar. 16, 2009, 08:11 AM
I think one of the problems is , she knows she can "wait" you out- because she knows the neighbor will have dinner waiting if you don't feed her( get close enough to the hot dogs). Maybe one or the other of you should take over the feeding to see if that makes a difference- if it's just you two who do feed her.If she makes the rounds of several houses, I don't think it will work. She's come such a long way and so much progress has been made , but I think narrowing it down to one "home" will help. Her stomach might overcome her fear. By now she should know you won't hurt her . She's a smart cookie. Have you given any more thought to putting up a chain link kennel. If you could borrow one and only feed her in it , ignoring her for several days as she goes in and out it might work. Place all her toys in it and when/if you can get the door closed, again, ignore her . She associates you with food already. IF you feel safe with her in a confined space you could sit near the food . If she comes near, do th e"kiss" thing. Let her make the first move and don't try to touch her. She might get close enough to sniff you - every inch close is progress. Keep up the good work.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 16, 2009, 12:17 PM
I like the chain link kennel idea, I'll have to go out to craigslist etc, and see what I can find.

She was so cute late last night, it was bedtime for the horses (about midnight), and now that the grass is growing, they are not hanging out at the barn waiting for me. So I go out in the field to find them, and Angel was laying in a mound of used shavings sleeping. She raised her head as I walked towards her, and I spoke to her, but she didn't run. I told her I sure could use her help finding the horses, but of course she didn't offer to help :D.

This morning she was waiting and as she saw me coming to the barn, she went to her usual spot on the other side of the barn to wait for her hot dogs, so I changed it up a bit, tossed her one bit, then put a few on the concrete support at the corner of the barn, so if she wanted them, she had to come to the barn for them, and sure enough, she did! I then stepped out and spoke to her, telling her how good and brave she is, and she didn't run away, so I guess that is a good thing. Then I tossed her a biscuit, which she promptly trotted off to bury it on the fence line, I guess she was not that hungry this morning.

jazzrider
Mar. 16, 2009, 02:53 PM
Years ago, we rescued a 7 year old Cairn terrier who had been physically abused and would bite anyone who tried to touch his collar. We were his last chance, and we were relatively clueless on how to approach retraining him. I'm not going to go into the whole saga here -- just want to say that it took 18 months of patience and low expectations to turn him into one of the most lovable, sweet dogs we've ever owned.

I will say that after about 3 or 4 months of just leaving him alone to be swept up in our routine and acclimate to our other, overly happy dog, we decided to start doing things on the floor -- reading, watching TV, hanging out. NOT asking him to come to us. After a few weeks he would come and sit next to us, and ultimately sort of lean against us. Once he learned that nothing would happen when he did that, we were slowly able to start increasing touching him and ultimately handling him and his collar. I think if we had started sitting on the floor earlier we might have progressed a bit quicker. He lived to the ripe old age of 14 and we miss him still.

All that to say your patience will be rewarded. Don't push. Trust is so tenuous. Bless you for working with her!

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 16, 2009, 06:59 PM
Well, not giant enough for me to touch her but. . . instead of tossing them to her, I put two bits of hot dogs on the corner support while she watched me place them there (this is about 12 feet from the barn aisle), put more in the dog bowl in the tack room, and went about feeding and watering the horses. And. . . she actually came into the barn while I was in there, and went into the tack room to get the other hot dogs! She didn't even seem to be very nervous about it.

So, I'm off to the store to get her a special treat for tomorrow (and more hot dogs).

jetsmom
Mar. 17, 2009, 01:25 AM
That's great progress!!!

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 17, 2009, 02:18 PM
I bought her one of those sterilized beef bones filled with something, and she took it either last night or early this morning, and didn't show up for breakfast. But she did come for lunch, and was whining and wagging for hot dogs. She hung around for a bit, and then my neighbor came over to talk about the tranqs, and she stayed for a few minutes, then trotted off to the back field, which is probably where she stashed her new treat. She probably wants to make sure that my horses don't steal her tasty new toy.

The new plan is that I will give her the tranqs early in the day next week, and call AC to come and help us get her into either the crate or the stall - most likely the crate, and then we can work on more trust issues, and get her fixed and vaccinated. Then we will bring her back from the vet either let her loose to live her life as she has so far, and continue our progress, or play it by ear, reading how she is reacting to being domesticated.

My neighbor loves her as much as I do, and was commenting about how funny she is watching my kids play in the yard, as if she really wants to come play with them, but can't bring herself to breach the comfort zone.

shea'smom
Mar. 17, 2009, 05:49 PM
Best of luck with the plan. I know you'd probably rather let things go slowly but she has to get fixed and get her shots. Oh, I so hope it goes well!

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 17, 2009, 06:31 PM
Thanks! We hope it goes well also.

She was adorable for dinner tonight, she brought the bone back to the barn (out in the field), and then came to the barn for the hot dogs. So I made a game of it, dance around saying "are you ready?" and she got excited and actually tried to catch one as I tossed it to her!

Then I went to fetch the bone and put it back in the barn, so she has another excuse to associate my barn with good things. She really watched me intently on that one. And I also went to fetch the jolly ball, which was about 3 feet away from her, and she didn't even flinch, and found it interesting when I slapped it so it would make that "boing" sound.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 19, 2009, 01:33 PM
Not much to report, Angel seems to have reverted to being a bit more skittish in the past two days, not sure why, I have not changed any of my techniques. Maybe she senses that we have some tricks up our sleeves coming up? Or maybe I need to find a more enticing treat. She is still hanging out around the barn, but moves further away when I show up to tend to the horses.

I'll keep you all posted.

CB/TB
Mar. 19, 2009, 01:47 PM
Maybe someone at one of her other "stops" made a move on her and scared her? Keep doing what you're doing as if nothing happened. Those big , meaty bones are quite the prize, and a good sign that she's a sweetie since she didn't react when you went to get it from the field. do you actually know how many places she eats at?

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 19, 2009, 02:05 PM
As far as I know, it is just my farm and the one across the street (inside our gated community) that is actively feeding her. Occasionally a woman in her car stops in the afternoon and tosses her some goodies, she works for one of my other neighbors about a 1/2 mile up the road.

onthebit
Mar. 19, 2009, 02:06 PM
MM, I posted waaaay back in the beginning of the thread about the two dogs who were living on an old shed when my parents bought this farm inthe early 90's. It took one year to be able to touch them but ultimately they turned into the biggest lap dogs you've ever seen. With one exception: until they each passed on they went absolutely beserk if you put a leash on them. They happily wore their collars though.

We all miss Lady and Tramp dearly as they ended up being such special dogs. I so look forward to your Angel updates and I can very much relate to all the effort and emotion you are putting into this.

As far as her seeming to regress I would just carry on as normal like nothing has changed. Lady and Tramp would occasionally seem to regress a bit as well.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 19, 2009, 02:15 PM
It will be interesting to see how she reacts when the vet comes for spring vaccinations tomorrow, and the farrier is coming Saturday AM (and he brings his big lovable rottie with him - he stays tied).

Thanks again to all of you for your moral support, I really appreciate it. Nice to have someone to share this with, my DH is not all that excited about the whole thing (he is pretty stoic) when I tell him the updates. He just nods and keeps working.

LabsChewShoes
Mar. 19, 2009, 02:39 PM
Been there DID this, success. I also live OUT, no close neighbors, get a lot of dumps, I named this one Girlfriend, as my black lab brought her home. Could not get with in 250 ft of her. She looked like she had mange, thin and definiotely abused and been on her own for a long time. well, i knew i had two choices, shoot her, which is NEVER an option to me, or somehow get her to a vet (our animak control has high kill rate) so, i just always talkes when I was outside, kept my back to her, and I also would go sit always keeping my back to her. i also fed her made sure i ran my hands through it, would get as close as i could, set the bowl down, walk a ways away, sit down with my back to her. and talking.. with my dogs with me laying soen. every day, i would stay a little closer to dinner. (that I had time) this took about 6 weeks. once i saw that her food intake had put her at healthier place, if she did not come eat, by COMING TO the dish, after a while i picked up the dish, and took it in, no dinner. after 2 nights of that, she came EVERy time, with the dish always getting closer, and now I am sitting at an angle to her where i can see her out of the corner of my eye. Soon it was very near me. I knwe she wanted to be part of us, she was trying!!! but so scared. but always within eyesight, and stated playing with my dogs, i then starte tryins to get my hand on ground close to her while she ate, and eventually, to eat she had to be beside me, and i would feed her chicke, she had to take it from my hand......within 6 weeks, there became a sense of calm and comfort and a possibility od trust, then i had to do it,,,dear God, i just wasnt to get her to the vet. so I got some cheeseburgers from mcdonalds, a couple of blankets, and as she went gor the but=rgers, tossed the blanket over her, wrapped her up, she is growling biting and peeing allover me, bless her, had someone ae the back of SUV, i climbed in they locked us in.. vet could not spay her, due to being very preggo...got shots though, not mange, just been malnourished, brought her home thinking well, it will take months to get her near me again....wrong...1 day and back to our same pattern,,,,,then she had puppies, in the rain. she allowed me to get every puupe, and followed me into the garage where i had set up an area for this, and withiin 3 days had moved pups and her into the house. now, she loves being inside when i am, nobody else can get within 5 feet of her, and it has been 3 years, BUT whatever I ask, shw does, tank God we have a great mobile spay clinic, came to the house and i caught her, they did the surgery and left. also my vet also gives me the meds and shots to give her each year, as getting in a vehickle, putting a leash or collar on is so traumatizing for her. Every day I am thankful that i had the patience, she right now is at me feet, to this day though, As I am single, and do not have a lot of people out on a regular basis, and she is NOT going to let them get too close. she has made progress lately though as i have been doing so many exterior renovatins, that work men are here on a regular basis, she does not go away, just watches wearily, my cousin who comes out a couple times a week, and took one of her puppies that she brings out, she can pet her, but that is about it. Makw the dog come to you. You are its nurtureer and FOOD GIVER....so this on your terms, Send me a Pm if any questions, i will gladly give you my number. She is not my only one i have gone through this with, BUT definitely the worse I have ever seen Leigh

LabsChewShoes
Mar. 19, 2009, 02:46 PM
one more thing, get with all the people feeding her, they need to STOP, 1 person, needs to feed her, this is making it to easy on her,,,,she has to have 1 person who she looks at as her survival source,,,and feedin time is a Big DeAL, instead of wxcitement, use your scent and calmness....the excitement, treats, are great, for us , but she needs to bond trust and rely on 1 person, it wont work if this dows not happen...that person wants to touch, well i will move over here where she feeds and askd nothing of me...hard, but i had to find homes for all these pups....so, like i said please, pm me, i will give you my phone number, anything, good luck..

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 19, 2009, 03:01 PM
Thanks so much for posting your stray dog story. I will talk with the neighbor about not feeding her (it will be hard for them, they love her too, they are the ones that named her in honor of their horse, dog and cat that passed, and Angel would sleep on the gravesite). They are away for the weekend, but I'm sure the instructed the house sitter to leave food out, if I can see her outside, I will ask her to not feed Angel.

And you are right about the sitting with your back to them, she is much less skittish if I don't just stand still, and if I don't make much eye contact with her. Truely, thanks for the tips - from all of you - it is interesting to try them to see what works with this dog. With all of you behind me, this is bound to work.

I did toy with the blanket idea (especially on those few occasions where I could get within 2 feet of her while she is sound asleep), but I was worried about putting her into a panic. Since she seems to be generally healthy (the neighbors have been giving her monthly heartworm meds and flea pills) and in good weight, etc, I'm not that panicked, unless she starts to look pregnant!

LabsChewShoes
Mar. 19, 2009, 04:22 PM
OMG!!!! i justy read my posts, and I am absolutely horrified at all of my typos!!!! i just got a new laptop, and am one to look at keyboard, not screen as I type!, but I do type fast, I AM NOT AN ILLETERATE IDIOT, I just not have adjusted to this laptop keyboard yet!!! ROFL!! Good Luck, Like I said, I hated to do the whole blind atack, blanket tackle maneuver, but this dog was in such bad shape originaly, with such hair loss, that I did not want the mange here, The vet actually showed me, (they had her vetry very drugged, (scary) wher her hair was groiwing back in. and because my small animal vet, knows my large animal vet soes special favors for me woth this dog....although he says I cannot guess at her weight.......I must know....what he soes not know will not hurt. They are so good to me though, a couple of their vet techs actually check in by phone on Girlfriend every couple of months....this is what an impact she had on them, like I said, it was something I had never seen before. I am positive, that if i pushed on the collar leash, people issues, we could correct it, but you know...sometimes...you just think, I afgree, there is not a bunch of people out there that i have that much use for either....lol...

Reds-n-Greys
Mar. 20, 2009, 08:34 AM
I love these updates.

Great story LCS (and I like your screen name - having a left shoed lab myself - only the lefts, she never touched a right shoe, just lefts.. ARRRGGHHH)

C'mon Angel, you can do it!

Blacklabs
Mar. 20, 2009, 10:12 PM
I wanted to add I also love the stories and thanks so much for sharing

RNG we need to get together mine chew the right only. :lol:

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 21, 2009, 10:17 PM
My neighbor gave me the tranq pills yesterday, I am amazed at the number of them, 5 small Ace pills, and 2 of something that starts with a T (I'll get the name of them later - the bottles are in the barn). My neighbor said his barn help (farm sitter) was very angry that we were going to do this, she loves the dog too, and is convinced that AC will just euthanize her. I don't think they will do that if we tell them that we will pay for neutering and shots, and take her back when that is done, especially if they think she does not have the temperment to be adoptable. She did apologize after her outburst. At any rate, Tuesday is going to be "T" day, when we try once again to sedate her enough to capture her. I really hate to do it this way, be we are all concerned about rabies and pregnancy.

She has been hanging out most of the time at my farm, she occasionally takes a tour of the adjacent properties, but comes back. Tonight at dinner, I tossed her some hot dog bits, put the rest in the bowl, and started scooping the grain, and looked up to see Angel at the door of the tack room staring at me - but as soon as I spotted her, she scooted to a safe distance.

The funniest part is that she has absolutely no fear of my truck. I had to take two trips to the barn with the truck today, and the first trip, she was in the barn when I pulled up, and didn't run until I got out of the truck to offload the grain bags from the back. Second trip was with shavings, and she just lay there off to the side watching me work. Oh, and she must view my barn as home, she brought her other stuffed toy "home" yesterday, it is a small elephant, that she chewed the trunk off. I added it to her pile of toys, that she then scatters around the pasture, and I pick them up every day and put them back in the pile (so the horses won't trip over them).

LCS - too funny about the typo's, I do that if I have to type on the small laptop keyboard (when I am on the road). I jokingly say I was not hired for my typing skills at work (which is a BIG part of my job as an analyst).

MHM
Mar. 21, 2009, 11:28 PM
MM, I really hope everything works out for the best with Angel.

I think we COTH BBers could chip in for a gift card to Petsmart so you can get her some nice new toys! :lol:

silver2
Mar. 21, 2009, 11:37 PM
Talk to Animal Control before you do anything: the odds are they will not return the dog to you once you surrender her unless they consider her adoptable. Which they won't. If you're concerned about the dog, take her to your own vet and have her do the work, then bring her home and get her a bit tamer before trying to rehome her.

Mtn trails
Mar. 22, 2009, 03:03 AM
Sometimes a dog such as this once it is "caught" will be so excited and happy and turn into love bugs to be a part of a "pack" again. At least I've seen it on Animal Planet. Hope it all goes well for Angel. She's lovely.

CB/TB
Mar. 22, 2009, 08:56 AM
Ithink I agree with Silver2. If you plan to pay for the vet work, cut out the middle man(* AC) and go it alone( with the neighbors). Since she has her own area she calls home, even being tranqued she may not stray too far before she settles down. Good luck Tuesday, we'll all be rooting for you and waiting to hear the "good" news!

FalseImpression
Mar. 22, 2009, 11:34 AM
The pessimist and cynical me is also concerned about AC involvement. I never trust AC to do right. Sorry... we have seen it time and time again with horses... be very careful and have it in writing that you will get the dog back.

I hope everything goes well whichever way you choose, especially for Angel. But she may have more tricks up her paw... she is not tranq'd yet!!!

After all the patience and hard work you put in... it would almost feel like a betrayal of the shadow of trust...

Please think again!

jetsmom
Mar. 22, 2009, 12:05 PM
Talk to Animal Control before you do anything: the odds are they will not return the dog to you once you surrender her unless they consider her adoptable. Which they won't. If you're concerned about the dog, take her to your own vet and have her do the work, then bring her home and get her a bit tamer before trying to rehome her.



Ditto.

AC will often refuse to adopt out animals that they deem "unadoptable". And a stressed dog in an unfamiliar environment, will sometimes act aggressive/fearful. Especially towards men if it is only used to women.

Can you tranq her, keep her contained somewhere for a couple days, and then get your vet to check her out/vaccinate? That's what I did with Rusty.

If you get a collar on her, make sure it is slightly tight, or a martinagale type collar. A frightened dog, can slip out of most regular collars.

BasqueMom
Mar. 22, 2009, 12:16 PM
Another one in the Don't Involve Animal Control Corner.

silver2
Mar. 22, 2009, 02:54 PM
To expand on my earlier comment: if you give the dog to Animal Control you legally surrender it and you can't get it back unless the dog goes through their process and they put her up for adoption and you adopt her. They don't have to put her up for adoption and they don't have to accept your application either.

As far as I know (I volunteer a lot) a feral adult dog is never really put up for adoption. Some small programs have not-so-good or all-volunteer temperament testers and the dog would likely be put down in 5 minutes by one of those. Even if by some miracle she passed and was deemed adoptable and didn't get sick in the kennel (no vaccinations remember); as soon as you tell them you lived on a farm and it isn't all fenced you open the door to having your application turned down.

I think Animal Control usually do a great job in very tough circumstances but they are not flexible in their process or emotional about the animals. In this situation I'd work with a rescue or just pay the vet myself.

Blacklabs
Mar. 22, 2009, 04:13 PM
I agree with others on not having AC take her.

In my area we have rescued 4 feral cats and had them fixed, Because they are feral cats there is a program that will give $60.00 told cost to spade.We do take them to the vet ourselves and have found good homes for all four after.It took us time to build trust similar to your dog and we had our fair share of kittens who didn't survive. In the end we were able to get them spade without AC involved.We knew we would not see them again if they took them.I was wondering if you had the same?
This year we are going after the males so we can get them neutered.


Good Luck and would send you a donation if you would accept toward cost.

evenstar
Mar. 22, 2009, 05:28 PM
I've been following this thread as well, and I'm with Silver2 and others who have said that you should not surrender her to animal control. If they deem her unadoptable, she will be put down. They will not just give her back to you. And as silver2 also said, they could well decide you were not a good candidate to adopt any dog from them, much less this one, unless you have a fenced in yard and proclaim that she will be living indoors only. Many animal control organizations would sooner put a dog down than adopt it out to an outdoor home.

lcw579
Mar. 22, 2009, 06:24 PM
I'm going to have to jump on the "No Animal Control" bandwagon. Something just made me remember the story of a family that made friends with a big old Tom cat that wandered the farm. They finally had him tame enough so they took him to get his rabies shot and make him all legal. Well, it turned out that there had been too many rabies cases or the cat had an unexplained wound or some other small technicality and the next thing they knew this cat they loved was euthanized and its head was sent off to Harrisburg to be tested for rabies. Poor people were horrified and so sad that the cat they had spent so much time befriending ended up dead. :(

So my advice would be to tame her yourself and maybe get your understanding large animal vet to come out and pay a housecall to give her the shots she needs and then worry about getting her fixed once she has the proper documentation.

3horsemom
Mar. 22, 2009, 08:00 PM
altho i have nothing to add about catching angel, i will jump on the no animal control bandwagon. my husband rescued a cat he found. we think someone was about to throw him in the mississippi river as his feet were duct taped together and he had duct tape around his mouth. poor kitty. dh picked him up and hado put him in the car with our 3 dogs. you can imagine how that went over. got the cat home and when we were untaping him the cat clawed my husband pretty badly. we were quite poor at the time and took the cat to the spca to get his shots and get him nuetered. we had a home lined up for the cat and told the spca that we would pick him up. they euth'd him instead after they deemed him unadoptable bc we said that he had clawed my husband. i was so po'd when the ac person just said "oops". no ac. please.