She's settling in nicely, walks on leash, takes some treats from my hand, likes car rides, eats well, sleeps either in her crate or the center of the floor, or on one of the 2 dog beds.
But she still dislikes us standing over her, which makes getting a leash on her tough. And she's freaked out by most loud, sudden noises.
Any advice on how to help her acclimate easier? We have another quiet senior dog who's been acting as her mentor, love that he is. Any reading, websites, training tips? I know routine is key and we're trying to stick to one, which helps.. Anything else?
Can you squat down so you're on her level, have her come to you (give treat) then clip the leash on her collar from that position? Eventually you'll be able to clip the leash on from a standing position.
I have a rescue dog & her default response to anything perceived as threatning or restraint is to RUN. The above method worked for her.
Our wee one was probably a puppy mill dog, though she'd been through two owners in two years by the time we got her, so who knows. She does the same thing you mention - gets all scared when you lean down toward her, cowers when we put on her harness or leash even though seconds before she was jumping up and down in anticipation of a walk. Once she's dressed, she's good to go (sort of). I found that picking her up was the key - I put her on my lap to put on her coat and leash and snuggle her a little bit.
We also have an older dog with really good social skills who has been a great role model with humans and dogs. I don't think it would have gone nearly as well if Kaley hadn't been there to teach Cuppy how to be a real dog. We still watch her pretty closely around big dogs or really rowdy dogs, because she doesn't always react appropriately when they try to get her to play, and we REALLY watch her in traffic. She will probably always be afraid of large vehicles, and I make sure to pick her up so that she doesn't try to bolt. I'm fairly certain that's how she came to be at the shelter in the first place - I'd be willing to bet she got scared of something and just ran and hid.
The difference between reaching above the dog's eye level on the top of their head and below their cheeks/underneath for the collar makes a huge difference with shy dogs. If you can squat, call them over and give a tiny treat, and start with bum scritches then reaching for the collar from below their eyes it'll be less intimidating for the dog.
Or just take one of those two cent slip leads from the vet/animal control and attach it to their collar for a few days until they're used to you coming towards them will keep it fairly non confrontational- just gently step on the leash from a few feet away. We keep those leashes on very timid fosters for a few days or however long it takes so that we don't have to traumatize them whenever we need to get them to move in a certain direction (out of a corner/crate,, from one room to another).
Have fun with your new dog!