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Meet my new friend / problem


Human-Animal Hybrid
July 22, 2002
Reaction score
City, State
Carmichael, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 Sport 4x4
I couldn't stand not having a dog any longer, so I adopted a dog from the Sac SPCA. We aren't really sure what breed(s) this girl is; the shelter had her listed as a Skipperke / Kelpie mix. Her previous owners named her "Nova"; we don't like that name for logistical reasons (No Nova?) Apparently that wasn't much of a problem for her previous owners; she doesn't appear to have had any obedience training at all.

We are going to call her "Pepe" (as in Pepe Le Pew) because she has a white stripe running down her chest.

My biggest problem is that she thinks I'm playing a game when I try to put on her collar and she is faster than greased lightening. She is very playful but doesn't trust us yet. She is going to have to sleep in the backyard because we can't coax her into the house. From the minimal info we have on her, it sounds like they left her outside most of the time.

I'm open to suggestions on how to get a collar on her. I'm signing her up for obedience classes ASAP.


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Could you "bribe" her by putting food in a dish, then put the collar around her as soon as she is finished. I originally thought about doing it while she is eating, but if she doesn't trust you yet, she might bite.

Good suggestion, unfortunately (fortunately?) she isn't really interested in food. They told us at the SPCA that she failed the food/object possession tests because she didn't "engage" in the test. They would fail a large dog, mainly because they can't predict what the dog will do later. They were willing to adopt her out to us because we don't have any kids in our household.

I fed her this evening, and she only ate about half the food I gave her. She is very thin; she could probably gain 3 or 4 lbs and still be ok. I don't want to make the food a stressful thing for her at this point.

I'm going to have to find some treats that she likes to help with training.

In order for her to gain trust in you, she has to see that you aren't a threat. She might have been abused. Maybe try to play some activities with her like throwing a ball, frisbee, or have some water in a pond with a sprinkler running for her to play in with different things around the pond. Maybe you could find something that interests her. I've also heard that some dogs actually like to watch ball games on TV! They like to see the movement.

Check out the 'Dog Whisperer' on the National Geographic Channel. You might get some ideas.

Remember, you are the alpha dog of your pack.

Good luck :thumbsup:

I don't think she was necessarily abused, just not socialized (I suppose that could be considered abuse) We can't get her to come into the house, even when using cheese sticks to try to bribe her. My GF tried and I also tried separately.

She will let me pet her, but won't let me put a collar on her. We had the collar on her when we first got home from PetSmart, but it was loose and she slipped it off when I put a leash on to take her for a walk.

I am already getting a glimpse of her personality: shy, smart and stubborn. :eek:

you might try something easier to put on (and not take off when in use) like a choke chain, since with practice, thats a one handed operation. it does sound like trust issues,and with that, control issues. Your dogs head is smaller than the neck, so if there are smart/stubbord issues, slipping collars will be a problem anyway. A choke chain would also create a repetative action of messing with its head and neck, which would help with the collar issues, as long as you aren't a tugger (person who tugs on a choker for fun)

You'll win her over. Just love her and pet her and play with her and be her friend.

Good looking dog.

Yeah, you'll need a choker for the obedience training anyways, so it'd be a good idea to get her in the habit of wearing one ASAP.

Patience, time, love and tenderness will go a long way to winning her heart. (It seems as though she's already won yours!)

My sister and brother in law went through the same issues with their dog.... another rescue from the local rescue group. (Appears to be a Shepherd/greyhound mix) It took about three weeks before he wasn't shy anymore, but he eventually came around. He's one of the nicest, most caring dogs I've ever met.

As for the outside/inside thing, I have no idea on that one.... eventually, as she begins to bond with you, she may want to spend more time with you, and if that means coming in the house, she may eventually begin to follow you. It also means that she may not ever come inside either. At any rate, it needs to be on her terms so she doesn't tear up the place in your absence.

Crate training her would be a whole different story... In fact, I wonder if crate training her would help make the transition from outdoors to indoors? A good trainer should be able to help you identify ways to make that happen, but again, it'll take some time and a lot of love and patience.

Good luck!


Pretty dog.

Try sitting on the ground outside. If you are sitting, you don't seem as big to her and you won't seem as much of a threat. While sitting; get ther to come to you; pet her, make her feel good, give her treats etc. and she will begin to trust you. It may take a few sessions of this but it will help tremendously. After a few sessions, you should be able to get a collar on her. Once you do, take her for a walk immediately. Then she will associate a collar with a walk (I haven't seen a dog yet that didn't like to go for a walk.)

As for getting her in the house, don't try to coax her. let her come in on her terms. If you try to get her in the house on terms other than hers (like tricking her with a treat) she will be stressed and more nervous. Once you do get her in the house, leave the door open for the first couple of time so that if she wants, she can go right back out if she wants too. This will lessen the stress on her and she will be less likely to tear the place up trying to get out. Eventually she will realize that being in the house is more comfortable than being outside. My Shepherd doesn't want to even go outside anymore because his big lazy a$$ is all about his comfort. He especially hates it outside in the summer. The black fur on his back gets extremely hot and he wants in as soon as his business is done outside. This may be the case too with your dog.

Make sure that once you get her inside, that there is food and water there (even if it is outside too.) By instinct, dogs won't hang around where there is no food. They usually won't go to the bathroom where they eat and sleep too if they can help it.

I hope this helps!

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

I have actually tried a few of them already. I do have a choke chain, we bought it at the same time as her collar.

I think it is just going to take some time, but for me the big issue is getting a collar on her with id. She is microchipped too, but I want to make sure she had id if she ever were to get out of our yard.

We decided this morning that we would stop trying to coax her inside for awhile, but I moved her water and food closer to the backdoor.

The only treats that she responds to are pieces of hot dog (that's what they used at SPCA) or cheese. She takes dog biscuits, but drops them a few feet away and loses interest.

pretty dog.
Pepe is a good name. As a matter of fact before I even read the post I thought she looked like Pepe LePew.

Really, I did.

The nights have been cold in your town, have been in mine just down the road.
Make a nice bed in a warm house, that will be her preferrance.
Give her a nice warm blanket, cover her up, sit and talk to her, she will come around real quik

spindlecone said:
The nights have been cold in your town, have been in mine just down the road.
Make a nice bed in a warm house, that will be her preferrance.
Give her a nice warm blanket, cover her up, sit and talk to her, she will come around real quik

Yes, but she won't come inside the house, even for pieces of hot dogs, which seems to be the only food treat that she is interested in.

She slept on a pad that we got for our other dog, Penny. I put the crate next to it, with a pad in the bottom and an old blanket that we had for Penny. She is laying down on the pad right now, next to the crate.

It was cold last night, about 35 deg F. She slept out in the open. I also have a doghouse in the breezeway that she could use, and I showed it to her, but no interest so far.

I spent some time today researching Kelpies and found some pictures of dogs that look just like her. If she was about 4 lbs heavier (they said she is about 4 lbs underweight at the SPCA), she would fit the breed standard for the Australian Kelpie. It scares me to think that she might be purebred after reading this description:

A compact, robust, enthusiastic, and tireless working dog. Excellent at herding, the Australian Kelpie is the most popular and successful working dog. Kelpies are devoted one-man dogs but far too work-oriented and energetic for a house or apartment existence.

Yeah, hmmm - don't ignore the "one-man dog" comment while being concerned about the "far too work-oriented and energetic for a house or apartment existence" comment.

I don't know about that breed but have some experience with another "one-man dog" breed - chows. A chow is an extremely devoted dog that will bond with its original owner and once that happens, will resist bonding to any future owner that it may be sold or given to. After a couple of experiences with chows owned by friends and interacting with them, I would never try to adopt a previously-owned chow from a pound or take one that had already bonded to a previous owner/family. I don't know if this breed is like that, but that "one-man dog" description really grabbed my attention when you posted it.

Good luck. She looks like a real sweetie and I hope you get it worked out with her.

I put another dog bed in front of the doghouse, so hopefully she will try that. It is under the breezeway roof, so its a little more sheltered than where she has been sleeping. She seems to want to be out in the middle of the lawn, I guess she is afraid we are going to trap her or something.


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Re: One man dog

Yes, I'm a little worried about that, but she is showing a little progress and the woman at the shelter said that she was warming up to her after a couple of days there, so I think that part will work out. I'm finding some different opinions about the breed depending on which website it is on. Definately a breed that needs a lot of exercise though.

I'm still most concerned about the collar - I don't want her to get out of the yard without it, and I would like to start walking her to give her some exercise. Did I mention that she is really, really fast? :D

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Time, time, time, and she'll come around. Once she gains your trust, and does come inside. She may want to go right back out. This may not be your basic lap dog. I think this dogs tempement is just that she really needs to be outside way more then in. I have raised and trained so many of the sporting breeds. I was a profesional hunting guide on Mds eastern shore for several years during the fall. These were the lovable Labs and the oily curly haired super hard working Cheasepeake bay retreviers that I used in duck and goose blinds. Here is an idea. Use the dogs energetic blood line and the reward system to achieve getting the dog into the house. Since the dog loves hot dogs. Tie one on a string about 10'. Pull the HD along the ground and make a game of it. Let her see where your draging it. Hopefullly she'll follow it, and then let her have it with praising her over and over again. Sometimes drag the HD where she can see it and then were she can not. Let her use her nose to find it. Again with plenty of praise. If she follows you can shorten up on the string also. Don't over do it. Depending on the age she may loose interest. Next start dragging towards door. Make sure the door is wide open. You can be inside when this happens. As soon as she starts to eat it pull on string just a few more inches. Let her have it. Use small pieces too. Don't want to loose appetite. Repeat over and over. You can even try using somthing like a fising pole with about 5 foot of string tied to a HD. Let the dog chase it and try to leap at it all the time moving towards the door. Used to use thiis method on young bird dog pups to go on point. But used bird wing. The young dog would chase and chase it and then finally go on point. Which is no more then the dogs natural ability to stop and get ready to pounce upon pray. The hunter just trains the dog to hold that position. You can stand outside and move it towards door. All the time getting closer. Also have one that is just laying on door jamb Associating door with food. Also the neck area on any predetor animal which a dog comes from is a protective area and some just don't really like to have a collar. That is why the choke collar came into play. Be extemly carfull in useing one. Do not use the one with point on it. I have seen over zealous trainers use these and can ruin a good dog.

Just added. My last dogs that i owned were a pair of Red bone hounds. I got them after they were welped from their mom. This was about 4 years ago. Any one read the book Where the Red fern grows. This is that breed. The reason I mentionig this is that this is one of those breeds that would rather be outside in the cold then spend 5 min. in the house. I'd no sooner get them inside and their scrathing at the door.