I've had Sunny for 3 days. He is a 2 years old corgi mix.
The shelter said that this poor guy was getting abused by a male, and is very shy.

He has taken to me very well. Sleeps at my side, wags his tail whenever he sees me.

The problem is when I take him on walks in public. He absolutely freezes when there are people around. When he sees a stranger, especially a male, he will stop and not move for over a minute. I don't mind waiting, but sometimes, he would stop at some really inconvenient places like the middle of the street or a driveway.

I've tried to pull harder on the leash, he will not move.
I've tried to bribe him with petting or treats, he will not move.

I guess the best solution is to get him outside and around strangers every day so he'll get used to it and understand that they won't hurt him. But is there anything I should be doing to make sure this happens and happens correctly?


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I would look into obedience classes. Many shelters offer them too. It will improve his confidence and help you figure out how to socialize him. Look for a trainer that emphasizes very positive training techniques. Good luck..he is so cute!

I'd definitely look into some positive based obedience classes, but in the mean time what I would do is get some really yummy treats, like chicken or cheese, and go sit on a bench somewhere where people walk by. Could be a park, near a store, etc. Just sit with him, and every time a stranger walks by give him a treat. If he's too scared to take the treat, move to a spot further away from the people and try again. The idea is to associate the stranger with something good happening.

Hi Ronny, You'll need some high power treats like meat / cheese to bribe him, sit on a bench with him, when stranger ask to pet him, tell them what you're trying to do and hand them the treats to feed him, it will take sometime. All the best to you and Sunny!

Yup, food and having him eat out of stranger's hands. 

It's going to take some time.  Our dog was abused & all that and it a couple of years for her to really turn around.  You'd have no idea about her past now, but when we first got her all my friends thought we were crazy to take her.  She'd shake all the time or run to the corner of the room and look away.

I would wait a week or so before doing anything. Let him settle in. Feed him and play with him and do fun things so he trusts you. Then start as the others suggest. I would suggest Patricia McConnell's book "The Cautious Canine."


New dogs are often overwhelmed and you may find the problem is not as bad as it seems. When we brought home our Madison, she was terrified for a time of big dogs. She was never afraid of big dogs before, and is not afraid of them now, but with the stress of the move it was just too much for her to cope with meeting new dogs and she would hide behind our legs. The problem more or less resolved on its own once she settled in.

Hi Ronny,  I remember your previous post and that you just picked up this dog from the airport as the Rescue had flown him in from Taiwan.  This is certainly a most unusual situation and since your "pup" is 2 yrs old, so fully an adult dog, and I'm sure this too is approximate,  we can only guess what he may have had to deal with before.  Have you had him checked by a Vet?  This would be my first step regardless of what may have been done before you adopted him.

The most important thing is that he builds trust in you. This takes more than a few days.  I would walk him in the more quiet areas where it's not a problem if he "freezes" and where, if he does, I could crouch down and get him to come to me.  I would then give him a treat and proceed when he is all right with it.  NEVER  pull on him or otherwise force him, this would make him more fearful.  You can expand his horizons very slowly and you need to be in tune with him.  Your being in tune with him does not come any quicker than his being in tune with you and there is a difference between liking someone and knowing you can trust someone 100%.  Loving kindness and patience will create the space he needs to fell loved, safe and at ease.  Confidence comes after that.  Trust your heart more than your head and you'll know what to do.

Thank you Anna,

I have an appointment with a vet today. 

Definitely will try to be more patient with him. I appreciate your advice.

I wanted to add that I am a proponent of good quality training classes, but with a fearful dog from an unknown background I think I would work with him quietly at home and (as Anna said) in quiet neighborhoods first. A class might overwhelm him. He needs time to adjust and settle and shouldn't be faced with too much all at once.


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