We have a female dog, a mix weighing 58 lbs., that came from a volunteer rescue group. We have had her for almost two years and we think she is about five years old. The dog was running free when someone took her in and sent her to the rescue group, so we really do not know her background. She is very submissive, gentle, does not bark much, and is very good with other animals. She does have quirks, however. She definitely does not like change. She will only eat and drink out of the bowls that we put down originally when we got her.

She runs off if I try to put a new leash on her to go for a walk. She will not eat if someone is in the room, and so forth. She is afraid of the umbrella, so if it is raining I have to go out and get wet when talking her for a bathroom trip (we live in a town house, so no yard). We have learned to live with the quirks, but the one thing that bothers me is that she prefers to stay alone in the house rather than to sit with us in the family room. It is just my wife and myself.

No kids. So, should I close doors and the like to keep her from her favorite hiding spots and to make her be in the room with us, or just let her be? She is a sweet dog, but I can tell that she prefers to be with her own kind. She is a different dog when we go to the dog park. She is a tom-boy and runs/wrestles with the big dogs, but is good with the little dogs too. Many people have told us to get another dog, but that is out of the question for us.

What to do? Advice?
Thank you.
Buttercup's Dad.
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We have a female dog, a mix weighing 58 lbs., that came from a volunteer rescue group. We have had ... us to get another dog, but that is out of the question for us. What to do? Advice? Thank you.

The only people that have to like the dog are its owners, and you do, bless your hearts. Will she take a treat out of your hand? Maybe a little training, to get her used to the idea that if she interacts with you more, Yummy Things Will Happen.
As far as the umbrella, if she were my dog I'd open the umbrella and leave it on the floor somewhere, in a spot where she could see it but not need to pass real close to it. Just leave it there. Maybe put a couple treats on the floor near it. Then let her come to terms with it.

I would also consider getting another, friendly dog of the opposite sex (but neutered). Buttercup would enjoy the company, and would probably learn from the new dog to relax.
She sounds as though she never got socialized to people when she was a puppy. But even at this stage, she can become more socialized than she is, if you take it slow and easy IMO. Hopefully you'll get a reply from one or more of the trainers in the ng.
flick 100785
We have a female dog, a mix weighing 58 lbs., that came from a volunteer rescue group.

Thanks for rescuing her, David!
We have had her for almost two years and we think she is about five years old. The dog was ... out and get wet when talking her for a bathroom trip (we live in a town house, so no yard).

Not knowing her background, David, the best thing you can do now is to GO SLOW.
Most dogs dislike change. As far as not eating or drinking out of "new" bowls, why push it? She'll eventually do it if she has no other choice, but why even put her through a perhaps stressful situation if you don't have to? Try putting some "new" bowls down along with the "old" bowls, so that she can acclimate to them SLOWLY. Initially put the food and water into her "old" bowls, then try putting some inside the "new" bowls after a few weeks of desensitizing her to them.
Regarding the leash, do you mean that she doesn't run off when you try to put the "old" leash on her? Just the "new" one?
She'll also eventually eat if someone is in the room, but why force her?

Hunger and thirst have a way of dealing with things like that, provided that you don't do anything to upset the applecart.

Have you looked at your own behavior? And the behavior of your family? Are you generally loud and boisterous? If so, and she's not used to being around loud and boisterous people(which she almost certainly isn't), she might prefer to just stay to herself.
Flick gave you some good advice regarding the umbrella. GRADUALLY allow her to get used to it, to make it associated with "good things," like treats, etc., and not "scary things," like the rain, etc. When you do eventually open it up, do it v-e-r-y slowly, allow it to sit somewhere while it's still open. It won't happen overnight, but if you do this S- L-O-W-L-Y enough, she'll eventually learn to deal with it.

In the meantime, if it rains, wear a good raincoat with a hood.
We have learned to live with the quirks, but the one thing that bothers me is that she prefers to stay alone in the house rather than to sit with us in the family room. It is just my wife and myself. No kids.

Learning to live with a dog's quirks is the hallmark of a good rescuer. It's not necessary to change every "quirky" behavior. Take comfort in the fact that she's generally happy, and gives you pleasure. Not every "quirk" needs to be dealt with just serious ones. Ones that might endanger her (or your) safety, etc.
And again, look at your own behavior in the house. Is there always a stereo or TV blasting? Lots of loud or animated talk? Neighborhood noises?
She may never fully come around to really enjoying your close proximity, but there's no reason that you can't keep trying your best to be very ATTRACTIVE to her. Always having treats at the ready, toys, etc., or even try some gentle massage.
So, should I close doors and the like to keep her from her favorite hiding spots and to make her be in the room with us, or just let her be?

I'd let her be. But try some of the things I mentioned above and see if she doesn't want to spend more time with you and your wife.
She is a sweet dog, but I can tell that she prefers to be with her own kind. She is ... dog park. She is a tom-boy and runs/wrestles with the big dogs, but is good with the little dogs too.

Frequently bringing her to be "with her own kind" is a good way of getting her to appreciate you* more (you bring her "good things"). But do *you* ever do anything *with your dog? Like train her? Throw balls for her? Go jogging/walking with her? Take her for rides in the car (provided she's not fearful of them)?
Many people have told us to get another dog, but
that is out of the question for us. What to do? Advice?

A second dog, provided it was the "right" one, would probably help out a lot here. But don't feel quilty, either, if you're circumstances don't allow for it right now.
She's got a good home, and a couple of humans who care for her.

That's more than most dogs have.
She's a lucky gal.
And good luck!

Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to send me e-mail
"You ask what is our aim? I can answer that in one word, victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill
A second dog, provided it was the "right" one, would probably help out a lot here. But don't feel quilty, either,

Hey! I take exception to that.
Lia
A second dog, provided it was the "right" one, would probably help out a lot here. But don't feel quilty, either,

Hey! I take exception to that.

To...what?
I'm almost afraid to ask.

Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to reply by e-mail
"You ask what is our aim? I can answer that in one word, victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill
To...what? I'm almost afraid to ask.

Jeez.
Now I get it.
Went right over the ol' noggin.
I meant G-U-I-L-T-Y, of course, Quilt Lady.
But I still don't feel very "quilty," either.

Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to reply by e-mail
"You ask what is our aim? I can answer that in one word, victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill
David,
Considering you don't really know her back ground I'd just give it some time. It could be she was abused at some point. An abused dog takes alot of work to gain their trust and eventually you get there. It sounds like you are on the right track with her and working with her quirks.

My one dog Brandy was abused by her former owner and it took me well over a year before she would totally trust and realize that if she barked she wasn't going to get a beating for it. The best sound I ever heard every day was her at the back door when I got home barking for me to get that door open so she could get out to see me. She too often stayed back out of the way either in another room or at the edge of the current one just looking and observing. Eventually as she got up her confidence and trust in me she started following me around.
Good luck keep at it.
Celeste
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