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I recently adopted a toy poodle a little over 1 y/o who was abused in a puppy mill before being rescued by his foster mother.

He lived with his foster mom for about 2-3 mos before I adopted him on Friday night. He's very shy (rightfully so) and won't eat much. The only food he'll eat are treats that I put right in front of him or a few bites of dry foot if I put them right in front of him.

I know it will take a bit for him to warm up to me, but I was hoping to get a few suggestions about how to make him feel comfortable and safe here in his new home. He's taken up to small spaces and it's very hard to get him to come out to go to the potty or anything. I don't want to force anything on him, but I also want to help him become familiar and confortble with his new loving home.

Thank you for any advice you have!
 

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Dogs coming from mills have had no "real life" experiences so they do not know how to act. Do you have a crate for him? If not then I would suggest getting him one and if you have one make sure its got a nice stuffed friend and a yummy chew toy in it. Also just leave him alone for a while ;) in fairly quite place. I know you want to cuddle and love but he needs to explore on his own at his own pace.

As for eating, I would put some food out in a bowl and if he dose not eat after 30 mins take it away, about an hour later set it back down and so on. He will get hungry enough to eat out of the bowl. Also when you are just sitting around have some cooked chicken with you so if he come close to you drop a tiny piece for him and he will soon associate you with yummy chicken so he will want to come around you more. But go slow at first don't touch him or talk to him just toss it too him. Once he sees he gets chicken when he comes close place the bits of chicken closer to you and then finally let him take it from your hand. Only proceded when he get comfortable with you.

I hope any of that helps, good luck!
 

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Clock

I agree, put him in a crate..with a stuffed puppy toy, a blanket and a clock.
The tick toc of the clock similates the heart beat of his mother and makes him feel relaxed. Let him get used to his crate and then expand his world. If your letting him have the run of the house - he's never had that before so he doesn't know what he is supposed to do. His world consisted of being in a cage.
I'd also be very careful about the how many treats you give him, he may grow to just expect those. So the advice about putting the food down and taking it away is a good one. in about 2-3 weeks get an X-pen and put his crate in the x=pen so he can come out of the crate and explore. After about 2-3 more weeks, make his world a little bigger, and continue on with that. of course, you should take him out for walks and to go potty.
I hope that helps.
It will take time.
 

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you may want to try Bachs all natural Rescue Remedy. If that doesn't do the trick quickly. i would have her checked for Addison's.
 

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Is Bach's a brand of treat?

I am also very hesitant to crate him. His foster mom asked me specifically not to crate him because of his history. In his puppy mill, he was stuffed in a crate only big enough for about 4-5 dogs--there were 30 dogs in his crate. She tried crating him after rescuing him, and she said he would have nothing do to with it.
 

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Hmm, that kind of an odd request. I have fostered many millers and being in a smaller space seams to make them more comfortable because that all they have known. It also depends on what kind of crate to use and what goes in it. ;) I only use wire crates so they can see out of them. I would ask the rescuer what type of crate and what size of crate she tried to put him in.

Well if not a crate I would confine him to a bathroom or a utility/laundry room where he can "escape" to a safe place if he needs to. I like a crate because that becomes their "den" or "room" a place they can go to get away and nap or chew a rawhide.

So if he is only a year and a half he was still a puppy while in the mill correct?

she said he would have nothing do to with it.
What exactly does that mean? Did he just whine or was he fighting tooth and nail to get out?
 
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