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Dear Dr. Florez,

We recently adopted a mini dachshund from a rescue shelter in Tucson. The history of our daxy, named Caddy, is that she came from a puppy mill and was never socialized to humans. She is great with other dogs, but cowers in the presence of humans and jumps at any new movement or noise. She is scared of everything and won’t even go for walks without being forced to go outside. What do you recommend? Training? Meds? Any suggestions would be great. We will be making an appointment with your clinic soon for a check-up.

Dan Weberg RN, BSN, CEN
Emergency Department

Dear Mr. Weberg,

First of all, I would recommend that you be patient and go slow with your puppy since any major changes will obviously create a negative impact on her.

The first thing you should do to acclimate her to both you and your home is to begin slowly. Place her on a leash and move slowly throughout your home. Eventually you can take her on a leash outside of your home. You may need to incorporate a trainer who is familiar with this condition. Training is very important, but it must be done correctly for effectiveness, or it could create more damage.

When playing with her, or calling her to you, try to stay down on her level by kneeling instead of being in a standing position. This will help her feel less threatened, and will help her through the initial acclimation period.

At this point, I would discourage medications, leaving them as a last resource. She will likely need to be evaluated by both veterinarians and behaviorists for the best diagnosis.


Congratulations on your new charge!.
Diego Fernando Florez, DVM

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