I’d like to say that after nearly a week, Galahad is showing some signs of improvement, but, sadly, it wouldn’t be true. There are very subtle indications that maybe he’s settling a bit, but
they’re tiny, tiny increments. It still takes me nearly a half hour to put a leash on him at night so I can put him in his crate overnight. I could do it faster I suppose, but I’d have to corner him, which is probably not a good idea. While he’s shown no signs of aggression at all, cornering a frightened dog is always risky. And for his own sake I’d rather be able to do things a bit more calmly. I think he needs a bit more exercise, but I’m quite sure that if I let him off leash for a run, I’d never catch him again.
He did come up and sniff my hands of his own accord last night, which is possibly a good sign. His stress panting when he’s crated has abated a bit too. I crate him next to Lenny who he likes and finds comforting. He gets into the crate of his own accord as long as Lenny is next to him, and is starting to settle down to sleep fairly quickly. Given that he tore one of my crates apart on the day he arrived, that’s an improvement. He will take food from my hand, but he’ll back off so that he’s as far away as is compatible with getting the food.
On the leash he pays no attention to me at all, but he likes going out for walks, but unless there’s another dog along he still worries. He pays no attention to me at all when we’re walking – he’ll do as he’s asked but there’s no interaction. He doesn’t respond to any sounds I make – whistles, singing, kissy noises, anything. I’d wonder about his hearing, but it might just be his level of arousal, distraction and lack of any experience in meaningful conversation with humans.
I talked to the ranger at the pound Galahad came from. He’s a good guy who worked a bit with Galahad, including taking him for walks. Galahad was found wandering and it took them a few days to catch him (I’m not at all surprised!). The ranger said he in really poor condition. Since Galahad came to me at a good weight, the ranger clearly did a good job feeding him up. Galahad showed no signs of aggression to the pound staff either.
I suspect that Galahad’s issues might be a bit beyond my level of skill, but at this stage I don’t want to put more pressure on him, so we’ll see what a bit of time, a consistent routine, good food and company can do for him.