I adopted a 2 ½-yr-old female Min Pin a week ago. I am alone with her. She is still skittish. I will call her to come to me so I can take her out to go potty, and she hides under my throw pillows, or under the covers, and if I approach her she runs away from me. She continuously tries to throw herself out of my arms, or tries getting tangled up in her leash. I am afraid I am going to hurt her.
To me she acts as if her previous owners just continued to beat her. What can I do to get her to trust me and cooperate? I am even afraid to scold her when she goes to the bathroom in my house on the carpet because of the way she acts so scared. Any suggestions on what I can do to enjoy her more? She does follow me all over the house and will lie next to me on my bed or couch. I know she loves me but I just can't win when it comes to redirecting her.
You being afraid to hurt her and feeling sorry for her past life is most likely freaking her out. Please read The Human Dog to understand why. For now I recommend you stop trying to give her comfort and affection and instead give her gentle, calm, and firm leadership. Start taking her for pack walks so she can become comfortable with her pack order and release her mental energy as well as physical. Do not look at her like a fragile little dog. Be strong for her and allow her to pull from your strength as her leader. Recognize any signs of dominance and put a stop to it if need be (without yelling or hitting); a firm "no," sometimes with a touch to the neck, will do.
The poor dog sounds very insecure and the only way to make her secure is for her to see you as a strong, calm, and confident leader. One she can count on. Dogs do not need affection. They enjoy it, but it's not instinctual. What they do need is to be secure and know who to follow and who is boss. If you can convince her that you are that firm, trustworthy, confident leader that she can follow, she will come out of her shell. At that point you can give her all the affection you wish and she will most likely enjoy it.