My foster dog Bunny is a Bichon Frise who spent the first five years of her life as a breeding dog in a "commercial breeding facility". When she came to us she was a mess, both physically and emotionally. She had seven teeth removed, received medical care, grooming and good nutrition for the first time in her life, and learned what it was like for the first time to have someone who loved her. She doesn't know how to play with toys. She doesn't know how to enjoy being petted. She gets scared and runs away when someone even looks at her.
Bunny has been working very hard to be a normal dog. She has learned to enjoy treats. She will approach me and occasionally lick my hand, although she still runs if I try to pet her. She's even learned to bark at Merlin, my cat, when he walks by. This is not something I wanted her to learn, but I guess it's good she's feeling safe enough here to interact with the cat, if not with me. But the best news of all, is Bunny has learned to go outside. She's wanted to go outside, but she was always afraid to take a step out onto the deck. She'd stand on a dog bed in the open doorway (because she was afraid to walk on the bare floor) and watch the other dogs outside.
Sometimes she'd get really brave and step out onto the deck with her front feet - but she'd never let her back feet leave the safety of the house.
Even when I took her crate outside, she'd do the same thing and only go as far as she could while leaving at least one foot touching the safety of her crate. It didn't matter if the crate was placed on the deck or on the grass - she'd walk out as far as she could while still touching the crate.
Until last week, when she had a breakthrough. I had taken her in her crate and set her on the deck right by the door, and she did her customary stand and watch while the other dogs played. I was taking pictures of Gizmo when I noticed that she had finally left her crate and was walking around the deck! Next thing I knew, she was running around the yard like she'd been doing it all her life.
Now she goes in and out the door with the other dogs with no hesitation. It sounds like a small thing, but for Bunny it is a great success.