This is a copy of a letter to Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer (my hero!) Hope it give you some ideas, good luck!
I rescued a dog that had been boarded in the vet's office for a year. Although I thought I had planned appropriately, the dog, a neutered male Chow mix, ran away in the first 30 minutes at home and promptly got shocked by an electric fence and attacked by the fenced dogs. I live in the country, and he ran off into the woods behind another neighbor's house. He is very timid. My neighbors love animals and are helping me by putting out food and water for him. Every now and then we do get a sighting, but he runs from people. He has not taken up with any of the neighborhood dogs. Is this normal for a dog to be alone? How long can a dog go without a pack? Do you have any idea how we can use his pack instinct to attract him?
Pike Road, AL
It is not normal for a dog to be alone. Regardless of the breed, dogs are pack-oriented animals. However, they don't always form packs with other dogs. If they don't trust their own species, they may form a pack with another animal, like a cat or a horse, but they will create a pack. Without a pack, depression will kick in, and they may die.
Unfortunately, this dog associates his negative experience with humans. In order to regain his trust, you want to make him come to you. Outsmart the animal by ignoring him while moving closer. To attract him, I would bring a nice-smelling piece of chicken from El Pollo Loco and tie it to my belt, so the smell travels his way. Avoid eye contact. Do not walk toward him; walk parallel to him. The key is for him not to realize that you are looking for him. The more you look at or talk to a dog that doesn't trust humans, the more timid he will become, but the more you ignore him, the more attracted he will become.
Stay calm and assertive,