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need help with very fearful rescue dog

Posted by baileyq (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 29, 13 at 10:08

Hi, I adopted a 3yr. old dog from a rescue organization. My assumption was that the rescue organization fostered the dog to some extent. Not so, but I adopted anyway. Dog is not socialized to people, and I can only have 1 dog in my condo. I brought her home yesterday and she has stayed in a bathroom behind the toilet since then. She opens her eyes only to look at me when I go in. i did carry her out yesterday to potty, but she will not walk and just lays on the grass. I have 2 questions: first is that she does not seem to be drinking or eating. I put kibble (which is what rescue gave her) and water in the bathroom, but neither seem to have been touched. I put 4 small pieces of cheese right next to her nose, and those have not been touched. What can I do about that? If she's so traumatized, she won't eat or drink, I definitely bit off more than I can chew. 2nd: should I put her into the crate and put her in the kitchen where she will see me much more often or just leave her in the bathroom for a few more days (assuming she starts eating/drinking)? All advice welcome. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

Geez, I can't believe the rescue allowed this dog to be adopted without first evaluating it.

I would get her to a vet asap and make sure she's physically healthy, since not eating or drinking is going to cause a whole new set of problems.
Then, you've either got to do lots of research on how to work with such a frightened dog or bring in a behaviorist. She needs socialization at this point not training.

I believe one of our members, Mazer, worked with such a dog but he had a second dog that was of help. Hopefully he'll respond.

Something you may want to check.........while at the vet, see if she responds differently to men vs women.


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

I wound up with a dog in very close condition---I have a very aggressive/dominate male guard dog who needed a companion.

I let him pick the pound dog. I doubt I could have rehabilitated her without his help.

I picked her up four times a day and taking her outside---where (when she did her business) she just did it and soiled herself. Other than that, we completely ignored her. She lay in the middle of the dining room floor for two days before even raising her head to be curious.

Once she began exploring, Max paid attention to her---and therefore so did I---praising every positive action---and ignoring any negative action. Max sensed she had never been allowed to be a puppy---so he allowed her to climb/chew/roughhouse on him for several months.

She still has freeze up moments three years later, but I can pretty much treat her like any normal dog---yell a correction(even a stern calm voice used to instantly freeze her).

I doubt you can rehabilitate her alone, it seems to me Max was more instrumental in Molly's rehabilitation than I.


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

Sorry handymac........it was you I was thinking of!


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

I would have said what handyman has already said, just give her time, GOD BLESS YOU for taking her into your home, you will be rewarded sooner than you think, she will return your love and be the best dog you've ever had, I know because it happened to me with a rottie I rescued. Keep us posted, what did you name her?
Christine


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

I had a dog like this, We used to call him Super Chicken in a dog suit. Go slow, your dog is not food oriented, mine wasnt either. Put the food down and leave the room so it can eat without feeling threatened.

You really need to work on confidence building, Pet your dog under the chin to raise its head, Praise it alot.and go slow. You can use Rescue Remedy to take the edge off her feeling traumatized. Good Luck


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

Time and love will allow this dog to learn to trust you. You will be amazed at the transformation. I've linked to a great rescue organization that goes through this a lot. Maybe you can contact them for some tips. I'd put the food down and go across the room to let her eat in a safe, sheltered spot. Give her time to realize that you mean her no harm, and she will come to you. Thank you for giving her a home.

Here is a link that might be useful: hopeforpaws.org


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

what a terribly sad life she must have led. :( kudos for you for taking her in!

one of my rescue dane girls was a very fearful dog when she came to me. for the first couple of weeks, i pretty much ignored her. it took that long before she did something (other than pottying outside) that warranted my praise. she kept her distance from me although unlike your dog, she did want to be in the same room with me. however, any attempt to interact with her would result in her cowering away from me and putting her paws over her eyes as if thinking "if i can't see her, she can't see me!"

it will take lots of slow work with your pup. if you find that she absolutely refuses to eat, try adding a little ground beef to whatever you are feeding her. raw or cooked, either way. if you can find any canned tripe, even better! unless she is totally 100% shut down, she won't starve herself.

i assume you live alone so this will make it easier. she will associate only YOU with the good things and eventually, she will come 'round. get down on her level as much as possible, sit on the floor whenever you can. if and when she approaches you, don't reach out to pet her. let her get close enough to sniff around. you can talk quietly to her (no eye contact, just whispering), just don't reach for her. she will let you know when she is ready for contact by becoming a little more insistent that you pay attention to her.

a lady i know just recently took in a 3 month old pup that was so covered in mange and open sores, she did not have a single bit of fur on her body. she was curled up in a ball at the shelter, very near death. lana took her home and in less than 2 weeks, the transformation has been absolutely miraculous. she is growing fur, has learned to trust her human, seeks her out for attention and has just recently begun to actually play with toys. every time i get an update on her, i almost burst into happy tears!

good luck with her. take it slow, let her trust you on her own time. you won't be sorry. my dane girl is now a velcro dog, loves my attention but is also totally confident to venture out and about herself and every person who comes in my house gets greeted by 165# of pure wiggle with a stuffy in her mouth. :)


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

Just to add to the really good advice so far---it took a year to get Molly to close to 'normal'. She is still a very submissive dog---always last in line with the normal dogs around. And we've had her four years now.

It sometimes seemed she was not making progress. ,Times when unwanted behavior did not change or get better for several days or even weeks. We had years of experience training horses---which show that difficulty of behavior change a lot---so were used to that situation and just kept ignoring the unwanted and praising the desirable behaviors.

She now 'protects' our house from trash trucks, school busses, and certain motorcycles. And my eldest son has a new puppy---who plays much like Molly likes. And Molly played for hours---until she had had enough and growled at the pup.

All in all, working with a scared dog in much more difficult and time consuming than working with a dominant of aggressive dog.

In the end, the difference is very rewarding!!!


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

Hi everyone. Sorry about the delay in responding to all your excellent tips, but somehow, I thought I didn't actually post this--that I had written it out but pushed the close button and it didn't post. So, now I'm online looking for advice on Revolution or Heartgard and saw my post! Go figure.

To update: progress is actually good. I woke up Sun AM and she'd peed, and that was a positive sign. I put her crate in the kitchen, keep the door open and put a baby gate across so she can't get out, altho at this point, I don't think she would leave. She has learned to come out of the crate if I stand to the side and point. I didn't like having to almost crawl into the crate to pull her out to give her meds. The vet did find an eye infection like conjunctivitis, so I had to put eye drops in. She has no problem eating the pills with other food, unlike my lab, who could pick out any medicine from her bowl, altho she'd eat anything else, God love her. She was the best dog. Anyway, so my rescue, Maggie will eat if I'm across the room on the floor and looking away. She tolerates a bit of petting and will eat from my hand. I keep everything very low key and while I push her comfort zone a bit every day, I back off and give her space. She does look at me. She won't walk on a leash yet but she potties quite well on the puppy pads. So, all is going well. I'm expecting a long process, but she is a sweety. I think I got the good end of this bargain. Also found some good videos on Youtube. Thanks again for the advice!


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

Hi everyone. Sorry about the delay in responding to all your excellent tips, but somehow, I thought I didn't actually post this--that I had written it out but pushed the close button and it didn't post. So, now I'm online looking for advice on Revolution or Heartgard and saw my post! Go figure.

To update: progress is actually good. I woke up Sun AM and she'd peed, and that was a positive sign. I put her crate in the kitchen, keep the door open and put a baby gate across so she can't get out, altho at this point, I don't think she would leave. She has learned to come out of the crate if I stand to the side and point. I didn't like having to almost crawl into the crate to pull her out to give her meds. The vet did find an eye infection like conjunctivitis, so I had to put eye drops in. She has no problem eating the pills with other food, unlike my lab, who could pick out any medicine from her bowl, altho she'd eat anything else, God love her. She was the best dog. Anyway, so my rescue, Maggie will eat if I'm across the room on the floor and looking away. She tolerates a bit of petting and will eat from my hand. I keep everything very low key and while I push her comfort zone a bit every day, I back off and give her space. She does look at me. She won't walk on a leash yet but she potties quite well on the puppy pads. So, all is going well. I'm expecting a long process, but she is a sweety. I think I got the good end of this bargain. Also found some good videos on Youtube. Thanks again for the advice!


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

I'm so pleased to hear Maggie is coming around, I think you both are so lucky to have found each other.
Keep us updated as time goes by. God Bless you & Maggie
Christine
P.S. I love her name


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

what a great update! i'm so glad you have the patience for this as many people just don't want to take the time. you will be rewarded a thousand times over! sounds like maggie is getting bolder and that's great!

keep up the good work, will look forward to more updated. :)


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RE: need help with very fearful rescue dog

Progress will be slow for a while, and then should speed up---especially after she comes to trust you.

You are doing fine!


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