Amy asked in PetsDogs · 2 months ago

How do I get my previously abused dog to feel safe? ?

I recently adopted a 5month old mixed breed pup from Romania. She is from the worst public shelter in the country and at only 5 months old has been physically abused most of her life. Whilst in the shelter she was also starved as she was on a kill list so no point feeding her in their eyes! She isn't aggressive at all in fact she has only bit once when she fell in the pond and we had to drag her out. When we first got her she ran straight to the nearest wall and faced it since then she has made her dog bed at the side of the sofa her home. The issue is she is so scared of us she wont walk past us to go outside if she needs the toilet. She wont move to get food we have to bring it to her. She doesn't play she just sleeps all day. She doesn't like a crate either I assume it reminds her of the kennel environment. We have a huskey that she plays with at night when everyone is asleep as I hear them running around, however in the day she will not come near anyone! any help would be appreciated. 

7 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I rescued a bait dog from a fighting ring.  It took months before she would come out from under the bed.

    It takes time.  She uses a toilet?

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  • 2 months ago

    https://www.google.com/search?q=12+hours+ago+Edit+...

    That was the results of googling your question. You can google anything about working with an abused dog(s). Takes lots & lots of patience.

    I took in large & extra large dogs for about 50 yrs or so & every one came with some kind of baggage from their last homes & experiences. Each one was different with different issues.

    Just get on google & look up everything you can think of to help your dog. I can tell you she has a very submissive temperament. Fearful of many things, shy, reserved, expects to be harmed & is afraid of many things.

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  • Jack H
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Give her space, quiet and time, you will end up with a nice dog...

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  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Stop worrying about this dogs past, dogs live in the moment they don't live in the past like human do...so all the over the top attention and fuss you are giving her will not help at all, all it will do is put pressure on her...so you won't like what I suggest however she will come around much quicker and with far less anxiety than she is suffering from now........ignore!

    Ignoring means no touching, no talking, no looking that removes all and any pressure from her, have a collar and lead on her and let the lead trail, so you can just put your foot on the lead to get control such as when she needs to go outside to the toilet you can do that without touching/talking to her and lift the lead and just walk outside and then if your garden is fenced let the lead go...with another dog (which she is trusting ) all and any commands you use for that dog and the newbie will follow her...same as daily lead walks take both dogs and walk them together the new one will gain confidence from her....and remember it has took 5 months for her to learn humans can't be trusted, it will take ALL LEAST that long for her to start to change....every dog is prepared to change their behaviour as long as their owner is prepared to change theirs...

    It is never easy for humans to not look, touch or talk to a pup when all you want to do is 'love' her past away, but by fussing and pandering to what you think her needs are, you are making her anxiety worse

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  • Amber
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    This really depends on her. And the slow way is the fast way and her personality will matter. Some dogs that are nervous get comfort from attention. From petting, hugging, cuddling, our voice while others see it as pressure and an anxiety. Which is she?

    I got a lurcher from a rescue who was abused. The best thing you do could with her was ignore her. When guests came in I'd ask them to ignore her and leave her to hide behind the coach. If she did something right I'd leave her alone. For her, that was her reward, people leaving me alone. After 6 months of living behind the coach 24/7 she realized no one in the house was interested in her. We let her out for wee's, fed her, watered her and threw bones in there for her to chew. Gave her blankets to lie on that we didn't wash to get her scent on it. But that was her place and we left her alone there. "Safe areas" are good to establish with anxious or scared dogs. We just went about our lives and ignored her. Then she slowly began venturing out. Whenever she came near me I had a pocket full of meaty treats that I'd just throw to her. As she came closer and got more comfortable, I do a quick pet and then treat. Then began to pet, treat and say "good girl."

    We continued this and three years later she hasn't been behind the sofa in a year. Barks at the post man, loves to play in the garden, swimming seems to be her biggest passion. She loves having guests over and enjoys all the attention. And sleeps beside my bed. It's so rewarding to see the difference in her. As you'll see with your girl. Rescue dogs really are the best and they always seem grateful. Like they understand they've got it good now.

    • Jack H
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      Good for you, love lurchers, fine dogs...

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  • Lv 7
    2 months ago

    build trust. it will take months, not days.

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  • PR
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    First, I would suggest you play with the other dog in front of her. Play gently, so she sees your kind demeanor. Pet your dog, gently.

    For a feral cat, I first allowed her to hide where she felt safe. She was kept in a small room, since that would feel safe to her. In our case, the room had glass doors and she could see through the doors. 

    Then, she saw me play with a trusting kitten in that same room, who of course was not hurt. We placed the food where she could reach it, very near her hiding place, and left the room so she could go to it when she was comfortable. 

    You may need to sit in the room, or near the area where she is on and off for a couple days, speaking softly to her. 

    After awhile, if she allows, sit by her and gently pet just one area such as her head, then pet more as she allows or is comfortable with. Then, move from there with what works.

    But, has she seen the vet? She could be sick or have parasites and that would definitely affect her in many ways. Additionally, you might consider talking with an animal rescue league who may offer tips on this situation .

    https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/feral-do...

    https://terrehaute.rescuegroups.org/info/display?P...

    Look up, how to rehabilitate feral dogs, or similar wording.

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