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New Dog Few Questions

December 2nd, 2004, 08:29 PM
Not sure if I posted this in the right place.

I just adopted a wonderful little terrier mix. He is about 2 years old and was found under a patio filthy and fly infested (flies had eaten into his ear in one spot). Anyway, when I got him the shelter had said he was very shy in new situations. Ok, but said that he follows people around when they are not looking at him. That he actually felt very very comfortable in his small kennel and seemed very happy there. He is non-reactive to my autistic child so that was a HUGE PLUS. Most dogs freak out, he did not. The dog actually approached my son when he would not approach anyone else.

So I get this doggy home and it starts whinning, will not move from the corner, and every time I approach the dog it will lower it's head and back away from me (as if someone had hit it previously). It also has thrown up and will not do anything when I take it outside to potty (it will actually hold it until we get back inside and go on the newspaper around the crate area, like within 2-3 minutes).

I feel so horrible for this little guy and don't want to hurt it "emotionally" in any way. Is there any suggestions on how to socialize the dog without making it regress?



December 2nd, 2004, 08:36 PM
If he only threw up once, that could well be stress. (My kitten Yin Yin threw up the first night she was here- after gobbling down her food too quickly - but it was smooth sailing in terms of food and everything else after that!)

Everything is so new to this little guy! Does he have his own bed- somewhere he will feel secure? He could stay there (and make sure he eats and drinks water) until he decides to come out and mingle. It sounds like he has started to bonf with your son though - which is wonderful!! Animals often sense when kids need them - as least that has been my experience!

I would not push him, excpet to make certain he has food and water. Keep talking to him in a calm reassuring voice and he should come around. (I have more expertse with cats but have had dogs in my life too - just dogs are usually more social but he must've been truamatized by some terrible event(s) in his young life. Poor little guy! He is lucky to have found you and you him. :)

Good luck!!

December 2nd, 2004, 08:49 PM
Cyberkitten has given you some good advice.

Make sure he has food and water and a comfortable bed. If you need to put his bed in that corner in the beginning, so be it. He feels comfortable there.

It will help him to adjust if you keep to something of a regular routine. This way he will know what to anticipate and will feel a bit more comfortable with minimum surprises/upsets around the house.

Give him time to get settled in. Try not to lean down over him. This is an intimidating/dominant gesture to an already frightened/shy dog. He has obviously been through alot and has not had good experiences with humans. I suspect that he will bond with your son first, dogs definately sense these things, especially the ones who are shy/frightened themselves.

Security, kind words, a few treats, a quiet stable atmosphere should go a long way to helping this little guy. The shelter has already given you the clue that he will follow you if you do not focus the attention on him. If he appears particularly nervous/anxious, I have also seen some aromatherapy for pets at the pet store. Lavender is a natural calmative/relaxant. A light touch (remember their sense of smell is so much stronger than ours) in his bedding/corner may help to make that seem like a "safe" place to be.

It sounds like he has landed "on his paws" in a caring home that will help him to heal and realize his potential.

Lucky Rescue
December 2nd, 2004, 09:26 PM
I'll just add that right now, the only important thing is that he learn to trust you. Without that, nothing else will happen. No pulling, pushing, scolding etc.

This poor little dog may have never been out of his crate, so let him come around in his own time. Don't look directly at him or make eye contact for now.

Keep him confined in a small area for now. Too much space will freak him out. Can you gate him in a bathroom with his crate? He'll feel more secure that way.

Thank you for giving this little guy a second chance. Just take baby steps with him and I'm sure he'll come around. Patience and love do work wonders.:)

December 3rd, 2004, 09:39 AM
The dog has not moved from it's crate at all. In fact it stayed there all night long. It has not moved.

I want to really work with this dog, but my children are absolutely upset about the dog and the way it's acting. My daughter was up all night crying and my son kept saying "that is not a dog mom."

The dog has obviously been unsocialized and kept in a very small area.

I am wondering, in everyone's humble opinion, how long it generally takes an unsocialized dog to become semi-socialized. I re-called the pound where we got him and actually spoke with the lady that worked with him. She said it had taken 6 weeks to get him to follow HER, not anyone else. She also said that he enjoys his crate and does not like to be out of it at all. That he probably will end up being a crate dog, in her opinion.

I love dogs and animals, but am wondering if this dog's behavioral issues are so severe that he is going to take a professional to rehabilitat him.

Any follow ups appreciated.

Lucky Rescue
December 3rd, 2004, 10:07 AM
That he probably will end up being a crate dog, in her opinion.

I do not agree with that and think it's wrong of her to write off this 2 yr old dog so easily.

He doesn't enjoy being afraid or in a crate any more than a child enjoys being abused by his parents, but if that is the only thing he knows he will cling to it.

Your kids need to stop crying and carrying on, and maybe see this as a project you can all work on together. The satisfaction and reward you will feel when this little runs up to on his own will be great.

Sit on the floor and talk gently to him. Use his name and try and tempt him out with a treat, moving a little further away if he comes to you.

Look at it from his point of view. He has known nothing but abuse and neglect for his whole life and certainly has no reason to trust anyone. In his eyes, people are mean and cruel. You have to prove you CAN be trusted.

It might take 6 months or more, but this dog can be rehabilitated with proper handling.
I once trapped a completely wild cat, and it took a YEAR to tame and socialize him and turned into the most loving and loyal pet I've ever had.

You just adopted this dog. Even dogs with no issues take awhile to settle into a new home and the biggest mistake people make is trying to rush things. This dog could live for 15 years, so 6 or so months isn't really that much time in the large scheme of things.:)

HEre are a bunch of links on helping fearful and/or abused dogs. I'm sure you'll find them very helpful!
Helping abused dogs (

December 3rd, 2004, 10:14 AM
Believe me it takes a lot of time and patience. First put a stuffed toy just outside his crate, and a nylabone, just leave them there. When he is ready he will get them he might also come out of his crate to sniff them. I found with Buddy he was not as severe as your guy but I talked to him in a real calm soothing voice all the time and used his name all the time. After about 3 days he actually came up and sat down beside me. So I just kept talking to him. If you went to pat Bud he would he would shy away from your hand so after a couple of days of him actually coming over to me I put my hand on his back and started patting him and slowly worked up to his head but if I went to get up he would run away from me. But eventually he started to trust that I would not hurt him and started on his road to becoming an absolutely awesome dog. It took about 3 months of really constant reassurance and letting him come to me. He is now a velcro dog we do everything together including when I have to use the bathroom he feels he needs to keep an eye on me. Patience is the most important thing and it will take a while but it will be worth it. I have to tell you there is a couple who I know through a mastiff group who got a mastiff for there autistic child and it is about 4 months now and there little one now says the dogs name and talks to the dog he doesn't speak very much to anyone else but she said she cannot believe the change in him in such a short time. They now take the dog to his school and has had the same reaction from a little girl who just sat and rocked she called the dog by his name. This little girls parents were in tears when they saw how she interacted with the dog she does not interact too much with anybody. They have now decided that this seems to be one of the best ways of getting through to her and have since been put on the list of the breeder the other mastiff came from. The dogs for some reason seem to bond with children who have these disabilities. They are constantly doing studies with autisim and animals. We being animal lovers know the healing powers our pets have, and how keen their senses are. Just be patient and he will turn around it is really a matter of him trusting you and feeling safe because we really never know what these dogs have been through. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress or if you have questions.

December 3rd, 2004, 11:19 PM
I appreciate the advice given on the board. Just to reply to the person that said to tell my children to stop crying... my son does not understand completely what is going on. He is developmentally delayed, so just telling him to stop crying is not going work. My daughter was upset that someone hurt the dog so badly that it would not interact with her. Nothing more, just a comment. No "hard feelings", but just as you would like me to understand the point of view of the animal understand that my children are allowed to express their feelings and just telling them to stop crying is not going to address their needs or help them understand what is going on.

Anyway, I do have a question regarding potty training this particular animal and would love your opinions as you have all been awsome.

The dog does NOT do anything when I take him outside. He will not walk on a leash, nor will the dog move from the spot I place him when I take him outside. Potty breaks are a no go. He will NOT go to the restroom at all unless he knows that no one is home (and he knows, lol). I have let him outside and tried to disappear from the area (small area as not to overwhelm him), but he just won't do anything(not move, let alone potty). As a result he has been going potty when I leave to take my kids to school. I have left newspapers out on the bathroom floor and he goes on them (he will not go on anything but those papers). So my plan, and please tell me if I am off here, is to address the social issues first and then later work on the potty issues since he won't go unless no one is home? Then as he becomes familiar with us and his surroundings start addressing the potty issues? I'm kinda lost. Those links all kinda assumed that the dog would at least "explore" the outdoors and most made references to the dog being on a leash and moving. This dog doesn't do either, lol.

The last question is this, the dog is scratching himself constantly(the more he has been here). I have looked at him to see if he has any type of bugs, but do not see any signs that they are present. I have made an appointment with the vet first thing Monday morning to get him checked out. Im kinda wondering if dogs scratch as a nervous reaction or what else it could possibly be?



December 4th, 2004, 03:07 AM
I have left newspapers out on the bathroom floor and he goes on them (he will not go on anything but those papers).

Hi ! As others have already said here its going to take a while and lots of patience and understanding but if you bear with it you will end up with a great loveing pet here ;) Sitting talking to the little guy for ages will after time get through and as for the potty training the paper way will work gradually over a the weeks reduce the the ammount of paper until its only one piece then when its down to the one piece he does it on gradually move it towards the door,How long this process takes will depend on his general cofindence which right now is low :sad: Try leaveing a radio on low on a talk channel while your out so he gets used to voices around ;) Keep up the good work youll get there in the end ! :thumbs up And yes go see your vet for the scratching ;)

Lucky Rescue
December 4th, 2004, 08:06 AM
He is developmentally delayed, so just telling him to stop crying is not going work. My daughter was upset that someone hurt the dog so badly that it would not interact with her.

I'm sorry but I had no way of knowing this, since there was no explanation in your original post. From the way you wrote, I thought the children were upset because the dog was no fun. ("That is not a dog mom")

Yes, work on his social issues first, since the dog is using papers at least. That is one good thing. He can be switched to going outdoors when he is not so terrified.

When he is more confident in the house, you can take some of his used papers and put them outside for him to use, then gradually eliminate the papers by making them smaller and smaller until he is using the ground.

I know this is kind of overwhelming and probably seems hopeless, but it's not. This dog's main issue is fear and that can be overcome little by little.

Does he eat well? If so try moving his food away from his crate a few inches each mealtime. And give him his meals at the same time every day so he'll know he can count on the same thing happening at the same time. This will help give him confidence.

Were the links helpful at all?

December 4th, 2004, 09:56 AM
Just reading this thread makes me think this was a puppy mill puppy and is used to a cage and is all it knows. Very sad......I hope you persevere with this little pup and give him a chance to get used to being a "real dog" as your son so kindly puts it (kids can be cute) just explain to them that it will take time and that they can help the puppy overcome it's problems with time love and compassion and that one day they will be able to play together....just not right away.....

I wish you all the best with this little guy and hope he comes around :) .

have you tried bringing some newpaper outside when you go out?

I found when Buddy was potty training .....getting him used to the words "piddles" and "poops" helped him understand better what I expected of him. He was in a cage for so long that he was used to going in it. Now he still has the odd accident but were getting alot better

Good luck

December 4th, 2004, 09:59 AM
P.S. "welcome to the board sc00b3rt" and thanks for giving this little guy a loving home

Time and patience shall reward you with a loving and loyal friend :thumbs up

December 4th, 2004, 11:45 AM
Just reading this thread makes me think this was a puppy mill puppy and is used to a cage and is all it knows.
have you tried bringing some newpaper outside when you go out?

That is what I thought too after watching him for the past few days. He does not leave that crate or the immediate area. As a matter of fact the dog has basically slept for the past 3 days, he gets active for about 1 hour. I also thought it was strange that a dog that supposidly was stray for such a long time would only go on the paper and nothing else and the dog was neutered when it arrived at the pound.

I have tried bringing the paper outside and the dog just sits there in a small ball. I just keep at it ;)

December 4th, 2004, 11:55 AM
I'm sorry but I had no way of knowing this...I know this is kind of overwhelming and probably seems hopeless, but it's not. This dog's main issue is fear and that can be overcome little by little.
Does he eat well? Were the links helpful at all?

It's ok, I'm still learning how to use this posting board and made the orginal post further up explaining that my son was Autistic and then made another post as I didn't know how to use the quote thing, lol. Opps on my part.

It does seem a bit overwhelming, just based on the fact that the pound more or less lied to us and misrepresented the animal. Saying it was shy but came around after about 2 weeks. Then after they got our money said, well maybe it was longer and he didn't really come out of it for anyone but the trainer(who by the way is trained) and that was very minimal. Sigh.... Don't get me wrong, I knew that by adopting a dog from the pound I wouldn't really know what I was getting and work would be involved, but never to this extreme. I just feel so bad for the dog and hope that with time he will see that we do want him to be a part of the family and not just a kennel dog.

The links gave me some ideas. I am thinking about taking him out of the crate tomorrow and restricting access to it for about an hour. He is in the bathroom area (the door is open at all times) and he can still stay in there and feel safe, but I think I may need to give him a little push out of the crate.

Anyway, I will keep you all posted as to what is going on. Thank you all for your help.

December 4th, 2004, 02:45 PM
Scoo- When we first got our baby, it was WAY too cold outside for him (both breed wise and age wise). We pad trained him. When the temp warmed a little, we began going outside with him, and bringing a "scented" (eeewww) pad with us. We'd put the pad on the grass, and let him sniff around it. Within a few days he was using the pad outside.... after about a week, we stopped bringing the pad out with us. He's been fine ever since!!
Goodluck :)