Ingrid barked in for help. She recently adopted a small dog who has been abused. I know many Dogsters have experience helping these little ones get used to life in a loving household. What’s your advice?
I’ll throw out a few things just to get us started.
Move slowly and deliberately around her for a while until she is very comfortable with you. Abused dogs are often nervous around people who move quickly or make sudden movements.
When introducing people into the house or even when you take her out, do not force her to interact with crowds for a while or with people she seems uncomfortable around. It may have nothing to do with a particular person other than he or she reminds your furbaby of the abuser or abuse situation. If she acts snappish or peevish, do not reward her or let her get away with the behavior but, after disciplining her firmly but gently, move out of the situation.
For a while at least, watch your furbaby around children. Children are often not aware of the signs dogs send telling others to back off. Give your furbaby time to build up her confidence in you so she does not have to feel like she must defend herself alone.
It is extremely important NOT to treat your new furbaby like she has been traumatized. She will move past her traumas and have a perfectly lovely life now that you have brought her into your home. So this means that you should not baby her or let her get away with bad behaviors. She needs a sense of normalcy and she will only get it if you treat her like you expect her to be a good citizen.
Last tip — have a wonderful life with your furbaby. You have done a great thing and she will repay you with more love than you can imagine!
I recently got a 5 mo. old mixed Dachaund and Chihuahua from the SPCA. She seems extremely timid and very afraid of everyone. Could you explain more about abused dogs? I already love this little one, but really hate that she is so afraid of everything. She’s warmed up to me within the last two weeks, but is still very hesitant to come to me and trust me. Thanks