Helping an Abused Dog


I have adopted a 4 year old registered male Australian Shepherd. It is obvious that he has been abused. He is very hyper, not the typical Aussie hyper, but run away hyper. He has climbed out of an 8 ft. high kennel twice, will not stay without being tied to a runner. He cowers if you even look at him, will not eat or drink while you are standing near.
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He is so beautiful and so sad it breaks my heart. We have had him for a month and he has run away twice with neighbors finding him in the woods and bringing him home. We have loved him, fed him, let him in the house to ramble and become comfortable, taken him on walks to show him the property of 12 acres. He will not come when called by his name, will not walk to you even if you have his favorite food. He is not hostile, does not try to bite. He is just like a zombie dog as far as response to us, but all he wants to do is run away. Since we have him on a runner he continually runs in a big circle like the pony rides at the fair.

We had a female Aussie for 15 years and a male Border Collie for 21 years. Neither ever left the property, but were free to run and play. Both of them made every step with us outside and lived good lives here. What can we do to help this poor dog? He is pitiful.

By kathyjune

Answers:

Helping an Abused Dog

Poor dog, lots and lots of patience and reinforcement needed here. I'd sit down and hand feed the dog to help it get used to your hand not being a weapon against it since it's a gentle and non-biting dog. The circular running is a habit caused from being confined to limited area of space. Have you thought of getting the Dog Whisperer CDs and learning his techniques to helping dogs with problems of abuse and the habits you would like to encourage to break?

Sounds like your dog is stressed and its mind is locked into a pattern it doesn't know how to stop. Try and speak with several professionals who deal with dog issues like this and try their advice. It's going to take awhile; you've only had the dog a month; it needs more time and if you continue to show patience and kindness, the dog should start to come around a little more, but it could take up to a year depending on how much the habits are instilled in the dog.

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It's a dog, not a pup and he may have some psychological damage that may never heal to an extent. What about contacting pet adoption centers and learn what they do to help mistreated dogs overcome obstacles before they are adopted out? You could try out their methods on your dog and hopefully with continuity get results your dog needs to make him happier. (06/02/2010)

By Lorelei

Helping an Abused Dog

Here's a link I researched that might help you understand the running away problem and how to deal with it. Also, the idea of using a tether ball (rope on ball) and tie to a tree branch for the dog to play with will help provide more exercise to a hyper dog. Sounds like he needs more physical activity in his life since the Aussie is a working class dog from other websites I've viewed.

dogbreedinfo.com (06/02/2010)

By Lorelei

Helping an Abused Dog

Try getting him a playmate, like another puppy. (06/03/2010)

By JoAnn517

Helping an Abused Dog

This could take up to a year to get him acclimated. It's a gradual process. I speak from experience. (06/04/2010)

By cookwie

Helping an Abused Dog

First of all, I believe this is a very intelligent breed, a working dog, and is known for running. If not kept occupied and stimulated, they may be more likely to take off than other breeds. Then you have the abuse problem on top of it. Possibly someone owned this dog who did not understand their special needs and requirements, and tried to beat the discipline into him.

99% of problem dogs can be fixed. Time and consistent training and love will work. They need to learn trust again, and to know what the rules are. I would consult a professional trainer for advice, maybe take a beginner's class on working with dogs with issues. You can do this. I feel this dog is lucky to be with someone who is compassionate and willing to give him a chance to be the best dog he can be. Good luck to you! (06/04/2010)

By jmp24

Helping an Abused Dog

I forgot to mention that I have a dog who was abused, a small breed, possible Boston/Terrier/Chihuahua mix. He also was not housebroken, so I assumed that the reason for abusing him was ignorance on housebreaking on the part of his previous owner. It took a while. but today he is a sweet and happy little guy. He still has some issues, but nothing that can't be handled. (06/04/2010)

By jmp24

Helping an Abused Dog

I rescued Skittles a female Beagle from my vet when she was 6 years old. She was going to be put down the next day. She is 15 yrs old now. She must have been severely abused by a guy because when I would just talk to her she would cower and shake. Please be patient with your dog because it will come around. It needs a lot of love, love, and more love. I taught Skittles to hunt and to this day she will not let me out of her sight. She still has some issues, like walking by me when I let her in the house, but I stand behind the door and she will come in. (06/04/2010)

By 4saml

Helping an Abused Dog

I have a little tri-colour Silky Terrier. He was given to me, when he was 3 years old. He was also abused. He had no fur on his lower back near his tail. Someone had tipped a chemical on him to kill flees and it burnt the fur off. I have had him for 5 years now. I would suggest you change the dogs name, from the previous owner.

I have given my little dog lots off attention. I have walked him, bathed him, I talk to him. He has his Smacko's for a treat. Persevere with your little fellow, like I have done. I couldn't even pat him, he would shake all over. Now he just trusts me so much. The vet said I have done a marvelous job with him. The vet said through my persevering it has taken the scar away from him. He is a different dog. Remember most importantly treat him as one of the family. It will pay off. Good luck. Hope this helps you. (06/07/2010)

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By shellmax

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