Helping an Abused Dog

I just got a Golden Retriever from an owner who rescued him from his previous abuser. He is a very well behaved dog and has done absolutely no wrong. My only issue is that he's very timid and shy (not in an aggressive manner). He doesn't cower when we pet him or anything like that. He is just very isolated. He lies on the couch and sleeps. That's it.

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I feel completely heartbroken for him and want to do whatever I can to make him a happy dog. The person I got him from had him for 2 years and said that he has been very introverted the whole time. I will love him and will keep him even if we can't get him to come out of his shell, but I just want to do what I can to make him a happy dog again.

By Krysta from Springfield, OH

Answers:

Helping an Abused Dog

Time will likely be the main help, I think he just needs to get to know and trust you. He may have had experience with someone who's temper spiked rapidly and he may be used to trying to keep under the "radar." If for just a few weeks the household can be extra calm I think he might have time to figure out "these people aren't going to turn on me."

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We took in a stray cat about 10 years ago and still have her, she was very timid and totally cowered. I talked to her a lot, very quietly in a whisper along the lines of baby talk, repeating many of the same phrases often telling her "you da Mama's girl." I probably overdid it because Gray girl is pretty much grafted to me at this point. Her absolute favorite sleeping spot is my neck! Your tone of voice will help get this dog to trust you. I am just so glad to hear the dog is out of an abusive situation, and I'm betting that in no time at all your dog will be a full fledged family member. Best wishes. (07/16/2010)

By GRAMMY 007

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