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Training a Dog That Was Abused

I adopted a dog from the humane society two years ago. She is part Jack Russel and Feist and I'm not sure what else. She was from an abused home and was so timid and afraid that I had to actually crawl in the cage and get her out.


Well, needless to say, she is not shy now and she is spoiled rotten. She is hyper and doesn't do as she is told at all. I take her and our other dog out at least 6 or 7 times a day. She goes running off at least once a day and I have to call and call for her and sometimes I go and look for her in my car. There are times I can't find her and I just have to wait and worry till she comes back and it makes me a nervous wreck.

She is also bad about chewing things up like jewelry, clothing (mostly underwear), my gowns I wear to bed, socks, and her favorite thing is tissue.

I have tried spankings, but she has a nervous bladder and she just ends up urinating on everything. I have tried rewarding good behavior and I am out of ideas. So if anyone can offer some advise, that would be great. Thank you so much.

By Melissa from Cullman, AL


Training a Dog That Was Abused

I have 2 suggestions which have helped me with my rescue dog. Get Control Unleashed by Leslie McDivitt. It's a great book for helping a dog which is hyper whether by life history or by breed; next check into T Touch, it's a massage for dogs. It works to ease a scared dog. My dog tends to hyper and he's gotten closer to me since I started doing this for him.

Then other suggestion is go to and sign up with some groups to get some help. There are some amazing people in there more than willing to help, just like this site. See this as a challenge, not a test and you'll find your attitude will make a diff in how you relate to the dog. (05/11/2010)

By deethundercloud

Training a Dog That Was Abused

I understand your dilemma about your dog running off and waiting for her to come home. One thing I noticed is that you give her spankings. Remembering that she was an abused animal, the spankings are further abuse in her mind and she will keep running as long as you are laying a hand on her. She does all of this is because she wants attention, not spoiling. I found a training time-out is very beneficial. She has to know that she has done something wrong and you need to tell her, not spank her.


She won't stop running, chewing , etc. as long as she still feels that she is being abused by you or anyone else in your home. Constant monitoring of her actions is important, and correcting on the spot. Animals are very intelligent and they do understand what you are saying, not what you are yelling at them. How you relate to her does make a difference. Like it was suggested before, go online to Yahoo and sign on to groups who have been through these problems and give you their ideas as how to deal with this. I'm sure she is a sweet loving little girl and she just needs some firm, but gentle training. (05/12/2010)

By Virginia Pride

Training a Dog That Was Abused

I ditto no spanking! No animal should ever be spanked! Go to the Dog Whisperers link below and scroll down until you see a picture of a dog that says, "Do you need help with your dog?" There are some links just under that picture that might be helpful to you.

Your baby just needs some training and will be on the path to good behavior with some professional help soon :-) (05/12/2010)

By Deeli

Training a Dog That Was Abused

Your terrier is a bold and confident breed. They do best with training from a young age. It sounds like yours had no training, in fact the opposite, abuse. I agree with the person who suggested a call to the shelter to find some training classes. Jack Russells often really take to training and make great actors.

They love to perform, even if it just means coming when called for a treat. Terriers can be hyper, no amount of training changes that (my cousin refers to his as Jack Russell Terrorists). Keep in mind that she may need extra exercise because of her high energy level. Long walks on a leash may make her feel like she doesn't need to run off. Kudos to you for giving this little girl a home. (05/12/2010)

By Lizzyanny

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